Nigerians express frustration as telco stealthily hikes data tariff

These are not the best of times for most Nigerians following the biting ongoing economic crisis. In the past months, various government policies have led to an astronomical rise in the cost of goods and services.
Adding to these challenging times, MTN Group Limited, a major telecommunications operator, has also increased tariffs on their services, AF24NEWS reports.
While there has been no official announcement from MTNNigeria, there has been at least a 10 per cent surge in the company’s data prices.
Checks confirmed that MTNNigeria now sells a 22GB of data for N5,500, a 10% rise from the N5,000 it was sold a few weeks back, 2.5GB of data initially sold for N500 has been pegged at N600.
Also, a 27GB data that was sold for N6,000 a few weeks back now sells for N6,600.
The recent stealth increase in data tariffs caused a significant uproar among subscribers. However, the South African firm explains that this decision was made in response to escalating operational costs and the necessity to sustain their operations amidst growing financial difficulties.
 “Y’ello. Apologies for any inconvenience caused. Kindly note that the review of the price of the 2.5GB data bundle and other data plans will ensure that we stay in business and continue to provide service that keeps you connected to your friends, family, and business. Thank you,” MTNNigeria told an outraged subscriber.
Nigeria’s economic instability and rising inflation have resulted in severe setbacks that have affected various business sectors, including the telecommunication industry. Despite providing indispensable communication services, telecom companies such as MTNNigeria have not been immune to the economic crunch.
Nevertheless, MTNNigeria’s price hike has been met with significant backlash from Nigerians. They voiced their disapproval, citing the already challenging economic conditions they are facing. Many argued that the increased tariffs would place an extra burden on their dwindling earnings.
Daniel Regha, a popular social media influencer, in one of his tweets, called out MTNNigeria for the increment. “Hi @MTNNG why is 2.5GB now N600? What’s the reason for the price increase? This was how u guys added 10% last year (Sept.) but reversed ur decision after being ordered by the govt. It’s beyond unfair. Many people are already struggling in today’s economy, don’t make it worse.”
Anthony Udeh, another outraged subscriber said, “6GB that sold at N1500 before, has now been reduced to 5GB at N1500. And it’s worse now because the rate at which the data finishes is now three times faster. As a Nigerian, I feel insulted at how they did it quietly. There were no announcements about the change in prices from MTN. No courtesy at all. They take us Nigerians for granted too easily.”
Felicity Nwazoro also expressed frustration MTNNigeria’s increased telecom tariffs amid the economic crunch. “A lot of people have been offline these days because MTN increased their 2.5Gb data price from N500 to N600.
“And it’s not as if their network is that good. Until we have a functioning government these exploitations of Nigerians will keep repeating. N600 should be purchasing 10GB in a sane country. Seriously, it’s only in Nigeria they will call something a ‘monthly’ subscription and within 3 days, they will tell you it has been exhausted,” she lamented.
“I wonder why Nigerians are all keeping quiet about this Mtn data thing. I’ve spent 30k in 2 weeks. I can not work with this anymore. The wickedness of these networks is alarming. It is annoying. I feel bad because they treat Nigerians like this because they know we cannot do without them,” Felicia Paul, a dissatisfied MTN subscriber, told AF24NEWS.
“I did 120GB for N20,000 that was meant to last me one month but it got exhausted in two weeks plus. I wanted to subscribe yesterday and noticed that 120GB worth of data now sells for 22k,” Uzoamaka Adanna lamented.
The recent hike in telecommunications tariffs has triggered concerns amidst the existing economic hardship. Consumers face increased financial burdens, while businesses grapple with reduced competitiveness and growth constraints.
It is crucial for policymakers, regulators, and telecommunications companies to find a balance that ensures the sustainable growth of the sector while prioritising consumer affordability and overall economic well-being.

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