from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA – MOBILE network operators in Nigeria are under probe over the increasing rate of drop calls.
The Senate, which has opened investigations, has proposed the refunding of clients affected by the inconvenience.
The Senate committees on Communications, Trade and Investment are conducting public hearings.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the drop calls shortchanged consumers.
“This is a very serious issue. We have been with it since as far as I can remember. We consider this development unacceptable,” he said.
Lawan also accused the regulatory authority, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) of complicity.
“NCC, sometimes, is either inept or it is simply flowing with the service providers,” the Senate leader stated.
The public hearing was held following a resolution of the Senate last July.
It mandated the two committees to jointly investigate the allegations of cheating through drop calls by the communications network operators.
“The session was specifically on the increasing rate of drop calls and other unwholesome practices by telecommunications network operators in Nigeria that have robbed Nigerians of their hard earned billions of naira,” Oluremi Tinubu, Chairperson of the Committee on Communications, said.
Drop call refers to a call that due to technical reasons are cut off before speaking parties finish the conversation.
Nigeria, with Africa’s biggest population estimated at 200 million, has over 184,4 million mobile subscribers as at the end of 2019.
Airtel, 9Mobile, Globacom, MTN and Visafone are the operators.
– CAJ News