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Nigerians took to Twitter to protest planned data price increases

The Nigerian Communication Commission proposed an interim floor price for data services of 0.90k/MB

Following public outcry, the NCC has since suspended the directive

CNN  — 

Rumours have been buzzing on social media of a planned data price increase across big mobile telecommunication operators in Nigeria.

Nigerians expressed their outrage in response to a directive by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) to enforce a new data tariff regime from the beginning of December.

Following much protest and media attention, the Nigerian Senate urged the Commission to put an end to the proposed data tariff hike.

As a result, the NCC suspended the directive.

In a press release the Commission wrote: “The NCC as a responsive agency of government takes into consideration the feelings of the consumers and so decided to suspend the new price floor.”

The NCC directive stated that an interim floor price for data services would be 90 kobo per megabyte for big operators such as MTN, Glo, Etisalat and Airtel.

The report, seen by The Cable, said: “In order to provide a level playing field for all operators in the industry, small operators and new entrants to acquire market share and operate profitably small operators and new entrants are hereby exempted for the price floor for data services.”

Nigerians protested the tariff hike on social media with a mix of humor and outrage.

Some Twitter users targeted Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in their Twitter attacks.

There were various calls to action including a protest in Lagos and a petition calling for the price of data to remain the same. To date the petition has just under 5,500 supporters.

While some Twitter users mused that it was perhaps all a scam to make the Nigerian Senate look good, Ben Murray Bruce, a proponent of the ‘Buy Naija’ movement and senator of Bayelsa state, promised to fight against the price hike.

Yesterday, Senate Deputy Leader Bala N’ Allah condemned the data tariff hike, calling for the NCC to halt the planned increase.

In response the NCC issued a press release stating that they have suspended any further action.