In line with the directives of the Honourable Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, measures have been put in place to significantly reduce the average cost of data. The average cost of 1GB of data has reduced from the January 2020 cost of N1,000 to N487.18 in November, 2020. This was based on a Report by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) submitted to the Honourable Minister following the implementation of the directives.
The Honourable Minister had inaugurated a Committee that developed the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) on the 16th of December, 2019. The Plan was unveiled and launched by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, on the 19th of March, 2020. One of the goals of the Plan is 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 the Report by NCC, the average cost of 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 Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, through the NCC, will continue to ensure that consumers enjoy a price regime that supports fairness and is friendly to consumers. Policies are in place to ensure that operators adopt competitive pricing that eschews unjustifiable margins. The general public may also wish to note that complaints about rapid data depletion are also being investigated.
For more enquiries, the Honourable Minister has directed NCC to respond to all issues raised by our citizens and customers. All hands will remain on deck to achieve the goals of the Broadband Plan as the Ministry supervises its implementation in line with our National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria.
Dr Femi Adeluyi