From BERNICE EKE, Abuja
The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigeria Communications Commission(NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta has made a plea for extension of deadline following the ultimatum by the Minister of Communications and Digital Technology, Mr. Ibrahim Pantami on 5th of November 2019 to resolve the challenges of illegal data deductions and review the cost of data downward. The plea for extension is to enable it properly re-strategize and fully implement long term solutions as directed by the federal government.
The deadline given the commission to stop all illegal deductions and to also review the cost of data downward by all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) expired on November 8th.
Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, Spokesperson for the Minister, in a statement made available to the media over the week end, said NCC assured Pantami, that it has been working persistently round the clock to enforce the federal government’s directives.
She said: “NCC has requested the good graces of the Minister to extend the deadline which expires today, 8th November 2019, to enable it properly re-strategize and fully implement long term solutions as directed, to the challenges.
Uwa acknowledged that a letter from the EVC’s office weekend intimated Pantami of the strategies been taken to stem the tide of short changing subscribers by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)
In its earlier attempts to tackle the challenges, she said, the commission informed the minister that it had issued a directive to all MNOs on the attendant penalties associated with automatic renewal and forceful subscription to data and Value Added Services (VAS)
According to her, the penalties include considerable financial sanctions on the erring operators.
“The letter stated that, in response to the directive of the Minister, the commission reviewed the NCC Act of 2003 on its rule-making powers and process.
“The commission is in the process of carrying out a study on the End-of-Session Notification for Data Services and depending on the outcome, may issue a direction in accordance with the Act.
“Furthermore, in a bid to protect consumers, the commission also notified the minister of their regulation of the initial directive to include refunds to the consumer in established cases of unauthorized subscription.” She added.
The minister in response, graciously granted an extension of the deadline with the understanding that the NCC will resolve these issues within the shortest time possible.
The Minister, further assured the general public that the current administration will neither tolerate acts of injustice nor the shortchanging of its citizens as it is working tirelessly to ensure that subscribers get full value for their money.