By Florence Onuegbu
Nigeria’s telecommunications sector contributed over N15 trillion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since the liberalisation of the sector, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, made the disclosure at an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday.
Danbatta said the sector’s contribution to the GDP increased from eight per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 to nine per cent in the first quarter of this year.
He said that since his assumption of office about 18 months ago, the industry had been adding between N1.43 trillion and N1.45 trillion to the economy every quarter.
Danbatta said that his administration had been implementing the eight-point agenda it set out for itself to achieve.
He said that the quality of service offered by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) had not been impressive but that there had been an improvement in the first quarter of this year.
According to him, continuing drop in service quality has really created a huge gap between consumers and the MNOs.
He argued that poor quality of service was a reason for drops in mobile subscriptions.
“The commission will review the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set for the operators to meet, with a resolve that any of the MNOs that failed to meet up will be adequately sanctioned,” Danbatta said.
Speaking on the continuous drop in telephone subscriptions in the country, the NCC chief disclosed that the commission discovered that some subscribers were migrating from Third Generation (3G) to 4G/Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.
“So they would rather use WhatsApp to communicate and even make free calls.
“Consumers are moving away from high tariff services to cheaper and free services,” he added.
The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management of the commission, Mr Sunday Dare, said that the commission had already read the riot act to service providers on poor services.
Dare said that this year’s first quarter KPI result was under review.
He said that there was no deadline on improving QoS on the part of the operators but that sanctions were on the cards.
“NCC is not in the habit of giving deadlines but when we get to giving deadlines, then know that we had sounded it long enough for the operators to improve,” Dare said.