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Nigerian telcos yet to pay fines

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Four mobile operators have not yet paid fines totalling $7.38 million.

Four mobile operators in Nigeria have not yet paid fines totalling $7.38 million for poor quality service, resulting in officials calling for more stringent penalties.

Nigeria’s Communications Commission (NCC) imposed heavy fines on MTN, Globacom, Etisalat and Bharti Airtel for violating ‘key performance indicators (KPI)’ in the country.

Complaints of poor service and dropped calls plague operators in that country.

The Nigerian Communications Commission and the country’s senate committee on communications are adamant that the fine should be settled before end of June.

But the country’s director of public affairs, Tony Ojobo, has said the sanctions imposed on operators for poor quality of service are not enough of a deterrent.

“The regulator has the option of withdrawing regulatory services from any operator that fails to pay the fine," said Ojobo.

The President of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), Deolu Ogunbanjo, said the $7.38 million fine slammed on the telecoms operators should be paid as compensation to the over 100 million subscribers in the country.

“Why should NCC raise money in form of fine for the Federal Government at the expense of subscribers who actually suffered monumental losses as a result of poor quality service rendered by the operators?” Ogunbanjo said.

He also indicated that the regulatory agency would be in a position to publish the result of the quality of service test for the second quarter of the year either by the end of June or early July.

Airtel Nigeria is required to pay $1.7million while Globacom was given a fine of $1.2 million. They were given until May 25 to pay the fine, or risk payment of additional $15,625 per day for as long as the contravention persists.

The order however did not go down well with the quartet, who have cited challenges of power infrastructure, multiple taxation, criminal sabotage and the issue of security of network infrastructure.

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