Reps to investigate telecom operators

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Nigerian_House_of_RepresentativesThe House of Representatives on Thursday, mandated its Committee on Communications to investigate alleged unwholesome practices by telecommunication operators in Nigeria.

The committee is expected to submit its findings within four weeks.

The resolution is sequel to a motion jointly sponsored by Reps. Eddie Mbadiwe (PDP-Imo) and Frank Enokorogha (PDP-Delta) and adopted without debate.

According to Mbadiwe, the companies have raked in millions of naira as innocent citizens who have not subscribed to some of their sales promotions are being charged without authorisation.

He said the companies had also refused such citizens credit refunds when demanded.

Mbadiwe said if the trend was not checked, Nigerians would continue to lose their hard earned money without hope of any redress.

The House also mandated its Committee on Information to intervene in the rift between the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria (IBAN).

The committee is expected to report its findings to the House within one month.

The resolution followed a motion moved by Rep. Abike Dabiri-Erewa (APC-Lagos), which was adopted without debate.

She said the ongoing rift between BON, IBAN and COSON should not be allowed to degenerate into a bigger crisis.

The Tony Okoroji-led COSON had taken some broadcasting stations in the country to court over alleged debt.

Okoroji wants the broadcasting organisations to pay large sums of money they owed COSON’s members as royalties.

As a reaction, BON and IBAN have placed a ban, with effect from Dec. 15, on the airing of songs by artistes who are members of COSON.

However, Dabiri-Erewa said the decision of BON and IBAN, if implemented, “would impact negatively on our image.’’

She urged the parties involved to resolve the impasse amicably through dialogue.

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