The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that of all the mobile operators in the country, South African-based operator MTN was the only one making a profit.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Eugene Juwah, made the statement during a two-day public hearing by the Senate Committee on Communications, which focused on the recent deterioration of services by GSM service providers.
Addressing the delegates, Juwah said that they discovered the data as “operators’ accounts are audited and it is on this basis that we take our decisions. Service providers don’t pay revenue to the NCC based on profit, they do so based on their revenue. We are just privileged as regulators to have their accounts.”
He added, “Statutorily, they present us with their account because they have to pay us some levy based on the accounts. So we see their accounts and see the ones making profit and the ones that are not making profit.”
But Chairman of the Committee, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, had to remind the NCC that they have to specify if they are not sure about any figures.
“Executive Vice Chairman, remember that you are under oath and you have to be careful in whatever you are saying, and whatever figure you are giving to us. There is no way we can agree that it is only MTN that is making profit in the telecoms industry in Nigeria, so what you are not sure of, you better say that you are not very sure of it,” he said.
Head of Public Affairs at the NCC, Reuben Mouka, told the hearing that services in the country should improve, as the recent fined imposed on four mobile operators in Nigeria created a heightened awareness about the problem.
“The sanction has now put the operators on their toes on the issue of service delivery. You may not notice it that soon after the sanction, a lot of them are now involved in expansion programmes; the operators now see quality of service as no joke. This is all aimed at improving the quality of service to the subscribers,” he said.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor