LAGOS: LOCAL mobile network firms appear to have paid the fine the Nigeria Communications Commission recently imposed on them for alleged poor quality of service. Airtel, Glo and MTN were fined a combined N647.5million. A senior NCC official, who did not want to be quoted because he was not authorized to speak on the issue, confirmed to CAJ News at the weekend that all sanctioned firms met the March 7 deadline for the payment of the fine. “
I can confirm to you that all the telecoms operators have paid up the fine as at Friday last week. The other aspects of the sanction barring them from selling SIM cards or engaging promotional offers is still however in place,” the official said.
On the issue of a court action filed by a consumer advocacy group, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS) seeking to halt the payment of the fine, the official said since no injunction or restraining order had been granted by the court, the commission had not defied any order. NATCOMS had gone to court last week to challenge the payment of the fine by the affected telecoms firms.
Pending the final determination of the suit, NATCOMS is seeking an interlocutory injunction restraining the NCC from pocketing the new N645.7million fine. “We are aware of the court action filed by NATCOMS on the issue. As long as the court has not made any pronouncement in the case, the right thing is for the sanctioned operators to pay up.
If eventually the court says they should not pay, then I can assure you that their money would be refunded to them,” the official added. The registered trustees of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), MTN, Glo, Airtel and Etisalat are joined in the suit as co-defendants.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY