Fresh Financial Sanctions Looms for MNOs, as NCC Moves to Implement Minister’s Directive

Prof. Danbatta and Dr. Pantami

There is an impending financial sanctions from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) over a memo from the NCC to the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) stating that it has issued a directive to all MNOs on the attendant penalties associated with Automatic Renewal and Forceful Subscription to Data and Value Added Services.

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In the memo to the Minister, the NCC stated that no defaulting MNOS would be spared that failed to comply with directive of the NCC saying that the sanctions would be financial.

The development was the result of an earlier directive from the Minister that gave the NCC five day ultimatum to resolve the challenges of illegal data deductions and review the cost of data downward.

In a statement from the Minister, issued by his spokesperson, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, she disclosed that the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta has written the Minister notifying him of the strategies been taken to stem the tide of short changing subscribers by MNOs.

She said that the NCC has directed all MNOs on the attendant penalties associated with Automatic Renewal and Forceful Subscription to Data and Value Added Services. The penalties include considerable financial sanctions on the erring operator.

“The letter stated that, in response to the directive of the Minister, the Commission reviewed the Nigerian Communications Act of 2003 on its rule-making powers and process. The Commission is in the process of carrying out a study on the End-of-Session Notification for Data Services and depending on the outcome, may issue a direction in accordance with the Act” she said.

Suleiman added that the NCC in a bid to protect consumers also notified the Minister of its initial directive to the MNOs to include refunds to the consumer in established cases of unauthorized subscription.

She noted: “The Nigerian Communications Commission also assured the Minister that it has been working assiduously round the clock to enforce the Federal Government’s directives and has requested the good graces of the Minister to extend the deadline which expires today, 8th November 2019, to enable it properly re-strategise and fully implement long term solutions as directed, to the challenges.”

According to her, Pantami has graciously granted an extension with the understanding that the Commission will resolve these issues within the shortest time possible saying that the Minister assured the general public that the current administration will neither tolerate acts of injustice nor the short-changing of its citizens as it is working tirelessly to ensure that subscribers get full value for their money.

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