NCC Orders Starlink To Charge Subscribers In Naira

Nigerians have been excited about the launch of Starlink in the country, making it possible for individuals to gain access to the excellent network it has to offer no matter where they are. But with all that Starlink network has to offer, not everybody can afford the internet service due to the currency fluctuations in the country.

After its licensing by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Starlink started a dollar-denominated pre-order for Nigerians to subscribe to its satellite-delivered internet service as part of efforts to expand broadband into rural and underserved areas of the country. 

The NCC, which is an agency created to make communications easily accessible for all Nigerians, has thought of a way for Nigerians to be able to access and pay for Starlink; thus, the subscription charge is in Naira, and individuals that want to pay can do so with their Naira accounts. 

The Commission’s vice chairman, Professor Garba Danbatta, stated, “They (Starlink) initially asked for a tariff system in US dollars.” We replied, “No.” According to the CBN’s guidelines, all services offered to Nigerians must be priced in Naira. They then followed the Commission’s instruction and presented a naira-based rate structure, which the NCC also approved. 

He also pointed out why pricing would be a problem, saying, “When it comes to providing infrastructure, finance will continue to be “a crucial issue,” thus in African countries—where the vast bulk of the world’s unconnected population is found there is a constant need to come up with innovative solutions.” 

It is a big step for the pricing to be enforced in Naira, thereby helping to gain a stable price tag that will not be highly affected by the constant dollar-naira fluctuations. The service currently costs 19,260 Naira per month, excluding hardware. 

Professor Danbatta encouraged other African nations to join in and improve their national financial systems, saying, “African nations would do well to implement monetary and fiscal policies that will encourage the deployment of broadband infrastructure. There are almost 1.3 billion unconnected people in Africa. “Hence, if we want to link our people, we must act quickly.” 

What do you think about subscribing to your Starlink in Naira and not in dollars? Do you buy the idea, and why? 

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Photo By iStock

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