This declaration is against the backdrop of the call by the members of the country’s parliament for reduction of call charges in Nigeria because they felt the current tariffs were too high.
Ernest Ndukwe, the outgoing executive secretary of NCC, told delegates at the Economists Conference which ended here recently, that he did not believe the charges on calls by telecom operators in Nigeria were too high.
“Subscribers in Nigeria are paying market rates comparable elsewhere in Africa”, he said, adding that the prices in Nigeria were within the mid range.
“It is a matter of perception. We are in a highly competitive market and prices will go down with time. Some time back in this country a fixed line was sold for N250 000 but the same line is almost free now”.
Ndukwe advised Nigerians to “shop right” for telecom products based on their needs rather than pay for services they did not need.
He nevertheless acknowledged that broadband access might be expensive, but with deliberate efforts by the NCC to encourage broadband infrastructure and the laying of fibre optic cables, broadband and data service would become affordable.
On SIM card registration, Ndukwe said the idea was not only for security reasons, but to provide a platform for the establishment of mobile money business models.
It would also provide some form of valid identity to Nigerians who do not have means of identification.
by Ikechukwu Osodo