The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has sanctioned the four telecommunications companies operating in the country with a combined fine of NGN 2.9 Bn.
Airtel, Globacom, MTN and 9mobile are all implicated in the massive disobedience ring for which the financial imposition was effected in the first and third quarter of last year.
According to the commission, these telcos have been contravening its directive on subscription by adding customers to data and Value Added Services (VAS) without consent. This was found while the NCC was monitoring compliance with the do-not-disturb (DND) policy.
The commission discovered that EMTS (9Mobile) & Airtel subscribed and billed 13 and 56 MSISDNs respectively on full DND to value-added service (VAS),” the document read.
“Accordingly, the commission communicated with the licensees who claimed that contravention was caused by technical and software challenges.
Their pleas were rejected by the commission and they were consequently sanctioned to pay NGN 5 Mn each on February 26th and 27th, 2019 respectively for breach of the directive”.
As a result, Airtel, 9mobile and Glo were fined NGN 2.4 Bn (USD 6.6 Mn), NGN 164.36 Mn (USD 454,661) and NGN 232.6 Mn (USD 643,430) respectively. For its part, MTN has a fine of NGN 164 Mn (USD 453,665) to deal with.
The recent sanction brings the total amount of the NCC’s fines on telcos to a sum of NGN 2.97 Bn (USD 8.2 Mn) billion in just nine months in 2019.
This news comes just almost 2 weeks after undersea internet cables suffered a damaged, rendering the internet broken mostly for MTN subscribers in Nigeria and Ghana.
it is not the first or second or third time the regulators is slamming these firms with fines. The love-hat relationship between the NCC and Nigerian telcos seems to have no end. The costs keep coming in as these companies are trying to break even in what is a very competitive market.
Image Courtesy: Footprint to Africa