NCC: Telcos to Pay Up N165bn Interconnect Debt by July

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Interconnection is important in the telecoms industry because it enables the subscriber to experience the smoothness of a connected or one network. When an interconnection debt is owed, it is because an operator fails to settle the cost of termination of service rendered to it by another operator in the industry.

However, in the case telcos in Nigeria,  the Nigerian Communications Commision (NCC) has confirmed that the telecommunication firms have finally agreed to settle their ₦165 billion-worth of interconnect debt by July.

This disclosure was made by Umar Garba Danbatta, the Commission’s Chairman, while receiving Olusola Teniola, the newly-elected President of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in his office, yesterday.

NCC
Telecom companies in Nigeria.

According to Danbatta, the Commission had on Wednesday, June 6th set the deadline for the interconnect debt settlement after mediating between all parties involved. He also added that measures have been put in place to ensure that all those owing the debt start paying, even as those who are being owed eventually get to receive their money.

We mediated in what the actions and powers of the commission can do in terms of a crisis like this, because there is a debt crisis in the industry. But it is being managed very well. We all agreed yesterday (Wednesday) that pragmatic ways must be found to settle the debts and a deadline has been given as mid-July for the payment plan.

Interconnection is what makes it possible for subscribers of different networks to reach each other through calls and text messages. In fact, with interconnection, a subscriber does not care and does not need to know whether the person at the other end of the network subscribes to another network operator.


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