TUC Warns President Buhari Over Planned Hike in Data Prices - EazyFeeds

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Tuesday 29 November 2016

TUC Warns President Buhari Over Planned Hike in Data Prices

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria is warning against the proposed price hike for mobile internet services by the various telecommunication companies in the country. The labour group said it would not take such move lightly in the face of the serious economic crisis the country is faced with.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is reported to have issued an instruction to telecom companies to increase the price of data so as to help the government generate taxes.

MTN Nigeria was the first to release a message to its customers about the policy that would begin on December 1. But the TUC said it is a move between the telecom companies and the federal government to further milk the people. “It is really startling the extent government and its capitalists cronies would go to frustrate the lives of Nigerians.

“We feel particularly awful about the move because data is one of the cheapest ways to empower the teaming youth.  This move if allowed would make it un-affordable. “In our view, this is insensitive and criminal on the part of the parties involved. We are not surprised MTN has thrown its whole weight behind the policy; but the telco giant should realise that trying to lobby the government will not save the organisation when the chips are down,” TUC said in a statement made available to NAIJ.com. It union said it had expected that government would increase awareness for greater citizens’ participation especially in ICT, but opposite is being done.

“One cannot really situate the federal government policy direction these days; on one hand, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, is banking on ICT for youth empowerment while on the other, the NCC is trying to cut youth participation.

“All the promises made to the chief executive officer of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, when he visited the country cannot be achieved if the policy is implemented,” the group said warning that this was not the way to make money. It described the policy as spineless wondering how the self-employed who depend on data for their businesses would benefit. “It is very unfortunate, very unreasonable and inhuman to come up with such idea at a period of recession. “Any call for increase in anything for now is most unreasonable, uncalled for and a calculated attempt to record more suicide cases and insecurity in our already tension-soaked country.

“The telecom sector was often used as a case study to justify the removal of fuel subsidy. What happens to the issue of free market in the telecoms sector? There is so much deceit and insincerity in the system. “We are calling on government to come up with godly policies that would encourage investment and stimulate growth, instead of deliberately trying to stifle businesses,” the statement from ComradeBobboi Bala Kaigama, president of the TUC, and Comrade Simeso Amachree, its acting secretary-general, said.

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