MTN Rewards Nhleko For Negotiating Reduced Fine With NCC

Africa’s largest telecommunication company, the MTN group, has rewarded its Executive Chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko, with 5.6 million dollars in pay and bonuses for negotiating a reduced fine with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

Mr Nhleko also rejigged MTN group’s senior management team after taking over on short notice, following Former Chief, Sififo Dabengw’s resignation in November 2015.

The report also listed Mr Nhleko’s achievements to include the repatriation of funds from Iran and the review of corporate governance standards, among others.

The telecom giant was said to have allegedly transferred 13.92 billion dollars out of Nigeria through its bankers between 2006 and 2016.

The transaction was purportedly facilitated by four commercial banks in the country.

After much negotiation and renegotiation, MTN Nigeria agreed to pay a reduced fine of 330 billion Naira (about $1.67 billion) to the Federal Government in six installments over the next three years.


Source: Channels TV

DND: Any telecoms company that defaults will pay N5m fine per complaint – NCC

Any telecoms service provider that defaults by sending unsolicited SMS or makes unsolicited calls to subscribers after they must have activated the DND – Do Not Disturb feature is liable to pay 5 million Naira as fine per complaints.

This was made known by the the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta at the flagging of ceremony of the #YearOfTelecomConsumer campaign on Wednesday at the commission’s head office in Abuja.

NCC has setup a “2442” Do-Not-Disturb (DND) SMS short code that consumers can use to stop any unsolicited text messages they receive. All the need do is text “STOP” to 2442 and that will automaticall activate a full DND on a consumer’s line & prevent all unsolicited texts from being received

Apart from protecting telecoms consumers from unsolicited ad campaigns via SMS and phonecalls, the campaign hopes to secure the support of network operators towards meeting set targets and key performance indicators, KPIs on quality of services especially as it affects drop calls.


REPORT: NCC flags off #YearOfTelecomConsumer Campaign.

The NCC flagged of it’s 2017 Year of the Consumer programme with an event which held at the head office in Abuja.

In attendance, were dignitaries across the country. Senator Adeola Yayi, Honourable Herman Hembe and Honourable Fijabi who was on seat to represent the Honourable Speaker of the Federal House of Reps, Yakubu Dogara.


In a statement signed and made available to Omojuwa.Com by Mr. Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affiars, said the commission will use the flag off to unveil the strategy and series of activities aimed at empowering and protecting the consumers of telecommunications services in Nigeria.

It added that throughout the year, improving the experience of the consumer will be the major focus of the Commission working with other key stakeholders vital to the success of the campaign.

The flag off for the year round programme, which held at the NCC headquarters in Abuja, is expected to attract consumers across the country, top government officials and key stakeholders in the industry.

The Abuja event coincides with the commemoration of the World Consumer Rights Day, WCRD, 2017, themed; ‘Building a Digital World Consumers Can Trust’.

Key components of the Year of the Consumer include creation of greater awareness on Quality of Service, Electromagnetic Magnetic Fields, EMF, Do Not Disturb, DND, and NCCs 622 complaint line.

The campaign hopes to secure the support of network operators towards meeting set targets and key performance indicators, KPIs on quality of services especially as it affects drop calls.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta had said in Abuja that consumer protection and empowerment is one of the eight pillars of the 8- Point Agenda of his administration, revealing that the Commission is dedicating the year to the welfare of telecom consumers.

The Senate President who was ably represented by Senator Adeola Yayi. Yayi in his speech reiterated the plan of the senate to introduce a consumer protection bill which will not only protect consumers but also check the excesses of industry players who engage in unfair competition practices due to undue market dominant advantages.

Honourable Fijabi who represented the HOR Speaker, Yakubu Dogara also spoke on the need for laws that protect consumers from unfair practices by service providers and also keep telcoms on their toes.

During the course of the event, NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta seized the opportunity to unveil the faces of NCC in person of comedian Helen Paul of the Tatafo fame and movie actor Ali Nuhu of the Kannywood fame.

DEBT CRISIS: NCC, CBN halt decision to take over Etisalat

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have got reprieve for Etisalat on the loan default crisis facing the company.

In a statement on Saturday, Tony Ojobo, director of public affairs of NCC, said the reprieve came following a meeting convened by CBN and NCC to find a quick resolution to the crisis.

“Friday’s meeting succeeded in halting the attempt by Etisalat’s creditors at bringing it under any form of take over,” the statement read.

“Receivership was completely taken off the table in a meeting that was very productive and constructive.

“The meeting, which held at the CBN office in Lagos, had the consortium of banks being owed and Etisalat in attendance.

“The banks and the mobile network operator agreed to concrete actions that will bring all parties closest to a resolution.”

He said CBN and NCC were able to secure for Etisalat the necessary “oxygen” to enable it continue to meet urgent operational expenses.

Ojobo said Godwin Emefiele,  governor of CBN, who chaired the meeting, was firm in declaring what needed to be done by both parties towards a quick resolution.

He said NCC equally made it clear that everything necessary must be done to protect 23 million Etisalat subscribers.

The director said there was also the need to protect the telecoms industry to prevent potential investors from developing cold feet.

He said effort has been made to ensure that Etisalat remains in business while the consortium of banks meet their obligations to their customers.

“A meeting will hold on March 16 to agree on a payment restructuring path going forward,” he said.

“The NCC will lead the CBN in a possible crucial meeting with Etisalat’s shareholders anytime soon.”

On March 8, there was an attempt by a consortium of banks to take over Etisalat because of its N541.8 billion debt.

A consortium of some foreign and Nigerian banks, including Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank, have been having a running battle with the mobile telephone operator, over a loan facility totalling 1.72 billion dollars (about N541.8 billion) obtained in 2015.

The banks said their attempt to recover the loan by all means, was fuelled by the pressure from the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), demanding immediate cut down on the rate of their non-performing loans.

NCC seems not to be favourably disposed to the takeover proposal; as it believed that Etisalat is not only a viable going concern, but also willing and able to negotiate the servicing of its loans.

Etisalat is Nigeria’s fourth largest telecommunications operator. It commenced business in Nigeria in 2009.


Source: The Cable

JUST IN: CBN intervenes in Etisalat’s N377 Billion debt crisis

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have waded into Etisalat Nigeria multi-billion naira debt crisis.

Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the NCC, met with Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor and his team, on Thursday afternoon, and reached to intervene in the loan issue between Etisalat Nigeria and a consortium of commercial banks.

“The meeting which was held at the CBN in Abuja was convened by the financial regulator at the instance of NCC and the telecom regulator to further deliberate on how best to stop the attempt by the banks to take over Etisalat,” Tony Ojobo, NCC spokesperson said via a statement.

“At the end of the meeting, the CBN agreed to invite Etisalat management and the banks to a meeting tomorrow, Friday, toward finding an amicable resolution.”

Ojobo said that the NCC as a regulator of the telecom industry had moved quickly to intervene earlier in the week by reaching out to the CBN because it was convinced of the negative impact such takeover move would have on the industry.

He added that NCC was worried about the fate of the over 20 million Etisalat subscribers and the wrong signals this might send to potential investors in the Telecom industry.

Oluseyi Osuntedo, head of public relations, Etisalat Nigeria, had told NAN that “discussions are going on; nobody is taking up the company”.

“It is not true that we are being picketed, whoever gave the information is not telling the truth,” she said.

Earlier, NAN reported that the telco’s debt was at N377 billion, without interest.

A consortium of some foreign and Nigerian banks, including Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank, have been having a running battle with the mobile telephone operator, over a loan facility totalling $1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) obtained in 2015.

The banks said their attempt to recover the loan by all means, was fuelled by the pressure from the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), demanding immediate cut down on the rate of their non-performing loans.

NCC appears not to be favourably disposed to the takeover proposal as it believed that Etisalat is not only a viable going concern, but also willing and able to negotiate the servicing of its loans.

Etisalat is Nigeria’s fourth largest telecoms operator with about 21 million subscribers as at January 2017, according to the NCC.


Source: The Cable

Internet users decline to 91.2m in January – NCC

The number of internet users in Nigeria’s telecommunications networks declined to 91, 274,446 in January, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said.

The NCC made the disclosure in its Monthly Internet Subscribers Data for January 2017 on its website on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to the data released, internet users dropped to 91,274,446 in January as against 91,880.032 users recorded in December 2016, showing a decline of 605,586.

The data also showed that the GSM service providers lost 605,586 internet customers after recording 91, 274,446 in January as against 91,880,032 users in December 2016.

The data revealed that MTN had 31,015.45 subscribers browsing the internet on its network in the month of January.

It explained that MTN recorded a drop of 737, 964 internet subscribers in January after recording 31,753.369 in December 2016.

Airtel had 19,618.485 internet users in January, adding 254, 94 customers to its December record of 19,363.545.

In Etisalat, the data showed 13,564.284 customers who browsed the internet in January revealing a decrease of 188.656 users against the 13,752.940 users recorded in December 2016.

The data showed that Globacom had 27,076,272 customers browsing the internet on its network in January.

This amounted to an increase of 66,094 users from the 27,010.178 users of the internet on the network in December 2016.



NCC begins enforcement of N5 million fine over unsolicited Calls/SMS

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that it has commenced the enforcement of the Do Not Disturb (DND), code which compels mobile network operators to stop sending unsolicited messages to their subscribers.


Prof Umar Danbatta executive vice chairman of NCC at a meeting with the Academia on ITU Study Group Participation held at Digital Bridge Institute, Abuja, said the move became imperative because the NCC had given the operators ample time to comply with the regulatory directive and was now ready to enforce the N5 million fine stipulated for any breach of the directive by the regulator.


He said: “We are at the stage of imposing the Do Not Disturb (DND), code direction, meaning that any breach of this direction will attract a fine of N5 million.


“This is to ensure total compliance and this is a measure of last resort. The NCC impose regulation as a measure of last resort, after we have given the MNO time to ensure compliance and we have monitored them to ensure compliance to ensure that the compliance is not selective.”

Proposed data tariff hike will protect subscribers – NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission has said the proposed data hike was aimed at preventing monopoly and protecting the interest of subscribers.

Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of the NCC, Ismail Adedigba said this on the sidelines of the 81st consumer outreach programme held in Osogbo.

He said some telecommunications companies may reduce tariff to scare new entrants into the industry and then increase it later on.

The NCC boss said, “It is the NCC’s mandate to regulate activities in the industry, to protect the interest of subscribers. That is the reason behind the plan to increase data tariffs.

“If we allow the operators to charge any price, some can charge very low prices and they will take all customers to their networks at the expense of new entrants.

“Nothing is free; once the consumers take the bait of rushing to the network offering cheaper tariff, competition will be eliminated. The effect is that once the big operators know that new entrants have been frustrated, they will increase their prices and the consumers will not have any choice because the new entrants have been crippled.

“At the end of the day, you would have predating prices and there will be no competition against the few ones left in the sector. So, we will continue to enlighten Nigerians.”

Again, NCC defends plan to increase data tariff in Nigeria

A few weeks after public pressure forced it to rescind its decision, the Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, has again defended its stance to increase the price of data.

Omojuwa.Com reported how the NCC rescinded its decision asking the mobile telephone operators to adopt a policy that would have led to data price increase for majority of Nigerians.

The NCC said on Friday that the planned increase in data tariff by telecom operators was to create competition in the sector.

Ismail Adedigba, NCC Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

He said the decision to increase data tariff was to prevent the sector from becoming a monopoly whereby one service provider would be charging consumers arbitrary prices for data services.

Mr. Adedigba, who spoke on the side line of the commission’s 81st “Consumer Outreach Programme” in Osogbo, noted that competition would afford telecom consumers to make choices for better service.

“We don’t want monopoly, because if we allow anybody to charge any price, some big operators can charge lower price and take all customers to their network at the expense of new entrants.

“Nothing is free or easy because once consumers take the bait of rushing to networks offering cheaper and lower data tariff, competition would be eliminated.

“The effect is that once big operators know that the new entrants have failed, they will now increase their own price, knowing there is no competition.

“The consumers will now have no choice when the tariff is increased, as the new entrants must have been crippled and left the market for big operators,’’ said the NCC official.

According to him, competition is better than killing one segment of the telecom market by predatory pricing.

Mr. Adedigba said that the data tariff price increment implementation remained suspended for now, due to the outcry of stakeholders, especially the consumers.

He said the commission would continue to engage stakeholders on its role in protecting the consumers and telecom industry.

Non-adoption of Data Price Floor is a Disaster Waiting to Happen, NCC To Senate

The Executive Vice Chairman, of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, tuesday said the non- adoption of a data price floor in the telecommunication industry is a whirlwind that would do all the stakeholders no good.

The EVC made the disclosure, when members of the Senate Committee on Telecommunications, led by Senator Gilbert Nnaji, paid him a courtesy visit at the NCC headquarters in Abuja.

According to Danbatta, it had become imperative that stakeholders agree on appropriate price floor on data for the good of the industry, adding that a proper cost based study would soon be concluded by the commission.
In their remarks, the Senate commended the EVC for placing national interest above all other interests, especially regarding the steps taken so far to sanitise the telecoms industry.

On the fine paid by MTN, the Senate noted the commission’s handling of the MTN’s N1.04 trillion fine though later reduced to an acceptable amount by both parties, adding that the recent outcry over the planned increase on data tariff, which the commission suspended was also commendable.

“We will like to commend President Buhari for putting a square peg in a square hole with the appointment of Professor Danbatta as the EVC of the NCC. Within the past one year, the agency has brought sanity into the telecom sector by promptly addressing all regulatory issues.

“Each time we invited the leadership of the agency to the National Assembly, they honoured our invitation and responded to our inquiries, particularly during the MTN issue, and of recent the data price floor.
“They have acted in national interests and Nigerians see NCC as being on their side” said the Senate through the Senate Committee on Communications.”

The committee urged NCC to make details of its 2017 budget available on time to enable members go through and approve to avoid the delay occasioned by the 2016 budget.

Credit: thisdaylive

NCC releases short code to opt out of unsolicited messages from Telcos.

The Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, on Thursday advised consumers to take advantage of the 2442 short code to choose the type of messages they want to receive from telecoms operators.

The Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Umar Danbatta, gave the advice at the 79th Telecom Consumers Parliament help in Abuja.

He said that the parliament, with its theme: Implementation of the `Do not Disturb’ (DND): the journey so far,’ was aimed at sensitising the public to the policy.

Mr. Danbatta said that the short code would go a long way to give consumers the right to choose the messages they wanted to receive.

According to him, following the barrage of complaints on the menace of unsolicited message, the commission swayed into action by mandating the activation of 2442 short code.

“The code will enable consumers to control the type of messages they receive.

“I am glad that it has come into effect and I urge all consumers to take advantage of this new regime by sending “stop to 2442’’ to avoid unsolicited messages, he said.

Mr. Danbatta said the commission was aware that for the initiative to succeed, there was need for massive public enlightenment by both regulator and the operating companies.

“It is on this regard that the theme of today’s parliament becomes relevant.

“The objective is to place the issue on the front burner of our discourse until unsolicited messages become a thing of the past,” he said.

Mr. Danbatta said the issue of consumer’s protection was very paramount to the commission, adding that consumers were kings in the market place.

To uphold the principle, he said the commission had put in place various programmes to inform, educate and protect the consumers of telecom service.

Presenting a paper on the theme, Ayoola Oke, a telecom consultant with NCC, called on operators to ensure full compliance with the 2442 short code.

Mr. Oke said that one major challenge of the policy was lack of awareness, hence the need for both the regulators and the telecom operators to be involved in massive publicity.

He called for effective complaint management by the operators and network management to block spam and screen out malicious mails.

Responding to questions on outright ban on unsolicited messages, Amina Shehu, Head of Legal, NCC, said complete ban was not possible because of e-commerce system.

Senate Grills NCC, Telecom Operator Over Data Price Hike

The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) Tuesday said that it intervened with an interim price floor for data services to avert a looming price war in the telecommunications sector.

The explanation of the NCC is coming even as the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, asked Nigerians to face reality.

The regulatory commission said that it feared that the price war could eventually lead to a monopoly in the telecom industry that would force small operators to shut down.

It said that monopoly in the telecom sector could also push the country back to the days of NITEL to the detriment of small operators in the sector.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Professor Umar Dambatta stated this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Communications.

The committee was mandated to investigate the proposed hike in the price of data tariff said to have been ordered by the NCC.

Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Solomon Adeola, who presided, noted that there was a public outcry over the proposed data price increase.

Adeola said that Nigerians were united in their opposition that the proposed increase in the price of data should be stopped.

He said that the position of Nigerians was that the idea of hike in data price was ill- advised especially with the biting economic situation in the country.

Professor Dambatta told the committee that the intervention of the NCC was not designed to undermine the consumers.

He noted that if cheap prices were introduced, they may end up undermining the telecom service operators.

He said that if the situation arose where the operators could no longer cope, the consequences could be better imagined.

Read More:

Senate grills NCC, telecom operator over data price hike

Nigeria telecoms operators warn of poor services after data tariff raise plan flopped

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) on Thursday told consumers to expect poor data services, a day after the Nigerian Communications Commission was compelled by public backlash to suspend a planned tariff raise.

The chairman of ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, said in a statement in Lagos that there was need for an upward review of the tariff, so as to offer better data services to subscribers.

Mr. Adebayo said the operators fully understood the public sentiments that greeted the announcement of a minimum data tariff being introduced by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

He said the NCC intervened to set the data tariff floor in view of its statutory responsibility to promote healthy competition, by periodically reviewing voice and data tariffs in the industry.

According to him, the commission’s intervention was to ensure the sustainability of the Nigerian telecommunications industry.

He also said the regulatory body had extensive consultation with the industry prior to the finalisation of the data tariff floor.

“Further, the commission has since Wednesday suspended the implementation of its determination on the data tariff floor.

“ALTON notes that it is within the statutory remit of the NCC for it to make decisive interventions to address the data price concerns which had led to data prices falling to unreasonably low levels.

“This is with the effect that telecommunications operators were unable to recover the cost of providing data services and reinvest in capacity expansion to accommodate the increased usage arising from lower tariffs.

“The situation has been compounded by the recent economic challenges characterised by the steep depreciation of the naira.

“It is characterised by the need to resort to the parallel market and foreign exchange scarcity, which have considerably increased the capital and operational cost of providing telecommunications services.

“This has made current data tariffs unsustainable.

“This situation, if left unaddressed, could result in a sustained deterioration in the quality of data services across all networks and the attendant poor quality of experience for users.

“In this regard, our members await the conclusion of NCC’s market study, when the commission will be in a position to determine its requisite intervention,” Mr. Adebayo said.

He said that NCC introduced the minimum price for data services to help ensure cost recovery and drive the continued investment in the telecommunications sector.

The ALTON chairman said it was necessary for the provision of world-class data services for the overall benefit of the Nigerian subscriber and the Nigerian economy.

“It is our belief that interventions such as these are in keeping with the NCC’s tradition of implementing customer-centric regulatory initiatives such as the Do-Not-Disturb Service and the Mobile Number Portability Scheme.

“These were introduced to enhance customer satisfaction with telecommunications services.

“ALTON also notes that price changes for data services across all networks following any intervention by the NCC are not expected to have a detrimental effect on broadband penetration contrary to some sentiments being expressed in the media.

“ALTON wishes to emphasise that while it is imperative that telecommunications operators continue to explore opportunities to provide their subscribers with more value for their money, it is important that prices be set at realistic levels.

“This will ensure that subscribers are not only able to afford services, but that operators are also in a position to provide first-rate Quality of Service to their subscribers,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NCC on Wednesday suspended any further action on the directive to introduce price floor for data segment of the telecommunications sector beginning from December 1, 2016.

The Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo, said in a statement that the decision to suspend the directive was taken after due consultation with industry leaders and the general complaints by consumers across the country.

Mr. Ojobo said the commission had weighed all of these and consequently asked all operators to maintain the status quo until the conclusion of study to determine retail prices for broadband and data services in Nigeria.

He said the regulatory body wrote to the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) on November 1, on the determination of an interim price floor for data services after the stakeholder’s consultative meeting of October 19.

NCC Explains Proposal, Reversal Of Plans To Hike Data Price

The Nigerian Communications Commission on Wednesday announced the immediate suspension of the new minimum pricing template for data services by mobile operators in the country.

The director, Public Affairs at the NCC, Tony Ojobo, said the decision to rescind its earlier directive to telecom operators to commence charging the new floor price rate for data from December 1, was to allow for further consultation with industry interest groups.

“Following concerns that visited the directive to introduce price floor for data segment of the telecommunications sector beginning from December 1, 2016, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has suspended any further action in that direction,” Mr. Ojobo said in a statement.

“The decision to suspend this directive was taken after due consultation with industry stakeholders and the general complaints by consumers across the country.”

Mr. Ojobo said the Commission has already asked all operators to maintain the status quo until the conclusion of study to determine retail prices for broadband and data services in the country.

Prior to the suspension, Nigerians had raised concerns about the impropriety of the decision by government to hike price of data at this time.

Several Nigerians accused the NCC of insensitivity, considering the high cost of living in the face of the current economic recession in the country.

Social media users expressed fears the government planned to limit citizens’ access to the Internet.

Read More:

PRESS RELEASE: NCC suspends directive on data price hike.

Following the concerns that visited the directive to introduce price floor for data segment of the telecommunications sector beginning from December 1, 2016, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has suspended any further action in that direction.


The decision to suspend this directive was taken after due consultation with industry stakeholders and the general complaints by Consumers across the country.


The Commission has weighed all of this and consequently asked all operators to maintain the status quo until the conclusion of study to determine retail prices for broadband and data services in Nigeria.


Recall that the Commission wrote to the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) on November 1, 2016 on the determination of an interim price floor for data services after the stakeholder’s consultative meeting of October 19, 2016.


The decision to have a price floor was primarily to promote a level playing field for all operators in the industry, encourage small operators and new entrants.


The price floor in 2014 was N3.11k/MB but was removed in 2015. The price floor that was supposed to flag off on December 1, 2016 was N0.90k/MB.


In taking that decision, the smaller operators were exempted from the new price regime, by virtue of their small market share. The decision on the price floor was taken in order to protect the consumers who are at the receiving end and save the smaller operators from predatory services that are likely to suffocate them and push them into extinction.


The price floor is not an increase in price but a regulatory safeguard put in place by the telecommunications regulator to check anti-competitive practices by dominant operators.


This statement clarifies the insinuation in some quarters that the regulator has fixed prices for data services. This is not true because the NCC does not fix prices but provides regulatory guidelines to protect the consumers, deepen investments and safeguard the industry from imminent collapse.


Before the new suspended price floor of N0.90k/MB, the industry average for dominant operators including MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, EMTS Limited (Etisalat) and Airtel Nigeria Limited was N0.53k/MB.
Etisalat offered (N0.94k/MB), Airtel (N0.52k/MB), MTN (N0.45k/MB) and Globacom (N0.21k/MB).


The smaller operators/ new entrants charge the following: Smile Communications N0.84k/MB, Spectranet N0.58k/MB and NATCOMS (NTEL) N0.72k/MB.


The NCC as a responsive agency of government takes into consideration the feelings of the consumers and so decided to suspend the new price floor.


Tony Ojobo
Director, Public Affairs

BREAKING: NCC bows to pressure, suspends data price hike.

The Nigerian Communications Commission on Wednesday announced the immediate suspension of the new minimum pricing template for data services by mobile operators.


The new rate, which would have led to price increase in data for some Nigerians, was scheduled to take effect from December 1.


The NCC said the decision is to allow for further consultation.


The NCC’s decision comes a few hours after the Senate ordered a stop to the planned increase.


Details later.

We Never Ordered Operators To Raise Data Prices – FG

Nigeria’s Minister of Communication, Mr Adebayo Shittu, has disclosed that the Federal Government never gave any directive to telecommunications operators in the country to increase prices of data from Thursday, December 1, 2016 as claimed.

Since the beginning of this week, Nigerians have continued to kick against messages sent to them via text messages by telecoms operators, informing them that from tomorrow, prices of data would go up and in some cases, by 100 percent

Speaking on Wednesday on RayPower FM’s Fact File programme, which was monitored in Lagos by Business Post, the Minister said he was never consulted before the announcement was made. He stressed that the government did not authorise the operators to raise the tariffs.

However, he assured Nigerians that the government would look into the matter and continue to protect their interests.
“I can tell you that I was never a party to it (data tariff hike). Government never gave any such instruction. This government believes in democratic process and we would continue to protect the interest of Nigerians. I can assure you we would do that (protect interest of Nigerians),” he said on the radio programme.

Also on the issue of subscribers still getting unsolicited messages from operators, Mr Shittu promised to take steps to stop the menace.

He lamented that he also gets such messages from his operator. “I am also a victim of unsolicited messages from operators, but I promise government will take pragmatic steps to stop this,” the Minister said.

BREAKING: Senate Orders NCC To Stop Planned Data Tariff Hike

The Senate on Wednesday morning urged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to halt the panned increase in data tariff by mobile telecommunications operators in the country.

Details later….

Data Rate Hike: Time To Call President Buhari To Order – By Adekoya Boladale

The Yorubas have a saying: ‘ agilinti ti nse ginniginni, iku apaa, ambelente opolo to fi ojojumo gbe ara re sanle’ – a cameleon that threads with caution dies, how much more the toad that hops around with much energy.

The recent report on the move by the Nigerian Communications Company (NCC) acting on the order from the Federal Government to compel Telecommunication companies to increase the rate they charge for data subscription is the latest dish of agony in the oven of Buhari led Presidency. There is no gainsaying the fact that what we currently have as a democratic government is merely a revised edition of the inglorious military rule. The cardinal points that differentiate dictatorship from democratic governance have since left the corridors of Aso Rock taking with it the keys to the room of rule of law, human dignity, lawfulness, and morality. Nepotism, totalitarianism and fascism now reign supreme.

The alleged excuse that Nigeria has the lowest data rate in Africa as reason for the government backed coup against the masses is not only fallacious but nonsensical, irrational, illogical and outright wickedness.

For the record, 1GB(Gigabyte) in Tanzania cost just $0.9, in Egypt is it $2.80,  in Mozambique it is $2.9, in Uganda is it $3.60, in Ghana it is $3.90, in Guinea it is $4.00, in Rwanda it is $4.00, in Sudan it is $4.30, in Tunisia it is $4.80 while Nigeria presently operates at $5.00. In Russia $3 will get you an unlimited data service, Sri Lanka $10 will get you same. In Malaysia $11 gives you 3GB of data while in Indonesia $18 gives you an unlimited access to data service. In France 50GB cost around $25, in United Kingdom £17will get you unlimited access to data service, in India it is $2.80 to 1GB.

Taking comparison as the basis for this argument, minimum wage per month in Egypt is $174, Gabon pays $155, in Guinea is it $62, WAR RAVAGED Sudan pays $70, Tunisia pays $220 while Nigeria pays $38. Russia pays €100per month, Sri Lanka is $70.75, and Malaysia pays around $205, in Indonesia it is between $82 and $332. In France is it €1,466 in India it is $190.

In spite of what we currently view as the cheap cost of data service, a report by PwC stated that only 43% of the world population can afford 500 megabytes of data per month. According to Strategy and Connecting the World report in May 2016, Nigeria is expected to reduce the cost of its data service by 97% as the current rate is not in tandem with the gross monthly income of the country.

The upward review of the data price by over 300% in the case of current rate by Globacom Telecommunications is not only ill conceived but an economic harakiri. Studies have shown that when there is an unceremonious increase in the price of non-consummable goods, there is bound to be a sharp decline in demand. With the telecommunication companies contributing a whopping 1.8 trillion naira which represents a total of 10% to the Gross Domestic Product according to the  National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)  the revenue drive of the industry which is mobile data is expected to fall drastically now.

The power of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as a regulatory agency in a free market economy is to drive competition, low prices, encourage innovation and most importantly, protect the consumer. According to Ifeanyi Uddin (2016), ‘’the NCC has just shredded its credentials as a regulator’’.

For those who are quick to absolve the President of the new draconian regulation against the masses and seeing it as a supposed overzealousness of his appointees, such class of individuals should be enlightened that over 15 million Nigerians did not vote for the Dambazzaus, the Abba Kyaris, the Shittus and their likes. Nigerians defiled all odds to vote Buhari into office, trusting him not only to lead right but make decisions that will benefit the masses and be bold enough to accept responsibilities. We have had enough of bulk passing from this government.

You blame aides for padded budget, blame the previous government for recession, blame aides for speech plagiarism, blame politicians for Niger Delta and terrorism, blame militants for epileptic power supply, blame local bureau d’ change Mallam for high exchange rate, blame intolerance(nee blasphemy) for mindless killings, blame citizens for eating too much hence the high price of foods. One is then forced to ask if you are truly in charge of your ‘change’ government.

Maybe President Buhari does not understand the importance of citizens having easy access to internet data. Apart from the fact that it drives innovation, connect and help build a generation of more enlightened people while aiding research, it has effectively kept the masses at bay as they now find it more convenient to vent their anger and frustration against the government online rather than take to the street. If this plug is removed then it is only a matter of time before anarchy reigns supreme.

One of the numerous reasons that led to the fall of Gaddafi wasn’t because his government was less beneficial to the masses rather because his administration lost touch with the citizens and even for Gaddafi, he fell!

Adekoya Boladale is based in Lagos, Nigeria. He is a public affairs analyst and political commentator. His contributions have been featured on BBC, The Africa Report (Paris), The Star (South Africa), Ouestaf (Senegal), Islam Channel (UK), Punch, Guardian, Vanguard Newspapers (Lagos) amongst many others.

Boladale is on Twitter @adekoyabee

The Nigeria Data Pricing War – by Yemi Ade-John

The overriding principle should be that lower prices are good for the consumer and if their is underpricing or cartel price fixing there are methods for punishing that behavior all the while ensuring that costs of fines for example are not passed on to consumers.

All today’s big operators were once small operators and they did fine. Etisalat came in last and is doing fine and we haven’t heard that NITEL is complaining

How many operators make up a monopoly or oligopoly and how many more do we need to get this vaunted ‘perfect’ market?

Is the CDMA platform efficient or more beneficial,why is it being protected and who says they won’t engage in anticompetitive practices themselves just like the big GSM ones have E been doing presumably for years unchecked till now? So are we now being encouraged to migrate to CDMA operators with their limited geographical spread?

What heaven dictated business model did the regulator use to determine that under-pricing was taking place?

I have never heard of a regulator anywhere dictating prices to go upwards on its own initiative for over 80% of the consumer base in an industry;its normally the other way with the operators persuading a reluctant regulator on the need to be allowed to effect increases-in areal democratic society that this sort of regulatory behavior would result in heads rolling!

#DataMustFall: Nigerian youths and the insanity of NCC – Irebami Taiwo

Dear young fellow,

I’m angry that at this moment when we are supposed to be at the frontiers of this change, we are here taking the back seat and letting a few of the older generation sway us about.

The prices of goods and services have increased in the last six months and as young people we are quiet about it. The ones that have the greater influence of this age group are no longer taking the position.  Some of them now have political appointments and no longer have the interest of this age group.

My generation was the master mind of the Occupy Nigeria protest.

I’m not forgetting in a hurry the Social Media bill that a ruling party member brought to the floor of the Nigerian Senate, thereby burning down one of the major roads that led them to the office.

The height for me was getting this SMS from my network provider.

“Dear customer, please be informed that from 1st Dec, some MTN data tariffs will be increased to reflect the new rates set by the NCC to operators. Thank you.”


This was what I could gather when I read about it online

“The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) has directed mobile operators to initiate a new data tariff regime from December 1, 2016 in what is effectively a price increase”


Why? you may ask.  From my findings:

“In order to provide a level playing field for all operators in the industry, small operators and new entrants to acquire market share and operate profitably small operators and new entrants are hereby exempted for the price floor for data services,” it said.

“For the avoidance of doubt a small operator is one that has less than 7.5 percent market share and a new entrant is an operator that has operated less than three years in the market.


Dear NCC,

This new data tariff is just like you are overburdening the already overburdened. The economy at the moment is in  recession,  a lot of unemployed young graduates roaming the streets.  There is no money in circulation. I put the question to you once again,  Why?  Why the increment? Even with the prices of the current tariffs,  it’s still really difficult for many to afford. Why are those put in power to protect us, ease life for us, now making things so hard for the average Nigerian? The ones with jobs among us barely earn anything, certainly not enough to be independent. A basic 30,000 naira monthly salary including tax with subscriptions swallowing about one-sixth of that. Having access to the Internet may not be a necessity but it shouldn’t be made an impossibility. It’s the 21st century,  the world is in the technology age. Everything happens online these days. So yes, in a way,  Internet access is actually a necessity. As youths, most of us follow the current news on social media.

Now u are asking Network providers to increase that.

To what end, please?


I want to implore my fellow Nigerian Youths, we can’t be quiet about an issue has trivial as this. We can’t just continue to let issues like this happen. We are the future of this country and issues like this will directly impact us. This calls for action from us against this decision.


Enough said.

Nigerians Petition FG to Stop Data Tariff Increase by NCC

Nigerians have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government over plans to increase data plan prices by December 1st, 2016.

The petition is available via against the federal government to halt the increase by NCC.

The petition reads: “NCC has instructed telecommunications companies within the country Nigeria to make certain changes is their data structure which might lead to possibly increased rates for less data. Which is supposed to be implemented by December 1st 2016. We want the price of data to remain the same and individual companies to sell data at the price at which they choose to.

This petition will be delivered to:
Nigeria Communication Commission

  • MTN Nigeria
  • Glo Nigeria
  • Others

NCC to sanction 13 operators over unsolicited telemarketing.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Monday said it would sanction 13 telecommunications operators for failing to comply with the ‘2442 Do Not Disturb (DND)’ directive on unsolicited telemarketing.

According to a statement signed by the NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr Tony Ojobo, the directive was issued on April 20, 2016.

Ojobo said that the 13 operators included: Airtel Network Ltd., MTN Nigeria, Globacom Nigeria, Smile Communication, Visafone Communications, Ntel, Etisalat, Multi-Links, Starcomms, Danjay Telecoms, Gamjitel Ltd., Megatech Engineering Ltd. and Gicell Wireless.

According to him, the service providers have been given another one-week ultimatum, from Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, to remedy the situation or face the sanctions enshrined in the directive.

“Worried by the non-compliance by the operators, occasioned by a deluge of complaints by subscribers across Nigeria, the NCC inaugurated an eight-member committee to look into the matter.

“After several meetings, including those it held with the network providers, it became necessary to issue the latest ultimatum to redress the menace of incessant unsolicited text messages and phone calls for telemarketing via the various networks,’’ he said.

Ojobo said the commission had written to the providers on whose networks it had received series of complaints from subscribers regarding the efficacy of DND.

He said the phrase ‘Network-Generated SMS’ referred to in Part (d) of the directive shall be taken to mean messages and calls, with respect to only information on emergencies.

According to him, the information on emergencies, include: national security, fire, notifications on network maintenance programmes down times and notification regarding subscribers’ bundle usage and service renewals.

“Other text messages and voice calls informing subscribers of new products and service offerings are not regarded as ‘Network-Generated’ and, therefore, regarded as “unsolicited marketing messages’’.

“NCC has therefore, asked these network providers to ensure that information on the Do Not Disturb service should be disseminated after every revenue-generating activity via the End of Call Notification (EOCN).

“For the period not less than 45 days, within the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, from the receipt of the latest letter on the subject.

“The operators are also admonished to deploy this information through all their channels of communications, including websites, social media platforms, billboards, flash messages, text messages, Interactive Voice Response platform, radio jingles, newspapers advertisements and television commercials,’’ he said.

The director said that this notice served as a pre-enforcement notice, adding that failure to comply with it would attract appropriate sanctions.

He said the menace of unsolicited text messages had been a nightmare to subscribers.

Ojobo said that the commission could no longer accept further excuses from network providers.

Drama as nominee for NCC Board seeks scrapping of Senate.

During the screening of the nominees, a member of the committee had confronted the nominee asking why he once led a protest for the scrapping of the Senate.

The member told the nominee that he was appearing before the same Senate he wanted scrapped.

Abubakar, in his response, insisted that the cost of running the Senate was high and therefore should be scrapped.

The nominee noted that a situation where the senators had been receiving huge transport, wardrobe and dressing allowances and others was a clear economic loss to the country.

He also listed the purchase expensive vehicles for senators as another reason why the upper chamber should be done away with.

The committee presented several photographs of the nominee leading organised protests against the Senate, particularly at the gate of the National Assembly recently.

The apparently unrepentant Abubakar told the committee that he has no regret for his actions.

He insisted that he was still convinced that “the Senate is an avenue for wastage of scarce economic resources of the country”.

The Senate, he said, “must go”.

Speaking after the session, Abubakar told reporters that the Senate should be scrapped.

The Bauchi State nominee however denied telling the committee that the Senate must be scrapped.

He said: “It is not true that I told members of the committee that the Senate should be scrapped.

“They asked me whether I was part of the group that agitated for the scrapping of the Senate and I said yes because of so many things involved in the Senate and their budget.

“They asked me to state the reasons why we were agitating for the scrapping of the Senate.

“I said it is because of their huge budget.

“They (Senators) consume a lot of resources from the government.

“They put it in their own budget.

“Also, they have transport allowance and, yet, they budget a lot of money to acquire vehicles.”

Abubakar said that the committee confronted him with several photographs of him during the “Occupy National Assembly” protests, including the ones held at the National Assembly and in Bauchi State, which he did not deny.

Asked if he still stood by his words that it was a waste to keep the Senate and that it should be scrapped, Abubakar replied: “The Senate must go because something has to be done to cut down the expenses on the Senate.

“I still maintain that.”

The committee had earlier listed what it described as “grave irregularities” in the personal records of the nominee.

The committee noted that it was curious that apart from birth certificate, there were only copies of court affidavit and police extract dated the same day, claiming loss of his credentials.

The committee noted that it appears the court affidavit and police extract were procured after Abubakar had been nominated to serve in the board.

The committee also said that it was interesting that the highest academic qualification of the nominee was a one-year “Diploma in Computer” from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.

It said that the attached statement of result was dated September 23, 2016, also obtained after he had been nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Requested to show reason why he chose to present documents that were procured shortly after his nomination and also why he believed that he was qualified to function as a National Commissioner in such a critical agency like NCC given the rigours, challenges and required expertise for efficiency of the commission, Abubakar said that he “did not bother to go for the credentials”.

He explained further that he “only went to school merely for knowledge having been self-employed prior to the nomination”.

The NCC Chairman-designate, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, expressed concern over the public perception of the Senate.

Durojaiye noted that as a former Senator, who also headed the Committee on Communications, he was committed and passionate for a very strong Senate that grows in leaps and bound.

He said: “Please permit me to convey a message from the oldest living former Senator, Chief Reuben Farosanti, who just clocked 91.

“Although I have presented it to the Senate President, Senator Farosanti had requested for a closed door session between the current Senate and the old generation to discuss.

“Considering the heat from the other side this has become imperative….”

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, urged the nominees to seek to add value to the regulatory agency and ensure that Nigerian masses truly got the greatest benefits of their appointment if they scaled through.

Nnaji said that the committee would make its report available to the plenary for approval.

NCC Invades North-East, Arrests 6 For Anti-Piracy

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has launched the anti-piracy offensive in the North-East and arrested six suspected film pirates, Mr. Augustine Amodu, the commission’s Director of Enforcement, has said.

Amodu made the disclosure in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the offensive was part of the commission’s zero-tolerance drive against piracy in all its forms across major cities and markets in the six geo-political zones of the country.

He said: “the enforcement raid against the suspected film pirates was carried out by a team of Copyright Inspectors backed by armed policemen.

“Such operations will continue unhindered because piracy is a menace to our economy.

“The Commission in this new offensive will not relent in its effort until the activities of suspected pirates are stamped out of the region.

“It is no longer business as usual for pirates so that right owners can enjoy the reward for their efforts.’’

The director pointed out that as part of its enforcement operations in the North-East, the Commission raided suspected film pirates in Bauchi metropolis.

He said that a total of 1, 611 pirated DVDs and 2,200 empty packets used in packaging pirated DVDs, worth N321, 550 were seized from the suspects.

He said that the six arrested suspects were granted administrative bail while the investigation is ongoing.

NAN recalls that, as part of its intensified enforcement operations across Nigeria, NCC had in March seized and destroyed pirated items worth N2.4 billion in Enugu state.

It also carried out an anti-piracy raid at the Alaba International Market, an acclaimed hub of piracy activities, with pirated products worth millions of naira seized and many suspects arrested.

MTN has NOT yet acquired Visafone’s licence, says NCC.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says telecommunications firm MTN has not yet acquired Visafone’s licence — despite contrary reports in the media.

Tony Ojobo, NCC’s director of public affairs, made this known in a statement on Tuesday.

It was reported in January that the MTN group had concluded the acquisition of Visafone after “receiving” the final approval of the federal government.

It was thought that NCC approved the deal in the last quarter of 2015. However, Ojobo clarified on Tuesday what had been approved was only the transfer of the shareholding structure — not transfer of licence.

“A decision to transfer Visafone licence to MTN has not yet been taken. What has been approved in the transaction is 100% shareholding not licence,” he said.

“NCC final approval to the changes in shareholding of Visafone Communications was taken by virtue of section 38 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003.

“Section 38 of the Act states that ‘the grant of a licence shall be personal to the licencee and the licence shall not be operated by, assigned, sub-licenced or transferred to any other party unless the prior written approval of the Commission has been granted’.

“This is contrary to the speculation in a section of the media that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the regulatory agency for telecommunication, had foreclosed the release of the spectrum held by Visafone to MTN.

“This clarification has become necessary in order to allay the fears in some quarters that the frequency had been withheld by the Commission.”

Ojobo reiterated that the commission had yet to meet to take a decision on the application by Visafone to transfer its licence to MTN.

“The NCC has only approved the shareholding structure by 100% and not transfer of licene,” he said.

Specifically, Visafone Communications Limited with a Universal Access Service Licence (UASL) – deploying Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology – applied to the NCC for an approval to effect a change in its shareholding structure by transferring 100% of its shares to MTN Nigeria.

“Having met all the preliminary requirements for grant of approval for change in shareholding structure, the NCC, in line with its established procedure, granted an Approval-In-Principle to Visafone Communications Limited, subject to fulfillment of conditions to transfer 100% of its shares to MTN Nigeria.

“Having fulfilled the conditions stipulated in the “Approval-In-Principle”, the NCC, in line with its procedure granted a “Final-Approval” to Visafone for the change in its shareholding structure.

“Thereafter, Visafone applied for approval to transfer its licence to MTN.  The NCC has written to Visafone, clearly stating that a decision was yet to be taken on the transfer of Visafone licence to MTN.”

MTN denies paying bribe to reduce NCC fine

South Africa’s MTN denied it paid a bribe to Nigerian officials to reduce its fine to 330 billion naira ($1.05bn) as part of settling a dispute over disconnecting unregistered SIM cards in the West African country.


MTN said in a statement on Friday there had been allegations that a top official in the Nigerian presidency took a payment towards reducing the fine.


The telecom group was initially fined $5.2bn last October for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered SIM cards.


In June, MTN agreed to pay a reduced fine of 330 billion in a settlement with the Nigerian government and said the fine will be paid by MTN Nigeria over three years.

NCC defends poor service quality by telcos

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.

Fed Govt Propose Bill For Nigerians To Pay 9% Tax On Calls, Sms, Mms, Data, Others

Minister of Communication, Bayo Shittu, yesterday disclosed that the Federal government is proposing to introduce a bill called the Communication Service Tax CST bill which seeks to levy 9% on telecommunication subscribers for users of various communication services such as voice call, SMS, MMS, Data usage from telecommunication service providers, internet service providers and Pay TV Stations.

Speaking at a function organized by the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, LCCI yesterday, Shittu said the introduction of the new taxes without harmonising existing ones would put pressure on the country’s tax system thereby making it unattractive to investors.

According to him, the outcome of deliberations on the bill would form the basis of his advice to the President.

“This may also be counter-productive in the long run for our targets on broadband penetration. Our ICT Roadmap gives fresh impetus for implementing existing policies and reviewing any that is inimical to the growth of the sector. My focus on any tax regime will be to align any process that will stimulate the economy and also ensure that the tax system is efficient by widening the tax net. It is also to create an effective framework for tax compliance to protect the poor and vulnerable in the society who nonetheless have to use telecoms services for social inclusion and financial services.” According to Shittu, the bill is being considered as a way to help increase the revenue generation of the Federal government.


“I have been reliably informed that the projected earnings from this effort is over N20 billion every month, which is an attraction to the government for funding our budget deficits. I must be quick to say that this government has a human face twined around its decisions”he said The minister added that the government would provide an enabling environment for the ICT and telecommunication sector to thrive through the enactment of relevant legislation.

Buhari Appoints NCC Commissioners

President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the Senate to confirm nominees into positions of Chairman, Executive Commissioner, and Non-Executive Commissioners of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In a letter dated August 2, 2016, sent to President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, Mr. Buhari nominated Olabiyi Durojaiye as chairman of the commission.

Mr. Durojaiye, a former senator, is to represent the South West.

The president also nominated Sunday Dare as the NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management.

Mr. Dare will also represent the south west. He is an aide to a former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu.

Those nominated as Non-Executive Commissioners are: Aliyu Sa’idu Abubakar (North East), Clement Omeiza Baiye (North Central), Okoi Ofem Obono Obla (South South), Ezekiel Yissa (North Central) and Ifeanyi Ararume (South East).

“The nominations are in accordance with Section 8(1) of the Nigerian Communications Commission Act 2003,” a statement by the president’s spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said on Tuesday.

Credit: PremiumTimes

NCC To Start Regulatory Roundtable On Operators Of Telecom

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says will start a regulatory roundtable with stakeholders in the telecoms sector on how to move the sector forward.

Mr Nnamadi Nwokike, the Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy of NCC said this on Wednesday in Abuja at the ongoing Innovation Africa Digital Summit 2016 organised by Galaxy Backbone and Extensia UK.

Nwokike said that the roundtable would bring all regulators that have inter-dependent roles with NCC together to discuss how Nigerian regulatory growth would be created.

“Our objective is that overtime we should be able to create a group, Nigerian regulatory group.
“So that we can meet more regularly and meet in different committees to discuss the issue of spectrum regulations and other areas affecting the telecoms sector.

“We have to be conscious of the fact that no firm is too big to be regulated. We will meet our operators on this table and before any law or regulations, we will have extensive conversation on how things will be done.

Nwokike said that energy “is a problem and those controlling energy will be part of the roundtable discussion, it is an issue that cuts across the sector.’’

“NCC will start the conversation and it is our hope that we think in a way that we will all be interested in investment that can move our country forward.’’
Mr Mohammed Gimba, the Head of Public Sector, Main One said that for the country to make progress in the ICT sector, there must be drive and access to internet.
Gimba said that there must be a clear vision and strategies must be put in place to achieve progress in the sector.

Credit: NAN

NCC Lifts Sanction On MTN Nigeria

Mr Tony Ojobo, the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said on Wednesday that the commission had lifted the sanction placed on MTN Nigeria since July 13, 2015.


Ojobo said in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the regulatory sanctions were for 24 identified infractions.


It said that the lifting of the regulatory sanction was in no way related to the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card non-deactivation fine.

“This is to confirm that NCC has lifted the regulatory sanctions placed on MTN since July 13, 2015.

“The sanctions were for 24 identified infractions which are not in any way connected with the SIM card non-deactivation fine.

“These were a number of violations discovered by the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Team of the commission in June 2015.

“Consequent upon the inability of MTN to remedy the identified infractions, the commission invoked the sanction in its guidelines,’’ the statement quoted Ojobo as saying.


It said that the sanction meant the denial of regulatory services to the telecommunications company for failing to remedy the infractions in line with NCC’s regulations.


According to the statement, consequent upon the remediation of the 24 infractions by MTN, the regulatory body’s letter of March 14, 2016, informed the company of its decision to lift the regulatory sanction.


“It should be noted that this does not in any way extend to the fine for non-deactivation of SIM card case.

“The case of SIM card deactivation is an entirely different infraction, which is mutually exclusive to the 24 infractions now remedied.

“This has become necessary in view of the many enquiries being received from concerned stakeholders.
“This action is without prejudice to the matter which is presently in court. Please be guided accordingly,’’ it quoted Ojobo as saying.



NCC To Unveil New Tariff For Fixed Transmission Services Soon

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on Monday, said arrangement had been concluded to unveil new pricing cost for wholesale fix transmission service providers in the telecommunication industry.

The Commission expressed optimism that the new pricing will accelerate the broadband penetration through making transmission links competitive and affordable to end users across the country.

With the new pricing model, NCC said consumers will be able to afford data in the long run, adding that there is need for a level playing field for all operators in the segment.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said, research carried out by KPMG in conjunction with telecommunication operators revealed that the old wholesale fixed pricing has been excessively discriminatory and arbitrary among industry operators and users.

Danbatta also explained that investigation carried out by a project team constituted by NCC, which included MTN, Glo, Airtel, MainOne, Phase3Telecom and market operators, revealed that there was excessive pricing of fixed transmission link which has raised a lot of concern in the sector.

He said: “The study revealed that wholesale and retail customers in the transmission market capacity in the country were excessively high and not reflective of cost.

“Specific examples were situation in which bandwidth prices for route between Lagos and London was lower that between Lagos and Kano or Port Harcourt. Another issue that was identified was the issue of discriminatory prices of transmission links. It was observed that pricing was not based on cost, distance or any particular formula.”

According to him, statistical report by the International telecommunications Union (ITU), indicated that broadband penetration between 2014 and 2015 is still low, adding that modalities had been put in place to increase the penetration rate by 30 percent before 2018.

Credit: Thisday

NCC Fines Glo, MTN N34m For Non-Compliance To Number Portability

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has fined MTN Nigeria and Globacom Ltd (Glo) a total of N34 million for breach of the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) business rules and regulations.

The regulatory body made this known in its “2015 Q4 Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Reports’’ obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

In the report, NCC noted that of the N34 million sanction for number porting breach, Globacom was fined N22 million, while MTN was fined N12 million.

NAN recalls that in the “2015 Q3 Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Reports’’, NCC had resolved to monitor and sanction violations with MNP process time obligations said “to address the increasing cases of port request rejections’’.

The commission said that series of compliance checks were carried out regarding timer violations by Donor operators with respect to “validation and deactivation responses’’ which had timelines of 2 hours and 1 hour respectively.

According to the Q3 report, there is a timer deactivation violation by MTN, regarding a Corporate Port request of over 109 lines belonging to Nigerian Breweries Plc.

“The company had initiated a corporate port out request from MTN to Glo via lead Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number (MSISDN): 07036735494 on Aug. 11, 2015 at 1.20 p.m. but was partially completed as at 11.22 a.m. on Aug. 14, 2015.

“As a result, these subscribers were not able to receive calls from MTN subscribers.

“In the same vein, a timer validation violation by MTN regarding four individual Port requests from MSISDNs: 08139382308, 08143810152, 08135485305 and 08162108093.

“MTN breached the allowable two hours for validation of four port requests from the NPC, as stated in the MNP Business Rules,’’ it said.

Credit: NAN

NCC vs MTN: Court Fixes March 3 For Ruling

A Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed March 3 to decide whether or not it will try MTN Nigeria and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ferdi Moolman, for alleged copyright infringement.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba fixed the date at the Thursday hearing in a charge filed against MTN and Moolman over alleged infringement on copies of the musical works of an Abuja based musician, Dovie Omenuwoma-Eniwo (a.k.a. Baba 2010).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), last year, filed the two-count-charge against MTN and Moolman, sequel to a petition filed by Baba 2010.
However, following a report of settlement between MTN and Baba 2010 over the infringement, their lawyers Mena Ajakpoui and Rockson Igelige had respectively asked for the withdrawal of the charge by NCC.
Lawyer to NCC and the commission’s Director of Prosecution, Mr Abdul-Ter Kohol, however said that the crime had been committed and the restitution provided by the alleged offenders (MTN and Moolman) was not a barrier to their prosecution.
The court therefore adjourned to decide whether or not the compensation paid to Baba 2010 by the accused persons over the alleged infringement was adequate to stop NCC from prosecuting MTN and Moolman.
NAN reports that at the hearing of the case, Igelige moved an application seeking the court order permitting his client (Baba 2010) to withdraw his complaint against the accused persons (MTN and Moolman).
He contended that he filed a civil suit against MTN in another Federal High Court upon which his client amicably and satisfactorily settled with MTN.
He said the NCC did not inform his client before going ahead to file the criminal charge against MTN and its CEO.
Igelige also argued that he did not make any complaint against Moolman, the second accused person in the petition written to NCC.
He argued that with the combined reading of sections 17, 355 (1) and 494 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, his client has the right to withdraw his complaint which would in turn terminate the trial.
Kohol opposed the application contending that “it is misconceived, frivolous and not known to law’’.
He said besides the fact that the applicant did not seek the leave of court before filing the application the statutory parties to criminal trial are the prosecution (NCC) and the accused (MTN Moolman).
The lawyer argued that the applicant, like any other informant of a prosecuting agency, could not withdraw a criminal charge he did not file in court.
Kohol said that section 24 of the NCC establishment Act permits for both criminal and civil actions to be filed and heard simultaneously in copyright infringement cases.
He therefore urged the court to hold that MTN and Moolman had already committed the crime and the restitution made to Baba 2010 cannot assuage their prosecution.




NCC To Sanction Telecom Operators Who Defraud Nigerians Through Dropped Calls

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC), on Friday, said the Commission would sanction telecommunication operators who defraud Nigerians through dropped-calls.



Danbatta said this during a meeting with newsmen from the North West, North Central and FCT in Kano, where he presented the Commission’s eight-point agenda.



According to him, dropped-call rate is the fraction of the telephone calls which due to technical reasons, are cut off before the speaking parties finish their conversation.


This, he said, were being used by some telecom providers to deduct money from phone users as the fraction was usually measured as a percentage of all calls.


He said that the Commission had put in place mechanisms to ensure regulatory excellence and operational efficiency to maintain commitment to transparency.


Danbatta explained that part of the measures was for NCC to monitor calls, adding that any call that was not a dropped-call and was charged would be detected and the telecom provider sanctioned.


He added that “there is a limit to which a call can be dropped.

“We have put in place parametres to monitor what is happening, especially as regards drop calls, this will locate the operator to ensure that they maintain standards.

“When these parametres are analysed, we will be able to detect the drop calls from service providers and the operator’s attention will be drawn to enable it to address the problem.

“If we do not notice any sign of improvement on dropped call rates, then we will sanction erring operators.’’


The NCC boss said operators should know that they were being monitored by NCC and that the day of reckoning when their activities would be made public was around the corner.


Danbatta, however, assured the public that the issue of monitoring the cognitive performance indicators was key to NCC, adding that consumers’ right would be protected.


He said erring operators would be identified and necessary regulatory action would be taken in order to improve the quality of service to Nigerians.


He urged Nigerians to utilise the Commission’s 622 call number to send their complaints for the purpose of resolving them.


He reiterated the Commission’s resolve to continue to promote and empower consumers from unfair practices through the availability of information and education required to make informed choices in the use of ICT services.


Danbatta further said that the Commission was working on ways to improve data access in the country, even though the facility to support the project was not adequate yet.


“We are working on plans to improve data access in Nigeria and it is captured in the eight-point agenda of the Commission’’.


This, he said, would ensure that at least services were available, accessible and affordable to consumers.



He expressed the hope that access to the Internet would be free in Nigeria in the nearest future.




Internet Users Reduced By 788,215 In December 2015 – NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday said that internet users on Nigeria’s telecoms’ networks reduced by 788,215 in December 2015.


The telecoms’ regulatory body disclosed this in its Monthly Internet Subscriber Data obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.


The data revealed that users on both Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks stood at 97,182,014 as at December 2015.


According to NCC, this was in contrast to 97,970,229 internet subscribers recorded by the operators in November, hence, decreasing by 788,215 users in December.


The data also showed that of the 97,182,014 internet users in December, 97,042,543 were on GSM networks, while 149,471 users were on the CDMA networks.


However, the GSM operators lost 791,474 internet users, after recording 97,032,543 in December, against 97,824,017 in November of 2015.


It also showed that the CDMA operators added 3,259 subscribers browsing the internet on their networks, after 149,471 customers used the internet in December, against the 146,212 recorded in November.


The data showed that MTN recorded a decrease of 948,131 internet subscribers, as it recorded 39,924,737 users in December, after recording 40,872,869 in November.


According to the data, Globacom has 25,082,066 subscribers surfing the net on its network in December, from the 24,952,559 that surfed the internet on the network in November.


It said that the figure increased by 129,507 users in the month under review.



Airtel had 16,835,952 internet users in December, as against 16,837,282 customers recorded in November, a decrease of 1,330 users.


The data showed that Etisalat had 15,189,788 customers who browsed the internet in December, against the 15,161,307 users in November.


It showed that those browsing the net on Etisalat’s network rose by 28,481 in December.


The NCC also revealed that the CDMA operators, Multi-Links and Visafone, had a joint total of 149,471 internet users on their networks in December.



It showed that the only two surviving CDMA networks in the country recorded an increase of 3,259 internet subscribers in the month under review, from the 146,212 users they recorded in November.



According to the data, Visafone has an increase of 3,259 customers surfing the internet in December, as it has 149,212, compared to the 145,953 users in November.



Multi-Links had 259 internet users in December, same from the November record of 259 users, according to the data.



NCC Urges Legislature On ‘Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill’

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Monday urged the National Assembly to give urgent consideration in passing the ‘Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill’ into law.



The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta gave the advice in a statement issued in Lagos.



It said that passing the bill into law would give more legal teeth in the prosecution of telecoms infrastructure vandals.



The statement added that the Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill, when passed into law would enable the protection of telecoms infrastructure, for the benefit of the consumers.



It said that under the existing laws of the country, vandalisation of telecoms infrastructure carried heavy penalties, including a jail term, if found culpable.



According to the statement, the commission is currently consulting with the lawmakers to finalise on the bill, which seeks to treat all telecoms infrastructure as public properties, that should be protected.



It said that the benefits and all the useful services being enjoyed from the telecoms industry were now threatened by the spate of vandalisation of the infrastructure across the country.



The statement added that the regulatory body was worried that vandalisation of telecoms infrastructure was slowing the pace of growth, and contributing to poor quality of services.



”Fellow citizens should be part of the war against vandalisation of telecoms infrastructure. We need to be more vigilant. We need to report any form of vandalisation to security agencies.



”On our part as the regulator of the telecoms industry, it is our desire to make Nigeria better, using telecommunications services.

”It is our desire to improve on the varieties and quality of services that Nigerians are getting from the telecoms industry.

”It is our continued desire that telecoms services are available to Nigerians, wherever they may live, be it in the city, or in sub-urban or rural areas,” it quoted Danbatta as saying.





We’re Ready To Settle With NCC —MTN

MTN Nigeria has expressed readiness to settle dispute with the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, over the N1.04 trillion fine incurred for non deactivation of some improperly registered subscribers on its network.



The telecom operator said despite being in court with the regulator, its relationship with the NCC remained solid even as it was ready to strengthen it the more.



The company’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Mr Ferdi Moolman, and Corporate Service Executive, Mrs Amina Oyagbola, who addressed newsmen, weekend. expressed confidence in the regulator to steady the ship of the sector by always opening up for reconciliations from stakeholders.



The duo stated that no matter what the outcome of the court cases may be, MTN would still hold the NCC in highest regard.



While Moolman revealed that his company was prepared to go to any length to restore relationship with the NCC, Oyagbola heaped praises on the administration of the regulator, describing it as the most important stakeholder to MTN as far as the industry is concerned.



Disclosing the approach the company would take to restore the regulator’s friendship again, Oyagbola said: ”We have utmost respect for them. The approach of this new team is to correct where we have erred in the past, ensure good business relationship with all stakeholders in the industry. This begins with show of good faith; speaking the truth, to be able to restore and generate more goodwill.”



Corroborating her, Moolman added that part of the reasons MTN felt resolution was imperative, was that the fine amounted to about 95 per cent of the company’s total revenue for a year.



Credit : Vanguard

Dismiss MTN’s Suit Against NCC, Lawyer Tells Court

A Lagos lawyer, Mr Tope Alabi, has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to dismiss MTN Nigeria’s suit against the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.

He said that the N1.04trillion fine imposed on MTN was in order, adding that the telecoms firm has no reasonable case against NCC.

According to Alabi, granting MTN’s reliefs will result in “people breaking one law and hiding under another law to escape liability.”

MTN is urging court to quash the $3.9billion sanction imposed on it by NCC in October for failing to disconnect unregistered subscribers. The initial fine of $5.2billion was reduced by 25 per cent to $3.9billion earlier this month. The payment deadline has expired.

But MTN through its lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, is challenging NCC’s powers to impose the fine. It argued that NCC being a regulator cannot assume all the functions of the state.

However, Alabi, in an application seeking to be joined as an interested party, said MTN’s suit was an abuse of court process that must not be tolerated.

The lawyer said for over three years, NCC had directed all service providers to register their SIM cards already sold and in circulation. He said he duly registered his line sometime in 2012 and MTN called him in 2013 to obtain further information towards completing the registration.

“The first defendant (NCC) gave time limit for all subscribers to register their SIM cards. The time limit was also extended repeatedly. The plaintiff was in default to register 5,200,000 subscribers

“The plaintiff could register all the 5,200,000 subscribers SIMs in default within the time limit and extended time given by the first defendant. I believe other service providers such as Airtel, GLO, Etisalat, Starcomm strictly complied with the first defendant’s directives without defaulting; except the plaintiff.

“The plaintiff never denied it defaulted in registration of the 5,200,000 subscribers. The fine imposed on the plaintiff by the first defendant is in order. The suit of the plaintiff with reliefs sought therein will encourage a culture of impunity in Nigeria.

“The law under which the plaintiff is subjected to liability is justice-able and valid. It is in the interest of justice to grant this application for the applicant to defend this suit within the purview of the law,” Alabi said.

Alabi prayed the court to grant his application so that he could prove that MTN has no reasonable cause of action against NCC, and that granting MTN’s prayers will encourage a culture of impunity in Nigeria “whereby people would do all kinds of illegal and unlawful acts and get away with it so long as they can secure legal service to escape liability.”

NCC May Enforce N780bn Fine On MTN As Deadline Expires Today

As the December 31 deadline expires today, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may enforce payment of the N780billion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria, a source close to the commission has said.

NCC is prepared to enforce payment of its $3.9 billion fine against South African telecoms giant MTN, a spokesman for the NCC told an online agency yesterday.

The deadline over the payment of the fine imposed on the MTN expires today.

But the MTN has filed suit in the Federal High Court in Lagos, seeking to quash the fine. MTN’s view is that the court case has delayed payment of the fine until there is a ruling.

But that is not the view of the NCC.

“If the MTN doesn’t pay the fine by tomorrow (today), the NCC will enforce the fine in line with relevant provisions of the NCC Act. The fact that they have gone to court doesn’t affect the fact that they have a fine hanging on their neck. These are two separate issues,” the source said.

Credit: Leadership

N1.4trn Fine: MTN Refuses To Pay, Set To Drag NCC To Court

South African telecoms giant MTN said Thursday it would launch a court challenge against the $3.9 billion fine that Nigeria has ordered it to pay by December 31 for failing to disconnect unregistered users.

MTN, in a statement to shareholders today, said it decided to take this route after exhausting all other options to have the fine reduced.

MTN said that “All factors having a bearing on the matter have been thoroughly and carefully considered, including a review of the circumstances leading to the fine and the subsequent letters received from the NCC.”

“MTN Nigeria, acting on legal advice, has resolved that the manner of the imposition of the fine and the quantum thereof is not in accordance with the NCC’s powers under the Nigerian Communications Act and therefore there are valid grounds upon which to challenge the fine.”


Credit : Vanguard

Reps Walk Out NCC, NDDC Over Non-Remitance Of Non-Oil Revenue

Officials of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) were barred from a House of Representatives ad hoc committee hearing investigating alleged fraud in the remittance of generated non-oil revenue.

The officials of the two agencies were walked out due to the non-appearance of their chief executives.

The NCC was represented at the hearing by some officials led by the Director of Public Affairs, Anthony Ojobo, while the NDDC was represented by Executive Director of Finance, Henry Ogiri.

Other agencies at the public hearing included the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and the Nigerian Communications  Satelite (NigComSat)Ltd.

The action of the committee was coming on the heels of a challenge thrown to House committees by the Speaker Yakubu Dogara at a retreat earlier Monday that the House is set to drive the change agenda of the government.

Credit: Nation

Why We Reduced MTN’s N1.04trn Fine– NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has defended its action to reduce the N1.04 trillion fine on MTN Nigeria to N780 billion, saying it acted in the interest of the stability of the telecom sector.

The commission said it weighed all pros and cons and arrived at a decision it considered favourable to all concerned.

Director public Affairs of the NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo, said that after considering the operator’s admission of guilt, huge investment in the country, the large subscriber base and Nigeria being its largest market, the decision to arrive at the reduction was not too difficult.

According to Ojobo, “MTN wrote the commission, acknowledged that there has been an infraction and are now pleading for leniency . In the past we have also had people plead for leniency on their sanctions. At that time, of course the NCC board has not been constituted, no Minister, the authority of the president was required for such a decision to be taken in the absence of the minister, and so the commission had to notify the presidency.

“The stakeholders looked at it with all the pros and cons and reduced the fine by 25 percent. We are aware and conscious of the level of investment MTN has made in this market; they have the largest number of subscribers, it is also important to know that Nigeria remains their biggest market. We have taken all into considerations, and that was what even informed the discussion in the first place. Weighing all of these issues, is why this action has been taken”.

Credit: Vanguard

Nigerians Drag NCC To Court For Reducing MTN’s N1.04trn Fine

Some Nigerians on Monday faulted the decision of the Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, to reduce by 25 per cent a N1.04 trillion fine earlier imposed on MTN for not disconnecting unregistered subscribers.

The NCC, last week, reduced the fine to N780 billion, with December 31, 2015 as deadline for MTN to pay.

But some aggrieved Nigerians on Monday criticized the NCC for the decision, describing it as a violation of the fundamental rights of Nigerians and a breach of sections of Nigerian laws and the Constitution.

“No Nigerian institution or public office holder has the absolute power to howsoever reduce the fine, without legitimate recourse to the Nigerian people,” the group, Concerned Nigerians, said in their particulars of claims filed along with a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

In the class action suit filed on their behalf by an Abuja-based legal practitioner and civil rights activist, Timipa Okponipere, the applicants asked the court to declare the decision a breach of Part X, Sections 86-88; 142(3-4) of the NCC Act 2003; Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Article 21(5) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

Accusing the NCC of conspiring with MTN against Nigerians, the applicants said the laws guaranteed the fundamental rights of Nigerians to fair hearing and freedom to dispose of their wealth and natural resources in the exclusive interest of the people.

Credit: PremuimTimes

MTN Nigeria Fine Increased To $3.9 Billion After Regulator Error

MTN Group Ltd. had its record fine in Nigeria increased $500 million to $3.9 billion after the country’s telecommunications regulator said it wrote the incorrect penalty in an earlier letter to Africa’s largest phone company. “There was a typo,” Nigerian Communication Commission spokesman Tony Ojobo said by phone on Friday, referring to a letter dated Dec.
2 that reduced the original $5.2 billion penalty to $3.4 billion. “The reduction should have been 25 percent. We saw the mistake and had to fix it.” MTN spokesman Chris Maroleng declined to
comment. The shares traded 4.7 percent lower at 133.40 rand as of 10:39 a.m. in Johannesburg,

the lowest since Nov. 17. MTN received a second letter on Thursday which superseded the first letter and increased the fine to $3.9 billion, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Friday. The payment date is Dec. 31.

Governor El-Rufai’s Statement On The Nigerian Communication Commission Fine

As part of a duty of political responsiveness to Nigerians who are entitled to all the facts, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna, hereby issues this statement on the NCC fine.

At the most recent meeting of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum on Wednesday, 18 November 2015, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission gave a presentation. During the question and answer session that followed, the Governor of ZamfaraState brought up the issue of the MTN fine, including reports that leniency of a reduction in the amount was being considered. After it was made clear by the NCC that the relevant law and regulations do not permit leniency in such matters, the governors unanimously passed motion that if any flexibility is to be considered by the Federal Government, it is that MTN be allowed tostagger payment of the fine in four installments within one year. Governor El-Rufai participated actively in the discussions, and helped modify the motion that was eventually adopted.

The NGF does not have constitutional, regulatory or enforcement powers. Its motion is purely advisory and strongly supportive of the NCC and the need to uphold regulatory rulings properly issued. The NGF appreciated that a reduction of such a fine not only creates moral hazard but subject to even wilder interpretations on how it was procured.

“Apart from encouraging state institutions to uphold rules, state governors have direct beneficial interest in ensuring that additional revenues accrue to the federation account for the benefit of the three tiers of government. This is the greater public interest which motivated the unanimous passage of the motion by the governors.

“Governor Nasir El-Rufai believes that Nigerians will see beyond the attempt to insert him into a purely regulatory issue. He is not the NCC and did not author the rules that were  breached; neither did he encourage one out of several telcos to breach a regulation of national security significance.

“Suffice it to mention that neither Nasir El-Rufai nor anyone representing him owns any equity interest in Etisalat; neither is it true that Jabi Mall is owned in any way by El-Rufai or any person related to him. Governor El-Rufai intends to vigorously defend his reputation against the cowards hiding behind the veil of online anonymity.


Muyiwa Adekeye

Special Adviser (Media & Communications) to the Governor

NCC To Sanction MTN, Airtel, Globacom Over Auto Data Service Migration

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday  said it would sanction MTN, Airtel and Globacom for defying its directive on automatic migration to Pay-As-You-Go data bundle.

The Commission made this known in its ‘2015 third quarter Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report’ obtained posted on its website.

NCC said it had continued to receive complaints from subscribers on automatic migration of data bundle package to Pay-As-You-Go Billing on depletion of their data bundle.

‘’Consequently and pursuant to section 53(1) of the NCC Act, 2003. The commission on 3rd August 2015 directed all mobile service operators to comply with the data bundle directions.

According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), NCC said “where a subscriber’s data bundle account is fully depleted before the due date, service providers should notify the subscriber via SMS, giving information regarding the tariff/ billing rate for automatic migration.

‘’That all service providers should henceforth stop auto-migration of subscriber’s data service to the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) account upon depletion of the data bundle account, except with the express consent and authorisation of the subscriber via SMS.’’

Credit: NationOnline

Hefty Fine On MTN Remains – NCC

Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has said a $5.2 billion fine imposed on South Africa’s MTN remains valid until talks with the company are concluded.
Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator was handed the penalty for failing to deactivate 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards in breach of a NigeriaCommunications Commission (NCC) order.
MTN said on Monday — the initial deadline for payment — that it had won a respite on the payment until the outcome of talks.
The NCC confirmed the deadline extension and that MTN had admitted the breach in a letter and “pleaded for leniency”.
“The Commission has acknowledged this and is looking into their plea without any prejudice to the fine,” it added.
“The fine remains but the appeal and other engagements with MTN may affect the payment deadline.”
The fine on MTN Nigeria was imposed “in the interest of the public which has been at the receiving end of security challenges”, the NCC added.
“National interest is paramount because when lives are lost they cannot be replaced,” the regulator said in its first formal statement on the issue.
At least 17,000 people have been killed since 2009 and 2.6 million forced from them homes in Boko Haram violence that has increasingly hit Nigeria‘s neighbours Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
The NCC said registration of subscribers was made mandatory to ensure proper identification of users with their biometric data and in line with international best practice.
All operators in Nigeria were involved in drawing up the regulations in 2011, it added.
The heavy fine sent MTN‘s share price plummeting on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and prompted the resignation of chief executive Sifiso Dabengwa.

Dabengwa’s role has been taken by acting executive chairman Phuthuma Nhleko for six months. He is involved in the negotiations with the NCC.


Credit : Vanguard

NCC Extends Deadline For MTN Fine Payment

MTN Group on Monday said the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had extended the deadline for the payment of the N1.04 trillion (5.2 billion dollars) fine imposed on it, pending the conclusion of negotiations.


In a statement obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, the Group said that the Chairman of the Company, Mr Phuthuma Nhleko, had personally met with NCC to continue the ongoing discussions regarding the fine.


It said that the discussions included matters of non-compliance and the remedial measures that might have to be adopted to address it.


“Shareholders are referred to the announcements issued by the company on the Stock Exchange News Service (SENS) of the JSE Ltd on Oct. 26, 2015, Oct. 30, 2015, Nov. 2, 2015, Nov. 3, 2015 and Nov. 9, 2015, respectively.


“Shareholders were advised in the SENS announcements that the company would update them on all material developments on this matter.


“The NCC set a deadline for payment of the fine by Monday, Nov. 16, 2015.


“Shareholders are advised that the Nigerian authorities have, without prejudice, agreed that the imposed fine will not be payable until the negotiations have been concluded,’’ the MTN Group is quoted as saying.


The company said it was determined to resolve the matter with the NCC as soon as possible and would continue to update stakeholders of any material developments regarding the afore-mentioned fine via SENS.


The Group advised shareholders to continue to exercise caution when dealing in the company’s securities, until otherwise announced.


Efforts to get the Director, Public Affairs of NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo to confirm the extension of payment of the fine proved abortive, as he was said to be attending a meeting.



N1.04tn Fine: MTN Pleads For Staggered Payment

MTN has asked Nigeria for a plan to allow it to stagger the payment of a $5.2bn (N1.04tn) fine as the deadline for the payment expires today (Monday) , a source at the Nigerian Communications Commission said on Sunday.

The source added that the government was considering the request, made at a meeting on Friday between MTN and high-level government officials, and that the decision would be disclosed on Monday.

Authoritative sources told one of our correspondents on Sunday that the Federal Government at a meeting with MTN officials on Friday night rejected pleas by the mobile company to have the fine slashed. It was learnt that the Federal Government insisted that the rule should be followed since the
rule that was contravened was clear.

Failing to obtain a reduction, MTN officials were said to have asked to have the payment staggered over a period of two years. By the end of the meeting on Friday, the proposal had not been accepted.

However, it was learnt that there were would be another round of meeting on Sunday night to resolve the knotty issue.

If the Sunday night meeting resolved the issues, the Federal Government may speak on the matter within two days, it was gathered. Since the imbroglio, neither NCC nor the Federal Government has officially spoken on the matter.

The NCC slapped the fine on MTN last month for its failure to cut off 5.2 million unregistered SIM cards.

MTN spokesman Chris Maroleng said, “We are waiting for authorities to come back to us”.

Nigeria has been pushing telecommunication operators to verify the identity of subscribers due to concerns that unregistered SIM cards are being used for criminal activity or even by Boko Haram militants waging an Islamist insurgency in the northeast.

“At the meeting, MTN pleaded passionately for staggered payment since the option of reduction of the fine had been ruled out,” the NCC source told Reuters.

However, a source familiar with the discussions said that an eleventh hour reduction of the fine could still be possible.

“Until the final announcement is made, there may be some room for manoeuvre,” the source familiar with the situation said.

Spokesmen for Presidency and communications ministry declined to comment.

The fine – if fully enforced – amounts to more than the past two years’ profit for the MTN in its biggest market. The new Minister of Cmmunications, Adebayo Shittu, told Reuters on Friday the government did not want the MTN “to die” or shut down operations as a result of the penalty.

The fine is based on $1,000 per outstanding unregistered SIM card, as stipulated by Nigerian telecommunications laws.

Nigeria accounts for 37 per cent of revenues for MTN, which operates in more than 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East. Since the announcement of the fine, its shares have lost nearly 25 per cent of their value.

Source: Punch

NCC Donates Four CBT Centres To JAMB

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has built and donated four Computer Based Test (CBT) centres to Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), a statement said.


The statement was issued by Mr Tony Ojobo, Director, Public Affairs of NCC in Lagos on Wednesday.


It credited the Acting Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, as saying that the centres were meant to augment the board’s facilities for the smooth conduct of CBT.


Danbatta said the centres were located in Kano, Niger, Bayelsa and Oyo states and were equipped with computers, printers, other accessories and Internet connectivity.


”We have a minimum standard that we maintain for all our projects and there is no exception. Standards are necessary for projects to be appreciated.


“NCC is intervening not only in the provision of CBT for JAMB, but provision of equipment for tertiary institutions through the Advance Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI).


“ADAPTI is aimed at bridging digital divide in tertiary institutions through the provision of computers and other ICT facilities to equip the lecturers and other experts in order to improve their ICT skills,” Danbatta said.


The statement said the Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, appreciated the gesture and asked NCC to build more centres for the examination.


Ojerinde said JAMB was also deploying its CBT centres in Digital Bridge Institute facilities in Abuja, Kano and Oshodi, Lagos State, for the examination.


He said the board had over 500 CBT centres nationwide.

“These centres are now being used for registration by potential candidates for the next Universal Tertiary Matriculation Examination instead of cyber cafes,” Ojerinde said.



NCC Fine: MTN’s Largest Shareholder Says It Wants ‘More Heads To Roll

MTN’s largest shareholder and the country’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, Public Investment Corporation (PIC), has said it will seek for more heads to roll when it meets with the Acting CEO Nhleko. The CEO of PIC Daniel Matjila said in a statement.

“A lot more people need to take collective responsibility for the fine… for the alleged failure to comply with regulatory requirements,”
MTN has been in negotiations with the Nigerian government to reduce the fine and has found some
sympathy with a cross section of analysts who believe the fine is excessive and inconsistency with what was obtainable elsewhere.

Tony Ademiluyi: MTN; The First Scapegoat

The spiraling rate of unemployment has made the need to bring in foreign direct investment a buzzword especially among junketing public officials to justify their frequent travels. The relationship between the so called investors and the regulatory agencies is akin to that of a cat and mouse as it’s a well-known fact that the investors have scant regard for the nation’s laws and carry on with the toga of indispensability.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) issues a clear directive on the deactivation of sim lines in performance of a statutory duty. The South African telecommunication giants still went ahead to fail to deactivate well over five million lines without biometric verification since August this year and has thereby attracted a fine of $5.2 billion to be paid on the 16th of this month.

For the first time, our dormant regulatory agency has attracted global respect as the news of the sanction led to a 25% loss of its market capitilisation, its share trading being placed on technical suspension in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the resignation of its Chief Executive Officer in South Africa, Sifiso Dabengwa. The Iroko has truly bellowed as the Nigerian market with the largest population in Africa is not one that can be ignored. Mtn has implicitly admitted that they are guilty of the infraction as they have not contested the position of the NCC so far whether in court or out of it. What they have been pleading for is some sort of leniency as the fine would take a heavy toll on its operations.

Impunity has been a problem the nation has been dealing with in its thorny relationship with investors. The foreigners have taken advantage of our weak institutions especially with regards to our regulators to give us a raw deal. The international oil companies have wrecked the environments of their host communities with their persistent oil spills and their slap in the wrist fines which hardly clean up the battered communities. From Shell to Chevron, it has been tales of agony, tears and blood by the impoverished communities whose lands and rivers have rendered farming and fishing impossible. This is the remote cause of the militancy in the south-south region as the penalties the IOC’s get as worse than ludicrous jokes. The Chinese and Indians exploit our workers with reckless abandon and nothing happens. There was the case of a Chinese company which used to lock up its premises and there was a fire outbreak which killed some Nigerian members of staff. The Nigerian authorities simply looked the other way as business and life simply went on. It’s an open secret that there is no insurance policy for factory workers who handle deadly chemicals with most of them not even given safety kits and the dearth of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) in these sweat shops.

The inertia of the regulatory authorities is not the case in other climes especially in the advanced economies. In Japan for example where there is relative job security, foreign investors are forced to ensure the job security of the employees of their host countries despite the vagaries of a free economy which may not make it profitable in all cases. British Petroleum will now pay $18.7 billion in the largest oil spill compensation in world history. The American justice department and four other states successfully sued the oil giants and the Heavens didn’t fall. The fine by MTN wouldn’t make the Heavens fall as well. It will be even be a surreptitious compensation for their poor services. Many Nigerians including this writer have been victims of the brazen deductions of airtime by the telecommunications giant and our collective helplessness in our quest for justice. It’s high time that the fear of our regulatory authorities be the beginning of wisdom for these conceited so called foreign investors who trample on the rights of the proletariat with so much contempt and scorn.

Some Nigerians especially the Chairman of the Silverbird Group and the Senator representing Bayelsa East on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ben Murray-Bruce raised an alarm that the fine was sending a wrong signal to investors on the harshness of the regulatory authorities and that the act of NCC would discourage them from trooping in. It is sad that a section of Nigerians especially Murray-Bruce would prefer the mediocrity being exhibited by our regulatory authorities and the unhealthy power being enjoyed by the investors. Should we take bunkum because we want every Tom, Dick and Harry to come in and further exploit us in our own country? Should we become hewers of wood and drawers of water in our motherland because we want to bend over backwards to appease the insatiable appetite of the baboon called foreign investors who would continue their rape and pillage of us till they get tired and move on to saner climes? It is sad that Murray-Bruce who also doubles as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on privatization can make such an unpatriotic comment. Foreign investors would be happy that our regulatory agencies are working as this would be assured that they won’t be operating in a Thomas Hobbesian jungle where nothing works. Every investor wants to be assured of some sort of sanity and not the madness that is currently going on. The MTN deterrence would not in any way prevent them from coming in; rather it would make them more sensitive to the needs of the people and operate within the ambits of the legal system. If they decide to pack up and go because we stuck our guns and insisted on doing the right thing, their loss would be our gain as the other giants would simply share the booty without the loss of a single job. Let us stop being ruled by fear as nature abhors a vacuum.

November 16, 2015 which is also the 111th posthumous birthday of one of our founding fathers, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe a.k.a the Great Zik of Africa should be the dawn of a new era in the advent of the death to impunity beginning with the telecommunications sector and then surreptitiously spreading to all other sectors of the economy.  The NCC should resist any pressure to reduce the fine as that would make them a toothless bull dog and the object of scorn and derision.

MTN should fully face the music.


Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

‘MTN Must Respect Laws Of Host Countries’ – South African Deputy President

South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged Africa’s biggest mobile-phone company, the MTN Group Ltd., to follow the rules in countries where it is operating.

This followed a fine of $5.2 billion imposed on MTN by telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), for failing to disconnect customers with unregistered phone cards.

NCC gave MTN until November 16 to pay the fine, which relates to the timing of the disconnection of 5.1 million subscribers and is based on a charge of N200,000 ($1,005) for each unregistered

Nigeria is the Johannesburg-based MTN’s biggest market with 62 million clients as of September.

The company’s shares have slumped 14 per cent since October 26, when the fine was imposed.
Ramaphosa, in an address to lawmakers in Cape Town yesterday, said the government would be taking note of what “is happening with a view of seeing how the company involved responds and reacts” to its challenges.

“We would like our companies to comply with the laws and regulations of countries where they operate, without violating them.

“It does seem like in the case of Nigeria, there were issues, and those issues need to be addressed.

“If this fine is indeed imposed as it is, it is going to impact on South Africa as well, as our revenue fortunes from a taxation point of view are going to be lower,” he said.

Agency reports indicated that comments by Ramaphosa, a former chairman of MTN, suggested that South African authorities might leave MTN to face its problem as it seeks to have the penalty reduced.

South African authorities might also be reluctant to confront their Nigerian counterparts following a series of diplomatic spats that have soured relations between the Africa’s two biggest economies.

The most recent occurred in April, when Nigeria’s government allegedly ordered its two most senior diplomats in South Africa to return home for consultations following a wave of attacks against immigrants, including Nigerians, in Johannesburg and Durban.

“South Africa does not have a track record of defending its national company champions internationally,” Nic Borain, a political analyst, who advises BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities, said by phone.

“On the face of it, this fine seems seriously over the top. Ramaphosa’s words about the issue seem weak as they veer too much on the side of caution,” he added.

South Africa’s telecommunication and finance ministries didn’t respond to agency’s calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Lawmakers plan to summon MTN officials to explain why the company was fined, Nkhensani Kubayi, chairwoman of Parliament’s telecommunications committee, said by phone from Cape Town.

The panel will also ask the South African industry regulator to determine whether MTN is compliant with local rules, with hearings likely to take place next year, she said.

Source: The Nation

NCC Renews MTN’s License

The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) has extended MTN Group’s operating license, the company said on Tuesday, quelling fears that Africa’s biggest mobile phone firm would have to pay a $5.2 billion fine before the license could be renewed.

Johannesburg-based MTN is in talks with the Federal Government about the fine, imposed on its unit in Nigeria for failing to cut off more than 5 million users with unregistered SIM cards, Reuters reported.

Nigeria has been pushing operators to verify the identity of their subscribers, on concerns that unregistered SIM cards were being used for criminal activity in a country facing an insurgency from the Boko Haram sect.

“We view this extension as a demonstration of confidence in MTN’s capacity to continue to provide ground-breaking and innovative services to its customers,” Reuters quoted MTN corporate affairs executive, Akinwale Goodluck, as saying in a statement.

Credit: NationOnline

Mike Adenuga Offers $600m To Buy Off Ivorian Mobile Phone Company

Globacom, a Nigerian mobile telecoms operator owned by Adenuga, is lodging a $600 million takeover bid for Comium Cote d’Ivoire, a company that has been grappling with debt and cash flow problems.

If the deal goes through, Globacom will have succeeded in extending its brand presence in West Africa. Already, the mobile telecoms operator has operations in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic. Globacom, which already owns an international carrier services licence in Cote d’Ivoire, reportedly plans to invest over $1 billion in upgrading Comium-CI’s network over three years.

Comium CI has more than 900,000 mobile subscribers according to L’Autorite de Regulation des

Telecommunications. It is a subsidiary of Comium Group, a Lebanon-based telecommunications
company owned by Lebanese businessman Nizar Dalloul. The group operates as a multi-service provider on four continents, specializing in Wireless Data Networks, GSM communications, Internet service provision and VoIP. Comium CI is heavily enmeshed in debt to the tune of more than $25 million and has been given until 15 May to pay off its debts or risk being placed into receivership.

Mike Adenuga, 63, is the 2nd richest man in Nigeria with a fortune estimated at $4.7 billion according to FORBES’ World Billionaires ranking. He owes his fortune to his ownership of Nigerian mobile telecoms outfit Globacom, and Conoil Producing, a Nigerian oil exploration firm that operates 6 oil blocks in the Niger Delta.

AY Accuses NCC For Demanding Bribe To Arrest Pirates

AY Makun comedian and producer of 30 Days in Atlanta, has accused the Nigerian Copyrights Commission, NCC of collecting bribe to arrest  movie pirates. The funny man said that he  wonders why a government arm would demand for  money to do their duties.

He revealed that it happened to him when he asked the NCC to arrest pirates that are  feeding fat on his movie and the commission demanded for ‘mobilization fee’.

In a telephone conversation AY Makun said that the Nigerian Inspector General of Police  has not responed to his letter request for the support of the Nigerian Police to arrest movie pirates who were making millions from his film.

He said that the film was actually leaked but the culprit who leaked it has not been discovered.

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Senate Demands Sanction Of Network Service Providers

The Senate has called for more sanctions against mobile network providers for declining quality of services in recent months.

It has thus directed the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) to take action particularly on the recent increase in the rate of call drops in the country.
Senate President Senator David Mark in his remark urged NCC to step up its supervisory role on the service providers. “NCC must buckle up, it appears that they have relaxed in their supervisory role and as such, the service providers have also relaxed,” Mark said.

He added, “The rate of call drop is getting higher. It appears we do not have an option but for the NCC to sanction these service providers.”

The Senate gave the directive after it approved the sum of N60.2 billion for NCC to enhance its operations and the sum of N16.15 billion for the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF).

NCC has in the past imposed fines and suspended the country’s operators from running promotions but with mixed success.

Credit: NAN

APC to Sue NCC for Mobile Fund Raising Ban- Premium Times

The All Progressives Congress, APC, said it has instructed its lawyers to commence court action against the National Communications Commission, NCC, for shutting down some of the party’s fundraising schemes.

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, made the disclosure on Sunday at the meeting of the Fundraising Directorate of the APC Presidential Council, in Abuja. Shortly after the Buhari-Osinbajo Presidential Campaign Fundraising Committee, headed by Mr. Fashola, launched some of its platforms for raising funds, the NCC, last week, shut down the Short Messaging Service (SMS) platform – 35350 – meant to encourage small donors, especially young people, to do so.

Mr Fashola argued the commission’s action was a breach of constitutional provisions and tantamount to double standards, concluding that the party was left with no other choice but to seek legal redress of the action. According to him, the directive to shut the platform was contained in a letter dated January 19, with reference number NCC/CAB/GEN/2015/VOL.1/004, which was signed by officials of the NCC.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Multiple Taxes: Telcos Threaten To Shut Down Networks


Nigerian telecom operators have said that the over N10 billion annual multiple taxations levied them by local, state and federal governments and their agencies was threatening the survival of the telecom sector as investors may be pushed to divest from the sector which may in turn aggravate the quality on networks.
About eight states and their local governments have issued notices to telecom operators to pay taxes and levies exceeding N10 billion annually.
Speaking under the aegis of the Industry Working Group (IWG) on multiple taxations in the telecom industry, the operators and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday in Lagos said the survival of the industry now depends on all stakeholders, prevailing on the states and local governments to stop insisting on collecting taxes and levies on operators’ infrastructures such as base stations and masts.
The chairman of the IWG and Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management at NCC, Mr. Okey Itanyi, said that multiple taxation portends a grave danger for the telecoms industry if not quickly addressed. “The country may lose the gains and confidence achieved so far in the last couple of years.
The industry still requires investments in network infrastructure to ensure full access across the country, and to guarantee good and acceptable quality of service which has become a major challenge,” he said.
According to the vice chairman of the IWG, Mrs. Oyeronke Oyetunde, multiple taxation has been impeding telecoms growth in recent past.
She explained that a situation where a local government authority is demanding about N10million on each site from telecoms operators for building base stations in their vicinity, apart from other levies the operators have to contend with at the state and federal levels, would hinder operators in providing quality telecoms services to the generality of Nigerians, irrespective of their locations.
She noted that as a result of delay often experienced in infrastructure rollout, telecoms companies have only been able to deploy barely 20,000 base stations in the country, stressing that over 70, 000 base stations would be required in Nigeria, given its large size, to provide ubiquitous telecoms services.
“If you have a local government demanding N10m from an operator and you now multiply that by the number of Local Government Areas we have in the country, you would see that this is unsustainable in the long run for the operators.
It is either you kick the operators out of business or force them to pass the cost accrued to them through such illegal taxations their customers in form high tariff,” she said.
The President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Chief Deolu Ogunbajo, noted that between 2006 and 2007, operators were charged about N10, 000 and N20, 000. “And more recently, the charges in form of multiple taxations and illegal demand of some frivolous levies, have run into millions of naira. This is unfavourable as operators may have to pass this cost to subscribers,” he said.
A representative of the Association of Licenced Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and member of the IWG, Mr. Tobe Okigbo, said, “The operators may not have other choices than to push additional cost incurred to their subscribers rather than allow a telecom firm to totally shut down.”
Okigbo gave the indication during the maiden media parley of the IWG on multiple taxation which was set up by the NCC to address ongoing cases of multiple taxation and its potential dangers on telecom growth in the country.
The group called for urgent action by the government at all levels to support the industry’s stakeholders in nipping the incessant cases of multiple taxation and illegal and frivolous taxes in the bud to prevent operators passing the cost of the taxes on the over 96 million telecom subscribers on their various networks in form of increased tariff.
Via All Africa