Tuesday, December 17, 2013
FG To Prosecute Telecoms Providers For Poor Service Delivery
found to be fleecing subscribers through poor service delivery. The
Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, made
the announcement at a news conference in Lagos on Monday.
She said the ministry had commenced collaboration with the Consumer
Protection Council (CPC) to sanction operators rendering poor services
or collecting charges from subscribers for services not rendered.
"The ministry, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the
CPC are now working together to deliver appropriate customer redress
to telecoms subscribers.
"These will include but not limited to rebate on airtime, usage
irregularities, inaccurate billing and options to opt out of
unsolicited SMS messages," the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes her
She said over 120 millions telecoms subscribers in the country had
been at the receiving end of poor service delivery that had made it
impossible for them to make or receive calls.
The minister said that subscribers had also been at the receiving end
of insufficient customer care lines, unrelenting sales promotions by
the networks and deceptive broadband speed adverts by service
Johnson said that the imposition of fines on the service providers for
which the NCC collected N1.7 billion 18 months ago had not made the
companies to provide better services.
She noted, however, that the ministry had reached out to state
governments to reduce the multiple taxation imposed on the telecoms
operators, saying that the cost of right of way on federal highways
had been reduced by about 90 per cent.
"We have also negotiated an agreement with State Governments to reduce
cost of right of way on state highways and for them to also reduce the
charges on infrastructure," she stated.
She said that the ministry had since reached understanding with the
Lagos, Ekiti, Cross River and Rivers Government on outright waivers on
some charges imposed on telecoms providers.
According to her, the Federal Executive Council has also approved a
new bill on cyber crime which has severe penalties for wanton
destruction of telecommunications infrastructure.
The NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Dr Eugene Juwah, said the commission
had issued a Dec. 31, 2013 deadline to stop telecom operators from
selling SIM packs or expanding their networks if they failed to
The Director-General of the CPC, Mrs Dupe Atoki, said the council had
constituted a consumer education taskforce to enlighten consumers on
their rights and privileges.
Atoki pleaded for more funds from the Federal Government to enable the
CPC to work harder to achieve the goals for which it was established,
assuring Nigerians that the company would live up to expectations.