Reps investigate Internet Service Providers for extorting consumers


The House of Representatives has launched investigation into the activities of private Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for alleged extortion of consumers.

The resolution of the House was sequel to the adoption of a motion moved at the plenary on Thursday by Leke Abejide.

Moving the motion, the lawmaker said numerous ISPs have managed to evade accountability for their widespread inefficiency, feeble and inferior service delivery, while consumers are compelled to persistently pay for inadequate services due to the apparent absence of regulations governing their pricing and service provision, thereby enabling them to exploit Nigerians.

He said the inefficiency of ISPs and their exploitative practices have far-reaching consequences on Nigerian society, hindering progress and negatively impacting business and economic activities.

The lawmaker noted that by addressing the inefficiencies of ISPs and promoting accountability, government could create a fair and inclusive digital landscape that empowers individuals, strengthens the economy, and fosters social

He added that frequent service outages, slow speeds, and inconsistent connectivity are widespread issues faced daily by consumers, as in this digital age, efficient Internet connection is a necessity, not a luxury.

Abejide noted that Legend, an ISP operating in Abuja, charges its subscribers a flat monthly prepaid rate despite knowing that its services are frequently interrupted.

He stated: “For example, this company offers various tariff rates, with the highest being approximately 483, 000 per month, yet it rarely delivers uninterrupted service for even half of the month.

“Concerned that Legend ISP deliberately provides reliable internet service only few days preceding monthly billing, deceiving customers into renewing subscriptions under the false impression of satisfactory performance, before immediately reverting to its persistently inadequate service levels presenting an unethical business model of exploitation of consumers that requires accountability to regulators.”

The House, therefore, called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and relevant agencies to develop a consumer protection framework that includes provisions for automatic compensation or refunds for prolonged service outages or significant deviations from advertised service levels.

It also urged the NCC to initiate a policy of ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ to all ISPs in order to minimise high level of exploitations by ISPs for services not rendered

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