Nigeria’s minister of labour and employment, Festus Keyamo has urged telecommunication service providers as well as satellite TV service providers to make their services available to Nigerians free of charge for the month of April.
The ministers made the appeal even as Nigerians found themselves under lockdown as the country looks to quell the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Keyamo who appealed to both DSTV and StarTimes to extend subscription by at least a month said this will be the TV providers’ way of easing the financial burden on Nigerians within the lockdown period necessitated by the COVID-19.
As one of the Ministers entrusted with the welfare of Nigerian workers, I politely urge DSTV and Star Times to extend all existing subscriptions by at least one month, free-of-charge, as their own contribution to ease the pains of Nigerian workers at this time of lockdown.Festus Keyamo, Minister of State, Labour & Employment
Addressing telcos through his Twitter handle, the Minister noted that not only pay-TV but airtime and data were also required by citizens who now had to work or play from home.
He said that ensuring prompt communication between individuals and authorities in cases of emergencies would also be a welcome relief in the coming month.
I would also urge MTN, 9Mobile, Airtel and Glo to consider giving Nigerians some token airtime and data to ease their pains and to ensure that communication with individuals and authorities is ensured in cases of emergencies, especially when toll-free numbers are busy
This request is coming even as Nigerians have launched a campaign on Twitter aimed at compelling internet service providers to crash the price of data in the country.
This request is also coming on the heels of another cable damage which has reduced the quality of internet service that Nigerians have access to. As more people now work from home, having uninterrupted access to quality internet service is a heightened necessity in meeting daily work targets.
As the new month starts tomorrow April 1, it will be seen whether the cable TV operators and telcos will heed the minister’s call as a way to help their Nigerian customers wade through these challenging times.