Poor quality of service: consumer rights groups demands n1.5trillion compensation from MTN, Globacom, Etisalat and Airtel for Nigeria GSM subscribers.
Subsequent upon administrative enquiry or investigation on the general state of service quality in the telecommunications sector conducted by the Nigerian Communications Commission “NCC” in 2012 and imposition of the sum of N1.17billion fine administrative penalty by the same NCC on the four GSM operators in Nigeria, viz: MTN, GLOBACOM, ETISALAT and AIRTEL for poor quality of service experienced by the subscribers, the Consumers Empowerment Organisation of Nigeria (CEON) and the United Consumers Association of Nigeria (UCAN) have jointly demanded a sum of One Trillion Five Hundred Billion Naira (N1.5trillion) - at the rate of Ten Thousand Naira (N10,000) per subscriber from the four GSM operators as compensation to all voice and data GSM subscribers in Nigeria.
CEON and UCAN noted that conventionally, the administrative fine imposed by the Commission is a stand-alone conclusive administrative proceeding from which any follow-on or subsequent proceedings in a court of law by way of private enforcement necessarily attaches and that the aforementioned stand-alone proceeding of the NCC against the four GSM telecom operators clearly established the basis for the operators liability to consumers for compensation as contemplated in Section 104 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 and Regulation 8(1) & (2) of the Quality of Service Regulations 2012.
CEON and UCAN noted also that the four GSM telecom operators viz: MTN, GLOBACOM, ETISALAT and AIRTEL are aware of the seriousness and the documented psychological torture and socio-economic difficulties that persistent poor quality of service imposes on consumers of voice and data services generally being a judicially acknowledged and recognized legal injury.
CEON and UCAN also noted that in spite of the recent imposition of penalty for poor quality of service in the telecoms sector, Consumers’ Satisfaction continues to remain a mirage and they are still grunting under a persistent poor quality of service because operators are obviously undeterred by the currency of the last administrative fines.
CEON and UCAN also chides the Nigerian Communications Commission “NCC” for taking joy in fining GSM telecoms operators at will for poor quality of service rendered to subscribers while same Commission at same time ignored accommodating compensation for the subscribers who directly suffered effects of the poor quality of service, CEON and UCAN, viewed NCC`s action as a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
In view of the above and also in accordance with section 8 (b) of the Consumer Protection Council Act No. 66 of 1992, CEON and UCAN have jointly commences the process of right of civil action of Nigeria GSM subscribers for compensation or restitution against the MTN, GLOBACOM, ETISALAT and AIRTEL for poor quality of service rendered to Nigeria GSM subscribers in 2012.