The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has ordered the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to resolve the issues of illegal data deduction and review downwards the price nationwide within five days.
He stated this during the presentation of Adeleke Morofolu Adewolu as a new board member/Executive Commissioner by the chairman of the board, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja yesterday.
The minister pointed out that there were numerous complaints from Nigerians regarding illegal data deductions and high prices, adding that he had personally experienced the unpleasant situation.
He charged the NCC to facilitate the penetration and expansion of 3G and 4G in the country.
Pantami stated that the government was aware of the challenges the mobile operators experience in their business such as vandalism and issues of Right of Way (ROW).
According to him, “the way we pursue the mobile operators to do what is right, we should also work together to protect their interest and resolve the challenges operators face.”
The minister said: “The main agenda of NCC is to protect the interest of customers and our priority is to protect Nigerians. It is our collective responsibility to make sure we give 100 per cent support to Mr. President to deliver on his key mandate.”
He charged the new commissioner to deploy his experience in supporting the board to fight corruption, noting that the success of NCC and the ministry was a plus for Nigeria.
The minister noted that the mandate of the ministry had been expanded towards improving the economy through ICT hence the need to work together for the progress of the nation.
He commended the regulator for the deactivation of unregistered SIM cards, 35 per cent broadband penetration and operators’ compliance in payment of fines as well as remittances to government.
His words: ‘‘I will urge the board of NCC and the management to immediately sit down and address some pending issues that I have been talking about. I will face a panel on Saturday to defend our achievements so far and by December 1, I will face another panel to be chaired by the President himself to convey to him what the ministry and the parastatals have done so far.
“I commented last time on the issue of data reduction. This is one of the issues that is worrying me badly. I was not fully convinced with the explanation by the NCC. Please go back and review that issue. It is very important and I want to get your feedback in the next five working days.
“The complaints from Nigerians are beyond what I can handle as it is today. People are complaining, and it happened to me.”