General News of Saturday, 14 February 2015
The Minority Spokesperson on Communication, Kennedy Agyapong has advised government not to adopt the Interconnect Clearing House system.
According to him, the system will increase government expenditure and reduce the revenue generated by the National Communication Authority (NCA).
The Parliamentary Committee on Communications on Thursday held a crucial meeting with key stakeholders in the nation’s telecommunication sector.
The meeting was to discuss government’s plans to introduce an Interconnect Clearing House system to prevent Sim box fraud in the telecom sector.
While the government argues that the intended move will help ensure revenue integrity in the sector, telecom service providers have argued the move will undermine service quality, compromise privacy of customers and lead also to high tariffs.
Thursday’s meeting was attended by MPs, officials of the Ministry of Communication, the Telecom Chamber, and representatives of the telecos. Speaking exclusively to Citi News, the Assin- North MP said: “I am not in favour of the Clearing House. That I will be frank with you. I asked them a question that what will be the benefit to the consumer and I have challenged that it is going to be added cost…”
“If it is not going to be an added cost, then it is going to reduce the revenue that NCA will pay because NCA has made it known to us that whatever percentage they will get, they will pay a percentage to the clearing house company so in effect if you are making 60,000 and now we have to give 20,000 to the clearing house, haven’t you reduced your revenue?” he further queried.
He recalled that some telecommunication companies in Nigeria folded up after it adopted the clearing house strategy.
“There is a clear example of Nigeria where they gave six companies, license for clearing house and three of them had folded up and it was just 5 percent of the population.”
He therefore advised the NCA to refrain from adopting the clearing house strategy since it will not add value to “what we get” as a nation.