NCC may issue fresh sanctions over N1.2billion fines against telecom firms

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may issue fresh sanctions against four telecommunications operators for failing to pay up the over N1.2billion penalty imposed on them for poor services quality to different subscribers in March and April this year.

The regulatory authority had imposed a fine of about N360million on both MTN Nigeria and Etisalat Nigeria, Airtel was asked to pay about N270million and Globacom – N180million for failing to meet the required minimum quality of service and the key performance indicators set for them.

The commission had directed the affected operators to pay up the penalties on or before Friday, May 25, 2012 or risk additional payment of N2.5million every day after the expiration of the deadline, none of the companies made the payment last Friday.

Paragraph 13, Schedule 3 of the Quality of Service Regulation 2012 document provides that any company found to have contravened the provisions of the law would be liable to pay a fine of N15million for violating each parameter for a service, while a further sum of N2.5million would be charged for each parameter for a service for each day the contravention continued throughout the period under reference.

In the letter communicating the penalties to the operators, the Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, Josephine Amuwa, and the Head of Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement department, Ubale Maska, said the Commission had noted that their performances between January and February 2012 were below the specified thresholds.

The Commission said the purpose of the enforcement of the new Quality of Service Regulations was to ensure that the interest of consumers are protected, the officials said the period between January and February 2012 had to be taken as grace period. The officials also said that the performances of the companies monitored against different parameters showed that their services were contravening the provisions of the law.

However, the operators attributed their poor services for the time under review to inadequate power supply, inadequate security, indiscriminate vandalism of facilities, multiple regulation and taxation and challenges over regulation.

But in a phone interview on Monday, the Director of Communications of the NCC, Tony Ojobo, told PREMIUM TIMES the companies have no other option than to pay up the various fines imposed on them.

“All the companies have no option than to pay the fines imposed on them, including the N2.5million for every additional day after the expiration of the deadline,” he said. “But, by next Wednesday the Commission is going to issue comprehensive sanctions against these companies for failure to pay up the penalties and every additional fine they have to pay.”


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