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GSM Companies Meet NCC Over N 1.17 billion Fine

By on May 31, 2012

Four Nigerian telecoms operators have met with the sector regulator to discuss fines imposed earlier this month for poor service quality, the chief executive of Etisalat Nigeria told Reuters on Thursday.

Etisalat Nigeria, an affiliate of United Arab Emirates’ Etisalat, Airtel Nigeria, Globacom and MTN Nigeria, a unit of South’s Africa’s MTN, were fined a total of 1.17 billion naira ($7.3 million) after missing service targets set by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

At the time, the NCC gave the operators a May 25 deadline to pay these fines, according to an Etisalat Nigeria spokeswoman, with the regulator warning it would charge an additional 2.5 million nairas daily until it received payment.

The operators claim the performance targets set by the regulator are unclear and seem willing to risk mounting penalties to put their case. All operators are yet to pay the fines, Etisalat said.

“On Wednesday, the four operators met the regulator to discuss the issue of the fines imposed by the NCC,” Etisalat Nigeria CEO Steven Evans said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

“Whilst no agreement was reached, the operators reiterated their request that the regulator reviews the KPIs (key performance indicators) used for Quality of Service to ensure KPIs are both relevant for users and that the target values are appropriate for the environment given the challenges operators face in Nigeria.”

The telecoms firms claim civil unrest, sabotage and a lack of mains electricity are among the constraints hampering their service delivery, with all four operators missing call connection targets in March and April, according to data on the NCC’s website.