By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said yesterday that his administration has reduced the current cost of data by 50%.
The Minister, who revealed this in a statement, explained that the reduction was made possible by his directives to service providers through the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
According to him, this followed measures put in place by the Ministry to significantly reduce the average cost of data in an incremental rate.
He explained that the average cost of 1GB data was reduced from N1,000 in January 2020 to now be N487.18 in November, 2021.
This, the minister explained, was based on a report by the Nigerian Communications Commission to him, following the implementation of the directives.
The Minister had inaugurated a committee that developed the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) on December 16, 2019.
The Plan was unveiled and launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 19, 2020.
One of the goals of the plan, he noted, was to reduce the average cost of 1GB of data to a maximum of N390 by 2025.
“With the January 2020 baseline of N1,000 per GB, the maximum projected steady decrease for the end of each year was as follows: 2020 (N925), 2021 (N850), 2022 (N775), 2023 (N700), 2024 (N545) and 2025 (N390).
“In line with Dr. Pantami’s commitment to under promise and over deliver, the measures have caused the current cost of data to reduce significantly beyond the December 2020 projection of N925.
“Based on the report by NCC, the average cost of N1,000 data as at November 2020 was N487.18, which amounts to 47.33% lower 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 minister added.
He said the Ministry, through the NCC, would continue to ensure that consumers enjoyed a price regime that was friendly and supports fairness.
“Policies are in place to ensure that operators adopt competitive pricing that eschews unjustifiable margins,’’ he said.