Stop this interference in NCC, ANEEJ advises Presidency
4th December, 2015.
Benin City, Edo State…The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has observed that the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, slashed a fine of $5.2billion which it imposed on MTN for failure to deactivate 52 million lines on the MTN network to $3.2billion, based on the instruction and involvement of the Presidency, as reported in The Guardian of Nigeria of Friday, December 2015, www.ngrguardiannews.com, pages 1 & 4. In October 2015, MTN was found to have contravened an NCC order and was fined accordingly and asked to pay up by November 2015. But there were indications that MTN would not pay up and that the NCC was likely to wield the big stick. However, the rumour mills were awash with insinuations attributable to very senior members of the administration that there were going to be underhand and untoward methods like the intervention of Mr. President to resolve the problem.
ANEEJ believes that if the ‘Nigerian Communications Commission is the independent National Regulatory Authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, and if the Commission is responsible for creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry as well as ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout the country’, then it would amount to an abuse of the vision and mission of the Commission’s mandate if other methods apart from the extant laws guiding the operation of the regulatory body are followed in this wise’, ANEEJ Executive Director the Rev. David Ugolor has said.
The company has well over 200 million customers Africa and the Middle East. In Nigeria, MTN has more than 50million subscribers and is considered Nigeria’s biggest mobile network. It has a reporting structure in three regions: West and Central Africa (WECA), South and East Africa (SEA), and Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Nigerian subscribers report a wave of complaints against the service provider. Involvement of the Presidency in reducing the fine-slash can be mis-read as a stamp of MTN’s poor services that Nigerians have often complained about.
ANEEJ calls on the Presidency to rescind all further interference in the framework of operations prevalent in Nigeria’s institutions so as to nip the culture of impunity in the bud.
ABOUT ANEEJ: To contribute to the emergence of a just and equitable African society through socio-economic and environmental rights protection, institutional strengthening and people’s empowerment.
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