Nigeria’s foremost regulator defends poor service quality of MTN, Glo, others

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The Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Umar Danbatta, on Monday said over-regulation had impeded the quality of service being rendered by the telecommunications operators.

Mr. Danbatta said in a statement in Lagos that “some sister agencies tend to be overzealous in trying to help us do our jobs, and in the process create unnecessary difficulties for our operators.”

According to him, “this is being addressed at the various levels of government, and I can promise that the story will be much better very soon.’’

He said that over-regulation connotes something dangerous and harmful to the telecommunications industry.

The NCC vice-chairman said that the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 Chapter 2, Part 1 shoulders the commission with the responsibility of regulating the industry.

The Act provides that there is established commission to be known as the Nigerian Communications Commission with responsibility for the regulation of the communications sector in Nigeria.

He said that the full powers of the commission to regulate the industry, promote competition, grant and renew licences were also imbedded in the Act.

Mr. Danbatta said, “The power to facilitate investment and protect the interests of consumers, among others, are domiciled in the Act.

“It forms the major bedrock holding up the growth of the industry,’’ he said.

He said that with over-regulation, meant that the telecommunications regulator was too strict to the extent that it was impacting negatively on the industry it was created to protect.

“Over-regulation can mean that there are other bodies whose incursion into the commission’s terrain is creating too much discomfort for those operating in the sector.

”We are serious with our job at the NCC. But, we also know the reason for our existence; to create and nurture an industry that serves the needs of our people.

”That thought is uppermost in our minds, as we strive to create accessible and affordable telecommunication services across the country,’’ he said.

Mr. Danbatta said that in spite of a seeming convolution of activities which affect the health of the industry, there was always a good story to tell about the sector.

He said that the monthly data collection showed that the industry remained strong and defiant in the face of very challenging times.

According to him, while connected lines stand at 226.4 million for the month of July 2016, active lines hover on 150.3 million lines within the same period with 107.33 per cent teledensity.

Mr. Danbatta said that Internet subscriptions for June, 2016 stood at 92.2 million down from 93.6 million recorded in February, 2016.


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