latest news

Poor network: NCC to sanction erring service providers

By  | 

As Reps summon CBN, Labour Minister over funds transfer, job losses

By Emman Ovuakporie

ABUJA—The Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, yesterday, vowed to sanction and rank network operators based on their performance to ensure good service delivery to consumers.

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, made the vow at the instance of the House of Representatives’ Ad-hoc Committee investigating operational activities of telecommunications equipment and service companies and vendors in Nigeria, chaired by Ahmed Abu (APC, Niger).

The ad-hoc committee was mandated to ascertain the categories and payments for the license/frequencies/spectrums allocated so far; records of infractions, penalties imposed and evidence of payments for those penalties from 2005 to date.

Also expected are audited accounts of all registered telecommunications and IT companies; evidence of compIiance with statutory obligations, frequencies monitoring report for GSM frequencies and microwave frequencies and dropped calls, among others.

While responding to questions from the lawmakers on poor service delivery, Danbatta, who frowned at the level of ‘degradation’ in terms of drop-calls across the country since October 2016, however, assured the committee that the commission had confronted the operators at a meeting where March 2017 deadline was given for improvement.

Job losses

The NCC helmsman, who earlier expressed displeasure over the spate of job losses which led to sack of thousands of Nigerians, noted that the commission was not involved in the handling of labour related matters, as it was under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Danbatta, who expressed concern over spate of job losses in the telecommunications sector, argued that there was little or nothing the NCC could do to save the situation, in view of provision of the NCC Act.

Acknowledging that telecom operators faced teething problems in poor infrastructure and vandalism, the NCC boss said plans were underway to sanction telecom operators found wanting in service delivery to subscribers.

Reps summon CBN, Labour Minister

Danbatta disclosed that he was already in touch with the authorities of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to ensure that telecom operators accessed foreign exchange required to procure key equipment to boost service delivery to the citizenry.

The committee chairman noted that the committee had already invited the Minister of Labour to contribute his input on the issue of job losses in the sector, since it was becoming worrisome.

“The CBN too has to appear before us to give a vivid account of all the transfer of funds within the sector and the necessary remittances made,’’ he said.

On whether the commission had complied with the instruction handed to it concerning service providers invitation, the EVC pleaded for time, saying two days were not enough to gather all the relevant documents.

“I want the committee to grant us at least two weeks to enable our staff get all the necessary details required to you,’’ he pleaded.

The committee members collectively agreed and fixed May 22, 2017, for next interactive session.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *