The Nigerian Communications Commission has commenced a financial health check on major telecommunications operators in the country.
The commission’s Executive Commissioner, Mr. Sunday Dare, stated this on Tuesday during a corporate governance executive workshop organised by the regulator in Lagos.
He said that the NCC embarked on the exercise to find out the credit and debt profile of all telecoms companies in the country to avert future financial crisis that could lead to the closure or takeover of any telco.
“We have a strong team of financial experts and auditors who are looking into the books of critical operators. In a month or two, the NCC will know the financial health of these operators,” Dare said.
He said, “The whole idea of the financial health is to ensure that the NCC does not get into tight corners again with any financial institution. “The NCC executive commissioner berated the operators for poor services, saying the health check exercise would include checks on drop calls and unsolicited messages.
“We know the services they provide are wishy-washy, yet they are making money. We know they have drop calls, but we want to know the amount of drop calls and see how the trend can be reversed.
“We want to know the cities with the highest number of drop calls and ascertain why such has continued, and then seek ways to urgently redress the factors necessitating such unpleasant services,” Dare said.
He added that findings and details from the exercise would be published on the commission’s website, just as was the case with the Consumer Satisfaction Survey.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman, Governing Board, NCC, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, said that the regulator would be more emphatic on healthy competition, “improved quality of service and commensurate revenue to the Nigerian government, thus making it a ‘win-win’ situation for the telecoms operators, the government and the Nigerian people.”
He added, “As for the investors in the communications sector, one cannot, in good conscience, deny them of reasonable returns on their huge investments.
“We, the regulators of the system must ensure fair and level playing field. But no one, I repeat, no one should be kept in doubt that Nigerians deserve and will prefer healthy competition and good service at affordable cost to the people as opposed to huge and quick returns to a few.”
The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that the corporate governance executive workshop was to promote fair competition and ensure inclusive growth among the telecom companies.