The Executive Vice Chairman of the National Communication Commission, Prof. Umar Dambatta, on Tuesday disclosed that the regulatory agency stepped in with an interim price floor for data services to avert a looming price war and monopoly in the telecommunications sector.
Dambatta, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Communication to shed light on the reason behind the data hike, said the agency foresaw that the ongoing price war in the telecommunication industry may pave the way for monopoly.
He said that monopoly in the telecom sector could also push the country back to the days of NITEL to the detriment of small operators in the sector.
Dambatta told the committee that the intervention of the NCC was not designed to undermine the consumers, noting that if cheap prices were introduced, they may end up undermining the telecom service operators.
He said that if the situation arose where the operators could no longer cope, the consequences could be better imagined.
In his remarks, the Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Solomon Adeola, who presided, noted that there was a public outcry over the proposed data price increase.
Adeola said that Nigerians were united in their opposition that the proposed increase in the price of data should be stopped.
He said that the position of Nigerians was that the idea of hike in data price was ill-advised, especially with the biting economic situation in the country.
It could be recalled that Senate had last week in the plenary session directed its Committee to investigate the proposed hike in the price of data tariff said to have been ordered by the NCC.