N0.90k/MB Data Price Floor Will Stabilise Telecom Industry – NCC
By Ossom Raphael
Abuja – The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday said N0.90k/MB data price floor will stabilise the telecom industry for quality service.
The NCC, had billed Thursday, December 1, 2016 to commence the N0.90k/MB as the new data tariff regime but met with protest by Nigerians on social media, expressing fears the government planned to limit citizens’ access to Internet.
But the Nigerian Senate, under matter of urgent importance, condemned the planned data tariff hike, and asked the NCC to halt the increase immediately.
The Director, Public Affairs of the Commission, Mr Tony Ojobo, who briefed journalists in Abuja, said that the N0.90k/MB Data Price Floor will also provide a balance for consumers as well as guide for the industry.
Mr Ojobo, noted that NCC is responsible for all stakeholders in the industry, even as he stressed that the price floor will balance the rate for both consumers that pay higher and those that pay lower.
“Allowing market forces to determine price will lead to monopoly or duopoly and monopoly does not breed efficiency. Without a stable market, there will be minimal possibility of even getting to 5Gb and we do not want a situation where quality of service does not meet international standards”. Mr Ojobo, stressed.
He also noted that NCC is not oblivious of the economic recession the country is currently facing but has engaged in the price floor due to it necessity.
“This regulator is proactive, responsible and responsive, understanding the dynamics of the industry globally and making sure Nigeria is not left behind. we need high investment to enjoy data services in Nigeria”. He noted.
Also giving more insights to the price floor, the Director Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis, Mrs. Josephine Anuwa who explained that the Commission has taken actions to avoid failure in the industry, said the price floor will sustain and encourage the industry to expand.
Anuwa, further said the NCC suspended the N0.90k data price floor in order to engage with consultants so as to review the price, even as she added that the price floor will help check abuses in the industry.
On his part, Deputy Director and Head, Competition and Tariff, Mr. Abubakar Yakubu said that the data price floor will be to the benefit of the consumers in the long run, stressing that it will help to prevent predatory pricing which aims to eliminate competition.
He also noted that the price floor will help to create a minimum price which will be regulated as well as provide operative guidelines for operators.