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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

ATCON spoils for war with FG over lack of improved power supply


*Members spend N2.82bn monthly to generate power

*Omo-Ettu, president ATCON
Concerned by the lack of improved quality of electricity power supply in the country, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) is spoiling for war with the Federal Government and even ready to drag government to court.

This follows the unprecedented amount of money and diesel being currently expended by its members to the tune of N3.82 billion monthly and N45.9bn by December this year.

President of ATCON, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu gave this warning at the weekend during a one-day national stakeholders’ consultative forum on five years Strategic Management Plan by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

He also said that telephone operators use a total of 25 million litres of diesel monthly to fuel 20,000 generators located at over 15,000 cell sites in the country.

According to him, at the current pump price of N153 per litre of diesel, operators will spend N3.82bn to fuel their generators monthly and N45.9bn in 2012.

450 other telecom players, he said, will make even more expenditure on alternative power, which could sway towards tariff increase and lowering of Quality of Service (QoS).

“We shall go to Court to press for damages if by 2013 December power supply does not improve,” he said.

ATCON, therefore suggested that it has no view operators, advising them to tell the consumers why and how the services are poor across board, stressing that services are poor across board.

A play out of summation of grade of services, Omo-Ettu submitted, may be an albatross, stressing that tariff could hardly be firm and fair in the face of poor service.

He, therefore, called for a study to examine most of these issues, which he described as critical questions.

Omo-Ettu wondered that if taken separately, what quality does each network operator offers?

ATCON expressed displeasure on why should consumers not expect penalty for poor service to compensate consumer and not payment of fine to Government.

“Can’t Individual Consumer press for damages? If not, Why not? If Yes, Who bells the Cat?” he asked.
As Nigeria migrates into Broadband and IP Applications, ATCON expected that on-going draft ICT Policy will make better prescriptions.

“Provide affordable minimum 2Mbps on demand by year 2015, 50 million Broadband users by 2020, and 450m by 2040 (about 452,311,182),” he said.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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