MTN, Globacom, Etisalat and Airtel - The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has again sanctioned MTN, Globacom, Etisalat and Airtel for contravening the ban on promotions and lotteries, which it banned last year.
The four mobile service providers are to pay a total sum of N22 million only being the cumulative amount as sanctions for contravening the ban on promotions and lotteries in their respective networks as placed by the commission.
Last year, NCC fined the same four GSM operators N1.7 billion for poor quality of service on their networks. Although the operators protested the fine, they eventually paid after months of argument.
Announcing the latest sanction yesterday in Abuja, the Head, Media and Public Relations for NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka said MTN Nigeria would pay N10 million on account of five promotions at N2 million for each promotion while Etisalat would pay N6 million for three promotions running on its network. Airtel, he said, would pay N4 million for running two promotions against the ban while Globacom would pay N2 million for one promotion.
'All the operators have seven days to pay their respective sanction amounts from the date of receipt of the sanction notice on February 22, 2013, and are liable to payment of the sum of N1 million for any day that the contravention persists,' Muoka said.
The notice of the sanctions, signed by the commission's Director of Legal and Regulatory Services, Ms. Josephine Amuwa, said 'In the event of further non-compliance with the ban, and or refusal to pay the sanction amount within the stipulated time, the commission shall have no other option than to impose stiffer penalties in accordance with the powers of the commission, including but not limited to payment of N1 million for each day that the contravention persists'.
The sanction notice stated that the failure of the service providers to discontinue the promotions in accordance with the commission's directives is a direct contravention of guidelines on Adverts and Promotions, as well as the Nigerian Communications Enforcement Processes, and Regulations of 2005.
The commission had in a letter dated November 8, 2012, directed all the licensees to discontinue all promotions and lotteries running on their networks with immediate effect.
The promo ban, which was placed last year, 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.
By Emma Okonji