FG Reads Riot Act To Telecoms Operators Over PQS, Under-declared Revenue | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Business, IT & Telecomms

FG Reads Riot Act To Telecoms Operators Over PQS, Under-declared Revenue

Posted: Mar 9, 2016 at 12:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chibuzor Emejor

Federal Government on Tuesday warned telecoms providers over the incessant Poor Quality of Service (PQS), urging them to improve the situation or face severe sanctions.
The government has also sounded a note of warning to the operators to desist from under-declaring their revenue and profit, as this criminal act short-changes the government in its revenue generation.

Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, who read the riot act to the Chief Executive Officers of the major telecommunications providers in a maiden meeting with them in his office, Abuja, said his office had been inundated with complaints, petitions and calls on the fraudulent and unauthorised charges by telecoms operators in the country.

Shittu warned that their fraudulent activities against subscribers must stop forthwith or “severe sanctions will be imposed on any operators that violate the directive.”

According to him, “Many Nigerians have been complaining of unauthorised charges or deduction for unsubscribed/unsolicited messages by all telecoms operators.

“Nigerian Telecommunications Commission (NCC) will  properly monitor telecoms operators and prevent them from dubious charges for services not rendered and provide regular updates on monthly basis.
“Any operator found wanting going forward will be severely sanctioned.

“It has also come to my notice that the telecom operators do not fully declare to the government their total annual gross revenue, thereby short-changing the government in under-paid taxes and levies.

“The Federal Government will take advantage of new technologies to verify the amount of revenue generated by the telecom operators via government regulatory and revenue agencies like NCC, FIRS, among others.”

The minister enumerated other infractions such as extortion of subscribers, incessant dropped calls on all networks, dead or silent calls, deficiency in data penetration, as some of the areas the telecoms operators have been short-changing Nigerians over the years.
Commenting on the data bundle roll-over, Shittu stressed the need for operators to consider rolling over the monthly unused data by the subscribers to the new month.

He said henceforth, no operator should wipe out the unused data of any subscriber.

He further frowned at the disengagement of Nigerian employees by telecoms operators through outsourcing to foreign companies.
His words: “I am aware that professional jobs meant for Nigerians are being taken over by foreigners  and even menial jobs that are supposed to be carried out by Nigerian artisans were given to foreigners.
“This is clearly against expatriates’ quota as enshrined in our laws.”

On discrepancy  and discrimination against Nigerian employees by telecoms operators, he said the Federal Government would investigate it and look into the agreement reached with operators during the issuance of licenses and decide whether there is any aspect of non-compliance.
The meeting was attended by the CEOs of Etisalat, MTN Nigeria, representatives of Airtel Nigeria, among others.
The meeting later went into closed door, as newsmen  were not allowed to be part of the meeting.