By Haruna Yusuf
Nigerians all over, home and abroad, and on social media have come out to condemn the Federal Government’s directive to telecom providers to increase the tariff for calls that last beyond 3 minutes and that of data subscription.
It was complete outrage on social media with Nigerians calling the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari from clueless to waiting for him to just go by 2019 without bothering to contest. These are comments from notable Nigerians.
Profesor Moses Ochonu from USA wrote:- “They have directed telecom providers to raise tariffs on data plans. The CBN governor says tariffs should be raised for calls that last beyond 3 minutes. After raising the price of petrol and causing the price of rice, foodstuffs, fertilizers, and other commodities to rise to astronomical levels, they have invaded the communication sector to raise more money to subsidize the expensive bureaucracies and political patronage of the ruling elites. With the implementation of the new telecom tariff structure, hungry, deprived Nigerians will no longer be able to use communication technology to share their stories of misery and commiserate with one another. What is the name of this ideology being implemented? I ask because even neoliberal capitalism is not this cruel. Where will they raid for revenue next? What will they tax next? The roads Nigerians walk on? The air they breathe? There is a concept called disaster capitalism, which essentially argues that a crisis or disaster provides capitalists and their allies in power with a perverse opportunity to push through far-reaching anti-people, exploitative, and unpopular reforms and changes in the name of responding to said crisis–changes that would never be tolerated in normal times. It now seems that, having taken the economy into recession, the Buhari administration is using the same recession as an excuse to deprive Nigerians of any essential commodities and services they can still afford and pursuing recovery on the back of struggling citizens. Instead of inspiring pro-poor interventions and empathies, the deepening recession has become an opportunity for the Oligarchs of the ruling APC to raid the population for revenue to maintain their privileges in a time of economic contraction and reduced oil revenue. A responsible government sees crisis as an opportunity to demonstrate its empathy for beleaguered citizens. This administration sees it as an opportunity to fleece them.”
Adams Absalom Kushi with AIT Bauchi wrote:- “Honestly, I’m disturbed and deeply touched with the way and manner things are deteriorating with every passing day. Yet without recourse to human feelings and the trauma, some are still happy with these things. They don’t see anything wrong in our suffering, they are comfortable with all these things going on in almost every sphere of our lives. People are languishing in hunger, misery and pain; yet you want to add fuel to the flame your polices have ignited.”
Francis B. Udo:- “I wonder. When did the CBN governor start directing service providers on how much to charge for their services? Has Nigeria become so confused and mixed up?”
They threw fuel increase on your way, you absorbed it; increased electricity tariff, you kept mute; gradually you can’t afford to feed again, you’re looking like moron. When you can’t pay rent and school fees again, you said it’s the CHAIN YOU VOTED FOR.
Now, they’re stiffening noose around your democratic rights, you’re looking like ‘suegbe pako’. Very soon, you will pay tax to see your kids and spouse.
NOTE: This is Barrister Adebayo Shittu, the Minister in charge of Communications. Under him, the NCC has instructed telecoms operators to increase data rates in Nigeria effective from December 1, 2016. Will you also look on like dummy or demand reversal of the mindless policy?
The choice is yours.
“CORRUPTION IS NOT JUST PEOPLE STEALING FROM GOVERNMENT, IT IS ALSO GOVERNMENT STEALING FROM THE PEOPLE.”
Join campaign to stop oppressive policies, #SayNoToDataPriceIncrease.
COPY AND PASTE on your wall if you believe in this cause. DON’T SHARE please!”
So the Federal Government has decided to increase phone and Internet tariff (tax). In fact by 1st December, as is reported, we will have to pay more to make calls and to browse. To add salt to injury, the FIRS is talking about paying some form of tax before one can get an international passport. In a country where over 65% of the abled young men and women have no job, what tariff are we talking about here?
Sometimes what some of these people in power do defies common sense. So it is the common man’s money they want to use now to maintain their luxury lifestyle during this recession? The only thing that people enjoy nowadays (young people especially) and that keeps them sane in a country where the government people have LOOTED and slash our dreams in vaults in Switzerland and across the world are these things they want to hike the price of.
*Buhari hike the price of fuel, we kept quiet, where is the subsidy money he is saving?
*Any withdrawal from the bank, money gets deducted? Where is all the money?
We haven’t seen anything on ground. Those advising the President to do this are people who have looted so much they don’t even understand what common Nigerians are going through. This is not about politics, it is about us. Say no. Say No! And say NO!
Let’s share this message and let’s share it all over. We cannot pay for these criminals luxury lifestyles.
Stand with Nigeria! Stand with the masses!
-George Onmonya Daniel