Uche Usim, Abuja ,Chinenye Anuforo
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has assured the general public that none of the over 160 million telecoms subscribers in Nigeria will be disconnected or suffer service disruptions as a result of its recent order to permit the disconnection of indebted operators from other operators’ networks.
This assurance was given in Abuja at the weekend by the NCC Executive Commissioner for Stakeholder Management, Mr. Sunday Dare.
Dare clarified that the approval given by NCC was not for any network to disconnect subscribers as is being wrongly presented in some media, but for some creditor networks to restrict services to debtor networks. He stated that, “the NCC is a consumer-centric regulator; the protection of our consumers and the sustainability of the industry are the primary drivers of our activities.
So in this case, even before we granted the permission for disconnection, we had put some very stringent safety valves in place to protect consumers and ensure that they continue to enjoy uninterrupted service while we address the very serious issue of indebtedness in the industry.”
Giving a background to the issue of disconnection of networks, he stated that, “over the years, the industry has been plagued with the very serious problem of interconnect and facility indebtedness. Some operators have racked up huge debts to others and have simply refused to pay.
Now, we understand that there are ecosystem issues affecting all operators and we are daily working with all stakeholders to resolve these issues, but the level of indebtedness in the industry is at an embarrassingly high level, and the whole telecoms industry is at risk of failure if we do not act.”
Meanwhile, multiple capital market subscription account holders in the country who have been unsettled over fear of possible prosecution do not need to panic anymore as the Nigerian Securities Commission (SEC) says it has no plans to sue for such breaches.
The Commission has instead asked them to regularise their multiple subscription accounts in order to obtain the benefits of their investments in the capital market.
The Acting Director General of SEC, Mary Uduk, stated this during an interview in Abuja at weekend.
Uduk said such investors should not entertain fears of prosecution as the Commission was only interested in ensuring investors have the benefits of their investments.