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Nigerians have reacted angrily to the recent directive by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to telecom operators to increase the tariff for data services, with several of them calling on the National Assembly to intervene in the matter. In reaction to the NCC directive, MTN has started sending out bulk messages to its subscribers alerting them of the planned increase. The text message read: “Dear customer, please be informed that from 1st Dec, some MTN data tariffs will be increased to reflect the new rates set by the NCC to operators. Thank you.”

Sources indicate that the new rate could see subscribers of MTN, GLO, AIRTEL & Etisalat paying as much as N1000 for 500 megabytes instead of the 1 gigabyte, 1.5 gigabytes or 2 gigabytes they currently get, depending on the network. Many subscribers who reacted to the issue via their twitter handles wondered why NCC would seek to bring more hardship on Nigerians who are battling to survive the economic recession. They called on Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to stop the draconian directive by NCC. The Senate President in a short message on his Twitter handle has promised that the Senate would intervene. Senator Shehu Sani was among those who condemned the planned increase. “At a time telecom companies are still making billions in profits despite the recession, increasing tariff on data services is simply about extorting more from the people for data after paying more for electricity,”.

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