NCC blames privatisation for M-Tel’s poor service

9 Jan 2008

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given a six months ultimatum to Transnational Corporation (Transcorp), owners of former incumbent telco NITEL and troubled GSM cellco M-Tel, to revive its service or forfeit its cellular licence. Ernest Ndukwe, CEO of NCC, said the deadline was necessary because of the poor quality of service M-Tel was providing to its customers. ‘If we wait for them for another six months and they are still not able to do what they are supposed to do, we might recommend their licences be withdrawn,’ Ndukwe said, noting that the regulator had on previous occasions drawn the attention of the Federal Government to M-Tel’s poor service, and that Transcorp had promised to rectify the problem but has not done so. Ndukwe blamed the deplorable state of the GSM company on the privatisation process, saying that the exercise killed the company. ‘The issue here is that people should study the situation in this country and know what led to this thing. The NCC is not responsible for the degradation in the quality of service by NITEL. The NCC is not responsible for the fact that M-Tel has…dropped the number of circuits it had from 1.2 million to less than 200,000. The privatisation process is responsible for that. It has killed…the transmission infrastructure…required to be able to deliver service,’ he said.

Nigeria, ntel (formerly NITEL/M-Tel)