NCC’s Clement Baiye; Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta; Sen Olabiyi Durojaiye; and Felix Adeoye

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Telecoms sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has expressed worries over the huge interconnect debt among the carriers in the country, warning that it poses a potential threat to the health of the industry.

The regulator also warned that it would not hesitate to punish operators found indulging in ‘industrial mapractices’ in the country.

The NCC Board Chairman, Sen Olabiyi Durojaye spoke during the code of corporate governance for telecoms industry sensitisation workshop at Bristol Palace Hotel, Kano, Kano State.  He said the industry has remained relatively stable, warning however that the growth was being threatened by some unhealthy developments which the regulator will deal with them.

“The NCC is particularly concerned with issues of massive interconnection indebtedness and unethical practice of masking of international calls. We are watchful and will not hesitate to do the needful. These sorts of unethical behaviours are part of what the Code of Corporate Governance is set up to address. Henceforth, NCC will be taking very tough measures against any detected unethical behaviour and industrial malpractice in order to safeguard the health of the entire industry,” he said.

He said the mandatory compliance framework is already in force and the Commission will not compromise on its implementation, monitoring and enforcement activities for its total acceptance.

In this regard, added that operators have been directed to make annual returns on their compliance level to the Commission which will be carefully reviewed and necessary action taken.

“Going forward, the Commission, as part of its initiatives to ensure compliance, will intensify monitoring level of compliance. To encourage satisfactory compliance, the Commission has instituted an annual reward system to recognise and commend the most compliant companies.

“Good Corporate Governance is the best form of self-regulation and licensees of the Commission are encouraged to consider it in their own best interest to imbibe and implement the principles enshrined in the Code,” the board chair said.

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