The Nigerian government has denied reports that it plans to shut down BlackBerry services throughout the country in an effort to disrupt plans to protest against a recent fuel price hike.
News of the planned shutdown circulated fast on Tuesday, shortly after an online Nigerian website reported it.
But the regulatory Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday that no such plan was ever contemplated.
“The attention of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been drawn to an information making rounds that the NCC had, at a meeting this (Tuesday) morning, agreed with CEOs of telecommunications networks to shut down BlackBerry Services in order to deny Nigerians the use of that very important social network.
“The Management hereby states categorically that there was never such a meeting held, nor was there ever a resolution to shut down BlackBerry services. The Public is please advised to disregard such information,” the statement said.
The Commission also urged the network operators to continue to provide all telecommunication services, including BlackBerry Services.
Nigerians have been using the BlackBerry services and other social media networks to mobilize
support for ongoing protests against high fuel prices.
The government on 1 Jan raised the price of petrol from 65 naira (0.4 cents) to at least 141 naira
(0.90 cents) per litre, triggering widespread anger and protests