Investors in the Nigerian telecommunications sector have been adding $5bn investment every quarter, the Nigerian Communications Commission has said.
The Director of Consumer Affairs at the regulatory agency, Mrs. Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, said this in a presentation at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Abuja on Wednesday.
Onwuegbuchulam, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mr. Ayanbanji Ojo, also disclosed that the sector’s contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product had risen from 9.1 percent to 10.5 percent as of June 2018.
She said, “The investment in the telecoms sector as of 2017 used to be $70bn and this has been growing at about $5bn every quarter. The sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP rose to 10.5 percent as of the end of June 2018, up from the initial 9.1 percent in 2016.
“At the end of August 2018, there were over 160.8 million active voice subscriptions, with over 104 million of this number being used to access the Internet services. These are phone numbers being used by businesses and individual subscribers across the various sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“Tele-density, which is the number of telephone lines per 100 persons in an area, has hit 115 percent. Indeed, the growth in the telecoms industry, engendered by a sound regulatory regime, has remarkably redefined the way people live, work and play.”
Also, speaking at the forum, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, said the regulatory agency had directed telecom operators to roll over unused subscriber’s data within a window of 14 days after the period of validity must have elapsed.
Danbatta, who was represented by Head of Public Relations, Mr. Reuben Muoka, said no subscriber should lose any unused data for Internet services at the end of the validity period without enjoying a grace period of 14 days.
The NCC boss stated, “On the quality of service issue, including poor reception, wrong billings and deductions, and automatic data rollover, among other issues, we have put the service providers on special notice about our current monitoring of user experience and will call them to account in due course.
“Where the service provider continues to fail to improve services to the detriment of the consumers, the commission will apply appropriate regulatory actions and sanctions against such service provider.”
“On this issue data rollover, the commission has directed all the service providers to give a 14-day window to the subscribers to enable them roll over their unused data, even if they do not renew on the expiration date. In other words, this will stop the current practice where subscribers lose their entire unused data if they fail to renew on the date of the expiration of the current subscription.”
He added that the commission was working to address the issue of call masking and SIM boxing, where international calls are made to bear local numbers, thereby bringing confusion to the subscribers.