Increase in telephone and internet prices: What is behind the decision of ARCEP?

On Sunday January 15, 2023, the citizens of Niger woke up to unjustified new prices both on phone calls and online. This award is about all mobile phone companies established in Niger namely Zamani Com, Airtel; Moov and Sahel Com. This inflation is the result of decision no., a decision which benefits some rulers. From now on the prices of Internet pass of 500 francs for example, go from 400 to 175 MB on the Airtel network and 200 MB on Moov. Meanwhile, in the government network Sahel Com, 300 MB while in Zamani Com for the same amount, the number of MB has not changed, i.e. 400 for the weekly form. At the level of this last network, the difference is noticed from the package of 1000 CFA francs and more.

This unfortunate decision comes at the beginning of the new year and while citizens use the Internet in the same way as electricity, water or even their means of transport. In short, one cannot go without the other. As a result, it will inevitably have a negative impact on the country’s development and social relations. A stab in the back to Nigerian consumer advocates who will not hesitate to speak out on this state of affairs. Since the advent of internet in Niger, a real mafia has emerged within the electronic telecommunication sector and every day God bless ARCEP shows us its true face.

What is behind this ARCEP decision?

Since the PNDS Taryya regime came into favor, corruption has run rampant in Niger. No sector is spared and unfortunately the practice is taught to the youngest. To escape justice, the corrupters and the corrupt adhere to this political formation that at one time in history had given hope to the people. There are many members of the government and the National Assembly who have been affected by the embezzlement in the Ministry of National Defense (MND). The latter quietly pursue their sovereign activities without worrying about anything and there are many examples. Well, PNDS has realized that social media is now an integral part of the lives of Nigerians and especially those in the diaspora; that social networks are able to change a situation and that today the events that happen are followed and recognized instantly by everyone. Almost all documents signed by the administration are immediately found on social networks, and the administration lacks the means to curb this practice. The various platforms on the WhatsApp network now allow all categories of Nigerians to express themselves on a topic as vexing as the bad governance of the socialists. You will agree with us that this is not to the liking of the PNDS Federal regime and that a mechanism must be found that can reduce the access of citizens to the Internet even as they demand transparency in the management of the government and especially in the electronic telecommunications sector. PNDS in its logic, understood that social networks develop social interactions and facilitate criticism and denunciations. Reducing citizens’ access to these networks is a strategy that will enable this political formation to achieve the objectives it has set for itself. Only, as a Hausa saying goes, I quote, Kana Taka Allah na tashi, end of quote. In other words, man proposes, God disposes. The access of citizens of all ages to social networks, it can be said without error, disturbs and disrupts the machinery of the Guri system today. At least this is what we can understand from this unpopular decision of ARCEP, which is silent, while for years the services of these mobile phone companies have remained the worst on the continent. Slow flow, theft and many other bad behaviors. Instead of finding life-saving formulas to alleviate the suffering of the populations, it has found nothing better than to complicate life for Nigerians. This is why in this sector shortages from God are very frequent due to embezzlement, favoritism, corruption, nepotism, mismanagement and favoritism. Many customers of these companies will not be able to understand this sudden change in prices. The way things are going, some companies won’t be long in coming back. This decision challenges civil society actors and especially Nigerian consumer advocates to a patriotic outburst in order to defeat this plan cleverly led by who you know. Already, a petition has been launched by some civil society actors, who plan to boycott the services of mobile phone companies.
Salifou Hachimou

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