GSM operators in Nigeria to pay fine for poor service

mobile_KiwanjaGSM operators in Nigeria have agreed to pay fines to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for providing poor service

Operators such as MTN, Airtel, Globacom and Etisalat will pay a total of NGN 1.17 billion (US$7.3 million) in fines by the end of this week after having earlier refusing to clear the amount each company owed.

Failure to meet Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) led to the imposition of the fines on the operators according to NCC. Chief executives of the four mobile operators met the heads of the commission recently and agreed to respect the decision of the NCC.

Director of NCC public affairs, Tony Ojobo, said, “The resolution of the fine issue would bring to a close the dispute over measurements used in assessing the operators quality of service.”

He added that the engineers from both NCC and the four mobile operators were looking at the KPIs and trying to come up with milestones for measuring the future quality of service.

On the issue of whether the NGN 1.17 billion (US$7.3 million) fines and the NGN 2.5 million ($15,000) daily penalties would be paid, Ojobo said, “If they pay the major fines, paying the default is no major issue.”

He added, however, that though the operators agreed to pay the fines, they were reluctant to pay the penalties.

“Outside the sanctions, we demanded that they show us a concrete plan to improve their services. The service providers have given their commitment that services are going to improve because substantial investments are going to be made,” he said.

In May this year, NCC had fined all the four GSM NGN 1.17 billion (US$7.3 million) for failing to meet up with the minimum standard of quality of service for the months of March and April 2012.

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