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Mobile Operators Ripped Off Consumers Through Forceful Subscriptions –NCC

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Telecommunications
  • Mobile Operators Ripped Off Consumers Through Forceful Subscriptions –NCC

Mobile operators are illegally deducting billions of Naira from their subscribers’ accounts, an investigation carried out by the Nigerian Communications Commission has shown.

The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at NCC, Mr Sunday Dare, said this at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

Dare, who represented Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umar Danbatta, said an on-going investigation covering a period of two years between 2016 and 2018 had found that mobile operators illegally deducted billions of naira from the accounts of their subscribers.

Also at the 86th Telecommunications Consumers Parliament in Abuja on Thursday, Danbatta said that the global telecommunications industry lost $60bn yearly to call masking.

Some of the illegal deductions happened through forced subscriptions to Value Added Services that subscribers did not willingly opt for.

He said, “The NCC carried out an investigation between 2016 and 2018 which revealed that telecoms consumers have been deducted billions of naira through forceful subscriptions, illegal and unauthorised deductions by Mobile Network Operators and Value Added Service Providers.”

Dare said that the full report would be ready for release in January and added that the operators would be forced to return the monies to the subscribers.

He also disclosed that nine persons had been arrested for their activities in masking international calls.

Masking means making international calls appear as local calls in order to reap the difference between local and international calls termination rates.

Dare said that deploying tracking services, the regulatory agency was able to trace nine persons to a building where they were engaged in the illegal activity of masking.

He said the nine persons would soon be charged to court.

The NCC helmsman also disclosed that the incidence of call masking reduced by 21 per cent between January and August. Again, between August and September, the incidence reduced further by 25 per cent.

He gave assurance that when the new tracking technology would be fully deployed in January 2019, the country would witness a significant reduction in call masking.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

South Africa’s iGas, PetroSA and Strategic Fuel Fund Merge to Create South African National Petroleum Company

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markets energies crude oil

The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the merger of Central Energy Fund (CEF) subsidiaries iGas, PetroSA and the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF).

The merger will be effective from 1 April 2021 and the new company will be called the South African National Petroleum Company.

The merger, driven by the pursuit of implementing a new company that has a streamlined operating model via the development of a shared services system and a common information platform, comes a few months after cabinet approval and the confirmation that PetroSA had incurred losses of R20 billion since 2014.

Additional factors which prompted the move included the determination to strengthen PetroSA which had not had a permanent CEO in five years prior to the appointment of CEO Ishmael Poolo last and, had become majorly ungainful since its failure to secure gas for the gas-to-liquids refinery project in Mossel Bay.

While the merger deadline has been set, the portfolio committee expressed reservations to the department’s likelihood of meeting the deadline, considering the existing legislative regime, pending issues raised in the SFF and PetroSA forensic reports, as well as PetroSA’s current insolvency and liquidity challenges, the official press statement on the briefing revealed.

“South Africa’s energy sector is entering a new dawn,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “With gas discoveries off the coast and the announcement of the REIPPP programme bid window 5 and 6 on the horizon, now is the most opportune time for the merger of the CEF subsidiaries. Of course, it is not an easy task and delays may be anticipated but, this move signals a real change towards a meaningful strategy that will not only be beneficial to the DMRE but to potential investors and local development as well.”

The African Energy Chamber welcomes this move and acknowledges that this is yet another step supporting the country’s determination to restarting the engines of sustainable growth and the transformation of energy policy and infrastructure.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Hits $71.34 After Saudi Largest Oil Facilities Were Attacked

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oil

Brent Crude Oil Rises to $71.34 Following Missile Attack on Saudi Largest Oil Facilities

Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, jumped to $71.34 a barrel on Monday during the Asian trading session following a report that Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities were attacked by missiles and drones fired on Sunday by Houthi military in Yemen.

On Monday, the Saudi energy ministry said one of the world’s largest offshore oil loading facilities at Ras Tanura was attacked and a ballistic missile targeted Saudi Aramco facilities.

One of the petroleum tank areas at the Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region, one of the largest oil ports in the world, was attacked this morning by a drone, coming from the sea,” the ministry said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.

It also stated that shrapnel from a ballistic missile dropped near Aramco’s residential compound in Eastern Dhahran.

Such acts of sabotage do not only target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also the security and stability of energy supplies to the world, and therefore, the global economy,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement on state media.

Oil price surged because the market interpreted the occurrence as supply sabotage given Saudi is the largest OPEC producer. A decline in supply is positive for the oil industry.

However, Brent crude oil pulled back to $69.49 per barrel at 12:34 pm Nigerian time because of the $1.9 trillion stimulus packed passed in the U.S.

Market experts are projecting that the stimulus will boost the United States economy and support U.S crude oil producers in the near-term, this they expect to boost crude oil production from share and disrupt OPEC strategy.

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Crude Oil

A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

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Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.

Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.

A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.

One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.

However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.

 

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