NCC steps in against Telcos once again

By Post Nigeria July 15, 2015 13:26

NCC steps in against Telcos once again

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has reeled out sanctions on telecommunication operators, with an increased fine of N10 million for publishing advertisements or promotions without acquisition of necessary approvals from the commission.

This, it said was in order to deter operators from repeated contravention of the NCC regulations and guidelines for all telecom operators in the country.

The Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC Mr. Eugene Juwah made this known while speaking on the sideline at its 2015 public inquiries on the draft enforcement process, regulations and SIM replacement guidelines on Tuesday in Abuja, stressing that the regulation was amended to reflect the best practice which is in tandem with global benchmark.

NCC explained that the current fines were not enough to deter some operators from infringing on regulations since they could easily pay such fines.

According to him, the forum was part of the commission’s rule-making process that aims at ensuring wide consultation in the development of regulatory instruments by the commission in accordance with the NCC Act.

He said “What has happened in the industry is that there has been a rapid growth and we have noticed that the incidence of non-compliance to our regulations has been increasing and because of the progress and success of the industry, we see that the fines of 10 years ago are small and they can pay it.

    “The fine of N10 million is not really on the high side if you consider the fact that the fines are being increased from N5 million to N10 million.”

    “And if they can afford to disobey the regulations and afford to pay the fines, it means the fines are no longer a deterrent to them. So what we have done is to increase the
    fines and make it more painful for them if they do not comply with our regulations.” He added.

As part of the new sanctions placed on operators, the NCC boss noted that operators would now be required to submit their advertisement copies for approval, 14 days
before publication or roll out in the media.

Speaking further, Juwah pointed out that the regulations would provide a more robust framework for effective and efficient processes and procedures for carrying out enforcement in the industry.

The regulatory body however warned that any operator who fails to comply with the standing order, would face the wrath of the law, as it will withhold its regulatory assistance to them.

Adding, stringent measures will be taken against defying operators: “So if you apply for example to get numbers for your network, we won’t respond”

In the same vein, the NCC also unveiled a new regulation that toughens the process of replacing faulty, damaged, stolen or lost Subscriber Identification Module, Sim, cards.

The commission stated that any Sim to be replaced, must have been registered in accordance with the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulation 2011.

Juwah stated that draft SIM replacement guidelines are aimed at creating and providing a seamless, effective and efficient procedure for SIM replacement across the country.

Also, any subscriber wishing to replace a SIM card must be present in person or authorise a proxy with a letter of authority. An exception to this is made for those replacing their SIM cards through a secured online portal.

In addition, a subscriber must present with valid photo identification such as driver’s licence, national identification card, voter’s card or an identification letter from a traditional ruler/religious leader.