Interconnect debt debate rages on
The debate over Nigeria’s N20 million telecoms interconnect debts is raging on, with stakeholders urging the establishment of a debt management bureau.
This comes amid efforts to reconcile disputes over an interconnection fee debt totalling around USD125 million.
The industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has warned that if the debt issue is not resolved, it could erode the gains the industry has reaped over the last ten decades.
Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the NCC, Dr Eugene Juwah, said recently that the interconnection debt had become as a major source of worry because of its potential to destabilise and rubbish the success recorded in the industry. “The issue of interconnection indebtedness is peculiar to Nigeria as it has been observed that this problem does not exist in other jurisdisctions,” Juwah said.
He lamented that operators take advantage of the provisions of the guidelines on procedure for granting of approval to disconnect telecommunications operators by deliberately refusing to promptly discharge their financial obligations towards their interconnect partners.