TELECOMS DISTRIBUTORS ACCUSE NIGERIAN GSM OPERATORS OF IRREGULARITIES
President of Association of Licensed Telecoms Distributors of Nigeria, Dr. Ayo Ojo last week called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to rise to its responsibility of checking the excesses of operators of Global System for Mobile Telecommunications (GSM) services in the country.
Ojo who spoke in Enugu on the occasion of the formal inauguration of the South East Zone of the Association expressed disappointment that the GSM operators were in the habit of taking Nigerians for granted by violating rules guiding telecoms services.
For instance, Ojo said the Nigerian GSM users are being over-charged, and also deceived by various promotions by the operators.
Ojo said that all over the world, minutes were equal, but regretted that in Nigeria GSM operators have made a minute to be less than 60 seconds.
"We appeal, once again, to NCC to rise up in the defence of the principle of equity and play the role of a truthful, concerned and even-handed umpire. And order a market place does everyone good, keeps business interests open and challenging. This is the wisdom of antitrust law of the United States of America", he said.
The Association's President maintained that except the NCC intervenes, Nigerian GSM users will continue to suffer huge financial loss for which GSM operators were beneficiaries. He also accused the GSM operators of violating agreements which they entered with telecoms distributors.
Ojo lamented that while the dealers were restricted to the sale of products of the networks that appointed them, they never enjoyed any corresponding patronage from the GSM operators.
"Agreements were drawn up by the networks and forced on the dealers, months after money had been committed to the project. All these were faithfully complied with, as the dealers perceived themselves in a partnership that was designed to last forever, with a guarantee of some protection, just as the NCC did for them, and of course with every hope of good returns over their investments in years to come", he said.
He expressed dismay that anticipated dawn of profitability has since become the dealers' nightmare. "planned, executed and nurtured by the waywardness of the networks", He added, "Yet the irony is that all the networks are daily declaring billions as profits."
Ojo said that the profits being declared by the GSM operators were made possible through deception and devious gimmicks, adding, "They claim to make millionaires by the hour yet their faithful foot soldiers (dealers) who toil day and night in all crannies and corners of he country, remain impoverished".
Ojo disclosed that many telecoms distributors working for GSM operators were groaning under huge debts, while those who could not cope were suspected to have committed suicide.
He declared that his Association was committed to reverse this trend, by aligning forces to confront the operators who they called "slave masters".
"We are not demanding from them anything beyond their capabilities. If they can make many millionaires, lavish people with trips to overseas countries, give away cars as well as spending billions on other self seeking projects so called societal responsibilities, we demand that their charity should begin at home, good deals for their dealers".