Globacom, telecom giant, has denied reports that it still owes MTN Nigeria interconnection charges despite regulator the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) suggesting otherwise.
The NCC notified subscribers on Monday that approval had been granted for the partial network disconnection of Globacom from MTN Nigeria, due to non-settlement of interconnection charges.
However, a Globacom source apparently told journalists in Lagos that the amount owed – N1.6 billion (about US$ 1.8 million) – had been paid.
The public pre-disconnection notice was signed by Reuben Muoka, director of Public Affairs, NCC) and posted on the commission’s Twitter page.
It referred to repeated, failed, attempts at resolution of the debt issue and noted that Globacom lacked significant or justifiable reasons for failing to pay the interconnect charges.
Globacom customers will not be able to make calls to the MTN network within ten days from 8 January, although they will still be able to receive calls.
The notice said that the disconnection ‘will subsist until otherwise determined by the Commission’.
The disconnection is apparently covered by provisions in the Nigerian Communications Act (2003) and Guidelines on Procedure for Granting Approval to Disconnect Telecommunications Operators (2012).
However, GLO, speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, have now denied any debt to MTN.
“We are not owing MTN any interconnect charges,” the official stated, adding that proper cross-checking should have been done before such accusations were made.
The official further argued that GLO was a pioneer in the telecommunications industry, breaking the monopoly of foreign companies with their innovative pay-per-second billing system.
He criticised the report as an attempt to smear the reputation of Nigeria’s leading indigenous telecoms company.