The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday disclosed that it has lifted the sanction it placed on MTN Nigeria for several regulatory infractions since July 13, 2015.
Telecoms regulatory authority, through its Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo, in a statement said the lifting of the ban was in no way related to the fine imposed on MTN by the regulatory agency on October 20, 2015, for failure to deactivate 5.2 million improperly registered SIM cards as the infractions predated this fine.
The letter lifting suspension of regulatory services to MTN signed by Mr. Efosa Idehen, Head, Compliance, Monitoring/Enforcement and Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, Head, Legal and Regulatory Services, specifically stated that the lifting of the suspension was as a result of several letters from MTN to the NCC requesting for the lifting.
The letter explained that after a review of MTN’s plea, the NCC took into consideration the fact that MTN has abated all the infractions that gave rise to the suspension of regulatory services by the commission.
In lifting the suspension of regulatory services to MTN, the Commission expects total compliance with NCA 2003 Regulations and the Terms and Conditions of Licences issued to MTN, and will not hesitate to impose necessary sanctions where MTN flouts any provision of the foregoing regulatory instruments.
The sanctions were for 24 identified infractions which are not in any way connected with the SIM card non-deactivation fine.
The infractions, according to Ojobo, included but was not limited to tariffs and promotions by MTN in letters from NCC of May 4, 2015, May 9, 2015 and May 25, 2015 respectively, to withdraw unapproved tariffs and promotions specifically MTN Trutalk, MTN Best II, promotions among others.
The ban also followed failure by MTN to pay some Annual Operating Levies. Compliance checks on MTN showed that it had failed and deliberately refused to comply with the directives issued by the commission, Ojobo said.
In spite of that, it continued to introduce additional promotions in utter disregard for NCC’s directive, contrary to the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 and Regulation 8(2) of the Enforcement Regulations 2005, and the relevant provision in the Guidelines for Advertisement and Promotion, he further explained.
He added that further communication with MTN in letters dated June 19, 2015 and July 13, 2015, did not in any way discourage the operator from the infractions, thus the imposition of the ban.