MTN sanctions: Stakeholders seek NCC intervention

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Stakeholders in the telecommunication industry have asked the Nigeria Communications Commission to intervene in the regulatory sanctions imposed on MTN Nigeria.

Particularly, they asked the NCC to allay the fears of current and potential investors that the regulators would not stifle their investments.

Speaking with our correspondent, the President, Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Olusola Teniola, expressed concern that the Central Bank of Nigeria was sending a wrong signal to potential investors that Certificates of Capital Importation were difficult to obtain from the apex bank.

He also said that as a regulator in the industry, the NCC should dispel fears that Nigeria was not a good business environment for telecommunications investments.

Teniola stated, “The question that we really have is why now? What happened in the past? Why wasn’t this addressed? MTN has refuted that it colluded with the banks in any illegality, so it lies with the CBN to disclose exactly the issue within that period, in which MTN was asked to repatriate $8.1bn.

“We are concerned that the different arms of the government are having oversight over an operator that is regulated by the NCC. We need the NCC to step in and reassure investors that their investments are protected and that the rule of law and its application are consistently done.”

The Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria, Gbenga Adebayo, also appealed to the regulators, banks and the MTN Nigeria to examine the issues surrounding the alleged illegal repatriation of funds properly before taking any action.

He warned, “We need to be careful not to send wrong signals to investors, because this amounts to a conflict of regulation, which is not good for the industry. Not only will it impact on the business, it will later affect the entire industry, because the people will begin to look that we are inconsistent with our policies.

Posted by Juliet Ekwebelam (Punch)