The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has gotten an extension on the deadline to reduce data prices in the country.
Recall that the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami gave the commission five days to carry out a downward review of data prices.
The Minister has however announced an extension on the deadline given in a statement released on his behalf by his media aide Uwa Suleiman, while also disclosing that he received a letter from the NCC in which they revealed that the matter is being looked into.
The statement reads “Following the five day ultimatum issued by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami to the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) on the 5th of November 2019, to resolve the challenges of illegal data deductions and review the cost of data downward, the commission has risen up to the task and efforts are in top gear to carry out the Minister’s directives.
“In a letter from the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), received by the office of the Honourable Minister on the 8th of November 2019, the telecommunications regulator, intimated Dr Pantami of the strategies been taken to stem the tide of short changing subscribers by Mobile Network Operators.
“In its earlier attempts to tackle the challenges, the Commission informed the Honourable Minister that it had issued a directive to all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) on the attendant penalties associated with Automatic Renewal and Forceful Subscription to Data and Value Added Services. The penalties include considerable financial sanctions on the erring operator.
“The letter stated that, in response to the directive of the Honourable Minister, the Commission reviewed the Nigerian Communications Act of 2003 on its rule-making powers and process. The Commission is in the process of carrying out a study on the End-of-Session Notification for Data Services and depending on the outcome, may issue a direction in accordance with the Act.
“Furthermore, in a bid to protect consumers, the Commission also notified the Honourable Minister of their regulation of the initial directive to include refunds to the consumer in established cases of unauthorized subscription.
“The Nigerian Communications Commission also assured the Honourable Minister that it has been working assiduously round the clock to enforce the Federal Government’s directives and has requested the good graces of the Minister to extend the deadline which expires today, 8th November 2019, to enable it properly re-strategise and fully implement long term solutions as directed, to the challenges.
“Dr Pantami has graciously granted an extension with the understanding that the Commission will resolve these issues within the shortest time possible.
“The Honourable Minister, hereby assures the general public that the current administration will neither tolerate acts of injustice nor the shortchanging of its citizens as it is working tirelessly to ensure that subscribers get full value for their money. “