Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy Minister Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami says the administration has reduced the current cost of data by 50 percent.
The minister who disclosed this in a statement on Thursday explained that the reduction was made possible according to his directives to service providers through the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
According to a statement from the Minister, this followed the measures implemented by the Ministry to significantly reduce the average cost of data at an incremental rate.
He explained that the average cost of 1GB of data dropped from N1,000 cost in January 2020 to N487.18 in November 2020.
This, the statement explained, was based on a report by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) submitted to the Minister following the implementation of the directives.
The Minister had inaugurated a committee that developed Nigeria’s National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) on December 16, 2019.
The plan was presented and released by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 19, 2020.
One of the goals of the Plan is to reduce the average cost of 1 GB of data to a maximum of N390 by 2025.
“With the January 2020 baseline of N1,000 per GB, the maximum constant decrease projected for the end of each year was as follows: 2020 (N925), 2021 (N850), 2022 (N775), 2023 (N700 ), 2024 (N545) and 2025 (N390) ”, he added.
“Consistent with Dr. Pantami’s commitment to being less and more compliant, the measures have caused the current cost of data to drop significantly beyond the December 2020 projection of N925.
“According to the NCC report, the average data cost of N1,000 as of November 2020 was N487.18, which is equivalent to 47.33% less than the projected value.
“The report also indicates that the cost of data in November 2020 was less than 50% of the cost of data in January 2020,” the statement said.
The Minister said that the Ministry, through the NCC, will continue to ensure that consumers enjoy a price regime that supports fairness and is consumer-friendly.
He added that “there are policies to ensure that operators adopt competitive prices that avoid unjustifiable margins.”
He also hinted that complaints about the rapid exhaustion of data are also being investigated by authorities.
However, the Minister directed NCC to respond to all issues raised by our citizens and customers, and said that all hands will remain on deck to achieve the objectives of the Broadband Plan while the Ministry oversees its implementation in accordance with our National Digital Economy Policy for digital Nigeria.