Nigeria’s Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu has denied knowledge of an increase in data tariff by the Nigerian Communications Commission. The NCC raised the data floor price for telcos on Tuesday effective December 1, forcing mobile telecommunications operators to drive up the price of data.
The move has been received with disappointment from a populace already groaning under the weight of a severe headline inflation throughout the year.
In confusing circumstances, Adebayo Shittu said he was not privy to the decision to increase tariffs. He made the comments on Wednesday morning while speaking on Raypower FM.
“I want to say that I was not privy to it, I was not a party to it, the government never gave any such instruction and the government as the representative of the people never have done that,” the minister said.
“There are reasons for what they have done, the reasons I’m sure will not be political, the reason will be more of logistics and all of that and as you have requested me to do I will do that.
“This government came into the democratic process and it has a duty to continue to protect the interest of Nigerians and I can assure you, we will do that and we will do the needful in protecting the rights and privileges of Nigerians,” Shittu said.
Speaking on other challenges facing the telecommunication sector, the minister said his ministry is working towards curtailing the excesses of operators.
He said: “About six months ago I had cause to invite all the operators and virtually read the riot act to them. If that has not been done I can assure you it will be done, we are concerned about the interest of Nigerians.
“We are concerned that Nigerians should not be taken for a ride as the Minister of communications I’m also a victim just like every other Nigerians I also suffer the same fate as operators, so let me assure you that we will redouble our efforts to curtail the excesses of the telecom operators,” he added.