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Subcribers sue authorities for poor service

05 March 2014, 12:04

Abuja -  The National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) has dragged the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) to court over allegations of poor quality of service by network operators.

NATCOMS argued the telecoms industry regulator was complicit by continuously imposing huge monetary fines on telecoms operators.

In a suit before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, NATCOMS is seeking a court order restraining the NCC from collecting the N645.7million it imposed on MTN, Glo and Airtel.

NCC had recently imposed the fine on the three telecoms operators  for breach of key performance indicators (KPIs) and poor quality of service for the month of January 2014.

A breakdown of the fine showed that Globacom was penalised, N277.5 million for three breaches, while MTN and Airtel got sanctioned N185 million each for two breaches.

In his initial reaction to the sanction, NATCOMS President, Deolu Ogunbanjo said that his association was opposed to the fine and suggested mild sanctions.

He also suggested that if monetary fines must be imposed on telecoms operators for poor quality of service, subscribers rather than the NCC should  been the beneficiaries.

Reacting to Ogunbanjo's position NCC spokesperson, Reuben Morka, insisted that the NCC act does not provide direct compensation to subscribers.

In an effort to further pursue the issue, NATCOMS has proceeded to court to stop payment to NCC by the three sanctioned operators.

NATCOMS had earlier filed a similar suit before the same court in which it is seeking a court order compelling the telecoms operators to directly pay fine to subscribers.

Pending the final determination of the suit, NATCOMS is seeking an interluctory injunction restraining the NCC from pocketing the new N645.7million fine.

Joined in the suit as co-defendants are the registered trustees of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) MTN, Glo, Airtel and Etisalat.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

- CAJ News

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