Reps move to summon Chris Ngige over job losses in telecoms sector

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige PHOTO: NAN

NCC boss absolves outfit of blame

The House of Representatives has planned to summon the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, over the spate of job losses in key Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country.

The House, via the Ahmed Abu-led ad-hoc committee probing the alleged non-compliance of telecommunications outfits with the laid-down rules and regulations, yesterday expressed readiness to interface with Ngige within the next 10 days to explore avenues of redressing the trend.

The lawmaker spoke after his ad-hoc committee met with the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.

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

The NCC boss, who said that the commission was restrained by the Act to demand the nominal roll of the MNOs, enjoined the lawmakers to approach the Labour ministry, which has the mandate to wade into the sack of tens of hundreds of MNO workers in the polity.

Danbatta, who stated that the NCC had put in place measures such as performance indicators to reverse the trend, said plans were afoot to sanction telecoms operators found wanting of delivering poor services to subscribers in the polity.

He said that he was already in touch with the authorities of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure that telecoms operators have access to foreign exchange required to procure key equipment to boost their service delivery to the citizenry.

The panel is to also probe the administrative/operational procedure of the companies and assessing their tax compliance status and examine the parameters and procedures used by the NCC and CBN in approving funds transfers for these telecoms firms.

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