I read from the news papers that MTN is sending text messages to their subscribers, informing them of an impending increment in data cost. Their reason is that the government have informed them of their intention to start deducting tax from data users. And because the government want to deduct tax, these corporate sharks wants to increase the burden on Nigerians and to further exploit them using the excuse of the data tax.
It is important for Nigerians to know that the federal government did not ask any telecoms operator to increase tariffs. What government is doing is to get a little from what Nigerians spend on data every month.
For example, if your monthly plan is 1500, the network operator will credit you with data valued at 1350. That means that you can still do your browsing spending the same amount you have been spending every month. Only that you will be more circumspect in the use of your data because you will not have much to waste.
Usually, Nigerians don’t use data well. Either we are spending it on cheap gossip and nonsense political argument online or we are doing something that is not business or profit oriented. In many cases, Nigerians don’t even get to use up their monthly data credit before the expiration date.
These network operators have been milking Nigerians for nothing through data subscription for a long time. And now that government wants to take a little from our excesses to build our economy, these criminal operators are turning it into a blackmail.
All I am telling MTN and their corporate slave master colleagues to do is to just take whatever percent government wants from our usual data plan and put in government purse so that there will be money to accelerate development and build a better future for our children. And then leave the balance for us to manage.
What Nigerians now must also do is to be more interested in how their money is being spent. Starting from the National Assembly, we need to fight reckless spending in government and high cost of doing government projets is this country. Rather than argue about paying tax from any means as possible we should be more concerned about how our money is being used.
There is a large population of Nigerians outside the tax column and as it is becoming difficult everyday for physical collection of taxes the alternative is to use the technology available to us.
This is one way a greater number of citizens can be made responsible for the future of Nigeria. They should not only pay vats, they should become inquisitive about how their money is being spent.
I am of the opinion that we have to pay. But we have to ensure that it judiciously applied for national development.
We are better off with our data excesses in government coffers than in the pocket of our private slave masters. These operators don’t need to blackmail us or the government, they have enjoyed so much of our free money that they now think Nigerians are their permanent mugus.
All we are asking MTN and the rest is, deduct the percentage the government wants from our regular monthly subscription and leave the balance for us, we will manage it. We are in recession, we will learn to maximize what we have. But at the same time we have to build our economy.
Enough of this blackmail from MTN and other operators.
Great Imo Jonathan.