The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) the independent National Regulatory Authority for the telecommunications industry, has imposed a fine of 22 million Naira (US$ 142,000) on four major telecommunications operators for contravening the ban on promotions and lotteries.
The private Guardian Newspaper reported Friday that the four networks involved are Airtel Networks Ltd, Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Ltd (Etisalat), Globacom Ltd and MTN Communications Nigeria Ltd.
“In the event of further non-compliance with the ban, and or refusal to pay the fines within the stipulated time, the Commission shall have no other option than to impose stiffer penalties in accordance with its powers, including but not limited to payment of 1 million Naira for each day that the contravention persists,” the Newspaper quoted the notice of sanctions, signed by the commission’s Director of Legal and Regulatory Services, Ms. Josephine Amuwa, as saying.
It further stated that the failure of the service providers to discontinue the promotions is a direct contravention of Guidelines on Adverts and Promotions, as well as the Nigerian Communications (Enforcement Processes among others) Regulations 2005.
All the operators have seven days to pay their respective fines from the date of receipt of the sanction notice and are liable to payment of 1 million naira for any day that the contravention persists.
A breakdown of the fines showed that MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd is to pay 10 million naira on account of five promotions at 2 million naira for each promotion.
Etisalat is to pay 6 million naira for three promotions in its network. The regulator fined Airtel 4 million naira for running two promotions against the ban while Globacom will pay 2 million naira for one promotion.
The regulatory agency had, in a letter dated 8 November, 2012, directed all the licencees to discontinue all promotions and lotteries running on their networks with immediate effect.
The ban covered proposed and approved promotions and lotteries after the Commission was inundated with several complaints from consumers and stakeholders against various promotions in the various networks.