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How Govs contribute to high cost of data — Minister

*51m enrolled for NIN, 189 SIMs registered

Pantami

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has blamed some State Governors for the high cost of data production by inflating the charges telecommunication firms pay State governments for right of way while installing their cables and other telecoms equipment.

Speaking on Thursday during a ministerial briefing at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, Pantami said that “some states charge as high as N60,000 per linear meter whereas it should not ordinarily be more than N145”.

He said he had however, engaged the Governors through the Nigeria Governors Forum and pleaded with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to intervene in the matter; stressing that if the anomaly is corrected fully, the GSM and telecom firms companies will produce even cheaper data.

The Minister noted that the cost of data provided by telecommunications companies has been halved since last year from about N1,200 per gigabyte to leas than N500 now.

Pantami also disclosed that about 189 million Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) have been registered in the country.

Out of this, 150 million are completely registration while the remainder have problems of improper registration.

He further revealed that at as March 31, 2021, over 51 million persons have been enrolled and assigned the National Identity Numbers (NIN).

According to him, while obtaining a SIM card maybe optional, NIN is mandatory, noting that a lot of transactions in the country is not supposed to be carried out without NIN.

This is even as he warned that those yet to obtain their NIN, risk seven or 14 years imprisonment as stipulated by law.

Written by ExpressDay

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