THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has expressed its commitment to deliver on its mandate of implementing policies that would further develop telecommunications market in Nigeria as well as protect the Nigerian Communication Act (NCA), regulations and guidelines against contravention especially by willful operators.
It noted that sanctions and enforcement remain veritable tool for the enforcement of the contravened policies.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, who stated this at the first yearly conference on financial fraud, cyber-crime and other cross-border crime in Abuja, said that the Nigerian Communication Act, 2003 has empowered NCC to issue sanctions and enforce compliance where regulations or guidelines are contravened. He explained that effective exercise of enforcement powers and application of appropriate sanctions by the regulator against erring service providers is meant to sanitize the telecommunication industry and provide a good playing field for investment.
Danbatta stated that the commission is liaising with all security agencies using its powers in the prevention and combating financial fraud, cybercrime and other related cross-border crimes.
He noted that to further this collaboration, the commission has established the Department of New Media and Information Security that would bring together law enforcement agencies, industry leaders and cyber security experts to enhance capacity to prevent, defend and respond to cyber threats. Represented by the Head, Legal and Regulatory Services in the commission, Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, Danbatta observed that NCC has established a good memorandum of Understanding between it and the Nigeria Police, the office of the National Security Adviser and other security agencies, compelling the network operators to cooperate with these security agencies in the course of their onerous function of criminal investigation and such related matters.
Also speaking CEO Forensic Insight Limited, organizers of the event, Tunji Aworinde, called on NCC to come up with strategy to ensure that MTN Nigeria comply with the N780 billion fine the commission imposed on the company in 2015.
Aworinde argued that companies operating in Nigeria must know that there are laws in this land and they must be complied with.
He said: “MTN is a private sector organization protecting its shareholders interest. They have to do all they can to fight the fine imposed by NCC but NCC has to plan its own strategy to make sure there is compliance and enforcement of the laws of this land. That is what happens in Europe and America. When that oil giant companies polluted that seas in America, they were penalized and substantial amount of damages were awarded to those who suffered from the spill”.
“Companies operating in Nigeria must know that there are laws in this land and they must be complied with. As they have gotten their own lawyers to fight their cause, Nigeria has some of the best brains in legal matter, I believe that NCC would seek the appropriate legal advice and legal representation in maintaining their stand, “he added.