Subscribers Want Defaulting Telecom Operators Punished

TELECOMS subscribers in Nigeria have called on the ministry of communication technology, the Consumer Protection Council and the Nigerian Communications Commission to punish telecoms operators for rendering poor quality services in line with their decision last month. The federal government had through the relevant authorities, threatened to prosecute telecoms service providers who continued to render poor quality services to subscribers after December 31, 2013. The decision was made on December 16, 2013.

The subscribers maintained that poor quality of service had persisted despite the threat, and that operators found wanting in that regard should be made to face necessary sanctions. During the Christmas and New Year period subscribers experienced difficulties communicating with their loved ones through the various telecoms networks.

It was observed that in some areas with good network services suddenly lost signal, leading to dropped calls; and even where the signals were okay, some subscribers were unable to make and receive calls on Christmas Eve and the day after. This lingered into the New Year as some subscribers could not use their phones due to network issues.

Deolu Ogunbanjo, president, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, said the government should not only penalise the operators but must find a way to get the service providers to compensate subscribers who suffer the poor services. He said over time, sanctions imposed on telecoms operators had only boosted the coffers of the government, with subscribers, who are the real sufferers of the poor services, not benefiting.

Ogunbanjo called for soft fines that would be beneficial to the subscriber population, saying bonus airtime that could be conveniently used by the subscribers should be looked at, and if possible, made part of the regulator’s mandate. “Subscribers should be the focus when things like this are done. Government currently benefits from every call made by a subscriber. So, imposing fines on the operators that will still go to the government as revenue will not be a fair one on the subscribers,” he said.

He warned the NCC against heavy monetary fines, saying such would only take away resources the operators’ could invested to improve their networks to serve the subscribers better.

Airtel Targets Youths with New Campaign

TWO years after the remarkable launch of its groundbreaking “Friendship (Padi Na Good Thing) Campaign,” Nigeria’s leading mobile Internet Company, Airtel Nigeria, has taken another giant step in fulfillment of its vision to become the country’s most loved brand with the launch of Come Alive, a new thematic campaign targeted at youth.

Ogunsanya
Ogunsanya

According to the telecom company, the new campaign effectively summarises its brand promise of empowering Nigerians to realise their full potentials and dreams, enabling youth and the young-at-heart to come alive and to stay in touch with their family, loved ones and friends with the latest and most innovative mobile Internet and digital value offerings.

It also said it was committed to exciting telecoms consumers, creating the right digital environment for them to succeed and empowering young Nigerians to express themselves, share their stories, connect with the rest of the world, inspire other people and practically blaze the trail in their respective endeavours.

The new campaign, which rides notably on the crest of Airtel’s 3.75G data network highlights the company’s role as an enabler for an enriched digital experience and in assisting young Nigerians and telecoms consumers actualise their dreams by staying connected with the right community of friends, families and associates anytime, anywhere and through a robust bouquet of mobile Internet package and innovative digital value offerings.

Segun Ogunsanya, managing director, Airtel Nigeria, said the company was committed to empowering young Nigerians with the latest and most innovative package and exciting digital experience. According to him, Nigerian youths are highly talented, resourceful, innovative, hardworking and resilient, adding that Airtel is well-positioned to enable young Nigerians and the youth-at-heart to create success stories for their life ambitions.  “We have come a long way in preparing for this moment that Nigerians can be proud of. As a youth-focused, mobile Internet network, actualising dreams can only be more realistic with us,” he said.

New Revenue Sharing Formula Out Soon

THE Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, has said it will soon send the new drafted revenue formula to the presidency. Ibrahim Mohammed, RMAFC, head of public relations, said the draft would be forwarded to President Goodluck Jonathan before the end of January. He said the draft copy to be sent to the president must be ratified by members of a committee set up for drafting and preparing the document, which is scheduled to meet at an undisclosed date within the month. “It is the responsibility of the president to lay the new revenue sharing formula before the National Assembly for legislation,” he said.

Mbam
Mbam

Mohammed had in December said members of the RMAFC had unanimously adopted the draft formula following a two-week retreat at Tinapa, Cross River State, where all the submissions, relevant documents and inputs from stakeholders were analysed and considered.

The commissioners had met at the Tinapa resort from November 23 to December 7, 2013, to brainstorm on the revenue allocation formula draft report. The commission had previously embarked on a tour of states and held consultations, public hearings and extensive study of all relevant literature and fiscal matters relating to revenue allocation in an effort to make the final report credible, authentic and generally acceptable to Nigerians.

The last time the revenue allocation formula was generally reviewed was in 1992 although constitutionally, the document is supposed to be amended every four years. The revenue sharing formula, which has remained a controversial subject in the country, refers to the proportion of resources accruing to the federation that goes to each of the three tiers of government.

It also defines the proportion of resources that must be retained in the territories where they are generated as well as what goes to the agencies of government that collect the revenues on behalf of the federation.

Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu

— Jan. 20, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT