No member of the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), has been sanctioned in the call masking clampdown by government, the pressure group of licensed providers of telecoms services in Nigeria says.
Mr Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman of ALTON says this to counter what he describes as speculations that some members of the trade group have been sanctioned by Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) over call masking.
NCC recently sanctioned several companies including interconnect clearinghouses and other licensees over their alleged involvement in call masking, which passes off international telephone traffic as local calls by delivering them with local phone numbers to avoid paying settlement charges.
The telecoms regulator, NCC which says the next wave of its sweeping clampdown will affect the big mobile phone companies and individuals that are also involved in call masking and other variants of the alleged fraud otherwise known as SIM boxing, traffic refilling, among others.
Meanwhile, Adebayo rose to the defence of the association members saying that they were all responsible corporate citizens who operate according to the laws.
“We are delighted that in the report issued by NCC, there is no current registered member of our association that was involved”, the ALTON Chairman says.
“And what it also goes to show is that our members are responsible corporate people who operate according to the laws.
“They work according to the terms of their licenses, so the assurance we will continue to give is that, as a responsible association we will continue to comply with the rules of operations”, according to Adebayo.
“ALTON members would not risk their investments in the country by carrying out illegal activities that the laws guiding their operations frown at”, ALTON says
In Adebayo’s words “as an industry that provides infrastructure for many other sub-sector of the economy, we will continue to do our best to contribute to the national economic development.”
As a trade group, ALTON describes its major objective is to “foster inter-network cooperation and industry harmony among all the telecoms operators, with the Regulator, Government agencies, as well as provide a platform for industry/stakeholders engagement and collaboration, for the advancement of the Nigerian telecommunications market.”