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Subscribers body sues operators, regulator

17 March 2014, 13:33Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - The National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS) announced it had sued the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and three mobile firms that paid fines the commission imposed on them for alleged poor services.

NCC fined MTN, Glo and Airtel a collective N645.7 million for such services and failure to meet key performance indicators set for the month of January. NATCOMS said it had filed a suit against the regulator and the three telecoms firms insisting that subscribers rather than the NCC should be the beneficiaries of the fine.  

Despite a court action filed by NATCOMS to stop payment of the sanction, all three companies reportedly paid the fine last week.

Speaking at a forum in Lagos, NATCOMS President, Deolu Ogunbanjo, said the action of the three telecoms firms was a clear breach of a court order which had ordered that status quo be maintained pending the determination of a civil suit filed by the association.

Deolu said the civil action was in the interest of every stakeholder in the telecoms sector and that the three telecoms firms should have waited for the court matter to be determined before paying the fine.

“We understand that operators have despite our position and court action, proceeded to pay the fine imposed on them by NCC. For this reason, we have filed contempt proceedings against them. The contempt proceeding is also against NCC because they were joined in the suit as co-defendants. We believe they acted against the court orders and we are pursuing contempt actions against them,” he said.

Deolu said his association would pursue the matter to a conclusive end.

NATCOMS is also pursuing another suit which it filed against all telecoms firms seeking direct compensation from telcos to subscribers for telecoms services.

The matter is slated for hearing next week before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

Poor services characterize the country’s mobile network industry resulting in NCC sanctioning the companies in the sector.

A breakdown of the latest sanction showed that Globacom was penalized N277.5 million for three breaches, while MTN and Airtel got sanctioned N185 million each for two breaches for key performance indicators.

– CAJ News


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