Posted by News Express | 8 December 2016 | 2,120 times
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has defended its proposed hike in the price of data.
NCC Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, said the reason for the hike was due to the disposition of some Telecom service providers to actually price their services below cost.
The NCC had proposed to increase the price for data starting from December 1st 2016.
The proposition was greeted with public outcry and condemnation, which resulted to the directive from the Senate to stop the proposed hike.
Ojobo said, “Following the concerns that visited the directive to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has suspended any further action in that direction.”
He maintained that the decision to suspend this directive was taken after due consultation with industry stakeholders and the general complaints by consumers across the country.
“The commission had weighed all of this and consequently asked all operators to maintain the status quo until the conclusion of study to determine retail prices for broadband and data services in Nigeria,” he said.
Also speaking on the proposed hike, the Director of Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis, Josephine Amuwa said the decision to have a price floor was primarily to promote a level playing field for all operators in the industry, encourage small operators and new entrants.
According to Amuwa, “The price floor in 2014 was N3.11k/MB but was removed in 2015.
The price floor that was supposed to flag off on Dec. was N0.90k/MB.
“In taking that decision, the smaller operators were exempted from the new price regime, by virtue of their small market share.
“The decision on the price floor was taken in order to protect the consumers who are at the receiving end and save the smaller operators from predatory services that are likely to suffocate them and push them into extinction.”
The Deputy Director and Head, Competition and Tariff, Abubakar Yakubu, also speaking on the development said any stress on the communication industry has adverse effects on the socio-economic state of the country which has led to the commission to fix an interim price floor of 0.90k per megabyte.
He said that the price floor is not an increase in price but a regulatory safeguard put in place by the telecommunications regulator to check anti-competitive practices by dominant operators.
He added that the NCC as a responsive agency of government takes into consideration the feelings of the consumers and so decided to suspend the new price floor. (TV360 Nigeria)