….Granted extension of deadline
By Emmanuel Elebeke
Following the five day ultimatum issued by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, to the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) on the 5th of November 2019, to resolve the challenges of illegal data deductions and review the cost of data downward, the commission has commenced the implementation.
In a statement by the Spokesperson to the Minister, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta had written the Minister intimated of the strategies been taken to stem the tide of short changing subscribers by Mobile Network Operators.
It will be recalled that the minister at the presentation of the new Executive Commissioner of NCC, Barr. Adeleke Oluwole this week had directed the regulator to stop all illegal data deductions by service providers and review same downwards within five days.
In a letter from the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), received by the office of the Minister on the 8th of November 2019, the telecommunications regulator, intimated the Minister of the strategies been taken to stem the tide of short changing subscribers by Mobile Network Operators.
According to the statement, the Commission in its earlier attempts to tackle the challenges informed the Minister that it had issued a directive to all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) on the attendant penalties associated with Automatic Renewal and Forceful Subscription to Data and Value Added Services.
The penalties include considerable financial sanctions on the erring operator.
The Minister reads in part: “The letter stated that, in response to the directive of the Minister, the Commission reviewed the Nigerian Communications Act of 2003 on its rule-making powers and process.
“The Commission is in the process of carrying out a study on the End-of-Session Notification for Data Services and depending on the outcome, may issue a direction in accordance with the Act.
“Furthermore, in a bid to protect consumers, the NCC also notified the Minister of their regulation of the initial directive to include refunds to the consumer in established cases of unauthorized subscription.”
The Commission while assuring the Minister that it will work assiduously round the clock to enforce the Federal Government’s directives requested the Minister to extend the deadline which expires today, 8th November 2019, to enable it properly re-strategise and fully implement long term solutions as directed, to the challenges.
The minister in response graciously granted an extension of the deadline with the understanding that the NCC will resolve these issues within the shortest time possible.
The Minister, further assured the general public that the current administration will neither tolerate acts of injustice nor the shortchanging of its citizens as it is working tirelessly to ensure that subscribers get full value for their money.