Operators Angry, Nigerians Happy over NCC Fines on Telecoms
ARGUMENTS are swing left and right over the bark and bite strategy of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) which has resulted in a total fine of N1.0124trillion on telecom operators under the leadership of Prof. Umaru Danbatta.
While telecom operators are angry with the fines, a cross section of Nigerians commended the apex regulator for fining and enforcing the sanctions against some recalcitrant service providers which have refused to improve their service provisioning or failed to register SIM cards on their network.
The mixed reactions is coming on the heels of the recent N1.04 trillion fine against MTN Nigeria over alleged breach of SIM registration rules.
Engr. Lanre Ajayi, president, Association Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) said that this round of fines is not appropriate.
“In as much as I believe that fines are good deterrent tool for operators it should be carefully applied and not in the manner that it could make potential investors in the information and communications technology sector of the country’s economy runaway,” he said.
He added that fines should be proportionate to the offence and not to make it look like a joke.
”NCC should weigh the implication of such fines on investment in the sector before issuing it out to operators in order not to create the impression that Nigeria is not an investment friendly country,” he noted.
Nodding in agreement, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said that he has severally made it clear that NCC should stop oppressing telcos through imposition of fines as there are other corrective mechanism that could be used on operators.
“Since last administration at NCC introduced fines as sanction on operators for poor quality of service it has not solved the issue of quality of service rather they should take responsibility,” he stated.
Also commenting, Deolu Ogunbanjo, president, National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMMS) said that the latest fine is outrageous and condemnable which will not encourage foreign direct investment into the country.