By William Madouk Garang
Members of parliament are now convinced with the explanation given by the National Communication Authority (NCA) regarding the recent adjustment of telecom Tariff exchange rates.
This comes after the Deputy Minister of Information, Jacob Maiju and Director-General of NCA, Napoleon Adok briefed members of national assembly on the recent Telecommunication tariffs exchange rate adjustment.
On September 8, the NCA decided to approve adjustment of tariffs rates for mobile network operators from 300 per one dollar to up-to-date Central Bank rates of 600 pounds per a dollar.
The adjustment to current Central Bank rates was triggered by the inflation of local currency, and is expected to much increase the cost of mobile airtime communications charges and internet data.
However, the national legislature said the Communication Authority acted alone to increase the tariff, adding that they plan to summon Mr. Adok over the 100 percent increment.
The leading telecommunication Network Company, MTN and Zain have already implemented the increment for mobile tariff rates starting September 15 onward which will run in three phases until November 15 2022.
Network firms imparted to the public, that the adjustment of tariff exchange rates had come to effect on September 15, and will continue in three phases until November.
Deputy Information Minister, Maiju and the boss of the Communication Authority, Adok explained in lengthy the motives behind adjustment in tariffs, and after listening, the lawmakers were persuaded.
“The Deputy Minister of Information…. and the Director General of the National Communication Authority explains to the lawmakers the reasons behind the adjustment of the exchange rate,” said statement posted in official Facebook page of the Minister of Information & ICT.
“During the presentation, the members of Parliament were convinced with the explanation from the concerned authorities regarding the Tariffs exchange rate adjustment,” it continued.
The boss of National Communication Authority, Mr. Adok also informed the MPs on the status of the connectivity in the country and challenges faced by the institution to expand the services.
“The DG of the NCA presented to the members of the August House the status of the connectivity in South Sudan besides the challenges faced by the institutions to extend the needed services to the people through the Universal Service and Access Fund.”
For his part, the Chairperson of the specialized Committee for Information at the national assembly, John Agany said there is a necessity of having quality digital setup.
John Agany Deng encouraged the Ministry of Information and its parastatals to ensure that permanent and quality Digital infrastructure in the country is established.”
MP Agany further urged the citizens to remain calm while the Government is doing its best to deliver basic services.
Reacting to the matter, some of the citizens vehemently criticized the notion of adjusting telecom Tariffs exchange rates due to financial limits, and poor network coverage.
Mr. BnB protested the action taken by Communication Authority in adjusting tariffs, citing that citizens are left with no hope.
“We are finished kalas! No one shall ever come for our help as the citizens of this country,” he noted.
Chiery claimed that; “that’s not rate adjustment, but a commission negotiation with a mobile service providers for your interest but also not citizens’ interest.”
Mr. Matueny also stressed that nothing is convincing the citizens on what they have narrated.
Kerbino, another unhappy citizen said: “you are making the wrong decision and you know we are in the peace implementation.”
According to National Community Authority, the exchange rate adjustment is not an increase in mobile telecom tariffs but it aims at aligning the mobile network operators with the Current market status.
The session was attended by more than eleven Chairpersons of the specialized committee at the R-TNLA.