Mr Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communications, on Friday charged telecom operators and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to stop call masking and investigate its origin.
A statement issued in Abuja by Mr Henshaw Ogbuke, Deputy Director Press in the Ministry, said Shittu gave the advice at a meeting with telecom operators over increasing rate of drop calls and other unwholesome practices.
He said the directive followed a correspondence he received from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on call masking by telecommunication network providers in Nigeria.
Shittu said also that the Senate had passed resolutions on the issues, as such there was urgent need for the service providers and regulatory agency to intervene.
He, therefore, enjoined NCC to investigate and invoke appropriate provisions of the law and other extant agreements to protect consumers and refund them henceforth for disrupted calls caused by network issues.
The minister said that consumers should also be allowed to have more control over their usage of data bundles as practiced by telecom operators in countries like Kenya and South Africa.
Shittu said that NCC, Consumer Protection Council, Standards Organisation of Nigeria and other regulatory agencies should effectively supervise telecom service providers, to ensure regulatory excellence.
Meanwhile, the network service providers have identified some of the causes of the dropped calls to include lack of In-Building Solutions (IBS) in some of the buildings for accessibility of calls.
According to them, where a building, like the Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja, has no in-building solutions, making and receiving smooth calls from such a place will be difficult.
Other reasons they said include high rise buildings overshadowing other buildings, Fibre Optic Links tampering, separation of domestic rates from international calls among others.
However, the network service providers, at the end of the meeting, promised to work amicably with the relevant authorities, as directed by the minister.
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