Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report
(Quarter 3 - 2019)
Monitoring Of Compliance With The Commission's Direction On Routing Of A Minimum Of 10% Of Interconnect Traffic By Mobile Network Operators (MNOS) Through Interconnect Exchange Licensees
Pursuant to the directive that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Interconnect Clearing Houses forward their monthly interconnect traffic to the Commission on/before 10th of the preceding month. Accordingly, to facilitate our compliance monitoring with the direction issued in April 2009 that all operators pass a minimum of 10% of their inter –operator traffic through certified Interconnect Exchange Licensees anywhere the Interconnect Exchange Licensees are located. The report of August, 2019 has been reviewed and findings as well as the recommendations have been forwarded for Management’s consideration.
Report Of Q3, 2019 Technical Audit Of Operators’ Performance Of The Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Scheme
Consistent with Commission’s mandate to monitor all significant activities relating to the performance of all Stakeholders in the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Scheme and given the need to ensure a seamless porting process with strict adherence to the MNP Regulations 2014 and the Business Rules & Port Order Processes, a technical audit team carried out a comprehensive compliance audit exercise of the MNP Platform from 4th -6th September, 2019 in Lagos.
The objectives of the exercise include:
- To review the level of success NPC’s migration of the MNP Platform to its new technical partners, Porting Access Ltd,
- Conduct an in-depth review of planned/ unplanned technical faults that occurred within the period under review;
- Audit ‘Validation Responses (T2) & Deactivation Responses (T4)’ which have timelines of 2 hours and 1 hour respectively for the period under review;
- Review all port rejections by the Donor to ensure that these rejections are within the valid reasons for rejection in the MNP Business Rules;
- Review the current status of outstanding MNP fees owed to the NPC Administrator by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs);
- Review all Emergency Repatriations and ‘Return to Block Operator’ transactions for the past 5 months (i.e. October, 2018 – February, 2019).
In view of findings from the Audit exercise, the Commission directed Mobile Network Operators to carry out the following:
- That Mobile Network Operators should ensure the fields for inputting MSISDN in porting request forms are only 10 digits. In addition, there is need for MNOs to educate and train front-end staff to ensure the correct donor network and MSISDN are specified before details are sent to NPC;
- That the MNP Industry Technical Working Group will discuss and impose a 45 day port restriction period for newly activated SIM cards;
- That Mobile Network Operators henceforth strictly comply with the conditions for ‘Emergency Repatriations’ and ‘Return to Block Operator’ in line with Provisions of the MNP Business Rules, as well as the consequences for non-compliance;
- That Mobile Network Operators remove the power to carry out ‘Emergency Repatriations’ and ‘Return to Block Operator’ from their front end agents to mitigate the emerging trend of abuse of laid down processes and procedures;
- In view of the relatively low amount of porting transactions, the Commission will carry out robust awareness campaigns to enlighten consumers on the availability of Mobile Number Portability Scheme.
Enforcement Action Against Recharge And Get Paid Limited (RAGP) For Operating Without Licence
The Commission had carried out an investigation on Recharge and Get Paid Limited (RAGP) non-compliance with its directives to stop providing the services outside the scope of the class licence granted by the Commission.
Consequently, the Commission de-registered the company and also published a disclaimer in two (2) national dailies on the de-registration of RAGP licence. Furthermore, Mobile Network Operators (MNO) were directed to cease any communications service with RAGP.
Notice Of Disconnection Of Value Added Services (VAS) From The MTN Network- Yellowdot Africa Nigeria Limited
A letter was received from YellowDot Nigeria Limited dated 1st July, 2019 requesting the Commission to halt MTN’s intention to disconnect it from its network. In a letter dated July 23, 2019, the Commission advised MTN Nigeria Communications PLC not to disconnect YellowDot as it had already applied for the renewal of its license. Consequently, YellowDot was requested to submit its tax clearance certificate and pay the outstanding Annual Operating Levy (AOL) in the sum of N7,769,550.65 (Seven Million Seven Hundred and Sixty Nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty Naira, Sixty Five Kobo) to enable the Commission complete the renewal process.
Nationwide Physical Enforcement Action Against Illegal And Unauthorised Users Of 5.430 – 5.725 Ghz (5.4ghz) Frequency Band
The Commission carried out nationwide monitoring exercise on the utilization of the 5.4GHz frequency band in Eleven (11) states of the federation which reported illegal deployment of service in the licensed band by some public and private organizations.
Prior to the exercise, the Commission, on September 4, 2019, published a 14-day Pre-Enforcement notice in the national dailies warning the affected organization to forthwith vacate and desist from the illegal deployment of services in the licensable portion of the 5.4GHz band without having obtained the requisite authorization from the Commission.
Enforcement Exercise On Complaint Of SIM Card Registration Agents In Oyo State
The Commission carried out an enforcement exercise in Ibadan, Oyo State between July 9 and 11, 2019 at locations where SIM Cards were purchased and registered in contravention with the Direction on SIM Card registration in a Controlled Environment. A total of four (4) suspects were arrested with registered MSISDN lines belonging to MTN, Airtel and Globacom and handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) for investigation and prosecution. Following which a pre enforcement letter was sent to the respective operators to show cause why the appropriate sanction should not be imposed against them for the breach in accordance with the Commission’s Direction on SIM Card registration in a controlled environment and the Nigerian Communications (Enforcement Process, etc.) Regulations, 2019.
Enforcement Action Against Fraudulently Registered SIM Cards In Abia And Imo States
The Commission carried out an enforcement action on the availability of fraudulently registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) as reported by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Umuahia, Abia State and also information gathered from participants in the Commissions awareness programme in Owerri, Imo State between September 10 &13, 2019. However, no arrest was made in both locations as there was high level of awareness and compliance regarding the sale of registered SIM cards and its attendant national security implications.
Unauthorised Change Of Shareholding Structure By Comviva Technologies Nigeria Limited – Notice Of Sanction
Following a breach of the Commission’s regulations regarding change of company shareholding structure, Comviva Technologies Nigeria Limited (Comviva) were sanctioned an administrative fee of N2, 000,000, due to its uncertain financial situation.
The Commission approved a monthly payment plan beginning from September 2019 and ending December 2019 to complete the payment of the sanction. Further to the approval, Comviva has commenced payment.
Joint Venture Agreement Between Billyronks Global Limited And Perpetual Communications Limited
Billyronks Global Limited applied to the Commission for the registration of a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between itself and Perpetual Global Limited without any prior approval from the Commission. The Commission having reviewed the agreements directed the parties to cease operation and give reasons why sanctions prescribed in the Regulation should not be imposed against them. Further to which the Commission held a meeting with Billyronks Global Limited and Perpetual Communications Limited on July 1, 2019 where the companies pleaded with the Commission for leniency in its decision admitting it was a mistake on their part. It was resolved that both companies should tender a letter of apology to the Commission for executing the joint venture agreement without prior approval from the Commission.
Consequently, the EVC’s approval to issue strong warning letters to the erring companies was sought and communicated accordingly.
Joint Venture Agreement Between Cybersynch Nigeria Limited And MTN
A joint venture agreement between Cybersynch Nigeria Limited (Cybersynch) and MTN was entered into without prior approval from the Commission. Cybersynch, a value added service provider had applied for tariff approval on its product Forbes 8 and an agreement with MTN. Both companies were issued pre-enforcement notice dated July 16, 2019 for contravening condition 11 of the Value Added Service License and condition 13 of the Unified Access Service License respectively. In their response it was established that the agreement entered into by Cybersynch and MTN is not a joint venture agreement but an agreement executed for the purpose of providing Value added service within MTN’s network as defined in the value added services framework. The case has been closed and Policy competition Department advised for the companies to be granted approval.
Direction On Forceful /Automatic Renewal Of Data Subscription And Activation/Subscription To Data And Value Added Services
During an audit exercise carried out by the Commission from September 25-28, 2019, it was discovered that Airtel, 9Mobile and Globacom forcefully subscribed some customers to Data and Value Added Services in contravention of the Commission’s Direction on Forceful Subscription. A letter was sent to the MNOs (Airtel, 9Mobile and Globacom) directing that they make the required refunds before September 27, 2019 and also furnish the Commission with the details on or before October 4, 2019. Checks revealed that some refunds have been effected by the Operators along with forwarded documentation. While the letters conveying the fines which include Airtel - N2, 397,084.000 (Two Billion, Three Hundred and Ninety Seven Million, Eighty Four Thousand Naira), EMTS - N164, 362,000 (One Hundred and Sixty Four Million, Three Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand Naira), Globacom - N232, 576,000(Two Hundred and Thirty Two Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Six Thousand Naira) have been sent respectively.
ALL OTHER ISSUES
Globacom’s Outstanding Obligations To The Commission
Globacom paid part of its outstanding financial obligations to the Commission, (i.e. National Numbering Plan, AOL, Spectrum fees etc.) Payment of about N729, 000,000 was made for numbering plan for 2019. Further payments will be monitored and communicated subsequently.
Request For Confirmation Of Regulatory Status
We received a referral regarding Fibre one Broadband limited who are engaged in the provision of Internet services. Accordingly, Licensing and Authorization Department confirmed that the company was not licensed by the Commission.
Implementation Of The Industry Code Of Corporate Governance
Following the resolution of the Executive Management on implementation of the Industry Code of Corporate Governance, the Commission Secretariat and Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Departments are required to review Corporate Governance reports submitted by licensees to ensure effective monitoring of compliance. A meeting between CS and CME departments was held on 26th September, in order to map out strategies for general monitoring and agree on responsibilities for effective implementation of the code.