By UDO IBUOT
THE National Association of Telecommuni ations Subscribers (NATCOMS) is asking the National Communications Commission (NCC) to explain why it is expending N26 million monthly on the provision of anti-mobile phone theft services when the service can be provided absolutely free of charge.
The association which made the remarks in a statement by its national president, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, said the president and the minister of information and communication should stop this expenditure which it said amounts to a waste of public funds.
Ogunbanjo said that NATCOMS introduced the anti-mobile phone theft initiative at the NCC Telecommunications Consumer Parliament in December 2005 in Lagos to ensure that stolen phones were blocked or disabled and prevented from being used on any network in Nigeria through the Central Equipment Identify Registry used in detecting the International Mobile-phone Equipment Identity (IMEI).
According to him, the National Communications Commission embraced the anti-mobile phone theft initiative by organizing a forum in Lagos about two years ago, adding that the forum recommended that the anti-mobile phone theft service must be free of any charge to subscribers and consumers.
The NATCOMS president said that in furtherance to that, the NCC registered Messrs Net Visa Nigeria Limited as the firm to run the anti-mobile phone theft service, noting that the service was launched free of charge to subscribers and consumers following the assistance of the information and communications minister.
The association asked the commission to explain whether due process within the GSM world has been observed in the provision of the service or how transparent and consultative the NCC has been to the telecommunications industry in the country, in its provision of this service.