House of Reps launches probe into internet service providers over alleged extortion of consumers

An investigation has been initiated by the House of Representatives to look into the actions of private Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for allegedly extorting consumers.

This development followed a motion introduced during the plenary session by Leke Abejide on Thursday, June 6.

In his presentation, the legislator highlighted how many ISPs have operated without facing consequences for their poor services, substandard service delivery, and the exploitation of consumers through unregulated pricing and service quality allowing them to take advantage of Nigerians.

He emphasized that the negative effects of ISPs’ inefficiency and exploitative behaviours have a significant impact on the country, hampering businesses and the economy.

The lawmaker suggested that by addressing ISPs’ inefficiencies and promoting transparency, the government can establish a more equitable digital environment that empowers individuals, boosts the economy, and enhances societal well-being.

Abejide narrated how a specific ISP operating in Abuja charges customers a flat monthly fee despite frequently interrupting services.

He criticized the company for offering various tariff plans, including a high-priced option that fails to provide uninterrupted service for even half of the month, deceiving customers into renewing subscriptions based on false performance claims.

The House also called upon the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other relevant authorities to establish a consumer protection framework. This framework should include mechanisms for automatic compensation or refunds during extended service outages or substantial deviations from advertised service standards.

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