Omobola Johnson

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

In spite of the provocative low level of telecoms services in Nigeria, the Minister of Communications Technology, Omobola Johnson, has insisted that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will go ahead with the implementation of the mobile  number portability (MNP).

Omobola,  who spoke in an interview in Lagos, said MNP will bring efficiency into the telecoms sector as it will usher in an era of competition.

“We are going ahead with Mobile Number Portability, because it is going to give subscribers lots of choice and freedom. MNP will bring new dimension to the competition in the industry. All network operators will have to work harder to earn the trust of subscribers, because they will now have choices,” she said.

Though she agreed that the MNP would not stop the quality of service palaver because it is a national problem, she nonetheless said the Federal Government  was working to put some structures in place that allow seamless roll-out of infrastructure by the operators.

“MNP does not stop the quality of service issues. This is because we have a nationwide issue around service improvement. What we are doing presently is working on so many things that will ensure that telecoms services improved tremendously. We are working to ensure that network operators are able to roll out infrastructures without hitches including bottlenecks of multiple taxation and regulations; right of ways challenges; kicking against vandalism of ICT infrastructure among others,” she said.

According to her, the ministry is working in close collaboration with other stakeholders in the industry to surmount the problems facing the telecoms sector. “We are working on this with the state authorities; agencies of government; the ministry; NCC and the telecoms operators to ensure that we have improved services in 2013.

“MNP will definitely give consumer varieties of choice. However, it is the best of bad situation kind of thing, but the major issue is for us to improve on our infrastructure and improve services, so that we don’t have to be moving from network to network,” she said.

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