The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has explained that his earlier statement that cost of data should come down by 40 per cent in 2025 was based on his recent intervention on the lingering issues of Right of Way (RoW) and destruction of telecommunications infrastructure across the country.
The Minister made this clarification on Tuesday while addressing ICT journalists in his office.
With the intervention, he disclosed that the ministry is already working on more complementary policies that would compel telecom service providers to bring the price of data down by at least 40 percent in 2025.
”We are working on our policies and by 2025, probably 40% of the cost of data will be dropped. Most of the challenges that were lingering in the sector for 15 years, we are able to resolve them, like the issue of the Right of Way.
”This has been lingering since 2006 and in less than a year we resolved it, to the extent that some players in the sector described the resolution as a miracle. An example is Kwara state, before the cost of RoW from one LGA to another is N560m, with my modest intervention, the cost is now N150m.
”This is what we mean by providing the enabling environment for investors. According to ALTON Chairman, 70% of money spent by service providers before the intervention went to RoW.
”In governance, our priority is to protect the interest of our citizens. Our mission in the federal government is to ensure that the interest of our citizens are protected because they are the ones suffering more than any other one,”
With this intervention, the Minister said it is now incumbent on the media to prevail on the telecom service providers to see reasons why they should bring down the cost of data since they had blamed the high cost on the issues addressed, insisting that the priority of federal government is to insulate the vulnerable citizens from undue exploitations.
”With this intervention, the cost of broadband should come down. What I think is important is that, when the intervention of this nature takes place, the media are to support the government to challenge the service providers to bring the cost of data down. Since the prices go up due to the challenge of RoW, it should come down now.
”The president has written to us that tele