The expectations of millions of Nigerian subscribers for improved quality of service from the major mobile network operators, namely MTN, Airtel and Etisalat , may not be realized soon.
In an interactive session the Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC Umar Danbatta, held with the operators in Abuja, MTN spoke the minds of the others on their inability to meet the growing demands of consumers for voice and date services.
Hassan Jamil, the chief technical officer of MTN Nigeria, said they were unable to improve on investment because of scarce forex availability.
He said: “We planned 100 sites for Abuja but after a very long time, we were only able to build six because of the bottlenecks of getting approvals and until we resolve these, quality of service will be a mirage delivery.
The NCC has queried the major mobile network operators on the deteriorating quality of service but failed to extract any promise of improvement.
Instead Danbata used the occasion to appeal to the CBN to make forex available for the operators to address the issue of network failures.
Tony Ojobo, director public affairs of the NCC, said in a statement that Danbatta urged the operators to treat consumers with dignity while efforts are being made to achieve good quality of service.
On forex, he said: “Specifically, as a follow up to the letter, the executive commissioner, stakeholders management, NCC, Mr Sunday Dare had a meeting with the CBN governor and extracted a commitment from him on how he hoped to address the FOREX needs of the operators.”
Unbelievably, Fidelis Ona, director of technical standards and network integrity of NCC, vindicated the position of the operators.
He disclosed that the operators face many challenges including Right of Way (RoW), Force Majeure, difficulty in acquiring new cell sites, multiple taxation and regulation, vandalism, power supply among others.