Connect with us

Telecom

Telcos to Pay N16Bn to Subscribers for Unsolicited SMS

Published

on

ncc logo.jpg

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that telecom firms in the country may pay over N16 billion in fines annually to subscribers as compensation for sending unsolicited SMS or calls to them.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC, stated this at the World Consumer Right Day (WCRD) 2017 in Abuja.

Danbatta pointed out that any telecom firm that breaches the rules of ‘Do Not Disturb’ (DND) operations by way of sending unsolicited messages or calls to subscribers stands the risk of being fined to the tune of N5 million per incidence and such compensation goes to the affected subscriber.

However, Danbatta explained that before the breach could be established to enable the commission sanction any telecom operator, a subscriber must have sent a message, ‘STOP’, to a short code ‘2442’ to opt out of the service.

“If the messages keep coming into your phone, send a message of complaint to NCC to a short code ‘622’ or call the short code. If that continues, necessary sanction will be undertaken,” Danbatta said.

He further explained that there is the need to enlighten Nigerians of their rights on the use of the ‘622’ short code across the 774 local government areas of the country.

According to him, “The commission will assess the outcome of the campaign to know the necessary steps to take if the campaign is completed.”

Delivering his address at the flag-off of the NCC 2017 Year of the Consumer during the WCRD, Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications Technology, said the ministry is formulating cogent policies, frameworks and guidelines on protecting ICT consumers, especially in telecommunications.

“Nigeria has established itself as one of the fastest growing mobile cellular markets in the world.

“The normal anticipated consumer data base should be hosting about 450 million records of users, if each customer joins at least two network vendors with each having at least a single SIM card. However, some consumers have two or more SIM cards/lines due to network coverage challenges.

“Billions of dollars have been invested in the Nigerian telecoms market since the inception of the GSM in 2001; operators have committed to invest even more in the near future. Because of this development and since Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa, access to the internet has to improve significantly to realise the objective of a ‘Better Digital World’.

“Research shows that by 2020, about 52 percent of the world population will be online. About 72 percent of the people don’t know what information companies collect about them online and what purposes,” Shittu stated.

The minister added that despite all the challenges such as drop calls, rise in consumer base, delays in hooking up calls, network coverage among others, government is working on policies and effective strategies to improve on those challenges.

“Government is also working to create digital awareness with the objective of increasing the capacity, confidence and trust Nigerians have in the digital world.”

Earlier in his address, Danbatta alerted the people that Nigerian telecom consumers spent a whopping $5.6 billion on telecom services in 2015. That figure, he said, was topped in 2016 by another $1 billion to make it $6.6 billion.

He said 2017 is dedicated to the Nigerian Telecom Consumer, which is aimed at protecting consumers and ensuring that consumers are not taken for granted for patronage.

He explained that the creation of the 8-point agenda in the sector by the commission was to facilitate broadband penetration, improve quality service, protecting and empowering the consumers which are core drivers of the NCC Year of the Consumer Initiative.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world.

So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

Telecom

NCC, CBN Query Barclays’ Transparency in Sale of 9mobile

Published

on

The handling of the sale process of 9mobile by Barclays Africa, the financial advisers, has come attack from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), according to the Cable.

 

Barclays Bank has been saddled with the responsibility of finding investors for 9mobile based on the decision of Nigerian lenders.

 

In a joint letter to GTBank, which is the facility agent for the 9mobile syndicated loan, Umar Danbatta, the executive vice-chairman of NCC, and Godwin Emefiele, the governor of CBN, expressed displeasure with the “unwillingness of Barclays Africa” to follow due process in the bid.

 

In the letter, dated November 4, 2017, the two regulators said they made it clear from the outset that the sale process must be “transparent and fair, with the financial and technical capabilities of the final bidders without question”.

 

They said they now have “serious concerns” since the appointment of Barclays Africa as financial advisers.

 

“They have repeatedly exhibited signs of opacity in the sale process for 9mobile. Given the overriding public interest in the company and the need for transparency, we advised that Barclays advertise the call for ‘expression of interest’. Barclays declined, insisting instead that the company being a private one, should not be taken through a public sale,” they wrote.

 

“This lack of a transparent process has proven to be selective and arbitrary, leading to allegations that the process is being teleguided to a rigged and predetermined outcome. The CBN and the NCC will not fold their arms and allow this to materialise.”

 

Danbatta and Emefiele said they had received reports and petitions from various stakeholders, including some bidders, which have further heightened their concerns — but their suggestions to the board of 9mobile and Barclays on how to restore credibility to the process have been ignored.

The CBN and NCC then directed that all steps and decisions taken by the financial advisers as well as other advisers from the end of “expression of interest” must be communicated to CBN and NCC, who will have to approve in writing.

They also directed that the final bid process must be “open and transparent” in line with international best practices.

 

Danbatta and Emefiele said the December 31, 2017 deadline for the handover of 9mobile to the preferred bidders “remains sacrosanct”.

 

On Monday THISDAY reported that 1o firms have moved to the financial stage of the bid process.

 

The companies listed are: Globacom Nigeria Limited, Bharti Airtel, Alheri Engineering Limited, Smile Telecoms Holdings, Helios Towers, Centricus Capital, Africell, Abraaj Capital, Teleology Holdings Limited, Ericsson, Africa Capital Alliance (ACA) and The Carlyle Group.

 

The company formerly knows as Etisalat Nigeria changed its brand name to 9Mobile in July after the Mubadala Group, the major investor from the United Arab Emirates, pulled out of Nigeria’s fourth largest mobile operator following a N541 billion debt.

 

The debt is owed to a consortium of 10 banks, with GTBank acting as the facility agent.

 

The sale of 9mobile, with 21 million subscribers, is expected to bring in the needed capital to restore it to good health.

Continue Reading

Telecom

Airtel Emerges ‘Best Company in Stakeholder Engagement’ at SERAS 2017

Published

on

By peter oluka

Airtel Nigeria, has been awarded the Best Company in Stakeholder Engagement at the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAS) 2017 for its flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative dubbed Airtel Touching Lives.

Airtel Touching Lives is an inspiring CSR initiative that offers practical relief, succour, hope, opportunities and credible platforms to liberate and empower the underprivileged, disadvantaged and hard to reach persons in the society.

The activities of Airtel Touching Lives are recorded and produced for national television with a view to promoting the spirit of giving, self-sacrifice and love among Nigerians.

The award came six days after the telco bagged the CSR of the Year Award at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Technology Innovation & Telecom Awards (NTITA).

Emeka Oparah, Airtel’s director of Corporate Communications & CSR,; HR Director, Gbemiga Owolabi; Head of Public Relations, Erhumu Bayagbon; Head of Customer Experience, Olubunmi Abejirin and CSR Manager, Chioma Okolie, received the awards on behalf of the company.

Speaking at the ceremony, Oparah said the award is a testament of Airtel’s efforts at connecting with stakeholders in the various communities where it operates, noting that the telco was committed to earning its social license through its corporate philanthropy and sustainability initiatives.

The SERAS – CSR Awards is an annual project, which aims to promote as well as raise awareness about the roles organizations play with emphasis on their responsibility towards   stakeholders and the social development of Africa.

SERA aims to substantiate the case that corporations who are socially responsible stand to gain huge benefits in regards to the triple bottom line – economic, social and environmental capital.

The 11th edition of the Awards which took place in Lagos on Friday, November 17, 2017 brought together sustainability experts, public relations practitioners, brand owners and public office holders.

 

 

Continue Reading

Telecom

NCC to Make 32 ECCs Operational- Danbatta

Published

on

Umar Garuba Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that his commission is working to make 32 Emergency Communication Centres (ECC) operational soon.

 

Danbatta, who stated this when a delegation from the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons(NAPTIP) visited the commission headquarters in Abuja, said that only five of the 37 Emergency Communication Centres are functioning across the country.

 

The NCC boss, said the ECC Project was intended to bridge the communication gap between the distressed and emergency response agencies in the country.

 

The NCC has undertaken the task of facilitating the building and equipping ECC in all 36 states of the federation and Abuja, according to the NCC boss.

 

“All telecom operators will be mandated to route emergency calls through the dedicated three-digit toll free number, 112, from each state to the emergency centre within that state. The operators, who are resident in the ECC will then process the distress call and contact the relevant Emergency Response Agency (e.g. Fire Service, Police, FRSC, Ambulance, etc.) whose primary duty is to handle the case”, he said.

 

He said many of such centres were been built and provided with equipment across the nation in all six geopolitical zones.

 

Earlier, Dame Okah-Donli, NAPTIP DG while soliciting for the NCC’s cooperation in stopping human trafficking in Nigeria said the telecom industry regulator should help in monitoring, through technology, those behind trafficking within the country and abroad.

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.