By Rasheed Sobowale
Some Nigerians have disputed the Federal Government (FG’s) claim that it has reduced the cost of internet data by 50 per cent in the year 2020.
The assertion was made by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, when in a statement claimed that “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” of N925,
According to Pantami, the NCC report “also indicates that the cost of data in November 2020 was less than 50% of the cost of data in January 2020”.
– Increase in consumption charge –
Some Nigerians claimed their data now finish faster than before. Some of these respondents agreed the cost of data reduced but stated the consumption charge was also hiked by the telcoms service providers to complement the reduction.
In her response, a Vanguard reader on Facebook, Ukamaka Maryrose Nwankwo, said; “My two weeks Data that finishes in 3 days, I don’t watch videos online and sometimes I avoid coming online but no way. Now I don’t sub 1 month, I’m not sure this one will reach one week sef”.
Likewise Tochukwu Praise said; “Did you reduce cost? How do you explain the hike in charges when you reduced cost? True, the prices for data reduced but the charge per kilobite charge increased as an effect. 1GB that would last for a month initially, can not take you for three days, who are you fooling.”
A twitter user, Tony Ebi @TonyEbi555 stated; “Data the networks will take back without usage, you cannot monitor them on that because you do not have what it takes.”
– Audio reduction –
Many respondents however claimed they still purchase data at the same rate just as it is before. The minister’s assertion was tagged by them to be “audio reduction”.
A Vanguard reader, Mojekwu Uche, jokingly responded to our question thus; “Please show me how to load federal government data.”
Another reader, Brendan Gilbert Anuonye, said; “nope. It was audio as usual.” While some directly used the word “lie” in their comment.
Such as Etim Bassey; “All liar will always be a liar.” ; Joel Yuyu; “Lies everywhere you go.”; Nwokedi Christopher, “Lie from pit of hell”.
A twitter user; Otaelo Smart @otaelosmart said; “Not yet. Just like petrol which still sells at #166 per litre despite the announced reduction close to a week now.”
– 1GB data still costs N1,000 –
Nigerians like OFFICALWIZZY @chuwkwuebuka claimed the cost of 1GB remains N1,000. In the comment, the twitter user said; “Una need prayers.. i still dy buy data for 1k.”
However, a research by Vanguard revealed many network providers now offer 3gb of data for as low as N500. But the validity of such data is 7 days.
Many internet users in Nigeria are more accustomed to subscribing monthly and always looking out for data plans with better deal and low consumption charge and not as in the case described by Vanguard Facebook user; Folarin Eniayewu in pidgin thus; “Wait o. Ehen! I don dey notice am. I even want call my network provider make I ask them. Bcos B4 I dey watch complete level with 200mb. Now with 2gig na only adverts I dey watch. Chai!”
Experiencing the same was Kings Amasor; “We have not felt any change, instead I subscribe for 2 gig , I brows for just one day and now they are warning me that my data is almost finish, Nigeria is one big scam.”
Meanwhile, the fast consumption of these users’ data might be because of their browsing behavior.
Activities such as streaming and downloads can singinificantly increase data consumption.