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Nigeria’s NCC warns mobile operators on MNP

Nigeria’s NCC warns mobile operators on MNP.

A threat to clampdown on Nigerian mobile network providers’ ‘reluctance’ to help subscribers port their numbers has been issued by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Earlier this year, Nigeria introduced mobile number portability, which enables subscribers to switch networks while retaining the same number.

But speaking at the ‘Telecoms Executives and Regulators Forum’ in Lagos, Dr. Eugene Juwah, the executive vice chairman of the NCC, lamented that operators have been “frustrating” some subscribers seeking to port their numbers.

“We have been watching because some operators do not want to play to the rules. We have evidence that high value customers are not allowed to go,” he said.

“People should play by the rules because if they do not, it will attract sanction,” Juwah warned.

He could not specify on action the commission will take; although, it has previously fined firms that violated its directives.

Juwah added, though, that despite the alleged reluctance by network providers to assist subscribers in porting networks, the scheme could not be dismissed as a failure.

“We should not be in a hurry to conclude that MNP has not succeeded. When compared with other countries where it has been introduced, it is too early for us to say it will not succeed,” he said.

Speaking at the forum, Maria Svensson, director of customer care at Globacom, said that since the scheme was introduced, less than 50 000 subscribers have ported in and out of the networks.

She identified among the constraints the window period required for customers to be on the network and the issue of post-paid customers who might want to port out of the network without paying the debt owed to their originating network.

The Telecoms Executives and Regulators Forum, which is open to all operators in the telecoms sector in Nigeria, has been established with the aim to create an opportunity for key industry players to interact with the regulator.

It is also aimed at creating a platform for the regulator to update the industry on the regulators’ directions and plans for the industry in the coming years.

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