Madueke’s company, five others know fate this week over alleged call masking, NCC says

Madueke’s company, five others know fate this week over alleged call masking, NCC says

Madueke’s company, five others know fate this week over alleged call masking, NCC says

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Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria Limited, a technology company owned by Admiral Alison Madueke, a retired Chief of the Naval Staff of the Nigerian Navy and husband of former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and five others will know fate of their operating licence this week after they were allegedly implicated in call masking, the telecoms regulator says.

Tony Ojobo, Director, Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission who confirmed in a statement made available to Technology Times that the six affected interconnect companies have been given till Thursday this week to show why their operating licences should not be revoked, in what is a confirmation of Technology Times report of the clampdown.

Call masking technologies allow operators to terminate inbound international telecoms traffic as local calls so they don’t have to pay International Termination Rate (ITR), which is the interconnection charges set by telecoms traffic carriers as carrier-to-carrier charges.

According to the NCC spokesman, the six companies licensed by NCC for interconnect services but are allegedly implicated in call masking include Medallion Communications Limited, Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria Limited, Niconnx Communication Limited, Breeze Micro Limited, Solid Interconnectivity and Exchange Telecommunications Limited.

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Ojobo further says that security agencies and the telecoms regulator have been monitoring the activities of the affected companies and NCC “will impose the maximum possible penalties on any of its licensees implicated in the practice of masking of international telephone calls.”

“In accordance with the provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act and its subsidiary regulations, the implicated licensees have been given till the 31st of January to show cause why the Commission should not either revoke or suspend their operating licenses in view of evidence of their involvement now at the disposal of the Commission and the security agencies”, Ojobo says.

Ojobo further says that security agencies and the telecoms regulator have been monitoring the activities of the affected companies and NCC “will impose the maximum possible penalties on any of its licensees implicated in the practice of masking of international telephone calls.”

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“In accordance with the provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act and its subsidiary regulations, the implicated licensees have been given till the 31st of January to show cause why the Commission should not either revoke or suspend their operating licenses in view of evidence of their involvement now at the disposal of the Commission and the security agencies”, Ojobo says.

Ojobo further says that NCC officials and senior operatives from the nation’s security services met with representatives of companies Wednesday last week “to confront them with some of the evidence at the disposal of the Commission and to give them yet another opportunity to defend themselves.”

According to the telecoms regulator, “it is likely that the operating licenses of some of the interconnect exchange and other licensees involved in the practice would either be revoked or suspended in the coming week.”

Ojobo says that NCC’s latest clampdown on the six companies is in accordance with the provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act and its subsidiary regulations.

“Because of the critical impacts of this nefarious practice on national security and consumer experience, the Commission is determined to decisively deal with any of its licensees implicated in the scam. We do not want to expose the country to any further embarrassment. At the very least, serious sanctions would be imposed on them if it is found that their involvement does not justify license or revocation of their licenses”, Ojobo comments in the statement.

According to him, NCC “has taken the pains to very strictly follow the provisions of the applicable laws so that on one can claim to be unfairly treated, given the severity of the sanctions the Commission is planning to impose.”

According to him, customer experience data monitored by NCC also indicates that there has been a noticeable reduction in the volume of masked calls being received by subscribers.

“This is reflective of the very aggressive measures the Commission is taking to deal with the menace. Nonetheless, we are not taking anything for granted. We will continue to aggressively monitor all our licensees regardless of their size or the scope of their operations. Anyone found wanting would be strictly dealt with in accordance with law”, Ojobo adds.

 

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