NCC slams N74m fine on telcos for infractions

The four major network operators in the country have been slammed with a total of N74m by the Nigerian Communications Commissions for violating various regulations.

The NCC, in its 2018 third quarter compliance, monitoring and enforcement report, stated that the network providers flouted different regulations such as the routing of a minimum of 10 per cent of interconnect traffic through interconnect exchange licensees; quality of service; approval for promotions and advertisements; and SIM registration in a controlled environment, among others.

However, they were only fined for SIM registration infractions and unapproved promos and advertisements as well as the failure to provide information on collapsed towers.

The NCC said that in its enforcement exercise of SIM registration outside a controlled environment, all the MNOs were culpable.

Subsequently, the telecoms regulator slammed them with a total fine of N60m and gave them a deadline of September 14, 2018 to pay for the infractions.

The report revealed that MTN was asked to pay N5m; Airtel N20m; Glo N30m; and 9mobile N5m.

The telecoms regulator had issued a directive to all operators to desist from registering SIM cards under umbrellas, kiosks or other uncontrolled environment, effective from February 1, 2017, saying non-compliance would attract a fine of N5m.

Nigeria’s fourth largest telecoms provider, 9mobile, in August, was slammed with a total of N4m for two different promotions – My 9mobile App and ZTE MF910 4 G Mi-Fi promotions – carried out without seeking regulatory approval from the commission.

In the same month, Globacom got an administrative fine of N2m for an unapproved advert tagged ‘Enjoy non-stop browsing this season of love.’

Also, for the ‘E-Top-Up 8X Bonus’ promo, which encouraged new and existing prepaid customers to recharge their lines via any of the Globacom e-top up channels and get eight times the value of their recharges when they recharge from 101 to 50,001, the NCC, which said it was not approved and violated the floor price, fined the telco a total of N4m for the two infractions.

Globacom was also fined N2m for its failure to provide information regarding its collapsed masts in two sites situated in Jalingo, Taraba State.

For not seeking regulatory approval for its ‘Yafun Yafun SIM’ promotion, MTN was fined N2m in the same month.

The Section 21 of the Nigerian Communications Act states that a licensee will need to give a written notification to the NCC of all advertisements for goods and services within a minimum of 14 days of the proposed or planned publication of an advertisement.

The Act says this is to ensure that such advertisements meet the minimum standards and requirements that may be set out by the Commission, including those published in the guidelines on advertisements and promotions.

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