At a time Nigeria is missing on 2019 list of 50 countries with fastest internet in the world, citizens pay more for slower internet data. The current global average broadband internet speed is put at 11.03Mbps, with Nigeria at 1.56Mbps mean download speed.
In the Sub-Saharan Africa only three countries are among the top ten cheapest data cost in the world. They are Rwanda (USD 0.56 per 1GB), Sudan (USD 0.68 per 1GB) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (USD 0.88 per 1GB).
The region also has four of the six most expensive countries on the list, with Zimbabwe joined by Equatorial Guinea (USD 65.83), Saint Helena (USD 55.47) and Djibouti (USD 37.92). Nigeria is ranked 44 with cheapest date at $0.26 per 1GB and average cost of $2.2 per 1GB and highest cost at $13.79 per 1GB.
These were revealed by the 2019 research reports titled “Worldwide broadband speed league 2019” and “Worldwide mobile data pricing: The cost of 1GB of mobile data in 230 countries” published by Cable UK, in the research it designed, which was compiled by Cable.co.uk. The data was gathered by M-Lab, an open source project with contributors from civil society organisations, educational institutions, and private sector companies.
Nigeria is currently ranked 176th out of 207 countries captured in the research, dropping 24 points from her 152 position in 2018 while African country with fastest internet, South Africa is on the 75th position.
This informed a directive by the Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Pantami, ordering the Nigerian Communications Commission to compel telecommunications service providers to reduce the prices of data being offered subscribers in the country.
He had also ordered the commission to put a stop to ‘illegal’ deduction of subscribers’ data by the telcos.
The Personal Assistant to the Minister on New Media, Yusuf Abubakar, who made the development known recently, said Pantami gave the directives after he received a progress report on the implementation of Short-Term Performance Targets set for the NCC.
“The minister also finds it unacceptable that with the prevailing high cost of data in Nigeria, the citizens still do not enjoy value for money as subscribers battle daily with illegal deduction of data, poor quality of service, among others.
“It is against this backdrop that the minister directed the NCC, the telecom regulators, to immediately work hand in hand with the telecom operators and ensure a downward review of the price of data in Nigeria, improved quality of service provided and check the illegal deduction of subscribers’ data,” parts of a statement signed by Abubakar read.