The Nigeria Computer Society has called on the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, to compel the telecommunication network operators to adopt data tariff reductions in the face of Coronavirus pandemic.
Although, every network operator had stated their supports towards Federal Government’s fight against the pandemic, the umbrella body of computer practitioners in Nigeria, believes that the telcos should consider the plight of the subscribers, especially those who are pressed to adopt e-learning due to the closure of schools.
In an email to TechEconomy.ng, the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Computer Society, Iyiola Ayoola, explained why the Society believes the telcos should reduce data tariffs at this point in time:
“It is no more news that Coronavirus (COVID-19) has become pandemic and is currently ravaging the whole world. The first, second and third world countries, even the super powers are still battling with the curtailment of the virus.
“Consequently, the whole world is on a compulsory holiday. In Nigeria, Federal and State government have announced total and partial lockdowns to curtail the spread of the virus. Where very low activities are going on in government and corporate organisations, some industries have completely shut down production and business activities. Another major concern now is the closure of primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education, which could lead to unpalatable consequences on growth and development of the nation.
“Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the umbrella body of all Information Technology practitioners and interest groups, is really worried of the impact of the lockdown on education at all levels. Currently, NCS is propagating the adoption of e-learning and e-lessons to facilitating learning at all levels.
“We are indeed glad and pleased that many individuals and institutions are increasingly showing interest in the adoption of technology to facilitate and enhance learning. Children and students are now learning subjects and courses of interest, thereby acquiring requisite skills and knowledge.
“The challenge now is the affordability of large amount of data needed to support formal (direct or indirect) and informal education. This problem has indeed downturned the expected deliverables of e-learning, online creativity and technological innovations.
“Consequently, Nigeria Computer Society wishes to encourage NCC to ensure that all telecommunication operators substantially reduce data tariff to support e-learning during the period of lockdown due to the pandemic of Covid-19.
“I wish to also further encourage all telecommunication operators to yield to the call and yearnings of the citizens and that of the Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy by reducing the tariff of data rate. This will indeed complement the efforts of governments at ensuring that citizens are fully engaged at their various homes. This will further make the rule of ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ easier to obey.
“On behalf of NCS, I look forward to your kind consideration for the benefit of the nation”.