Nigeria’s Globacom denies NCC debt claim

Nigeria’s Globacom denies NCC debt claim

Nigerian operator Globacom has denied reports that it still owes MTN Nigeria interconnection charges despite regulator the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) suggesting otherwise.

The NCC notified subscribers on Monday that approval had been granted for the partial network disconnection of Globacom from MTN Nigeria, due to non-settlement of interconnection charges. However, a Globacom source apparently told journalists in Lagos that the amount owed – N1.6 billion (about US$ 1.8 million) – had been paid.

The public pre-disconnection notice was signed by the Nigerian Communication Commission’s (NCC) Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka, and posted on the commission’s Twitter page.

It referred to repeated, failed, attempts at resolution of the debt issue and noted that Globacom lacked significant or justifiable reasons for failing to pay the interconnect charges.

Globacom customers will not be able to make calls to the MTN network within ten days from 8 January, although they will still be able to receive calls. The notice says that the disconnection ‘will subsist until otherwise determined by the Commission’.

The disconnection is apparently covered by provisions in the Nigerian Communications Act (2003) and Guidelines on Procedure for Granting Approval to Disconnect Telecommunications Operators (2012).

Statistics are hard to come by, but NCC figures from last March suggest that MTN still has the most mobile subscriptions in Nigeria, estimated at 92.71 million. Globacom is second, with 60.76 million, followed by Airtel (60.30 million) and 9mobile (13.07 million).

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