Tuesday 29 November 2016

MUST READ: Don't Kill Our Vibe, We Say No To Data Price Increase

This is a wake up call to every youth in fact to every data user in Nigeria, if there is a time for us to come together and stand as one, then this is the perfect time, we need to show our great dismay at the recent pain the FG through the NCC is about to inflict on us, which is the proposed increase of data plan.

Punch newspaper’s headline today reads “Subscribers of the Global System of Mobile telecommunications across the country would pay more for data with effect from December 1, 2016.” 

The news went further to say that “The NCC issued the directive late last week on the orders of the Federal Government. We have not announced it yet because most of the major telcos have been meeting the NCC on how to reverse this policy, because it will be too harsh for Nigerians. However, we further gathered that the Federal Government took the decision having discovered that data rates are very low-priced in Nigeria, compared to other countries, including nearby African countries.”

Before I go to the most annoying part of the news, I need to ask which nearby African countries are currently in recession and going through the same hardship we Nigerians are going through at the moment. Plus if they want us to believe this news that data in other African countries are more expensive than that of Nigeria then they should provide us with proves, let us see the data they collated then we can also compare.

We say we want Nigeria to compete with the rest of the world digitally but how can we do that if we can’t even afford the data that is the major means of doing this? I have a theory to why the FG has decided to increase our data but I would tell you after you read this news still from the punch newspaper.

“In text messages sent out to its subscribers, MTN confirmed that it had agreed to implement the directive of the NCC. The MTN text reads, “Dear customer, please be informed that from 1st of December, some MTN data tariffs will be increased to reflect the new rates set by the NCC for operators. Thank you.

According to an MTN official who spoke with the news outlet “What this means is that MTN, Airtel, Etisalat And Globacom will increase their data rates as from December 1, 2016. A data plan of N1,000 for 1.5 Gigabytes will now be increased to N3,000 at N1,000 per 500 Megabytes.

My guess is by now you also said WTF, I mean you all can see the extortion that is about to be done by the FG, they are trying to rip us off big time, how can a data that sells for 1000 go up to 3000, that shows the FG really doesn’t care about us or better still which is what I believe is the case here, they don’t want us to use the internet anymore because let’s assume they want to increase the data, can’t they make it from 1000 to 1500 or bad as it 2000? Instead they are saying 3000 chai that for me is corruption and I think EFCC should look into it now.

Let’s quickly do this, the current data subscribers in Nigeria are put as an estimate of 86,219,965, now let’s multiply this by the outrageous 3000 they want us to start paying just to have a data value of 1.5GB, I am sure you don’t need a mathematician to tell you the FG doesn’t have the interest of its youth at heart and this is where I get to explain my theory.

My theory is this: The FG is looking for a way to reduce or stop the negative comment people are making on social media against their administration and they know the only way they can do this is to block us from accessing the internet which technically speaking isn’t possible for so many reasons so they figured out that the only way they can achieve this is to make the process of getting internet facility difficult. I mean let’s be realistic who go won buy data of 1.5Gb for N3000 just to go online to start complaining about how bad the economy of Nigeria is, or take a shot at the president for the proposed $29b loan. Well of course you are very much politically involved. I am not sure in this current recession I would buy data and start wasting on FG instead I’d rather use it in a productive way that would enrich me.

I know you might say this theory doesn’t hold water but ask yourself, why would the federal government just wake to say they want to increase data when they are the ones preaching that Nigerians should take advantage of the growing ICT world knowing that one of the ways we can achieve this is to have stable network and affordable data plan. To me, I say this is a misplaced priority by the federal government, if they really want to deep their mouth into the mobile network matter then, they should see to it that we have a stable network because with all the so called cheap data they claim, we still don’t have stable 3G network and now they have introduced the 4GTLE network which even consumes higher data (value wise also) than the 3G network.

Increasing the data rate by the Federal Government is a no no for me and it shouldn’t be welcomed by every data subscriber in Nigeria no matter what their reasons are, there are other things happening in other neighbouring African countries that they can't compare to Nigeria for example how stable power supply in Ghana and Benin Republic is.

Written by Hafeez Onitilo  

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