The Complete 2004 Laws of Nigeria

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NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

ObjectivesApplicatioand Scope

SECTION

  1. Objectives of the Act.
  2. Application and scope.

EstablishmentFunctions and Membership of Commission

PARTI

Establishment and Functionof the Commission

  1. Establishment of the Commission.
  2. Functions of the Commission.

PART II

Establishment of the GoverninBoardand its Membership

  1. Establishment of the Governing Board, and its membership.
  2. Commissioner's remunerations, allowances, etc.
  3. Qualifications etc., of the Commission's Board.
  4. Appointment and tenure of Commissioners.
  5. Resignation of a Commissioner.
  6. Removal of a Commissioner.
  7. Vacancy on the Board.

PART III

Management and Staffing of the Commission

  1. Chief Executive.
  2. Executive Commissioners.
  3. Commission Secretary.
  4. Staff of the Commission.
  5. Conditions of service.

PART IV

Financial Provisions

17. Fund of the Commission.

SECTION

  1. Borrowing powers, gifts, etc.
  2. Budget and expenditure.
  3. Financial year and audit of Commission's accounts.
  4. Annual reports for the National Assembly.
  5. Exemption from taxation.

CHAPTER III

Functions of thMinister and National Frequency Management Council

PART I

Functions of the Minister

  1. Functions of the Minister.
  2. Formulation of policy.
  3. Relationship with the Commission.

PART II

National Frequency Management Council

  1. Establishment of National Frequency Management Council.
  2. Membership of National Frequency Management Council.
  3. Functions of National Frequency Management Council.
  4. Meetings and proceedings.
  5. Funding and staffing of the Council.

CHAPTER IV

Licences

PART I

Requirementfor and Class of Licencesand Offence

  1. Requirement for licences, and offence.
  2. Classes of licences.
  3. Licensing processes, etc.

PART II

Licence Conditions

  1. Commission's declaration.
  2. Affected licensees.
  3. Register of Declarations.
  4. Expiration, modification or revocation of declarations.
  5. Assignment of licence and compliance with licence conditions.

PART III

Individual Licences 
39. Application for individual licence.                                 

SECTION

  1. Additional information.
  2. Processing of applications.
  3. Licence undertakings.
  4. Renewal of individual licence.
  5. Surrender of individual licence.
  6. Suspension or revocation of individual licence.
  7. Effect of suspension of licence.
  8. Effect of surrender, revocation, etc.
  9. Register of individual licences.

PARTlV

Class Licence

  1. Class licence and conditions.
  2. Registration of class licensee.
  3. De-registration of class licensee.
  4. Register of class licences.

CHAPTERV

Powers and Procedures of the Commission

PARTI

Directions

  1. Issuance of directions.
  2. Modification of direction.
  3. Non-compliance with direction.
  4. Register of directions.

PART II

Inquiry

  1. inquiry.
  2. Public inquiry.
  3. Private inquiry.
  4. Publication of report.

PART III

Investigation for purposes of AdministrationInquiryetc.

  1. Investigation.
  2. Complaint.
  3. Conduct of investigation.

PARTlV

Information-gathering Powers 
64. information-gathering powers

SECTION

  1. Non-compliance.
  2. Evidence of compliance.
  3. Record and publication of information, etc.

PARTV

Register

  1. Register.
  2. Access to Register by public.

PARTVI

Regulations, Guidelines, etc.

  1. Commission's regulations, guidelines, etc.
  2. Rule-making process.
  3. Regulatory review.

PART VII

Notification and Resolution of Disputes

  1. Commission's power to resolve disputes.
  2. Resolution of disputes by parties.
  3. Notification of disputes.
  4. Resolution of disputes by Commission.
  5. Register of decisions.
  6. Enforcement of Commission's decision.

PART YIII

Registration of Agreements

  1. Registration of agreements.
  2. Register of agreements.

PART IX

Undertakings

  1. Undertakings.
  2. Registration of undertakings.
  3. Rules of undertakings.
  4. Withdrawal of undertakings.
  5. Enforcement of undertakings.

PART X

Review of Decisions

  1. Reasons for decisions.
  2. Review of decision by Commission.
  3. Judicial review of decision.

PART XI

Monitoring and Reporting

SECTION

89. Monitoring and reporting.

CHAPTER VI

Economic Regulation

PART I

General Competition Practices

  1. Commission's exclusive competence on competitions laws.
  2. Anti-competition practices.
  3. Dominant operator.
  4. Exemption.
  5. Legal action against default.
  6. Regulations, etc., relating to foreign operators.

PART II

Interconnection

  1. Obligation to interconnect.
  2. Interconnection agreements.
  3. Registration of interconnection agreements.
  4. Interconnection regulation and agreement.
  5. Disconnection of interconnection.

PART III

Access

  1. Provision of access.
  2. Access list and register.
  3. Regulations, discontinuance of access, etc.

CHAPTER VII

Consumers Affairs

PARTI

Consumer Protection and Quality of Service

  1. Quality of service.
  2. Resolution of consumer disputes.
  3. Consumer code.

PART II

Required Applications Services 
107. Required applications service

PART III

Tariff RatRegulation

SECTION

  1. Approval of tariffs and charges by Commission.
  2. Exemption.
  3. Tariff rates, rules and regulations.

III. Penalty for operating unapproved tariffs, charges, etc.

PART IV

Universal ServicProvision

  1. Universal Service Provision.
  2. Unserved areas, underserved areas and underserved groups.
  3. Universal Service Provision Fund.
  4. Universal Service Provision Board.
  5. Membership of Universal Service Provision Board.
  6. Universal Service Provision Board proceedings.
  7. Universal Service Provision Secretariat.
  8. Universal Service Provision Fund Mangers.
  9. Universal Service Provision Regulations.

CHAPTER VIII

Technical Regulation

PART I

Spectrum Assignment

  1. Management and administration offrequency spectrum.
  2. Illegal use of spectrum.
  3. Regulations.
  4. National frequency plan.
  5. Frequency licence.
  6. Compulsory acquisition of spectrum assignment.
  7. Forfeiture of spectrum assignment.

PART II

Numbering and Electronic Addressing

  1. Administration and planning of numbering, electronic addressing.
  2. Delegation of responsibility.

PART III

TechnicaStandard
130. Technical code and specification.
13 I. Offences.                                                    

SECTION

  1. Type approval.
  2. Type approval offences, etc.
  3. Regulations.

CHAPTER IX

General

PART I

installation of Network Facilities, Access to Network Facilities, etc.

  1. Required approval for network installations, etc.
  2. Duty care.
  3. Access to network facilities.

PART II

Jurisdiction, Offences, Powers of Entry, etc.

  1. Competent Court.
  2. Offences by corporate persons.
  3. General penalties.
  4. Powers of entry and investigation by inspectors.

PART III

Action against Commission, etc.

  1. Limitation of suits against Commission, etc.
  2. Service of court processes on Commission.
  3. Restriction on execution against Commission's property.
  4. Indemnity of Commission's officials.

PARTlV

National interest Matters

  1. General duty of licensees.
  2. Network interconnection capability.
  3. Emergency provisions.
  4. Disaster plan.

CHAPTER X

Repeal and Transitional Provisions

PART I

Repeals and Savings

  1. Repeal of 1992 No. 75, 1998 No. 30, 1995 No. 21.
  2. Existing rights, interest, etc., under repealed Acts.
  3. Outstanding obligations and liabilities under repealed Acts. 

SECTION

  1. Pending proceedings or causes of actions under repealed Acts.
  2. Commission's assets, funds, etc., pursuant to repealed Acts.
  3. Office holders pursuant to repealed Acts.

PART II

Transitional Provisions for Licences, Definitions and Short Title

  1. Old licences.
  2. Interpretation.
  3. Short title.

SCHEDULES

FIRST SCHEDULE

Supplementary Provisions relating to the Board of Commissioners

SECOND SCHEDULE

Conflict of Interest

NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS ACT

An Act to establish the National Frequency Management Council and the Universal
Access Fund and to reform the Nigerian Communications Commission and repeal
the Nigerian Communications Commission Act, 1992; and for related matters.

[2003 No. 19.]

[8th April, 2003]

[Commencement.]

CHAPTER I

ObjectivesApplication and Scope

  1. Objectives of the Act

The primary objective of this Act is to create and provide a regulatory framework for
the Nigerian communications industry and all matters related thereto and for that purpose
and without detracting from the generality of the foregoing, specifically to-

      (a)        promote the implementation of the national communications or telecommunications
policy as may, from time to time, be modified and amended;                                            

      (b)              establish a regulatory framework for the Nigerian communications industry
and for this purpose to create an effective, impartial and independent regulatory authority;

      (c)              promote the provision of modem, universal, efficient, reliable, affordable and
easily accessible communications services and the widest range thereof throughout Nigeria;

      (d)              encourage local and foreign investments in the Nigerian communications industry
and the introduction of innovative services and practices in the industry
in accordance with international best practices and trends;

      (e)              ensure fair competition in all sectors of the Nigerian communications industry
and also encourage participation of Nigerians in the ownership, control and
management of communications companies and organisations;

      (f)               encourage the development of a communications manufacturing and supply
sector within the Nigerian economy and also encourage effective research and
development efforts by all communications industry practitioners;

      (g)       protect the rights and interest of service providers and consumers within
Nigeria;

      (h)       ensure that the needs of the disabled and elderly persons are taken into consideration
in the provision of communications services; and

      (i)               ensure an efficient management including planning, co-ordination, allocation,
assignment, registration, monitoring and use of scarce national resources in the
communications sub-sector, including but not limited to frequency spectrum,
numbers and electronic addresses, and also promote and safeguard national interests,
safety and security in the use of the said scarce national resources.

  1. Application and scope

This Act applies to the provision and use of all communications services and net-
works, in whole or in part within Nigerian or on a ship or aircraft registered in Nigeria.

CHAPTERll

EstablishmentFunctions and Membership of Commission

PART I

Establishment and Functions of the Commission

  1. Establishment of the Commission

(1) There is established a Commission to be known as the Nigerian Communications
Commission with responsibility for the regulation of the communications sector in
Nigeria.

(2) The Commission shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal,
capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name, and shall have the power to do the following-

      (a)       enter into contracts and incur obligations;

      (b)        acquire, hold, mortgage, purchase and deal howsoever with property, whether
movable or immovable, real or personal; and

      (c)        do all such things as are necessary for or incidental to the carrying out of its
functions and duties under this Act.

(3) The Commission shall be structured into departments as the Board may, from
time to time, deem appropriate for the effective discharge of its functions.

4. Functions of the Commission

(I) The Commission shall have the following functions-

      (a)        the facilitation of investments in and entry into the Nigerian market for provision
and supply of communications services, equipment and facilities;

      (b)        the protection and promotion of the interests of consumers against unfair practices
including but not limited to matters relating to tariffs and charges for and
the availability and quality of communications services, equipment and facilities;

      (c)         ensuring that licensees implement and operate at all times the most efficient
and accurate billing system;

      (d)        the promotion of fair competition in the communications industry and protection
of communications services and facilities providers from misuse of market
power or anti-competitive and unfair practices by other service or facilities
providers and equipment suppliers;

      (e)         granting and renewing communications licences whether or not the licences
themselves provide for renewal in accordance with the provisions of this Act
and monitoring and enforcing compliance with licence terms and conditions by
licensees;

      (f)         proposing and effecting amendments to licence conditions in accordance with
the objectives and provisions of this Act;

      (g)         fixing and collecting fees for grant of communications licences and other regulatory
services provided by the Commission;

      (h)        the development and monitoring of performance standards and indices relating
to the quality of telephone and other communications services and facilities
supplied to consumers in Nigeria having regard to the best international performance indicators;

      (i)         making and enforcement of such regulations as may be necessary under this
Act to give full force and effect to the provisions of this Act;

       (j)        management and administration of frequency spectrum for the communications
sector and assisting the National Frequency Management (NFM) Council
in developing a national frequency plan;

       (k)         development, management and administration of a national numbering plan
and electronic addresses plan and the assignment of numbers and electronic
addresses therefrom to licensees;

      (l)        proposing, adopting, publishing, and enforcing technical specifications and
standards for the importation and use of communications equipment in Nigeria
and for connecting or interconnecting communications equipment and systems;

      (m)       the formulation and management of Nigeria's inputs into the setting of international
technical standards for communications services and equipment;

      (n)       carrying out type approval tests on communications equipment and issuing
certificates therefore on the basis of technical specifications and standards prescribed from
time to time by the Commission;

      (0)        encouraging and promoting infrastructure sharing amongst licensees and providing
regulatory guidelines thereon;

      (P)        examining and resolving complaints and objections filed by and disputes between licensed
operators, subscribers or any other person involved in the communications industry, using such
dispute-resolution methods as the Commission may determine from time to time, including
mediation and arbitration;

      (q)       preparation and implementation of programmes and plans that promote and
ensure the development of the communications industry and the provision of
communications services in Nigeria;

      (r)        designing, managing and implementing Universal Access Strategy and programme
in accordance with Federal Government's general policy and objectives thereon;

      (s)        advising the Minister on the formulation of the general policies for the communications
industry and generally on matters relating to the communications
industry in the exercise of the Minister's functions and responsibilities under
this Act;

      (t)         implementation of the Government's general policies on communications
industry and the execution of all such other functions and responsibilities as are
given to the Commission under this Act or are incidental or related thereto;

      (u)       generally advising and assisting communications industry stakeholders and
practitioners with a view to the development of the industry and attaining the
objectives ofthis Act and its subsidiary legislation;

      (v)        representation of Nigeria at proceedings of international organisations and forums
on matters relating to regulation of communications and matters ancillary
and connected thereto; and

      (w)       general responsibility for economic and technical regulation of the communications industry.

(2) The Commission shall at all times carry out its functions and duties and exercise
its powers hereunder efficiently, effectively and in a non-discriminatory and transparent
manner and in a way that is best calculated to ensure that there are provided throughout
Nigeria, subject to the regulatory controls specified in this Act, all forms of communications
services, facilities and equipment on such terms and subject to such conditions as
the Commission may, from time to time, specify.

PART II

Establishment of the Governing Board, and its Membership

  1. Establishment of the Governing Board, and its membership

(I) There is established for the Commission a Governing Board (in this Act referred
to as "the Board") charged with the administration of the affairs of the Commission.

(2) The Board consists of nine Commissioners made up of-

       (a)       a chairman;

       (b)       a chief executive who shall also be the Executive Vice-Chairman;

       (c)        two Executive Commissioners; and

       (d)       five non-executive Commissioners,
who shall be appointed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the President shall ensure at all
times that there is a duly constituted Board of Commissioners and that there are a
minimum of six serving Commissioners on the Board at any and all times, made up of-

       (a)       the Chief Executive;

       (b)       two Executive Commissioners; and

       (c)        three non-executive Commissioners.

(4) The supplementary provisions set out in the First Schedule to this Act shall have
effect with respect to the proceedings of the Board and the other matters contained
therein.

[First Schedule.]

(5) Subject to subsection (4) of this section, the Board shall have capacity to make
standing orders for the regulation of its proceedings and meetings howsoever and acts of
the Board shall be deemed to be acts of the Commission.

  1. Commissioner's remunerations, allowances, etc.

The remunerations and allowances, payable to the Commissioners, including the
Chief Executive and Executive Commissioners, shall at the instance of the Board be
determined and reviewed from time to time by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages
Commission.

  1. Qualifications etc., of the Commission's Board

(I) Commissioners shall be persons of recognised standing, qualification and experience
in one or more of the following fields-

       (a)       finance or accounting;

       (b)        law;

       (c)        consumer affairs;

       (d)       telecommunications engineering;

       (e)        information technology; 

      (f)        engineering generally;

      (g)        economics; and

       (h)       public Administration.

(2) A person shall not be appointed or remain in office as a Commissioner if-

       (a)       he is not a Nigerian citizen;

       (b)       he is not ordinarily resident in Nigeria;

      (c)        he is a serving member of the National Assembly, State House of Assembly or
any Local Government Council;

       (d)       he is incapacitated by any physical illness;

      (e)        he has been certified to be of unsound mind;

      (f)        he is an undischarged bankrupt;

      (g)       he has been convicted in Nigeria or elsewhere of a criminal offence, being a
misdemeanour or felony; or

      (h)        he has at any time been removed from an office of trust on account of
misconduct.

(3) The conflict of interest provisions contained in the Second Schedule to this Act
shall apply to all Commissioners.

[Second Schedule.]

8. Appointment and tenure of Commissioners

(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, all Commissioners to be appointed after
the coming into force of this Act shall be appointed by the President in accordance with
section 7 of this Act, from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria subject to the confirmation by the Senate.

(2) The Board shall make recommendations to the President on suitably qualified
persons for appointment as the Commission's Chief Executive and Executive Commissioners
and the President shall take the Commission's recommendations into consideration for the appointment.

(3) All Commissioners, except the Chief Executive and the Executive Commissioners,
shall hold office on part-time basis.

(4) Subject to section 11 (3) and 11 (4) of this Act, each Commissioner shall serve
for a term of5 (five) years from the date of his appointment at the expiration of which the
President may renew his term for a further period of five years and no more.

(5) Subject to section 11 (3) and 11 (4) of this Act, all Commissioners who were appointed
prior to and are still serving as at the commencement date of this Act shall be
deemed upon the commencement of this Act to be serving their initial term of 5 (five)
years, calculated from their respective dates of appointments and shall, subject to subsection (4)
of this section, be eligible thereafter for renewal of their respective tenures. 

  1. Resignation ora Commissioner

A Commissioner may resign his office by giving three months written notice thereof
addressed to the President through the Minister.

10. Removal ora Commissioner

(1) Subject to subsections (2), (3), and (4) of this section, a Commissioner may be
suspended or removed from office by the President if he-

      (a)        is found to have been unqualified for appointment as a Commissioner pursuant
to section 7 of this Act or is in breach of section 7 (2) hereof after his appointment;

       (b)       has demonstrated inability to effectively perform the duties of his office;

       (c)        has been absent from 5 (five) consecutive meetings of the Board without the
consent of the Chairman except he shows good reason for such absence;

       (d)       is guilty of a serious misconduct in relation to his duties as a Commissioner;

       (e)        in the case of a person possessed of professional qualifications, he is disqualified
or suspended from practising his profession in any part of the world by an order of a competent authority; or

       (f)        is in a breach of the contlict of Interest Rules set out in the Second Schedule to
this Act.

[Second Schedule.]

(2) Prior to the suspension or removal of a Commissioner under subsection (l) of this
section, the President shall inform the Commissioner by written notice, as soon as practicable,
of his intention to suspend or remove the Commissioner from office and the reasons
therefore.

(3) The affected Commissioner under subsection (1) of this section shall be given a
reasonable opportunity to make written submissions to the President within a time period
specified in the notice and such time period shall not be less than 14 days from the date of
the notice.

(4) The affected Commissioner may, within the time period specified in the notice,
submit a written submission and the President shall consider the submission in making
his final decision on the Commissioner's suspension or removal from office.

11Vacancy on the Board

(I) There is a vacancy in the Board if a Commissioner
(a) dies
(b) is removed from office in accordance with sections 7 or 10 of this Act;
(c)  resigns from office; or
(d) upon the completion of his tenure of office 

 

(2) A vacancy in the Board shall be filled by the appointment of another person to the
vacant office by the President in accordance with section 8 of this Act, as soon as is
reasonably practicable after the occurrence of such vacancy.

(3) Subject to subsection (4) of this section, in the instance of a vacancy on the Board
that are created consequent upon death, removal or resignation of a Commissioner, any
person so appointed shall hold office for the unexpired period of the term of office of his
predecessor.

(4) The provisions of subsection (3) of this section shall not apply to the filling of vacancies
in respect of Executive Commissioners howsoever and whenever created.

PART III

Management and Staffing of thCommissio
12. Chief Executive

(1) The Chief Executive shall be primarily responsible for the execution of the policies and decisions
of the Board and for the day to day management and supervision of the activities of the Commission.

(2) The Chief Executive shall be a person possessing sound knowledge of and ability
in the organisation and management of communications matters and subject to
section 8 (3) and 8 (4) of this Act, he shall hold office for a term of five years and may be
renewed for another term and no more.

13. Executive Commissioners

The Executive Commissioners shall be persons possessing sound knowledge of and
ability in the organisation and management of communications regulatory matters and
subject to section 8 (4) of this Act, they shall hold office for a term of five years and may
be renewed for another term and no more.

14. Commission Secretary

(1) There shall be appointed by the Board, for the Commission a secretary who shall
not be a Commissioner but shall possess relevant and adequate professional qualifications,
with not less than ten years post-qualification, experience.

(2) The Secretary shall keep the corporate records of the Commission and perform
such other duties and functions as the Chairman or the Chief Executive may, from time to
time, direct.

15. Staff of the Commission

(I) The Commission shall have powers to appoint such number of other persons as it
deems necessary as staff of the Commission.

(2) The employment of the Commission's staff, including the Secretary, shall be subject to
such terms and conditions as may, from time to time, be stipulated by the Board
and contained in the respective staffs employment contracts.

16. Conditionof service

(1) The Commission shall develop and implement appropriate staff conditions of service
for its staff with particular regard to the issues of remuneration, pensions scheme and
other fringe service benefits, sufficient for the Commission to attract and retain quality
and high calibre manpower 

(2) The Board shall consider and, in consultation with the National Salaries, Incomes
and Wages Commission determine and review from time to time, the remunerations and
allowances, payable to the Commission's staff.

(3) The conflict of interest provisions contained in the Second Schedule to this Act
shall apply to all employees of the Commission.

[Second Schedule.]

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Pensions Act, service in the Commission
shall be approved service for the purposes of that Act and accordingly, officers and other
persons employed in the Commission shall in respect of their services in the Commission,
be entitled to pensions, gratuities and other retirement benefits as are enjoyed by persons
holding equivalent grades in the Civil Service of the Federation, so however that nothing
in this Act shall prevent the appointment of a person to any office on terms which preclude
the grant of pension and gratuity in respect of that office.

[L.F.N. 2004 Cap. P4.]

(5) For the purposes of the application of the Pensions Act, any power exercisable
thereunder by a Minister or other Authority of the Federal Government, other than the
power to make regulations under section 23 thereof, is hereby vested in and shall be
exercisable by the Commission and not by any other person or authority.

PART IV

Financial Provisions

17. Fund of the Commission

(1) The Commission shall establish and maintain a fund from which all expenditures
incurred by the Commission shall be defrayed.

(2) The Fund shall comprise funds derived from but not limited to the following
sources-

       (a)       such monies as may be appropriated to the Commission from time to time by
the National Assembly;

       (b)       subject to subsection (3) of this section, fees charged by the Commission under
this Act or its subsidiary legislation or under any licence issued pursuant to this
Act;

       (c)        gifts, loans, grants, aids, etc.; and

       (d)       all other assets that may, from time to time, accrue to the Commission.

(3) The Commission shall pay all monies accruing from the sale of spectrum under
Part I of Chapter VIII into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

18. Borrowing powers, gifts, etc.

(I) The Commission may, with the consent of, or in accordance with the general authority
given by the Minister of Finance, borrow such sums of money as the Commission
may require in the exercise of its functions under this Act or its subsidiary legislation.

(2) The Commission may accept gifts or grants of money or aids or other property
from national, bilateral and multi-lateral organisations and upon such terms and conditions,
if any, as may be agreed upon between the donor and the Commission provided
that such gifts are not inconsistent with the objectives and functions of the Commission
under this Act.

19. Budget and expenditure

(I) The Commission shal\ not later than 30th September in each financial year prepare
and present to the National Assembly through the President for approval, a statement
of estimated income and expenditure for the following financial year.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), the Commission may also, in
any financial year, submit supplementary or adjusted statements of estimated income and
expenditure to the National Assembly through the President for approval.

(3) Subject to subsections (I) and (2) of this section, the Commission shall apply the
proceeds of the Commission's Fund-

                                  (a)       to meet the administrative and operating costs of the Commission;

       (b)       for the payment of salaries, wages, fees and other allowances, retiring benefits
such as pensions and gratuities and, any other remunerations payable to the
Commissioners and staff of the Commission;

       (c)        for the purchase or acquisition of property or other equipment and other capital
expenditure and for maintenance of any property acquired or vested in the Commission;

                                (d)       for purposes of investment; and

       (e)        for or in connection with al\ or any of the functions of the Commission under
this Act or its subsidiary legislation.

20. Financial year and audit of Commission's accounts

(I) The financial year of the Commission shall start on 1st January of each year and
end on 31 st December of the same year.

(2) The Commission shall keep proper records of its accounts in respect of each year
and shall cause its accounts to be audited within six months from the end of each financial
year by auditors whose appointment shall be approved by the Board and shall be subject
to reappointment on annual basis:
Provided that such auditors are on the list of auditors approved from time to time
by the Auditor-General for the Federation.

21. Annual reports for the National Assembly

(I) The Commission shall prepare and submit to the National Assembly annual\y,
through the President, not later than six months after the end of its financial year, a report
on the activities of the Commission for the preceding financial year and shall include
therein the Commission's audited accounts for the year under review together with the
auditor's report thereon. 

(2) The Commission's report under subsection (1) of this section shall have as an
attachment thereto the report specified in section 89 of this Act.

22. Exemption from taxation

The provisions of any enactment relating to the taxation of companies or trust funds
shall not apply to the Commission.

CHAPTER III

Functions of the Minister and National Frequency Management Council

PART I

Functions of the Minister

23. Functions of the Minister

The Minister shall have the following responsibilities and functions pursuant to this
Act-

       (a)       the formulation, determination and monitoring, of the general policy for the
communications sector in Nigeria with a view to ensuring, amongst others, the
utilisation of the sector as a platform for the economic and social development
of Nigeria;

       (b)       the negotiation and execution of international communications treaties and
agreements, on behalf of Nigeria, between sovereign countries and international
organisations and bodies; and

      (c)        the representation of Nigeria in conjunction with the Commission, at proceedings
of international organisations and fora on matters relating to communications.

24. Formulation of policy

(1) Prior to the formulation or review of the general policy for the Nigerian communications sector,
the Minister shall cause the Commission on his behalf to first carry out a
public consultative process on the proposed policy formulation or modification.

(2) In formulating and determining the policy or amendments thereto, the Minister
and the Council shall take into consideration the findings of the consultative process under
subsection (1) of this section.

25. Relationship with the Commission

(I) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, the Minister shall, in writing, from time
to time notifying the Commission of and express his views on the general policy direction
of the Federal Government in respect of the communications sector.

(2) In the execution of his functions and relationship with the Commission, the Minister
shall at all times ensure that the independence of the Commission, in regard to the
discharge of its functions and operations under this Act, is protected and not compromised
in any manner whatsoever.

PART II

National Frequency Management Council 
26. Establishment of National Frequency Management Council

There is established in the Ministry a National Frequency Management Council
(NFM) (in this Act referred to as "the Council") with membership and functions as set
out in this Act.

27. Membership of National Frequency Management Council
(1) The membership of the Council shall be made up of-

       (a)       a chairman who shall be the Minister;

       (b)       one representative of the Federal Ministry for the time being charged with the
responsibility for Communications;

       (c)       one representative of the Federal Ministry of Aviation;

       (d)       one representative of the Federal Ministry of Transport;

       (e)       one representative of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology;

       (f)        two representatives of the Commission;

       (g)       one representative of the National Broadcasting Commission; and

       (h)       one representative from the security agencies of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria.

(2) The organisations that are represented on the Council may at any time, at their
discretion or at the instance of the NFM Council, withdraw members who are representing
their organisations and simultaneously replace them with some other persons.

28. Functions of National Frequency Management Council

The Council shall have and exercise the following functions-

       (a)       assist and advise the Minister on the representation of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria and carrying out ancillary functions at international and regional spectrum allocation
bodies including but not limited to International Telecommunications Union (ITU);

       (b)       assist and advise the Minister on the preparation and negotiation of bi-lateral
and multi-lateral spectrum allocation treaties with other sovereign
administrations;

       (c)        assist and advise the Minister on the preparation, negotiation and adoption of
spectrum co-ordination agreements that are applicable to cross-border spectrum uses
involving the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other countries;

      (d)        in consultation and conjunction with the Commission, prepare, update and
publish on a regular basis a national frequency allocation table and establish a
data bank that would assist and facilitate the management of the national
spectrum;

       (e)        carry out bulk trans-sectoral allocation of spectrum to statutory bodies that are
authorised by enabling laws to allocate spectrum to end-users; and

      (f)          receive and collate returns and statistics on spectrum allocation to end-users
from the statutory bodies specified in paragraph (e) of this section and coordinate their respective activities.

29. Meetings and proceedings

(I) The Minister shall ensure that the Council meets at least four times in every
calendar year to transact its business.

(2) The Council may make standing orders for the regulation of its meetings and proceedings
and may establish standing or ad hoc committees to assist it in exercising its
functions under this Act.

(3) Membership of the Council Committees may be constituted beyond the members
of the Council to include persons and representatives of organisations that are capable in
the Council's estimation of assisting the Council in the discharge of its functions:
Provided that such Council Committees shall at all times be headed by the Council
members.

(4) Decisions of the Council Committees shall not be effective binding and valid until
they are adopted and agreed upon by the NFM Council.

30. Funding and staffing of the Council

(I) The Council shall be funded from-

       (a)       subventions and budgetary allocations from the Federal Government; and

       (b)       grants-in-aid from national, bilateral and multi-lateral agencies.

(2) The Council Secretariat shall be serviced by officials of the Ministry.

CHAPTER IV

Licences

PART I

Requiremenfor and Class oLicencesanOffence

31. Requirement for licences, and offence

(I) No person shall operate a communications system or facility nor provide a communications
service in Nigeria unless authorised to do so under a communications licence
or exempted under regulations made by the Commission under this Act.

(2) Any person who acts in breach of subsection (I) of this section, commits an
offence and is liable on conviction to--

       (a)       a fine not less than the initial fee for the relevant licence;

       (b)       a fine not exceeding 10 (ten) times the initial fee for the relevant licence;

       (c)        imprisonment for a term not exceeding I (one) year; and

       (d)       both such fine and imprisonment:
Provided that upon conviction, the person shall also forfeit to the Commission the
property, facilities, installations and equipment used by him for the provision an operation
of the unlicensed service.

32. Classes of licences

(1) The Commission shall issue communications licences for the operation and
provision of communications services or facilities by way of class or individual licences on
such terms and conditions as the Commission may, from time to time, determine taking
into consideration the objectives of this Act and the provisions of section 33 (3) of this
Act.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, the Commission shall, from time to time,
determine and publish to the general public the communications services that qualify for
class or individual licences that are exempted from licensing.

(3) The Commission shall, in determining the services that qualify for class or individual
licences, at all times ensure that previous holders of licences for such services as at
the date of such determination do not suffer any disadvantage except as permitted under
this Act and its subsidiary legislation.

33. Licensing processes, etc.

(1) The Commission shall, from time to time, determine and cause to be published a
regulation on its licensing processes specifying, amongst others, the persons or classes of
persons who are eligible generally to apply for licences.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, the Commission shall, from time to time,
determine and publish its licensing procedures which may include but shall not be limited
to auction, selection processes, public tender invitation or competitive bidding processes.

(3) The Commission shall at all times be guided in the formulation of licensing procedures,
issuance of communications licences and preparation of licence conditions and
terms, by the principles of and consideration for-

       (a)       transparency, fairness and non-discrimination;

       (b)       efficient use and management of radio frequencies;

       (c)        available numbers under the National Numbering Plan;

       (d)       the need to promote fair competition and investment in the communications
industry;

       (e)        the need to provide modem, qualitative, affordable and readily available communications
services in all parts of Nigeria; and

       (f)          such other principles and considerations as the Commission may, from time to
time, consider necessary and in the national interest.

PART 11

Licence Conditions

34. Commission's declaration

(1) The Commission may, from time to time, make written declarations that an individual
licence, or a classification of individual licences, or a class licence is subject to
such terms and conditions, or enjoys such benefits, as the Commission deems fit.

(2) Any declaration on the conditions of licence shall be consistent with the objects
and provisions of this Act which are relevant to the particular undertaking, matter or
activity.

35. Affected licensees

(I) The Commission shall, before making a declaration under section 34 of this Act,
give the affected licensees written notice of its intention to do so together with a draft
copy of the declaration, and the licensees may make written submissions to the
Commission thereon within the time period specified by the Commission but not less
than 30 (thirty) days from the date of the written notice.

(2) The Commission shall, in deciding on the next course of action, take into consideration
any submission made by the affected licensees and the principles specified in section 33 (3) of this Act.

36. Register of Declarations

The Commission shall register every declaration as soon as practicable and shall further
maintain a register of all such declarations in accordance with Part V of Chapter V.

37. Expiration, modification or revocation of declarations

(I) The Commission may at any time amend, modify, vary or revoke any licence
condition or a declaration regarding a licence.

(2) The procedures set out in sections 34, 35 and 36 of this Act shall apply mutatis
mutandis 
in respect of any amendment, modification, variation or revocation of a licence
condition or declaration.

38. Assignment of licence and compliance with licence conditions

(I) The grant of a licence shall be personal to the licensee and the licence shall not be
operated by, assigned, sub-licensed or transferred to any other party unless the prior
written approval of the Commission has been granted.

(2) A licensee shall at all times comply with the terms and conditions of his licence
and the provisions of this Act and its subsidiary legislation.

PART III

Individual Licences

39. Application for individual licence

(I) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, a person may apply to the Commission,
in writing and in such form as the Commission may prescribe, for an individual licence in
respect of any matter requiring an individual licence under this Act.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (I) of this section and notwithstanding the provisions
of section 33 (I) of this Act, the Commission may, from time to time, specify additional
criteria and qualifications that shall be met by persons wishing to apply for individual licences.

(3) The Commission may not grant and individual licence to a person if that person is
operating under an existing class licence in respect of the same service or activity.

(4) All applications for individual licences shall be subject to payment of processing
fees in such amount as the Commission may, from time to time, specify.

(5) An application under this section may be withdrawn at any time before it is
granted or refused.

40. Additional information

(1) The Commission may at any time after the application for an individual licence is
made, request the applicant to give to the Commission, within the period specified in the
request, further information in support of the application.

(2) If any additional information or document required under subsection (I) of this
section is not provided by the applicant within the time specified in the request or any
extension of time granted by the Commission, the application shall be deemed to be
withdrawn and shall not be further proceeded with, but without affecting the right of the
applicant to make a fresh application.

41Processing of applications

(I) The Commission shall, within 90 days of receiving an application for an individual
licence under this Chapter, that is not the subject of a competitive bid process, however
called or designed, inform the applicant by written notice-

       (a)       whether or not the individual licence has been granted;

       (b)       in the event of a grant, or any special or additional conditions that apply to the
licence; and

       (c)        in the event that the application has been refused, the reasons for the refusal.

(2) If the Commission neither grants nor refuses to grant an individual licence within
90 days from the receipt of an application, the Commission shall be deemed, at the end of
the period, to have refused to grant the individual licence unless the applicant receives a
written notice approving the application for the individual licence after the period.

42. Licence undertakings

(I) The grant of certain individual licences may be conditional on the registration of
undertakings by a prospective licensee.

(2) The Commission may, in granting individual licences, declare specified benefits
only for licensees who have current registered undertakings under this section.

43. Renewal of individual licence

(1) The licensee may apply for the renewal of an individual licence not later than six
months before its expiry and the renewal fee to be determined by the Commission shall
be payable upon approval of the application.

(2) If the Commission has no intention of renewing the individual licence, the Commission shaIl-

       (a)        inform the licensee by written notice not later than three months from the date
of receipt of the renewal application from the licensee, of its refusal to renew
the individual licence; and

      (b)        notify and publish, at least 30 days before the expiry of the individual licence
such intention in at least one national daily newspaper.

(3) The Commission may refuse an application for the renewal of an individual licence if
the Commission determines that the licensee has-

       (a)       failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the individual licence;

       (b)       failed to comply with the provisions of this Act or its subsidiary legislation; or

       (c)        failed to comply with any instrument issued, made or given by the Commission.

(4) The affected licensee shall be given a reasonable opportunity to make written
submissions to the Commission within a period specified in the notice and such time
period shall not be less than 14 days from the date of the notice.

(5) The affected licensee may within the time period specified in the notice submit a
written submission and the Commission shall consider the submission.

44. Surrender of individual licence

(I) A licensee may, by written notice, surrender his individual licence to the Commission
at any time or in accordance with the requirements set out in the individual licence.

(2) The surrender shall take effect on the date the Commission receives the individual
licence and the notice under subsection (I) of this section, or where a latter date is specified
in the notice, on that date.

(3) The surrender of an individual licence shall be irrevocable unless it is expressed
to take effect on a later date and before that date the Commission by notice in" writing to
the licensee allows the surrender to be withdrawn.

45. Suspension or revocation of individual licence

(I) The Commission may, by declaration suspend or revoke an individual licence
granted under this Act in any of the following circumstances-

       (a)              the licensee has failed to pay any amount or fine required by or imposed
pursuant to this Act or the individual licence;

       (b)              the licensee has failed to comply with the provisions of this Act or its subsidiary
legislation or the terms and conditions of the individual licence;

       (c)               the licensee has contravened the provisions of any other written law relevant to
the communications industry;

       (d)              the licensee has failed to comply with any instrument issued, made or given by
the Commission;

       (e)        if the licensee-

                        (i)     is unable to pay its debts within the meaning of that expression as
defined in the Companies and Allied Matters Act;

[L.F.N. 2004 Cap. C20.]

                                                         (ii) enters into receivership or liquidation;
                                                          
                                                          (iii)     takes any action for its voluntary winding-up or dissolution or entersinto any 
                                                         scheme of arrangement (other than in any such case for thepurpose of reconstruction or 
                                                         amalgamation upon terms and within such period as may previously have been approved in 
                                                          writing by the Commission) or if any order is made by a competent court or tribunal for its 
                                                          compulsory winding-up or dissolution; or

                                                                                 (IV) the suspension or revocation is in the public interest. 

(2) Notwithstanding any contrary provision in this Act, an individual licence may be
suspended or revoked under subsection (1) (a), (b), (c) or (d) of this section only after-

      (a)       the Commission shall by written notice have informed the licensee of its
breach under the said subsection and demanded that the breach be rectified, (if
it is capable of rectification), within 60 days from the date of the notice; and

(b) the licensee has failed to rectify the breach within the said time-frame

 (4) The affected licensee shall be given a reasonable opportunity to make written
submissions to the Commission within a time period specified in the notice and such time
period shall not be less than 14 days from the date of the notice.

(5) The affected licensee may, within the time period specified in the notice, submit a
written submission and the Commission shall consider the submission in making its final
determination and declaration on the suspension or revocation of the individual licence.

 

(6) Subject to subsections (4) and (5) of this section, the suspension or revocation of
an individual licence shall take effect on the expiration of30 days from the date on which
the notice of the Commission's declaration under subsection (3) of this section in respect
of the suspension or revocation is served on the licensee.

(7) Where the suspension or revocation of an individual licence has taken effect, the
Commission shall, as soon as practicable, cause the suspension or cancellation to be
published in at least one national daily newspaper.

(8) Any delay or failure to publish the notice of suspension or revocation shall not in
any manner affect the validity of the suspension or revocation.

46. Effect of suspension of licence

(1) In the event of the suspension of a licence, the Commission shall determine and
communicate to the licensee the duration of the suspension and the penalties that shall be
attendant therefor which may include but shall not be limited to withdrawal of assigned
spectrum allocation.

(2) In determining the duration of and penalties consequent upon suspension of a licence,
the Commission shall take into consideration, amongst other factors, the gravity of
the breach that necessitated the suspension and any mitigating circumstances or conduct
thereof

47. Effect of surrender, revocation, etc.

(I) Where the revocation on an individual licence under section 45 of this Act or the
surrender of an individual licence under section 44 hereof, has taken effect, or where the
individual licence has expired, the licensee shall immediately lose the right to provide
any service in respect of which the individual licence was granted.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (I) of this section and without
prejudice to specific individual licence conditions, the Commission may authorise the
licensee in writing to carryon providing any facility or service for such duration as the
Commission may specify in the authorisation for the purpose of-

                                (a)       winding up the licensee's affairs;

       (b)       relocating the licensee's consumers to some other licensee as the Commission
may determine and on such terms and conditions as the Commission may specify;

       (c)        making or effecting such other arrangements as the Commission may specify
for the continued provision of services to the licensee's customers; and

      (d)        carry out such other ancillary and related activities as the Commission may
consider necessary.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the licensee
whose individual licence has expired shall be entitled to carry on providing a service as if
his individual licence had not expired upon proof being submitted to the Commission that
the licensee has applied for the renewal of the individual licence in accordance with
section 43 of this Act and that such application is pending determination by the Commission.

(4) Subject to subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person who continues to provide
service after the coming into effect of the provisions of subsection (I) of this section
in respect of his licence commits an offence and, on conviction, is liable to the punishment
prescribed in section 31 (2) of this Act.

48. Register of individual licences

(I) The Commission shall maintain a register of all individual licences that have been
granted under this Act.

(2) The Commission shall maintain a separate register containing-

       (a)       any special or additional conditions specified in the individual licence;

       (b)       any written notice varying, revoking or imposing any special or additional conditions
specified in the individual licence;

       (c)        any written notice by the licensee surrendering his individual licence;

       (d)       any written notice by the Commission suspending or cancelling the individual
licence; and

       (e)        any written notice approving the transfer of an individual licence.

(3) The Commission shall maintain the register in accordance with Part V of Chapter V
of this Act.

PARTlV

Class Licence

49. Class licence and conditions

(I) The Commission may grant a class licence in respect of any matter requiring a
class licence under this Act.

(2) A class licence granted under subsection (I) of this section shall contain such
standard terms and conditions as the Commission may, from time to time, declare.

50. Registration of class licensee

(I) A person who intends to operate under a class licence shall register with the
Commission by submitting a registration notice to the Commission in such form and
manner as the Commission may, from time to time, prescribe.

(2) A registration fee, to be prescribed by the Commission, shall be payable by the
person to the Commission as a condition precedent to the registration of that person.

(3) Subject to the exceptions provided in this Act, no person shall operate under any
class licence unless the Commission duly registers the person.

51. De-registration of class licensee

(1) The Commission may de-register any person subject to a class licence under this
Chapter in any of the following circumstances-

       (a)       the person has failed to pay any amount required by this Act or the licence;

       (b)       the person has failed to comply with the provisions of this Act or its subsidiary
legislation or the terms and conditions of the licence;

       (c)       the person has contravened the provisions of any written law relevant to the
communications industry;

       (d)       the person has failed to comply with any instrument issued, made or given by
the Commission; or

       (e)        the de-registration is in the public interest.

(2) The person whose registration has been cancelled shall immediately lose the right
to provided any service covered by the relevant class licence until such time as the
Commission may decide to re-register the person.

52. Register of class licences

(1) The Commission shall in accordance with Part V of Chapter V of this Act maintain a register of-

       (a)       all class licences;

       (b)       all persons who are registered by the Commission to provided services under
class licences;

      (c)        all declarations by the Commission varying or revoking conditions or imposing
other standard conditions as specified in the licence; and

       (d)       all written notices by the Commission cancelling any registration.

CHAPTER V

Powers and Procedures of the Commission

PART I

Directions

53. Issuance of directions

(I) The Commission may, from time to time, issue directions in writing to any person
regarding the compliance or non-compliance of any licence conditions or provisions of
this Act or its subsidiary legislation, including but not limited to the remedy of a breach
of any licence condition or the provisions of this Act or its subsidiary legislation.

(2) The Commission shall, before issuing a direction under subsection (I) of this section,
issue a notice in writing to the person specifying the nature of required compliance
and the person shall be granted an opportunity to be heard or may submit a written
submission within a reasonable time period specified in the notice on the reasons for his
conduct or activity.

(3) The Commission shall, after the expiry of the notice specified in subsection (2) of
this section, take into consideration any reasons provided by the person before making a
decision in relation to the relevant conduct or activity of the person.

(4) After due consideration of any reasons provided by the person, the Commission
may issue a direction under subsection (I) of this section, requiring the person to take
specified action directed towards ensuring that the person does not contravene or continue
to contravene any of the conditions of his licence or any of the provisions of this
Act or its subsidiary legislation.

(5) The Commission shall give the person written notice of its direction not later than
30 days from the date the decision was made on the direction and the person shall comply
with the direction issued by the Commission.

54. Modification of direction

The Commission may modify, vary or revoke a direction and the procedure set out in
section 53 of this Act shall apply mutatis mutandis in respect of any modification, variation
or revocation of a direction.

55. Non-compliance with direction

Without prejudice to any other provision of this Act or a licence condition, a person
who fails to comply with a direction of the Commission shall be liable to the payment of
a fine to the Commission in such amount as the Commission may at its discretion impose.

56. Register of directions

The Commission shall maintain a register of all directions issued by the Commission,
including any written instruments modifying, varying or revoking a direction, in accordance
with Part V of this Chapter. 

PART II

Inquiry

57. Inquiry

(1) The Commission may hold a public inquiry on any matter of a general nature that
relates to the administration of this Act or its subsidiary legislation which will serve the
objects of this Act.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, the Commission may hold a public inquiry
under subsection (1) of this section-

       (a)       in response to a written request from a person; or

       (b)       on its own initiative,only if it is satisfied that the matter is of significant interest to
either the public or to current or prospective licensees under this Act.

(3) The Commission shall hold a public inquiry in all instances that it is mandatorily
required to hold an inquiry under this Act or its subsidiary legislation.

(4) The Commission may combine two or more inquiries into a single inquiry and an
inquiry under this Chapter shall be conducted as and when the Commission deems fit.

(5) The Commission may, for the purposes of inquiry, exercise any or all of its investigation
and information-gathering powers under Parts JII and IV of this Chapter.

58. Public inquiry

(1) Subject to section 57 of this Act, if the Commission decides to hold a public inquiry, the
Commission shall publish, in the manner that it deems appropriate, notice of-

       (a)       the fact that it is holding the inquiry;

       (b)       the period during which the inquiry is to be held;

       (c)       the nature of the matter to which the inquiry relates;

       (d)       the period, of at least 21 days, within which, and the form in which, members
of the public are invited to make submissions to the Commission about the
subject-matter of the inquiry;

       (e)       the matters that the Commission would like the submission to deal with; and

       (f)        the address or addresses to which the submissions may be sent.

(2) The Commission does not need to publish at the same time or in the same manner
the notice of all matters referred to in subsection (1) of this section.

(3) The Commission shall consider any submissions received within the time limit as
specified in the notice and the submissions made by the members of the public, shall be
in the form and of the nature as specified in the notice.

59. Private inquiry

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 58 of this Act, an enquiry or a part of
an inquiry may be conducted in private if the Commission is satisfied that-

       (a)       the documents or information that may be given, or a matter that may arise
during the inquiry or a part of the inquiry, is of a confidential nature; or 

      (b)        the inquiry or part of the inquiry or a matter, or part of a matter, in public
would not be conducive to the due administration of this Act.

(2) If an inquiry takes place in public and the Commission is of the opinion that-

       (a)       the evidence or other material presented to the inquiry; or

       (b)       the material in written submissions lodged with the Commission is of a confidential
nature, the Commission may direct that-

(i) the evidence or material should not be published; or
(ii) its disclosure be restricted.

(3) A person shall not without an excuse that is considered reasonable by the Commission fail
to comply with a direction under subsection (2) of this section.

(4) Ifan inquiry or part of an inquiry takes place in private, the Commission-

       (a)       shall give a direction as to the persons who may be present at the inquiry or
part of the inquiry; and

       (b)       may give a direction restricting the disclosure of evidence or other material
presented at the inquiry or part of the inquiry.

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 55 of this Act, a person who without
reasonable excuse fails to comply with a direction given under subsection (4) of this section
shall be liable to the payment of fine to the Commission in such amount as the
Commission may at its discretion impose.

60. Publication of report

(I) The Commission shall publish a report setting out its findings as a result of any
inquiry it conducted and the report shall be published within 45 days of the conclusion of
the inquiry.

(2) The Commission shall not include in the report any material-

       (a)       that is, in the Commission's opinion, of a confidential nature; and

       (b)       the disclosure of which is likely to prejudice the fair trial ofa person; and

       (c)        which would involve the unreasonable disclosure of personal information
about any individual (including a deceased individual).

(3) Civil proceedings shall not lie against a person in respect of any loss, damage or
injury of any kind suffered by another person because of any of the following acts-

       (a)       the making ofa request under section 57 of this Act; or

       (b)       the making of a statement, or giving of a document or information,
to the Commission in relation to an inquiry under this Chapter.

(4) The Commission shall maintain a register of all reports made pursuant to an inquiry under this
Part, in accordance with the provisions in Part V of this Chapter.

PART III

Investigation for purposes of Administration, Inquiry, etc.

61. Investigation

Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law, the Commission may investigate
any matter pertaining to the administration of this Act or its subsidiary legislation if
the Commission has grounds to believe that an infringement, civil, or criminal, of the
provisions of this Act or its subsidiary legislation was, is or will be committed.

62. Complaint

(1) The Commission may conduct an investigation on a matter referred to in section 61
of this Act upon a written complaint by a person and the complaint shall specify
the person against whom the complaint if made.

(2) If a complaint has been made to the Commission under this section, the Commission may
make inquiries of the respondent for the purpose of deciding whether the Commission should,
in it discretion, investigate the matter.

(3) If the Commission decides not to investigate, or not to investigate further, a matter to
which a complaint relates, it shall not later than 60 days from the date of receipt of
the complaint and in such manner as it thinks fit, inform the complainant and respondent
of the decision and the reasons for the decision.

63. Conduct of investigation

(1) The Commission shall before beginning an investigation of a matter to which the
complaint relates, inform the respondent that the matter is to be investigated.

(2) An investigation under this Part shall be conducted as the Commission thinks fit
and the Commission may, for the purposes of an investigation, obtain information from
such persons as it thinks fit.

(3) Subject to subsection (4) of this section, a complainant or respondent may, at the
Commission's discretion, be given an opportunity to appear before the Commission in
connection with an investigation.

(4) The Commission shall not, as a result of the investigation, make a finding that is
adverse to a complainant or a respondent unless it has given the complainant or respondent
an opportunity to make written submissions about a matter to which the investigation relates
within a time period of not less than 21 days.

(5) The Commission shall consider the submissions made by the complainant or the
respondent under subsection (4) of this section before making its decision.

(6) The Commission may, after concluding an investigation, prepare and publish a
report which shall cover-

       (a)       the conduct of the investigation concerned;

       (b)       any findings that the Commission has made as a result of the investigation;

       (c)        the evidence and other material on which those findings were based; and

      (d)        such other matters relating to, or arising out of, the investigation as the Commission
thinks fit.

PART IV

Information-gathering Powers

64. Information-gathering powers

(I) This section applies to any person who is subject to this Act and who the Commission
has reason to believe-

       (a)              has any information including but not limited to accounts and records or any
document that is relevant to the exercise of the Commission's powers and
functions under this Act or its subsidiary legislation; or

      (b)        is capable of giving any evidence which the Commission has reason to believe
is relevant to the exercise of the Commission's powers and functions under
this Act or its subsidiary legislation.

(2) The Commission may, by a written notice, direct any person who is subject to this
Act to-

       (a)              give the Commission, within the period and in the manner and form specified
in the notice, any such information;

       (b)              produce to the Commission, within the period and in the manner specified in
the notice, any such documents, whether in a physical form or in an electronic media; or

      (c)        make copies of any such documents and to produce those copies to the Commission
within the period and in the manner specified in the notice.

(3) The Commission shall allow the person so directed under subsection (2) of this
section a reasonable time to give and to produce any information or documents specified
in the notice.

(4) Any person who is subject to this Act and who is required to provide information
under subsection (2) of this section shall ensure that the information provided is true,
accurate and complete and such person shall provide a representation to that effect,
including a representation that he is not aware of any other information which would make
the information provided untrue or misleading.

65. Non-compliance

(I) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 55 of this Act, a person who is subject
to this Act and who fails to comply with a direction of the Commission under this Part
shall be liable to the payment of a fine to the Commission in such amount as the
Commission may at its discretion impose.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 55 of this Act and subsection (I) of this
section, a person who is subject to this Act and who fails to disclose or omits to give any
relevant information or evidence or document, or provides information or evidence or
document that he knows or has reason to believe is false or misleading, in response to a
direction issued by the Commission, commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a
fine not exceeding NlOO,OOO.OO or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or
to both such fine and imprisonment.

66. Evidence of compliance

(1) A person who is subject to this Act shall, if at any time called upon in writing by
the Commission to do so, produce to the Commission all such evidence and provide all
such information as the person may have relating to his compliance with any of the provisions
of this Act or its subsidiary legislation, as the Commission may generally, or in
relation to any particular case, require.

(2) The Commission may take, and retain for as long as is necessary, possession of a
document produced under this Chapter and the person otherwise entitled to possession of
the document is entitled to be supplied, as soon as practicable, with a copy certified by
the Commission to be a true copy.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law, all courts and tribunals
shall receive the certified copy as evidence as if it were the original.

(4) Until a certified copy is supplied, the Commission shall, at such times and places
as the Commission thinks appropriate, permit the person otherwise entitled to possession
of the document, or a person authorised by that person, to inspect and make copies of, or
take extracts from the document.

67. Record and publication of information, etc.

(1) The Commission shall maintain a record of all information, evidence or documents received
pursuant to the directions given under section 64 (2) of this Act.

(2) The Commission may publish information received in the course of exercising its
powers and functions under this Chapter if it is satisfied that the publication is consistent
with the objects of this Act:
Provided that the Commission shall consider the commercial interests of the parties
to whom the information relates before publishing the information.

PARTV

Register

68. Register

(1) The Commission shall maintain a register, in both physical form and electronic
media, of all matters that are required to be registered under this Act and its subsidiary
legislation.

(2) The Commission may, at its discretion, summarise the contents of a material for
inclusion in the register and exclude therefrom aspects of the material if it considers such
exclusion necessary and justified on grounds of public interest or safety, amongst others.

69. Access to Register by public

(1) A person may, on payment of the charge ifany, to be decided by the Commission-

       (a)        inspect the register; and 

       (b)       make a copy of, or take extracts from the Register.

(2) If a person requests that a copy be provided in an electronic media, the Commission
may provide the relevant information-

       (a)       on a data processing device; or

       (b)       by way of electronic transmission.

(3) The Commission shall from time to time publish guidelines in regard to its various
registers giving details of the registers and indicating, amongst others, access processes and
procedures for members of the public.

PART VI

RegulationsGuidelines, etc.

70. Commission's regulations, guidelines, etc.

(I) The Commission may make and publish regulations for all or any of the following issues-

       (a)              written authorisations, permits, assignments and licences granted or issued
under this Act;

       (b)              assignment or rights to the spectrum or numbers under Chapter VIII, including
mechanisms for rate-based assignment;

      (c)        any fees, charges, rates or fines to be imposed pursuant to or under this Act or
its subsidiary legislation;

       (d)       a system of universal service provision under Chapter VII, including but not
limited to the quality of service standards;

       (e)        communications and related offences and penalties;

      (f)        any matter for which this Act makes express provision; and

       (g)        such other matters as are necessary for giving full effect to the provisions of
this Act and for their due administration.

(2) The Commission may also make and publish guidelines on any matter for which
this Act makes express provision and such other matters as are necessary for giving full
effect to the provisions of this Act and for their due administration.

71. Rule-making process

(I) The Commission shall, prior to making any regulation under this Act, conduct an
inquiry in the manner specified in Part II of this Chapter on the subject matter of the proposed regulation.

(2) The Commission shall, in making the regulation, take into consideration the findings of the inquiry
under subsection (I) of this section.

(3) The Commission may prior to making any guideline, at its discretion, conduct an
inquiry in the manner specified in Part II of this Chapter on the subject matter of the proposed guideline
and if the Commission considers it necessary to hold such an inquiry, it
shall in making the guideline, take into consideration the findings of the inquiry.

72. Regulatory review

(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, the Commission may review, as and
when it deems necessary, any rules, guidelines and regulations made under this Act that
are in effect at the time of the review and may in the process modify or vary, or repeal
any such rules or regulations-

       (a)       which are no longer necessary in the national interest;

       (b)       which are no longer necessary to ensure the objects of this Act or its subsidiary
legislation; or

      (c)        for any other reason that the Commission thinks is relevant.

(2) The procedures set out in section 71 of this Act shall apply mutatimutandis in
respect of any modification, variation or revocation of a regulation or guideline.

PART VII

Notification and Resolution of Disputes

73. Commission's power to resolve disputes

The Commission shall have powers to resolve disputes between persons who are
subject to this Act ("the parties") regarding any matter under this Act or its subsidiary
legislation.

74. Resolution of disputes by parties

(1) An attempt shall first be made by the parties to resolve any dispute between them
through negotiation before the involvement ofthe Commission.

(2) If one of the parties to the dispute has provided an undertaking that is relevant to
the subject matter of the dispute and the Commission in accordance with Part IX of this
Chapter has registered the undertaking, the parties may adopt the conditions of the under-
taking for the purposes of resolving the dispute.

75. Notification of disputes

(I) A party to a dispute may, in writing, notify the Commission of the dispute and the
Commission may only resolve a dispute under this Part if it is notified in writing of the
dispute and requested by either or both parties to intervene thereon.

(2) The Commission may publish guidelines setting out the principles and procedures
that it may take into account in resolving disputes or a class of disputes under this Part.

(3) The Commission shall, upon receipt of the notification of the dispute referred to
in subsection (1) of this section, as soon as practicable, convene to decide the dispute.

(4) The Commission shall convene to decide a dispute if it is satisfied that-

       (a)       an agreement shall not be reached, or will not be reached within a reasonable
time;

       (b)       the notification of the dispute is not trivial, frivolous or vexatious; and

       (c)       the resolution of the dispute would promote the objects of this Act or its subsidiary legislation.

76. Resolution of disputes by Commission

(I) Subject to the objects of this Act and any guidelines issued by the Commission
under this Part, the Commission may resolve the dispute in such manner including but
not limited to Alternative Dispute Resolution processes and upon such terms and
conditions as it may deem fit.

(2) The Commission, in carrying out its functions under subsection (1) of this section,
shall always be guided by the objective of establishing a sustained dispute resolution
process that is fair, just, economical and effective and that shall not be bound by
technicalities, legal form or rules of evidence and that shall at all times act according to the
ethics of justice and the merits of each case.

(3) The terms and conditions of any resolution of a dispute by the Commission under
this Part shall be accompanied with reasons and be in writing and the Commission shall
provide the parties to the dispute with a copy of its decision as soon as practicable.

77. Register of decisions

(1) The Commission shall register all decisions it makes under this Part, in accordance
with Part V of this Chapter.

(2) The register shall contain-

       (a)       the names of the parties to the dispute;

       (b)       a general description of the matter pertaining to the decision; and

       (c)        the date of the decision,but not the terms and conditions of the decision.

78. Enforcement of Commission's decision

(1) The decision of the Commission shall be binding on the parties and the Commission
may direct a party to a dispute to abide by the decision of the Commission in that dispute.

(2) A decision made by the Commission under this Part may be enforced by the
Courts as if the decision is a judgment of such Court provided that the Commission has
issued a certificate to the complainant for leave to proceed to the Court for the enforcement of the decision.

(3) No certificate under subsection (2) of this section is required if an action is taken
by the Commission under this section.

PART VIII

Registration of Agreements

79. Registration of agreements

(1) A party to a written agreement who is subject to this Act shall apply to the Commission
for the registration of the Agreement, if this Act or its subsidiary legislation requires such registration.

(2) The Commission shall register the written agreement if the Commission is satisfied that the
agreement is consistent with-

       (a)       the objects of this Act;

       (b)       any relevant instrument under this Act; and

      (c)        any relevant provisions ofthis Act or its subsidiary legislation.

80. Register of agreements

(1) The Commission shall maintain a register of all agreements required to be registered
under this Act, in accordance with Part V of this Chapter.

(2) The register shall contain-

       (a)       the names of the parties to the agreement;

       (b)       a general description on the matter pertaining to the agreement; and

       (c)       the date of the agreement,but not the terms and conditions of the agreement.

PART IX

Undertakings

81. Undertakings

(1) A person may provide an undertaking to the Commission regarding any matter
for which this Act makes express provision.

(2) An undertaking provided by a person under subsection (1) shall set out the terms
and conditions of the undertaking and may include the effective date of the undertaking
or the date of its expiry.

82. Registration of undertakings

(I) Subject to section 84 of this Act, all undertakings given by any person to the
Commission in any circumstances whatsoever shall be deemed as duly registered and
shall remain valid and enforceable at all times.

(2) The Commission shall maintain a register of all existing undertakings, in accordance with Part V of this Chapter.

83. Rules of undertakings

(1) The Commission may make and publish rules in respect of undertakings and the
rules shall bind the party making the undertakings and all other persons relying on such
undertakings as if they were respectively signed by each person and contained agreements
on the part of each person for himself and for his successors to observe all the provisions of the rules.

(2) The Commission may direct a person referred to in subsection (I) of this section
to comply with the rules made under subsection (1) of this section and any registered
undertakings issued under this Part.

84. Withdrawal of undertakings

A person providing an undertaking may apply to withdraw the undertaking at any
time by notifying the Commission in writing and the undertaking shall only be withdrawn
upon such terms and subject to such conditions as the Commission may specify.

85. Enforcement of undertakings

The Commission or a directly affected person may apply to a court for the enforcement of an
undertaking against the person providing the undertaking if an undertaking
has not been complied with.

PART X

Review of Decisions

86. Reasons for decisions

(I) A person who is aggrieved (aggrieved person) or whose interest is adversely affected by
any decision of the Commission made pursuant to the exercise of the powers
and functions under this Act or its subsidiary legislation may request in writing to the
Commission for a statement of the reasons for the decision.

(2) The Commission shall, upon such written request by an aggrieved person, provide
a copy of a statement of reasons for the decision and any relevant information taken into
account in making the decision.

(3) The Commission is not required to publish, or to disclose to the aggrieved person,
a statement of reasons or a part of a statement of reasons if the publication or disclosure
would-

       (a)       disclose a matter that is, in the opinion of the Commission, of a confidential
character;

       (b)       be likely to prejudice the fair trial of a person; or

       (c)        involve the unreasonable disclosure of personal information about any individual
(including a deceased person).

(4) In this Chapter, "decision" includes any action, order, report, direction.

87. Review of decision by Commission

(1) An aggrieved person may at any time within but not later than 30 says after the
date of receipt of the Commission's statement of reasons specified in section 86 (2) of
this Act request the Commission in writing for a review of the Commission's decision
and specify therein the reasons and basis for his request.

(2) Subject to subsection (4) of this section, upon receipt of the aggrieved person's
written submissions the Commission shall meet to review its decision taking into consideration
the submissions of the aggrieved person under subsection (1) of this section.

(3) The Commission may, in carrying out the review of its decision under this Part,
use and exercise any of its powers under this Chapter.

(4) The Commission shall not later than 60 days from the date of receipt of the
aggrieved person's written submissions, conclude its review of the decision and inform the
aggrieved person in writing of its final decision thereon and the reasons therefor.

88. Judicial review of decision

(1) Subject to section 87 of this Act and subsections (2) and (3) of this section, an aggrieved
person may appeal to the Court for a judicial review of the Commission's decision or other action.

(2) The decision or direction of the Commission that is the subject matter of an application
for judicial review shall subsist and remain binding and valid until it is expressly
reversed in a final judgment or order of the Court.

(3) A person shall not apply to the Court for a judicial review unless that person has
first exhausted all other remedies provided under this Act.

PART XI

Monitoring and Reporting

89. Monitoring and reporting

(1) The Commission shall monitor all significant matters relating to the performance
of all licensees and publish annual reports thereon at the end of each financial year of the
Commission.

(2) In performing its functions under subsection (1) of this section, the Commission
shall-

       (a)       use any of its powers under this Chapter and in particular but without limitation,
its powers of investigation and information-gathering pursuant to Parts III
and IV of this Chapter; and

       (b)       have regard to such industry performance indicators as the Commission
considers appropriate.

(3) Matters upon which the Commission shall monitor and report include but are not
limited to the following-

       (a)       the operation and administration of this Act and its subsidiary legislation;

       (b)       the efficiency in which licensees provide facilities and service;

       (c)        the quality of services;

       (d)       industry statistics generally including but not limited to service provisioning,
traffic patterns, industry operators, etc.;

       (e)        the tariff rates and charges paid by consumers for services;

       (f)        the development of industry self-regulation;

       (g)        the adequacy and availability of services in all parts of Nigeria;

       (h)       any deficiencies in the scope or operation of this Act and its subsidiary legislation; and

      (i)         other matters that the Commission is satisfied are relevant.

(4) The Commission shall publish the report, in the manner it deems appropriate,
provided that it is made publicly available.

CHAPTER VI 

EconomiRegulation

PARTl

General Competition Practices 

90. Commission's exclusive competence on competitions laws

Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law, the Commission shall have
exclusive competence to determine, pronounce upon, administer, monitor and enforce
compliance of all persons with competition laws and regulations, whether of a general or
specific nature, as it relates to the Nigerian communications market.

91. Anti-competition practices

(I) A licensee shall not engage in any conduct which has the purpose or effect of
substantially lessening competition in any aspect of the Nigerian communications market.

 (2) The Commission may, from time to time, publish guidelines or regulations which
clarify the meaning of "substantial lessening of competition" in the Nigerian communications
market and such guidelines or regulations may include references to-

       (a)       the relevant economic market;

       (b)       global trends in the relevant market;

       (c)        the impact of the conduct on the number of competitors in the market and their market shares;

       (d)        the impact of the conduct on barriers to entry into the market;

       (e)        the impact of the conduct on the range of services in the market;

        (f)       the impact of the conduct on the cost and profit structures in the market; and

        (g)       any other matters which the Commission is satisfied are relevant.

(3) A licensee shall not enter into any understanding, agreement or arrangement
whether legally enforceable or not, which provides for-

       (a)       rate fixing;

       (b)       market sharing;

      (c)        boycott of another competitor;

       (d)       boycott of a supplier of apparatus or equipment; or

      ( e)       boycott of any other licensee.

(4) A licensee shall not, at any time or in any circumstance, make it a condition for
the provision or supply of a product or service in a communications market that the
person requiring such product or service in the communications market is also required to
acquire or not to acquire any other product or service either from himself or from another
person.

92. Dominant operator

(I) The Commission may determine that a licensee is in a dominant position in any
aspect of the Nigerian communication market.

(2) The Commission may publish guidelines and regulations which clarify how it
shall apply the test of "dominant position" to licensees.

(3) The guidelines and regulations in subsection (2) of this section may specify the
matters which the Commission may take into account, including-

  (a)        the relevant economic market;

(b)    global technology and commercial trends affecting market power;

(c)    the market share of the licensee

(d)    the licensee's power to make independent rate setting decisions;

(e)    the degree of product or service differentiation and sales promotion
market; and

(f)    any other matters which the Commission is satisfied are relevant.

 

(4) The Commission may direct a licensee in a dominant position in the communications
market to cease a conduct in that market which has or may have the effect of substantially
lessening competition in any communications market and to implement appropriate remedies.

93. Exemption

(I) A licensee may apply to the Commission prior to engaging into any conduct
which may be construed to have the purpose or effect of substantially lessening competition
in any aspect of the Nigerian communications industry, for authorisation for the conduct.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Chapter, the Commission may authorise
the conduct if the Commission is satisfied that the authorisation is in the national interest. 

 
(3) The Commission may, before authorising the conduct, require the licensee to
submit an undertaking regarding his conduct in any matter relevant to the authorisation.

(4) A licensee may withdraw an application made under subsection (I) of this section
at any time prior to authorisation by the Commission.

(5) Subject to section 84 of this Act, an authorisation granted by the Commission under
subsection (2) or (3) of this section may only be withdrawn upon such terms and subject
to such conditions as the Commission may specify.

(6) The Commission shall maintain a register of current authorisations of conducts
under this Part in accordance with Part V of Chapter V.

94. Legal action against default

(I) The Commission or a person may seek an interim or interlocutory injunction
against any conduct prohibited in this Part.

(2) A person shall obtain a certificate from the Commission for leave to proceed to
the court for enforcement of the provisions of this Part except in the case of an injunction.

95. Regulations, etc., relating to foreign operators

(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, the Commission may make regulations
or rules in respect of agreements between licensees under this Act and foreign network
facilities providers or network service providers.

(2) The Commission shall only make the rules under subsection (I) of this section
which are intended to prevent or mitigate-

       (a)              any conduct by foreign network facilities providers or network service
providers that shall or is likely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition in any
aspect of the Nigerian communications market; or

       (b)              the misuse of market power in any aspect of the Nigerian communications
market.

PART II

Interconnection

96. Obligation to interconnect

If a network service or facilities provider receives a request for interconnection from
another licensee, then the service or facilities provider shall have an obligation to
interconnect its communications system with the other licensee's network at technically
feasible locations, in accordance with the principles specified in section 97 of this Act and
pursuant to terms and conditions negotiated between the parties in good faith.

97. Interconnection agreements

(l) All interconnection agreements between licensees shall be in writing and shall
comply with-

       (a)              this Act, the regulations and guidelines published from time to time by the
Commission pursuant to this Act; and

       (b)              the principles of neutrality, transparency, non-discrimination, fair competition,
universal coverage, access to information, equality of access and equal terms
and conditions.

(2) The terms and conditions of interconnection agreements shall primarily be agreed
upon between the parties thereto and the Commission may intervene and make binding
rulings at its instance or at the instance of either or both parties to the agreement-

       (a)       if the Commission determines that the agreement or any provision thereof is
inconsistent with the provisions of this Act or its subsidiary legislation; or

       (b)       in the event of a failure of consensus between the parties on specific issues or a
delay in reaching such consensus; or

       (c)        if the Commission considers it in the public interest for it to so intervene at its
own instance and without any invitation from either or both parties to the agreement.

98. Registration of interconnection agreements

(1) All interconnection agreements shall be registered with the Commission, by either
or both parties thereto, within 30 (thirty) days from the date of execution thereof in
accordance with Part VIII of Chapter V.

(2) The parties shall furnish the Commission with any additional information that the
Commission may require in respect of such interconnection agreement.

(3) The Commission may, upon evaluating the terms and conditions and the charges
set out in the interconnection agreement, require the parties thereto to revise the
agreement if, in the Commission's opinion, the agreement is inconsistent with this Act, the
regulation or the interconnection guidelines or the integrity of the public network.

99. Interconnection regulation and agreement

(I) The Commission shall make interconnection regulations which may specify but
shall not be limited to model terms and conditions for interconnection agreements
between service providers.

(2) Matters which the interconnection regulations shall address include but are not
limited to---

       (a)       a time frame and procedures for negotiations and the concluding of
interconnection agreements;

       (b)       quality and levels of service;

       (c)       rate methodologies;

       (d)       protection of intellectual property;

       (e)        protection of commercial information;

       (f)        provisioning of facilities; and

       (g)       sharing of technical information.

100. Disconnection of interconnection

Notwithstanding the terms and conditions of any interconnection, a party thereto shall
not at any time and in any circumstance disconnect or discontinue interconnection to any
interconnecting party without the prior written approval of the Commission.

PART III

Access

101. Provision of access

(1) Subject to such exemptions as may be determined by the Commission and duly
published, a network facilities provider and a network service provider shall provide
access to their network facilities or network services listed in the access list to any other-

       (a)       network facilities provider;

       (b)       network service provider;

       (c)       applications service provider; or

      (d)        content applications service provider,who makes a
written request for access to such network facilities provider or network
service provider on reasonable terms and conditions.

(2) The access provided by one provider (the first provider) to another provider under
subsection (1) of this section shall be of at least the same or more favourable technical
standard and quality as the technical standard and quality provided on the first provider's
network facilities or network services.

102. Access list and register

(1) The list of facilities and services which may be included in the access list, as determined by the
Commission under this Chapter, are-

      (a)        network facilities;

(b)       networkservices; and

(c)        other facilities and services that facilitate the provision of network services or
applications services, including content applications services.

(2) The Commission shall maintain a register of-

      (a)        network facilities;

(b) network services; and

      (c)        other facilities and services that facilitate the supply of network services or
applications services, including content applications services,included in the access list.

103. Regulations, discontinuance of access, etc.

The provisions of sections 97, 98, 99 and 100 of this Act, including but without limitation,
to the powers of the Commission thereunder shall apply mutatimutandiand extend to
access provision and issues ancillary thereto pursuant to this Part.

CHAPTER VII

Consumers Affairs

PARTl

Consumer Protection and Quality of Service

104. Quality of service

All service providers shall, in respect of their specific services-

  (a)        meet such minimum standards of quality of service as the Commission may,
from time to time, specify and publish;

(b) deal reasonably with consumers; and

      (c)        adequately address consumer complaints.

105. Resolution of consumer disputes

(I) The Commission may use any of its powers under this Act in the resolution of
complaints received from consumers in relation to matters of customer service and
consumer protection including but not limited to quality of service or the failure by a licensee
to comply with a consumer code prepared under this Chapter.

(2) The Commission shall establish procedures or guidelines for the making, receipt
and handling of complaints of consumers regarding the conduct or operation of licensees
and may, at its discretion, institute alternative dispute resolution processes for the resolution
of the complaints or disputes:
Provided that the licensee's dispute resolution procedures shall first have been exhausted by
the consumer without resolution of the complaint before presentation of the complaint to the Commission.

106. Consumer code

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, the Commission may
designate an industry body to be a consumer forum and to prepare a consumer code for
the purposes of this Chapter and the consumer code prepared by such industry body shall
be subject to the prior approval of and ratification by the Commission.

(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection (I) of this section, the Commission
may require licensees to prepare individual consumer code for their respective customers
and such consumer code shall be subject to the prior approval of and ratification
by the Commission.

(3) A consumer code prepared by a consumer forum, the Commission or licensee
shall model procedures for-

       (a)       reasonably meeting consumer requirements;

       (b)       the handling of customer complaints and disputes including an inexpensive
arbitration process other than a court, and procedures for the compensation of
customers in case of a breach of a consumers code; and

(c)    the protection of consumer information.

(4) Other matters which the consumer code shall address include but are not limited in

      (a)        further recourse available to a consumer who is dissatisfied with the licensee's
complaints-handling procedures together with specific details of compensation
and refund schemes offered by the licensee to its customers;

       (b)       the provision of information to customers regarding services, rates and performance;

(c)        the provisioning of fault repair services;

       (d)       the advertising or representation of services;

       (e)        customer charging, billing, collection and credit practices; and

      (f)        any other matter which, in the opinion of the Commission, may be of concern
to customers.

(5) After the preparation of a consumer code and subsequent ratification by the
Commission, the consumer code shall be published by the licensee and the Commission
and notice of it shall be advertised in at least one national daily newspaper.

(6) A consumer code prepared pursuant to this Chapter shall be subject to annual
review and ratification by the Commission prior to publication by the licensee and the
Commission.

PART II

Required Applications Services

107. Required applications services

(1) For the purposes of this Chapter, the Commission may determine a list of required applications services.

(2) The list referred to in subsection (I) of this section may include but is not limited
to-
      (a)              emergency services (including access to controlled network facilities and net-
work services for the purposes of providing emergency services);

       (b)       directory assistance services (including access to controlled network facilities,
network services and relevant databases);

       (c)        operator assistance services; and

       (d)       services for disabled consumers.

(3) The Commission shall, in specific regard to emergency services, take immediate
steps upon the commencement of this Act to-

       (a)       promote and enhance public safety through the use of a particular number
which shall be designated as the universal safety and emergency assistance
number for telephone services generally; and

       (b)              encourage and facilitate the prompt deployment throughout Nigeria of a
seamless, ubiquitous and reliable end-to-end infrastructure for emergency communications needs.

(4) The Commission may determine the classes of network service providers who
shall provide any or all of the applications services on the list of required applications
services and shall direct them to provide the required applications services.

(5) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this Act or any instrument made,
issued or given under this Act, a direction by the Commission issued under subsection (3)
of this section may provide for or specify operational details relating to a required applications service.

PART III

Tariff RatRegulation

108. Approval of tariffs and charges by Commission

(I) Holders of individual licences shall not impose any tariff or charges for the provision of any
service until the Commission has approved such tariff rates and charges except as otherwise
provided in this Part.

(2) The licensees specified in subsection (1) of this section shall provided services at
the tariff rates and charges so approved by the Commission and shall not depart there-
from without prior written approval by the Commission of such proposed changes in
tariff rates and charges.

(3) All licensees mentioned in subsection (1) of this section shall publish the tariff
rates charged to customers for their respective services and the modifications thereto as
may be approved, from time to time, by the Commission.

(4) The tariff rates established by a licensee mentioned in subsection (1) of this section
shall be on the basis of such principles as the Commission may, from time to time,
stipulate in its guidelines or regulation including the following-

                                (a)       tariff rates shall be fair and, for similarly situated persons, not discriminatory;

       (b)       tariff rates shall be cost-oriented and, in general, cross-subsidies shall be
eliminated;

       (c)       tariff rates shall not contain discounts that unreasonably prejudice the competitive
opportunities of other providers;

      (d)       tariff rates shall be structured and levels set to attract investments into the
communications industry; and

       (e)       tariff rates shall take account of the regulations and recommendations of the
international organisations of which Nigeria is a member.

109. Exemption

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 108 of this Act, the Commission may intervene
in such manner as it deems appropriate in determining and setting the tariff rates for
any non-competitive services provided by a provider mentioned in section 108 (1) of this
Act for good cause or as the public interest may require.

no. Tariff rates, rules and regulations

(1) The Commission may, from time to time, make rules or regulations on determination
and publication of tariff rates for respective services by the licensees specified in
section 108 (1) of this Act.

(2) The regulations and rules which may be made by the Commission under subsection (1)
of this section may include but are not limited to-

       (a)       rules about the tariff rates and charges and variations of rates for specified or
classes of services;

      (b)        rules about the publication or disclosure of tariff rates for specified or classes
of services; or

       (c)       tariff rate models that may be applicable to specified licensees or classes of
licensees or specified or classes of services.

111. Penalty for operating unapproved tariffs, charges, etc.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the Commission shall prescribe and
enforce appropriate financial penalties upon any holder of an individual licence who
exceeds the tariff rates duly approved by the Commission for the provision of any of its
services.

PART IV

Universal Service Provision

112. Universal Service Provision

(I) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, the Commission shall consider, design
and determine a system (Universal Service Provision) (USP)which shall promote the
widespread availability and usage of network services and applications services throughout
Nigeria by encouraging the installation of network facilities and the provision for
network services and applications services to institutions and in unserved, underserved
areas or for and underserved groups within the community.

(2) No universal service provision organ that is created under this Part or pursuant to
this Act or its subsidiary legislation shall be or constitute itself howsoever into a communications
service provider.

(3) The Commission may make regulations under Part VI of Chapter V for the implementation
of subsection (I) of this section.

113. Unserved areas, underserved areas, and underserved groups

(I) A determination by the Commission under section 112 (I) of this Act shall
include definitions of "institutions", "unserved", "underserved areas" and "underserved
groups within a community".

(2) In determining the definition of "unserved" and "underserved areas", the Commission may have regard to-

      (a)       the availability of services in particular areas or places;

       (b)       the level of competition in particular areas or places; and

       (c)        the commercial viability of installing network facilities or providing network
services or applications services in particular areas or places.

(3) The Commission may, in determining the definition of "underserved groups
within a community", have regard to-

       (a)       the availability of services to such groups; and

       (b)       any barriers to the use of available services.

(4) The Commission shall, in determining the definition of "institutions", have regard
to the educational, health and other socio-infrastructural needs of Nigerians.

114. Universal Service Provision Fund

(I) For the purposes of this Act, a fund to be known as the "Universal Service Provision Fund"
("USP Fund") is established and it shall be controlled and operated in the manner specified in this Chapter.

(2) The USP Fund shall comprise funds derived from but not limited to the following
sources-

(a) such monies as may be specifically appropriated to the USP Fund from time to
time by the National Assembly

      (b)              contributions from the Commission based on a portion of the annual levies
paid to the Commission by licensees; and

       (c)        gifts, loans, aids, and such other assets that may, from time to time, specifically
accrue to the USP Fund.

(3) The administrative and operational expenses for USP shall be funded directly
from the USP Fund and such expenses shall include-

       (a)              salaries, emoluments, remunerative packages, howsoever
called, and allowances for-

(i) Universal Service Provision Board members;
(ii)     the Commission staff who are assigned on full-time basis to the USP
Secretariat or such other staff of the USP Secretariat howsoever engaged; and
(iii) USP Fund Managers;

       (b)       operational expenses for the activities of the USP Board, USP Secretariat and
USP Fund Managers.

(4) The Commission shall ensure that the USP Fund is at all times totally separated
from the Commission's Fund under Part IV of Chapter II and transparently maintained
and operated as such.

(5) Independent auditors appointed for that purpose by the Board shall audit the USP
Fund annually and the auditor's report shall be presented to the National Assembly and
published to the public provided that such auditors are on the list of auditors approved
from time to time by the Federal Accountant-General for the Federation.

115. Universal Service Provision Board

(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3) of.this section, there is hereby established a
Board ("BSP Board") that shall supervise and provide broad policy directions for the
management of the USP Fund.

(2) The USP Secretariat that is established pursuant to section 118 of this Act shall
serve as the USP Board Secretariat.

(3) The USP Board shall be constituted by the President based on the recommendations
of the Minister and the USP Board shall, in carrying out its functions and duties
pursuant to this Act, collaborate and consult at all times with the Commission and be subject
to the provisions of this Act.

116. Membership of Universal Service Provision Board

(1) Membership of the USP Board shall be constituted as follows-

       (a)       the Minister shall be the USP Board Chairman;

       (b)       the Board Chairman of the Commission shall be the USP Board Vice-Chairman;

       (c)       two Commissioners;

       (d)       one representati ve of the Ministry;

       (e)       one representative of the Ministry of Finance;

      (f)        one representative of the Chairman, National Planning Commission; and

       (g)        four private sector representatives.

(2) The President, acting on the recommendation of the Minister, shall ensure that the
USP Board members in subsection (I) (g) of this section are persons of integrity and
professional standing who shall be appointed as USP Board members either on their own
self-recognition or as representatives of organisations who, in the President's judgment,
are stakeholders in and can contribute meaningfully towards the attainment of the USP

                                                                                                       objectives.     .

(3) The appointment of the USP Board members in subsection (I) (g) of this section
shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate.

(4) Subject to subsections (5) and (6) of this section, the organisations that are represented
on the USP Board may at any time, at their discretion or at the instance of the USP
Board, withdraw members who are representing their organisations and simultaneously
replace them with some other persons.

(5) USP Board members who are appointed pursuant to subsection (I) (gof this section shall serve
on such terms and for such periods as shall be indicated in their respective letters of appointment.

(6) Tn the event of the determination of the appointment of a USP Board member
who was appointed under subsection (I) (g) of this section and who was representing an
organisation, the Minister may, on the recommendation of the USP Board, request the
organisation to immediately send a replacement therefor.

117. Universal Service Provision Board proceedings

(1) The USP Board shall make standing orders for the regulation of its meetings and
proceedings and may establish standing or ad hoc committees to assist it in exercising its
functions under this Act.

(2) Membership of the USP Board Committees may be constituted beyond the members of
the USP Board to include persons and representatives of organisations that are
capable in the USP Board's estimation of assisting the Commission and the USP Board in
the discharge of its USP functions provided that such USP Board Committees shall at all
times be headed by USP Board members.

(3) Decisions of the USP Board Committees shall not be binding and valid until they
are adopted and agreed upon by the USP Board.

118. Universal Service Provision Secretariat

(1) The USP Secretariat shall reside in the Commission and shall be responsible for
the day to day administration of the Universal Service Provision pursuant to section 112
of this Act.

(2) The functions of the USP Secretariat shall include the following-

       (a)              receiving applications for loans and grants from eligible persons such as
community-based communications operators;

       (b)              reviewing the applications in paragraph (a) of this subsection and making
recommendations to the USP Board as to which applications should be funded;

      (c)              liaising with other departments of the Commission in processing licences for
funded applications;

      (d)        providing loan recipients and grantees with technical and managerial assistance,
such as resolution of equipment vendor issues and setting up of billing systems;

      (e)              evaluation of project performance and effecting such actions as may be necessary
to ensure that loan recipients and grantees meet objectives for network expansion and provision of service;

      (f)         enforcing standards for quality of service in rural and underserved areas set by
the USP Board;

      (g)              collecting USP assessments and loan repayments and paying such loan
repayments into the USP Fund;

      (h)              evaluating the effectiveness of the USP in meeting policy goals as set by
Government and USP Board;

       (i)               facilitating collaboration between activities that are funded by the USP Fund
and other infrastructure and development efforts; and

      (j)               liaising between USP Board and USP Fund Mangers that will be appointed
pursuant to section 119 of this Act.

(3) The Commission shall ensure that the USP Secretariat is staffed with suitably
qualified and experienced personnel who may be seconded from the Commission's staff
but shall in any case have employment terms, conditions and contracts that are similar to
that which obtains for the Commission's staff.

119. Universal Service Provision Fund Mangers

(1) The USP Board shall, in consultation with the Commission, appoint an independent and
competent investment management firm as USP Fund Managers with responsibilities, amongst
others, for-

       (a)       maintaining USP Funds financial accounts and records;

       (b)       collaborating with USP Secretariat in the collection of USP assessments and
loan repayments;

      (c)        estimating the amount needed annually to sustain the rate of network expansion determined
by the Commission as appropriate to meet USP policy objectives;

      (d)        determining the amount of annual revenue required to ensure that the USP
Fund remains fiscally sound, and calculation of the corresponding rate of assessment;

       (e)        disbursing funds to eligible entities based upon approvals by the USP Board;

       (f)        prudently investing USP Funds cash reserves under directions from the USP
Board and establishing cash management procedures to ensure maximum return
on investments while meeting short-term cash requirements for disbursements;

      (g)        regularly reporting on financial performance of the USP Fund to the USP
Board; and

      (h)        assisting USP Secretariat in evaluating the effectiveness of the USP in meeting
policy goals as set by Government and USP Board.

(2) The USP Board shall, in collaboration with the Commission, determine the terms
of engagement and the remuneration package for the USP Fund Mangers.

120. Universal Service Provision Regulations

The Commission may make regulations regarding contributions by licensees, under
this Act, to the USP Fund and any other matters related to or incidental to Universal Service
Provision and the establishment and operation of the USP Fund.

CHAPTER VIII

Technical Regulation

PART I

Spectrum Assignment

121. Management and administration of frequency spectrum

(I) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law but subject to the provisions
of this Act, the Commission shall have the sole and exclusive power to manage and
administer the frequency spectrum for the communications sector and in that regard to
grant licences for and regulate the use of the said frequency spectrum.

(2) The powers of the Minister under the Wireless Telegraphy Act so far as they relate to
communications are hereby vested in the Commission.

[L.F.N. 2004 Cap. W5.]

(3) The Wireless Telegraphy Act is hereby amended by substituting-

       (a)              for the word "Minister" or "Minister's" wherever it occurs, other than in
sections 9, II (3), 13 (1),19 (I), 28 and 29, the word "Commission" or "Commission's"
as the case may be; and

       (b)              for the word "he", "his" or "him" wherever it occurs in relation to the Minister,
the word "it", "its" or "it", as the case may be.

122. Illegal use of spectrum

(I) Subject to such exemptions as are contained in this Act or as may be determined
by the Commission, no person shall intentionally transmit in any part of the spectrum to
provide a service unless the person holds a frequency licence issued under this Part.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, a person who contravenes any prohibition
under this Chapter commits an offence and on conviction is liable to--

       (a)       a fine of not less than the initial fee for the relevant licence;

       (b)       a fine not exceeding ten times the initial fee for the relevant licence;

       (c)        imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year; or

      (d)        both such fme and imprisonment:
Provided that upon conviction, the person shall also forfeit to the Commission the
property, facilities, installations and equipment used by him for the provision of the
service.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, a person who
contravenes any prohibition under this Part in consequence whereof he causes the death
or any physical harm to a person shall also be subject to prosecution under the criminal
laws applicable in the relevant part of Nigeria.

123Regulations

(1) The Commission may make regulations in relation to any matter under this
Chapter.

(2) The regulations may include procedures for the assignment of spectrum such as
but is not limited to the following-

       (a)       auction;

       (b)       tender; and

       (c)       fixed price to be determined by the Commission.

124. National frequency plan

(I) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, the Commission in consultation with and
on behalf of the NFM Council shall develop a national frequency plan in respect of any
part or all of the spectrum.

(2) The Commission shall, in developing the national frequency plan, work and liaise
with the different users of spectrum in Nigeria including the military, law enforcement
and security agencies, maritime and civil aviation authorities.

(3) A national frequency plan shall define how the spectrum shall be used and defme
the methodology for assignment and reassignment of the spectrum.

(4) The Commission, in exercising the functions under subsections (1), (2) and (3) of
this section shall take into account-

       (a)       the objects of this Act;

       (b)       the impact of the national frequency plan on existing spectrum users; and

       (c)        any applicable international standards, conventions and agreements including
but not limited to International Telecommunications Union and its radio regulations as agreed
to and adopted by Nigeria.

(5) Subject to the payment of such fees as the Commission may, from time to time,
prescribe, the Commission shall, upon application, provide to persons with a need to
know, copies of the national frequency plan or such parts of it as do not compromise or
prejudice national security.

125. Frequency licence

(I) Subject to the payment of such fees as the Commission may from time to time
prescribe, the Commission may issue or renew a frequency licence upon such conditions
as the Commission may impose, which confers rights on a person-

      (a)        to use one or more specified frequency bands for any purpose consistent with
the assignment conditions; or

      (b)        to use the spectrum to operate a network facility of a specified kind at a specified
frequency or in any specified frequency band or bands.

(2) A frequency licence may be issued under this section only-

       (a)        if it is consistent with the national frequency plan; and

       (b)       when the Commission has determined under section 124 of this Act the relevant
frequency bands for spectrum assignment.

(3) The re-issuance of a spectrum assignment to an existing or new licence holder
shall at all times conform to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section.

126. Compulsory acquisition of spectrum assignment

(I) The Commission may compulsorily acquire assignments in a determined
spectrum-

       (a)        in accordance with a reassignment of spectrum policy consistent with the
national frequency plan; or

       (b)       in the national interest.

(2) The Commission may pay a reasonable amount of compensation to the holder of
an assignment whose assignment has been acquired by a direction made under this
section, prior to its expiry.

127. Forfeiture of spectrum assignment

(1) A person who fails to--

(a)        utilise his assigned spectrum as at such deadline as the Commission may specify
in his frequency licence or assigned document; or

      (b)        renew his frequency licence as at when due,may, at the Commission's discretion, forfeit
his spectrum assignment and in the event of a forfeiture, the same shall revert to the Commission and
become available for reassignment.

(2) No compensation shall be paid to a licensee who has forfeited his spectrum assignment under
subsection (I) of this section.

PART II

Numbering and Electronic Addressing

128. Administration and planning of numbering, electronic addressing

(1) The Commission shall solely and exclusively be vested with the control, planning,
administration, management and assignment of the numbering and electronic addressing
of network services and applications services.

(2) The Commission shall develop a numbering and electronic addressing plan for
the numbering and electronic addressing of network services and applications services
taking into account the subsisting numbering plan prior to the commencement date of this
Act.

(3) The numbering and electronic addressing plan may set out rules which include-

      (a)        the use of different numbers and electronic addresses for different kinds of
services;

       (b)       the assignment of numbers and electronic addresses;

      (c)        the transfer of assigned numbers and addresses;

       (d)       the use of assigned numbers and electronic addresses;

       (e)       the portability of assigned numbers and electronic addresses;

       (f)        the requirements for network service providers and applications service providers
to maintain a plan for assigning and reassigning numbers and electronic addresses; and

       (g)       the fees for the assignment and transfer of numbers and electronic addresses
which may be determined by the Commission.

(4) The Commission shall make the numbering and electronic addressing plan available
to the public for a fee to be decided by the Commission.

129. Delegation of responsibility

(1) The Commission may delegate any or all of its functions under this Chapter to a
person if it so wishes.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, the Commis-
sion may appoint a specified person or organisation to manage or maintain an integrated
public number database or an integrated electronic address database.

(3) The Commission or a person or organisation specified under subsection (2) shall
provide non-discriminatory commercial access to the database on the same terms and
conditions which it offers to itself.

(4) The Commission may direct a person specified under subsection (2) of this section
regarding the manner in which he shall discharge his obligation under subsection (3)
of this section.
 

PART IlI 

Technical Standards

130. Technical code and specification

(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, the Commission shall specify and publish to the
general public, technical code and specifications in respect of communications
equipment and facilities that may be used in Nigeria.

(2) The technical code and specifications prepared by the Commission under this section shall include-

(a)   requirements for network inter-operability, including the provision of certain
network capabilities such as calling line identification capability and pre-
selection capability; 

(b)   the promotion of safety of network facilities;

 
(c)  the provision of network facilities or services, including requirements for
qualified providers and installers;

(d)   the provision of customer equipment and cabling, including requirements for
qualified installers;

(e)   the approval of customer equipment and other access devices; and

(f)   the adoption of technical standards promulgated by international bodies.

(3) Prior to specifying and publishing any technical code and specifications under
this Act, the Commission shall first conduct an inquiry in the manner specified in Part II
of Chapter V on the proposed code or specification provided that such prior inquiry may
not be required in regard to technical code or specifications that are mandatorily prescribed
by international organisations to which Nigeria belongs such as the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU).

(4) In making the technical code and specifications, the Commission shall take into
consideration the findings of the inquiry under subsection (3) of this section.

131Offences

(I) A person who uses any technical equipment or systems which hinder network
inter-operability, commits an offence and on conviction, is liable to a fine not exceeding
N I 00,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both such fine
and imprisonment.

(2) A person who uses any technical equipment or systems which compromise public
safety as defined from time to time by the Commission, commits an offence and on conviction,
be liable to a fine not exceeding N I 00,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding 1 (one) year or to both such fine and imprisonment.

132. Type approval

(1) The Commission shall, at the instance of licensed service providers, equipment
manufactures or suppliers, conduct type approval tests and issue certificates therefor in
respect of communications equipment and facilities to be used in Nigeria.

(2) Licensed service or facilities providers, equipment manufacturers or suppliers
shall obtain type approval certificates from the Commission in respect of their
communications equipment or facilities prior to installation or sale in Nigeria.

(3) The Communications shall, in conducting type approval of equipment or facilities,
be guided by the technical code and specifications formulated by the Commission
under section 130 of this Act.

133. Type approval offences, etc.

(1) A person who sells or installs any communications equipment or facilities without
first obtaining the Commission's type approval test certificate therefor commits an offence
and on conviction, is liable to a fine not exceeding N I 00,000.00 or to imprisonment for a
term not exceeding one year or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, a licensee who
installs or sells any communications equipment or facilities without first obtaining the
Commission's type approval test certificate therefor is liable to a fine to the Commission
in such amount as the Commission may determine.

134. Regulations

The Commission may make regulations in regard to the provisions of this Part pursuant to
Part VI of Chapter V and may charge such fees as it deems reasonable for carrying
out its type approval functions.

CHAPTER IX

General

PART I

Installation of Network Facilities, Access tNetwork Facilities, etc
135. Required approval for network installations, etc.

Licensees under this Act may require approvals of the State Government, Local Government
or other relevant authority for installation, placing, laying or maintenance of any
network facilities on, through, under or across any land and it shall be the responsibility
of such licensees to obtain such approvals.

136. Duty care

(1) A licensee shall, in installing its network facilities, take all reasonable steps to ensure
that he causes as little detriment and inconvenience, and does as little damage, as is
practicable.

(2) If a licensee engages in an activity under this Part in relation to any land, the provider shall
take all reasonable steps to restore the land to a condition that is similar to its
condition before the activity began.

(3) All licensees shall, in connection with the installation of their respective network
facilities, take all reasonable steps to-

      (a)        act in accordance with good engineering practice

      ( b)       protect the safety of persons and property;

       (c)        ensure that the activity interferes as little as practicable with-

(i) the operations of a public utility;

(ii) public roads and paths;

(iii) the movement of traffic; and

(iv) the use of land; and

       (d)       protect the environment.

(4) All licensees shall take all reasonable efforts to enter into respective agreements
with public utilities that make provision for the manner in which the licensees will
engage in activities that are-

       (a)       covered by this Part; and

       (b)        likely to affect the operation of the utility.

137. Access to network facilities

(I) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law, a licensee shall provide
another licensee with non-discriminatory access to any post, network facilities or right-
of-way owned or controlled by him.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (I) of this section, a licensee may
deny any other licensee access to his post network facilities or right-of-way on a non-
discriminatory basis where there is insufficient capacity, or for reasons of safety, security,
reliability, or difficulty of a technical or engineering nature.

(3) The Commission shall, in the event of a dispute between licensees in respect of
the provisions of subsections (I) and (2) of this section, at the instance of any or all of the
parties, intervene and make a binding ruling thereon.                                             .

(4) The Commission may regulate the rates, terms and conditions for access to any
post, network facilities or right-of-way and provide that such rates, terms and conditions
are just and reasonable and may adopt procedures necessary and appropriate to hear and
resolve disputes in accordance with Part VII of Chapter V.

(5) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to or to give the Commission
jurisdiction with respect to access to any posts, network facilities or right-of-way where a
State Authority, local authority or other authority regulates such matters.

PART II

Jurisdiction, Offences, Powerof Entry, etc.

138. Competent Court

The Federal High Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all matters, suits and
cases howsoever arising out of or pursuant to or consequent upon this Act or its subsidiary
legislation and all references to "Court" or "Judge" in this Act shall be understood
and deemed to refer to the Federal High Court or a Judge of the said Court.

139. Offences by corporate persons

If a body corporate commits an offence under this Act or its subsidiary legislation a
person who at the time of the commission of the offence was a director, chief executive
officer, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate or was purporting
to act in any such capacity or was in any manner or to any extent responsible for the
management of any of the affairs of the body corporate or was assisting in such
management-

      (a)       may be charged severally or jointly in the same proceedings with the body
corporate; and

      (b)        if the body corporate is found guilty of the offence, shall be deemed to be
guilty of that offence unless, having regard to the nature of his functions in that
capacity and to all circumstances, he proves-

                        (i)     that the offence was committed without his knowledge,
consent or connivance; and

                       (ii)     that he had taken all reasonable precautions and exercised due
diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.

140. General penalties

Where no specific penalty is prescribed in this Act or its subsidiary legislation for any
offence, a person found guilty of such offence shall-

      (a)        as a first offender, be liable to a fine not exceeding NlOO,OOO.OO or to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both such fine and imprisonment; and

      (b)        for a subsequent conviction, to a fme not exceeding N500,OOO.OO or to imprisonment
for a term not exceeding three years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

141Powers of entry and investigation by inspectors

(1) The Commission may in writing authorise any of its officials or appoint external
inspectors on its behalf to exercise the powers of monitoring and enforcement vested in
the Commission under this Act.

(2) The Commission may direct its authorised officials or appointed inspectors to
investigate the activities of a licensee or other person material to his compliance with this
Act or its subsidiary legislation pursuant to its information-gathering, monitoring, enforcement
and other related powers under this Act.

(3) In exercising any of the powers specified in subsection (2) of this section and
notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, an authorised official of the Commission
or its appointed inspector-

       (a)        shall on demand produce to the person against whom he is acting, the authority
issued to him by the Commission; and 

      (b)        may at any reasonable time and without prior notice, enter any affected person
or licensee's premises and-

                        (i)     inspect and make copies of or extracts from books, records, documents
or other information storage systems;

                      (ii)     demand the production of and inspect the relevant licence, permit,
certificate or authority; and

                     (iii)      inspect any radio communications station or apparatus or other
communications equipment or facilities on the premises:
Provided that the official or appointed inspector shall have in his possession for the
purposes of entering any affected person's premises who is not a licensee, a warrant for
that purpose obtained from a Magistrate or Judge prior to the entry into such premises.

PART III

Action against Commission, etc.

142. Limitation of suits against Commission, etc.

(I) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the provisions of the Public Officers Protection
Act shall apply in relation to any suit instituted against an official or employee of the
Commission.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law or enactment, no suit shall
lie against the Commissioner, the Secretary or any other official or employee of the
Commission for any act done in pursuance or execution of this Act or any other law or
enactment, or of any public duty or authority in respect of any alleged neglect or default
in the execution of this Act or any other law or enactment, duty or authority, or be instituted
in any court unless it is commenced-

       (a)       within three months next after the act, neglect or default complained of; or

       (b)       in the case of a continuation of damage or injury, within six months next after
the ceasing thereof.

(3) No suit shall be commenced against a Commissioner, the Secretary or any official
or employee of the Commission before the expiration of a period of one month after written
notice of the intention to commence the suit shall have been served on the Commission
by the intended plaintiff or his agent.

(4) The notice referred to in subsection (3) of this section shall clearly and explicitly
state the cause of action, the particulars of the claim, the name and place of abode of the
intending plaintiff and the relief which he claims.

143. Service of court processes on Commission

A notice, summons or other document required or authorised to be served on the
Commission under the provisions of this Act or any other law or enactment may be
served by delivering it to the Commission or by sending it by registered post addressed to
the Chief Executive or Commission Secretary at the principal office of the Commission

144. Restriction on execution against Commission's property

(1) In any action or suit against the Commission, no execution or attachment of process
in any nature thereof shall be issued against the Commission unless not less than three
months notice ofthe intention to execute or attach has been given to the Commission.

(2) Any sum of money which may by the judgment of any court be awarded against
the Commission shall, subject to any direction given by the court where notice of appeal
against the judgment has been given, be paid from the Commission's Fund.

145. Indemnity of Commission's officials

A Commissioner, the Secretary or any official or employee of the Commission shall
be indemnified out of the assets of the Commission against any liability incurred by him
in defending any proceedings, whether civil or criminal, if the proceeding is brought
against him in his capacity as a Commissioner, Secretary, officer or employee of the
Commission.

PART IV

National Interest Matters

146. General duty of licensees

(1) A licensee shall use his best endeavour to prevent the network facilities that he
owns or provides or the network service, applications service or content application
service that he provides from being used in, or in relation to, the commission of any offence
under any law in operation in Nigeria.

(2) A licensee shall, upon written request by the Commission or any other authority,
assist the Commission or other authority as far as reasonably necessary in preventing the
commission or attempted commission of an offence under any written law in operation in
Nigeria or otherwise in enforcing the laws of Nigeria, including the protection of the public
revenue and preservation of national security.

(3) Any licensee, shall not be liable in any criminal proceedings of any nature for any
damage (including punitive damage), loss, cost or expenditure suffered or to be suffered
(whether directly of indirectly) for any act or omission done in good faith in the performance
of the duty imposed under subsections (1) and (2).

147. Network interconnection capability

The Commission may determine that a licensee or class of licensee shall implement
the capability to allow authorised interception of communications and such determination
may specify the technical requirements for authorised interception capability.

148. Emergency provisions

(1) On the occurrence of any public emergency or in the interest of public safety, the
Commission may-

       (a)        suspend the licence of any licensee, take temporary control of any service or
network facilities owned or provided by a licensee in any manner as the Commission deems fit; 

(b)       withdraw either totally or partially the use of any service or network facilities
from any licensee, person or the general public;

(c)     order that any communication or class of communications to or from any
licensee, person or the general public, relating to any specified subject shall not
be communicated or shall be intercepted or detained, or that any such communication
or its records shall be disclosed in an authorised officer mentioned in the order; or

(d)      order the taking of possession of any customer equipment.

 (2) If the Commission takes possession of any network facilities, service, or customer
equipment under subsection (I) of this section, the person licensed under this Act with
regard to the facilities, service or equipment shall be paid reasonable compensation which
shall be determined by the Commission after giving an opportunity to the licensee to be
heard on the matter.

 149. Disaster plan

The Commission may direct a licensee or class of licensees to develop, in consultation
with the authorities specified by the Commission, a disaster plan for the survivability
and recovery of any services or network facilities in case of a disaster, crisis or civil
emergency.

 

CHAPTER X

 

Repeal and TransitionaProvisions

 

PART I

 

Repeals and Savings

 

150. Repeal of 1992 No. 75,1998 No. 30,1995 No. 21

(I) The following Acts ("the repealed Acts") are hereby repealed-

       (a)       the Nigerian Communications Commission Act;

       (b)       the Nigerian Communications Commission (Amendment) Act; and

      (c)        the Telecommunications and Postal Offences Decree No. 21 of 1995 and all
subsequent amendments thereto.

(2) Any subsidiary legislation made under the repealed Acts shall, in so far as it is not
inconsistent with this Act, remain in operation until revoked or replaced by subsidiary
legislation made under this Act, and shall be deemed for all purposes to have been made under this Act.

 

151. Existing rights, interest, etc., under repealed Acts

(I) The rights, interests, obligations and liabilities of the Commission, existing before
the commencement of this Act under any contract or instrument, or in law or in equity
shall by virtue of this Act be deemed to have been preserved, assigned to and vested in
the Commission established by this Act to the extent that they are not inconsistent howsoever with any of the provisions of this Act.


(2) Any such contract or instrument as is mentioned in subsection (1) of this section
shall be of the same force and effect against or in favour of the Commission established
by this Act and shall be enforceable as fully and effectively as if instead of the Commission
existing before the commencement of this Act the Commission established by this
Act had been named therein or had been a party thereto provided that such contract or
instrument is not inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Act.

152. Outstanding obligations and liabilities under repealed Acts

The Commission established by this Act shall be subject to all the obligations and liabilities
to which the Commission existing before the commencement of this Act was
subject to immediately before the commencement of this Act and all other persons shall
have the same rights, powers and remedies against the Commission established by this
Act as they had against the Commission existing before the commencement of this Act
provided that such obligations, liabilities, rights, powers and remedies are not inconsistent
with any of the provisions of this Act.

153. Pending proceedings or causes of actions under repealed Acts

Any proceedings or cause of action pending or existing immediately before the commencement
of this Act by or against the Commission in respect of any right, interest,
obligation or liability of the Commission pursuant to the repealed Acts may be continued
or, as the case may be, commenced and any determination of the court oflaw, tribunal or
other authority or person may be enforced by or against the Commission established by
this Act as if such proceeding or cause of action or determination was continued, commenced
or enforced by or against the Commission under this Act provided that such proceeding or cause
of action or determination is not inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Act.

154. Commission's assets, funds, etc., pursuant to repealed Acts

All assets, funds, resources and other movable or immovable property which immediately
before the commencement of this Act were vested in the Commission pursuant to
the repealed Acts shall by virtue of this Act and without further assurance, be vested in
the Commission established by this Act.

155. Office holders pursuant to repealed Acts

Any person who immediately before the coming into force of this Act is the holder of
any office in the Commission pursuant to the repealed Acts shall on the commencement
of this Act continue in office and be deemed to have been appointed to his office pursuant
to this Act, unless the authority by which the person was appointed terminates the
appointment in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

PART 11

Transitional Provisions for Licences, Definitions and Short Title

156. Old licences

(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, licences issued under the repealed Act
("old licences") shall continue to have effect under this Act.

 (2) The Commission shall, upon the commencement of this Act, have the powers to
modify old licences to conform to the provisions and objectives of this Act.

157. Interpretation
In this Act-

"access" means the making available of communications facilities and communications
services one licensee to another for the purpose of providing services, and includes
the connection of equipment by wire or wireless means, access to physical infrastructure
including but not limited to buildings, ducts and masts, access to mobile networks, in
particular for roaming, and access to number translation or systems offering equivalent
functionality;

"access list" means the list of facilities or services established under Part III of
Chapter VI;

"agreement" means an agreement, whether formal or informal, oral or written, express or implied;

"applications service provider" means a person who provides an application service;

"applications services" means a service provided by means of, but not solely by
means of one, or more network services;

"assignment" means the assignment by the Commission of rights to use the spectrum,
numbers or electronic addresses and may include conditions to which the exercise
of those rights shall be subject;

"authorised interception" means interception by the licensee of any network facilities,
network service or applications service permitted under section 148 of this Act;

"Board" means the Board of Commissioners established under section 5 of this Act;

"class licence" means a licence for any or all persons to conduct a specified activity
and may include conditions to which the conduct of that activity shall be subject;

"Commission" means the Nigerian Communications Commission established under
section 3 of this Act;

"communications" means any communication, whether between persons and persons,
things and things, or persons and things, in the form of sound, data, text, visual images,
signals or any other form or any combination of those forms;

"communications licence" or "licence" means either an individual licence or a class
licence issued by the Commission under Chapter IV;

"communications sector" or "market" means an economic sector or market for a
network service, or an applications service, or for goods or services used in conjunction
with a network service or an applications service, or for access to facilities used in conjunction
with either a network service or an applications service;

"Consolidated Revenue Fund" means the Fund established by section 80 of the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999;

"consumer", "customer" or "subscriber" means any person who subscribes to and
uses a communication service;

"content" means any sound, text, still picture, moving picture or other audio-visual
representation, tactile representation or any combination of the preceding which is
capable of being created, manipulated, stored, retrieved or communicated electronically;

"content applications service" means an application service which provides content;

"Council" means the Federal Executive Council of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

"Court" means a court oflaw of competent jurisdiction;

"customer equipment" means any equipment, whether hardware of software, or
device, used on the customer side of the network boundary;

"direction" means a direction issued by the Commission under Part I of Chapter V;

"equipment" means any equipment or apparatus used or intended to be used for
communications and that is part of or connected to or comprises a communications
system;

"Federal Government" means the Federal Government of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria;

"individual licence" means a licence for a specified person to conduct a specified
activity and may include conditions to which the conduct of that activity shall be subject;

"Instrument" includes a direction, determination or declaration;

"intercept" means the aural or other acquisition of the contents of any communications
through the use of any electronic, mechanical or other equipment, device or
apparatus;

"interception capability" means the capability of any network facility or network
service or applications service to intercept communications under section 147 of this Act;

"interconnection" means the physical and logical linking and connection of communications
systems used or operated by the same or different licensees in order to convey
messages to and from the respective systems for the provision of services;

"ITU" means International Telecommunications Union;

"licensee" means a person who either holds an individual licence or undertakes
activities which are subject to a class licence granted under this Act;

"Minister" means the Minister for the time being charged with the responsibility for
Communications;

"Minister of Finance" means the Federal Minister for the time being charged with
the responsibility for Finance;

"Ministry" means the Federal Ministry for the time being charged with the responsibility
for Communications;

"National Frequency Plan" means the frequency plan prepared under Part II of
Chapter III and Part I of Chapter VIII for the management of any part or all of the national spectrum;

"network facilities" means any element or combination of elements or physical infrastructure used
principally for or in connection with the provision of services but does
not include customer equipment;

"network facilities provider" means a person who is an owner of any network
facilities;

"network service" means a service for carrying communications by means of guided
or unguided electro-magnetic radiation;

"network service provider" means a person who provides network services;

"NFM Council" means National Frequency Management Council;

"number" means a number, letter or symbol;

"numbering and electronic addressing plan" means the numbering and electronic
addressing plan developed under Part II of Chapter VIII;

"owner" means the legal or beneficial owner;

"person" includes a corporate body or partnership and where an individual is required to represent
a corporate body or partnership in any circumstance pursuant to this
Act or its subsidiary legislation it shall be sufficient if in the case of a-

       (a)       corporate body, it is represented by its competent officer; and

       (b)       partnership, it is represented by a partner in the partnership or a competent
employee of the partnership;

"President" means the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

"publication" of any information by the Commission pursuant to this Act or its subsidiary
legislation, except otherwise specified in any particular section of this Act, shall
be deemed as sufficiently effected if it is posted at the Commission's website and published
in at least two widely circulating national newspapers;

"publication" of any information by a licensee pursuant to this Act or its subsidiary
legislation, except otherwise specified in any particular section of this Act, shall be
deemed as sufficiently effected if it is-

       (a)       officially sent to the Commission;

       (b)       published at the licensee's website;

       (c)       made publicly and readily available to any member of the public at the licensee's
offices that deal with or relate howsoever with its consumers; and

      (d)        if the Commission so directs, published in at least one national newspaper;

"Register" means anyone of the registers established or maintained by the Commission for the
purposes of this Act;

"service" except where the context otherwise requires, means applications, content,
network or facilities services or any combination of these services;

"spectrum" means the continuous range of electro-magnetic wave frequencies up to
and including a frequency of 420 terahertz;

"spectrum assignment" means the assignment issued under Part I of Chapter VIII;

"telecommunication" means any transmission, emission or reception of signs, signals,
writing, images, sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, visual or other
electro-magnetic systems;

"transmit" or "transmission" means to cause any emission or unguided electromagnetic
energy in any part of the spectrum.

158. Short title

This Act may be cited as the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.

SCHEDULES

FIRST SCHEDULE

Supplementary Provisionrelating to the Board of Commissioners

Proceedings of the Board

I. Subject to provisions of this Act and section 27 of the Interpretation Act, the Board may
make standing orders regulating its proceedings or that of any of its Committees.

2. The Chairman shall preside at every meeting of the Board and in his absence, the Executive
Vice-Chairman shall preside at the meeting and in the absence of the Chairman and
Executive Vice-Chairman, the members present at that meeting shall appoint one of their
members to preside at the meeting.

3. The quorum for any meeting of the Board shall be a simple majority of the members for
the meantime constituting the Board provided that, such simple majority shall include a
minimum of two Executive Commissioners.

4. The Board shall meet to transact its business pursuant to this Act whenever it is summoned
by the Chairman and if so required by notice given to him by not less than four other
members of the Board specifying, amongst others, an agenda for the meeting, the Chairman
shall summon a meeting of the Board that shall be held within 14 days from the date on which
the notice is served on him to discuss the items specified in the notice:
Provided that the Board shall for the purposes of this Act meet not less than four times in
each calendar year.

5. A member of the Board who directly or indirectly has an interest of a personal nature
(including but not limited to financial interests) in any matter being deliberated upon by the
Board, or is personally interested in any contract made or proposed to be made by the
Commission, Councilor the Access Fund shall, so soon after the facts of the matter of his interests
have come to his knowledge disclose his interest and the nature thereof at a meeting of the
Board.

6. A disclosure under paragraph 5 of this Schedule shall be recorded in the minutes of meet-
ings of the Board and the member concerned-

                (a)     shall not, after the disclosure, take part in any deliberation or decision of the
board or vote on the matter; and

                (b)      shall be excluded for the purpose of constituting a quorum of any meeting of
the Board for any deliberation or decision, with regard to the subject matter in
respect of which his interest is so disclosed.

Committees

7. (I) Subject to its standing orders, the Board may appoint such number of standing or a
hoc committees as it thinks fit to consider and report on any matter with which the Commission is concerned.

(2) A committee appointed under this paragraph shall-

                (a)     consist of such number of persons who may not necessarily be members of the
Board as may be determined by the Board, provided that the appointment of a
non-Board member as a Committee member shall be subject to such terms as
would be indicated in his letter of appointment; and

(b) be presided over by a member of the Board.

(3) The quorum of any Committee set up by the Board shall be as may be determined
from time to time by the Board.

(4) A decision ofa Committee of the Board shall be of no effect until it is confirmed by
the Board.

Miscellaneous

8. The fixing of the seal of the Commission shall be authenticated by the signature of the
Secretary and that of the Chairman or any other Board member generally or specifically
authorised by the Board to act for that purpose.

9. Any contract or instrument which, if made by a person not being a body corporate, would
not be required to be under seal may be made or executed on behalf of the Commission,
Councilor Access Fund by any person generally or specially authorised by the Board to act
for that purpose.

10. Any document purporting to be a contract, instrument or other document duly signed or
sealed on behalf of the Commission shall be received in evidence and shall, unless the
contrary is proved, be presumed without further proof to have been so signed or sealed.

11Subject to the provisions of this Act, the validity of any proceedings of the Board or of
any of its Committees shall not be affected by-

(a) any vacancy in the membership of the Board or Committee;

(b) any defect in the appointment of a member of the Board or Committee; or

(c)     reason that any person not entitled to do so took part in the proceedings of the
Board or Committee.

12. No member of the Board or the Board's Committee shall be personally liable for any act
or omission done or made in good faith while engaged on the business of the Commission.

SECOND SCHEDULE

Conflict of Interest

1. Subject to the provisions of this Schedule, no Commissioner or staff of the Commission
shall have a direct or indirect financial interest or investment in any Nigerian communications
company throughout the tenure of his office or employment with the Commission.

2. Subject to paragraphs 3 and 4 hereof, each Commissioner or staff of the Commission shall
on an annual basis present a written declaration affirming the non-existence of any such interest
as is specified in paragraph 1 and shall pledge to disclose and inform the Commission of
any such relationship or interest that arises or is likely to arise during his tenure or employment
with the Commission.

3. Serving Commissioners and staff of the Commission as at the commencement date of this
Act shall be entitled to a maximum of six months from the said commencement date within
which to divest themselves of their direct or indirect financial interest or investment in any
Nigerian communications company, ifany.

4. All newly appointed Commissioners and staff of the Commission after the commencement
of this Act shall be entitled to a maximum of six months from their respective dates of appointments
within which to divest themselves of their direct or indirect financial interests or
investments in any Nigerian communications company, ifany.

5. Each Commissioner or staff of the Commission shall declare on appointment or at the
commencement of employment and annually thereafter, for as long as he serves the Commission,
any interest or investment that he-

(a) knowingly has; or

(bknows any member of his immediate family to have,
in any aspect of the Nigerian communications industry.

6. If a Commissioner or staff of the Commission contravenes the provisions of paragraphs I
and 2 of this Schedule, or gives false information under paragraph 5 of this Schedule, he shall
be liable, on conviction, to the payment ofa fine not exceeding NIOO,OOO.OO or imprisonment
of a term not exceeding one year or to both.

7. Subject to paragraph 8 of this Schedule, the Board may, from time to time, waive the application
of the prohibitions specified in paragraphs I and 2 of this Schedule to any Commissioner
or staff of the Commission if the Board determines that the financial interest of the
relevant person is not of a material nature or is minimal.

8. The Commission in determining whether or not the interest of a Commissioner or staff of
the Commission is minimal or not of a material nature shall consider factors including but not
limited to the following-

                (a)    the revenues, investments, profits and managerial efforts of the relevant com-
pany or other entity in regard to its communications activities compared with
other aspects of the company's or such entity's businesses;

                (b)     the extent to which the Commission regulates and oversees the activity of such
company or entity;

                (c)     the degree to which the economic interests of such company or other entity
may be affected by an action ofthe Commission; and

               (d) the perceptions held or likely to be held by the public regarding the relevant
person's financial interest or investment in that company or other entity.

9. The Board may at any time review an reverse its determination under paragraph 7 of this
Schedule and direct the application of the prohibitions contained in this Schedule to the
affected Commissioner or staff of the Commission and the Board shall not be under an
obligation to disclose the reason or basis for its review to the affected Commissioner or staff
member.

10. In the case in which the Commission exercises the waiver authority or the review thereof
as specified in paragraphs 7 and 9 of this Schedule, the Commission shall so soon thereafter
publish the details thereof and such publication shall include information regarding the identity
of the person who has been granted the waiver or whose waiver grant has been reviewed,
the position held by such person and, the nature of the financial interests which are the subject
of the waiver or the review thereof.

II. For the purposes of this Schedule-

(a) "company" includes partnerships and undertakings;
               
(b)    "immediate family" means a person's spouse and children who are under the
age of I 8 year

SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

Lisof SubsidiarLegislation

I. Telecommunications Networks Interconnection Regulations, 2003.

TELECOMMUNICA TIONS NETWORKS INTERCONNECTION
REGULATIONS
2003

ARRANGEMENTS OF REGULATIONS

PART I

Rights anObligations/or interconnection

REGULATION
   
      I. The rights and obligations of any telecommunications operator to interconnection.

 

 

  1. Powers and functions of the Commission with regard to interconnection.
  2. Agreements on interconnection.
  3. Amendment and termination of interconnection agreements.

PART II

interconnection Procedures

  1. Requests for interconnection.
  2. Interconnection charges and costs.
  3. Points of interconnection.
  4. Telecommunication network specifications.
  5. Requests for new services and systems change.

PART III

Interconnection Obligations of Dominant Telecommunications Operators 
10. Interconnection agreement with dominant operators.
 II.    Principles of interconnection charges and costing to be applied by dominant
telecommunications operators.
12. Separate accounts and financial information.

PART IV

Interconnection PrincipleApplicabltall Telecommunications Operators

  1. Essential requirements of interconnection.
  2. Collocation and facility sharing.
  3. Technical standards.
  4. Publication of and access to information.

PARTV

Interconnection Disputes Resolution 
17. Interconnection disputes-resolution procedures.

PARTVI

Miscellaneous Provisions

18. Penalties.

REGULATION

  1. Interpretation.
  2. Citation.

SCHEDULE

Lisof Issues tbe covered in thTelecommunications 
Interconnection Agreements

TELECOMMUNICA TIONS NETWORKS INTERCONNECTION
REGULA TIONS, 2003

[S.1. 13 of2003.]

[20th May, 2003]

[Commencement.]

PART I

Rights and Obligationfor Interconnection

  1. The rights and obligations of any telecommunications operator to interconnection

(I) Any licensed telecommunications operator shall have the right and, when requested
by another licensed telecommunications operator, an obligation to negotiate interconnection
with each other for the purpose of providing services in order to ensure the
provision and inter-operability of services throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
subject to compliance with the terms and conditions on interconnection, the provisions of
the Act, these Regulations and the Guidelines on Interconnection of Telecommunications
Networks.

(2) The Commission may agree to limit the obligation required under subregulation (I) of this
regulation, if, as determined by the Commission in its reasonable discretion-

                                (a)       an interconnection agreement is prohibited by law; or

       (b)       the licence issued to an operator does not authorise the services for which
interconnection is requested; or

      (c)        the requested interconnection is rendered impossible as a result of technical
specifications; or

       (d)       such interconnection would endanger life or safety or result in injury or harm
to the property of the licensed telecommunications operator or hinder the quality of the
services provided by the licensed operator.

(3) Any limitation imposed by the Commission pursuant to subregulation (2) of this
regulation shall be publ ished in accordance with subregulation (1) of regulation 16 of
these Regulations

2. Powers and functions of the Commission with regard to interconnection

(1) The Commission shall-

                               (a)       encourage and secure adequate interconnection and inter-operability of services;

      (b)       carry out its functions in a way that promotes efficiency, sustainable competition
and give the maximum benefit to users; and

      (c)        take all necessary measures to remove any restrictions which may prevent effective
negotiations on interconnection agreements between telecommunications operators.

(2) The Commission may-

      (a)        on its own initiative, intervene in negotiations on agreements for interconnection
where no agreement is brought about between the negotiating telecommunications operators
within twelve weeks of the commencement of the negotiations;

      (b)              on its own initiative and at any time or if requested by either party, set time
limits within which negotiations on interconnection are to be completed;

      (c)        also intervene, if so requested by either party, in order to specify issues that
shall be covered in the interconnection agreements and require changes to be
made to interconnection agreements already concluded.

(3) Where no agreement is reached within the time allowed, the Commission shall
take steps to facilitate the conclusion of the interconnection agreement under the procedures
laid down by the Commission in the Guidelines on Interconnection of Telecommunications
Networks published in accordance with subregulation (1) of regulation 16 of these Regulations.

(4) Where a telecommunications operator-

       (a)              enters into an interconnection agreement with another telecommunications
operator, the Commission has the right to review such interconnection agreement to
ensure conformity with the provisions of the Act, these Regulations or
the Guidelines on Interconnection of Telecommunications Networks;

       (b)       has not interconnected its facilities, the Commission has the right to require the
operator concerned to interconnect its facilities in order to protect essential
public interests and, where appropriate, may set the terms and conditions of
interconnection.

(5) The Commission shall ensure that-

       (a)              any telecommunications operator who acquires information from another
telecommunications operator during the process of negotiating interconnection
agreements, use such information solely for the purpose for which it was supplied
and respect, at all times, the confidentiality of the information transmitted or stored; and

       (b)              the information referred to in paragraph (a) of this subregulation shall not be
passed to any other party, in particular, other departments, subsidiaries or partners for which
such information may provide competitive advantage.

3. Agreements on interconnection

(I) Interconnection agreements shall be negotiated freely and in good faith between
the parties involved and each negotiating party shall not-

       (a)       intentionally mislead the other party; or

       (b)       coerce the other party into making an agreement that it would not otherwise
have made; or

      (c)        intentionally obstruct negotiations.

(2) The terms and conditions for interconnection of telecommunications networks
shall be set on the basis of the agreement reached between the interconnecting
telecommunications operators in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations.

(3) The interconnection agreement shall be in writing and comply with-

       (a)       the provision of the Act, these Regulation and the Guidelines on Interconnection
of Telecommunications Networks published by the Commission; and

       (b)       the principles of neutrality, transparency, non-discrimination, fair competition,
cost orientation, universal coverage, access to information, equality of access
and equal terms and conditions.

(4) An interconnection agreement shall cover all the issues set out in the Schedule to
these Regulations and in particular, each interconnection agreement shall contain mutual
obligations and responsibilities of the interconnecting telecommunications operators to
protect the interests of the users as well as the interconnecting operators.

(5) All interconnection agreements entered into by a telecommunications operator
shall be filed with the Commission not later than thirty days from the date of the execution
of the interconnection agreement and made avai lable on request to interested parties
in accordance with regulation 16 of these Regulations.

(6) Any party to an interconnection agreement may, upon the filing of such agreement
with the Commission, mark provisions containing trade or operating secrets, in
which case such party shall, in addition, submit to the Commission for review a modified
version of the agreement which does not, in the view of that party, disclose the said trade
or operating secrets.

(7) Where the Commission considers the marking unjustified, it shall consult with the
relevant telecommunications operator prior to taking a decision on allowing third parties
to inspect such agreements, in whole or in part, and it may subsequently restrict inspection
to the modified version of the interconnection agreement.

(8) The parties to an interconnection agreement shall furnish to the Commission any
additional information that the Commission requires in respect of an interconnection
agreement and on evaluating the terms and conditions and the charges set out in the
proposed interconnection agreement, the Commission may require the telecommunications
operator to revise the agreement, if interconnection as contemplated therein is inconsistent
with the provisions of the Act, these Regulations, or the Guidelines on Interconnection of
Telecommunications Networks published by the Commission,

  1. Amendment and termination of interconnection agreements

(I) The parties to an interconnection agreement that is already approved by the
Commission may, with the approval of the Commission, amend or modify such agreement.

(2) No amendment under subregulation (1) of this regulation shall be made unless the
parties give a written notice to the Commission accompanied by a copy of the proposed
amendment or modification to the agreement.

(3) Where no additional information is required by the Commission and the Commission
fails to give its written approval within 30 days of the receipt of the notice mentioned in
subregulation (2) of this regulation, the amendment or modification shall become effective
and shall be deemed to have been approved by the Commission.

(4) Where any modification to the interconnection agreement is directed by the
Commission, the parties shall negotiate and make such necessary amendments to the
agreement in accordance with such directives by the Commission.

(5) Where the terms and conditions of any agreement or amendment made thereto
become unreasonable, the requested party shall, within 30 days of the notification of the
unreasonableness, offer to the requesting party an amended agreement or agree with the
requesting party to amend the interconnection agreement, so that its terms and conditions
become reasonable.

(6) The termination of any interconnection agreement shall be strictly in line with the
terms and conditions of the interconnection agreement between the parties.

(7) The licensed operator providing interconnection shall give the other party a six
months' written notice of its intention to terminate the agreement specifying the grounds
of termination.

(8) In the case of any breach of the terms and conditions of the agreement, the requested
party shall give to the requesting party a three months' written notice to remedy
the breach and if the party in breach fails to remedy the breach within the period, the
requested party may then terminate the agreement without giving further notice.

(9) No operator shall terminate any interconnection agreement without the written
consent of the Commission first sought and obtained.

PART II

Interconnection Procedures

  1. Requests for interconnections

(I) Where the requesting party desires to interconnect its telecommunications networks
with that of the requested party, a request shall be made to the requested party.

(2) Any request made pursuant to subregulation (1) of this regulation shall-

       (a)       be made in writing to the requested party;

       (b)       contain sufficient information in relation to-

(i) the type of interconnection;

(ii) the suggested date for the commencement of negotiations;

(iii) the date from which the interconnection is required; and
(iv) an estimate of the interconnection capacity required; and

      (b)        be brought to the notice of the Commission by the requesting party.

(3) The requested party shall inform the requesting patty in writing within 28 days of
the receipt of a request for interconnection, if-

      (a)        it shall be able to supply the form of interconnection requested; and

      (b)        it shall be able to do so within the time frame requested by the requesting
party.

(4) A request for interconnection may be refused only on reasonable grounds and
shall be justified in writing by the party requested to provide the interconnection and the
Commission shall be notified of the reason for the refusal.

(5) Where the patties are unable to agree within 90 days from the date of first request
as to the date upon which to commence negotiations, the Commission shall have the
power to compel both parties to commence negotiations on an interconnection agreement on a date as may be prescribed by the Commission.

 
  1. Interconnection charges and costs

(I) Subject to any default interconnection charges that may be approved by the
Commission, the charges set by operators, with special focus put on the dominant operators providing interconnection to their telecommunications networks in accordance with the Guidelines on Interconnection of Telecommunications Networks shall-

 
 

(a)  be set on objective criteria, the principles of transparency and cost orientation;
(b)  be sufficiently unbundled to ensure that an operator requesting interconnection is not required to pay for network elements or facilities not strictly required for the service to be provided;

(c)  not include hidden cross-subsidies, particularly of an anti-competitive nature;

(d) reflect underlying cost categories;

(e)  include a fair share, according to the principle of proportionality, joint and common costs and the costs incurred in providing equal access and number portability and the costs of ensuring essential requirements; and

(f)  be approved or, if needed, set by the Commission.

 
 

 

(2) Interconnection charges that do not conform to the provisions of these
tions may be varied by a determination of the Commission.

 
Regulations 

7. Points of interconnection

 

(I) Any point of interconnection shall-

(a)        only be requested after the conclusion and coming into force of the interconection agreement; and
(b)        be established and maintained at any technically feasible point in the telecomunications network of a dominant operator requested by another operator
seeking interconnection.

(2) The requesting party shall provide sufficient details to the requested party in relation
to a point of interconnection in order to enable the requested party to assess what
system conditioning may be required and to estimate the costs of establishing the point of
interconnection.

(3) The costs of interconnection incurred by both interconnecting operators may vary
depending on the points of interconnection.

(4) Any dominant operator shall indicate, in its Reference Interconnection Offer, the
standard points of interconnection of its telecommunications networks at which the networks
of other operators can interconnect with its networks.

(5) Where a new entrant into the telecommunications networks desires to interconnect at
points other than the standard point of interconnection, such interconnection shall
be made available upon request and the requesting party may be required to pay charges
that reflect the cost of the construction of the necessary additional facilities.

(6) The points of interconnection shall be established as soon as practicable following
a request but not later than 45 days from the date of the request.

(7) The calling line identification and all necessary signalling data shall be exchanged
between the interconnecting parties in accordance with accepted international standards,
the provisions of these Regulations and the Guidelines on Interconnection of
Telecommunications Networks issued by the Commission.

  1. Telecommunications network specifications

(1) Interconnected telecommunications networks shall be technically compatible and
parties to an interconnection agreement shall ensure that-

       (a)       any operator seeking interconnection provides information on the technical
characteristics of its telecommunications network;

       (b)       the dominant operator and any new entrant into the telecommunications sector,
shall not, on the grounds that the standards and specifications are proprietary,
withhold information necessary to ensure efficient interconnection arrangements for both sides; and

      (c)        every dominant operator and new entrant into the telecommunications sector
shall take account of the standards defined as being suitable for the purpose of
interconnection, including the international standards and specifications
adopted by the International Telecommunications Union.

  1. Requests for new services and systems change

(I) Where the requesting party requests a new form of interconnection, it shall do so
in writing and provide the requested party with reasonable information in relation to the
following matters-

       (a)       the form of interconnection;

       (b)       the approximate date the interconnection is required; and

       (c)        an estimate of the capacity required.

(2) All requests for new interconnection services shall be filed with the Commission. 

(3) The requested party shall inform the requesting party in writing within 14 days of
the provision of the information mentioned in subregulation (I) of this regulation if-

(a)  it  is able to supply the form of interconnection requested; or
(b)  it will be able to do so within the time frame requested by the requesting party.

(4) Where the requested party has informed the requesting party that it is able to provide
the interconnection the requesting party shall ensure that the system conditionning
and the provisional procedures required to provide that interconnection are undertaken
within the time-frame required by the requested party.

 (5) where the rejected party rejects the interconnection request of the requesting
party as unreasonable, then the requesting party may appeal to the Commission and the
Commission shall decide on the case in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures
set out in Part V of these Regulations.

(6) Any dominant operator who intends to make changes to its telecommunications
networks shall give six months' written notice to any interconnected operator connected
to its telecommunications networks of any such planned changes that may materially
impact on the telecommunications services of the interconnected operator.

PART III

Interconnection Obligations of Dominant Telecommunications Operators

10. Interconnection agreement with dominant operators

(I) Any telecommunications operator who is determined by the Commission as a
dominant operator shall-

(a) meet all reasonable requests for access to its public telecommunications
network, and in particular, access at any point that is technically feasible on its
telecommunications network;

(b)  comply with the principle of non-discrimination with regard to interconnection
offered to other telecommunications operators, in particular, it shall apply
similar conditions in similar circumstances to interconnected telecommunications
operators providing similar services and provide interconnection facilities
and information to other telecommunications operators under the same conditions
and of the same quality as it provides for its own services or those of the
group of companies or partners;

(c)  make available on request to other telecommunications operators considering
interconnection with its public telecommunications network, all information
and specifications reasonably necessary, in order to facilitate conclusion of an
agreement for interconnection, including information on changes planned for
implementation within the next six months, unless agreed otherwise by the
Commission;

(d) submit to the Commission for approval and publish a Reference Interconnection
Offer, sufficiently unbundled, giving a description of the interconnection
offerings broken down into components according to market needs and the associated
terms and conditions including tariffs; and 

    (e)        provide access to the technical standards and specifications of its telecommunications
network with which another operator shall be interconnected.

(2) The Commission may impose or prohibit conduct by a dominant telecommunications
operator, if the operator is violating the obligations imposed on it and declare interconnection
agreements wholly or partially invalid to the extent that such dominant telecommunications
operator abuses its dominant position in the market.

(3) The Commission shall, before taking the action in subregulation (2) of this regulation, first
of all request the dominant telecommunications operator to refrain from the
abuse to which the objection has been made.

11. Principles of interconnection charges and costing to be applied by dominant
telecommunications operators

(1) A dominant telecommunications operator shall set charges for interconnection on
objective criteria and observe the principles of transparency and cost orientation and the
burden of proof that charges are derived from actual costs lies with the telecommunications
operator providing the interconnection service to its facilities.

(2) The Commission has the right to request that the dominant telecommunications
operator justify fully its interconnection charges and where appropriate may request for
the adjustment of the charges.

(3) The burden of proof that charges are derived from relevant costs, including a reasonable
rate of return on investment, shall lie on the dominant operator providing interconnection to its facilities.

(4) The Commission has the right to request dominant operators to provide full justification for
their interconnection charges and the dominant operators shall comply with
any adjustment required by the Commission.

(5) The dominant operators may set different tariffs, terms and conditions for inter-
connection of different categories of telecommunications services where such differences
can be objectively justified on the basis of the type of interconnection provided.

(6) The Commission shall ensure that the differences mentioned in subregulation (5)
of this regulation do not result in the distortion of competition and in particular that the
dominant operators apply the appropriate interconnection tariffs, terms and conditions
when providing telecommunications for its own services or those of its subsidiaries or
affiliates in accordance with the principle of non-discrimination.

(7) A dominant telecommunications operator shall-

      (a)        give written notice of any proposal to change any charges for interconnection
services in accordance with the procedure set out in the Guidelines on Inter-
connection of Telecommunications Networks and the provisions of the operating licence;

      (b)        sufficiently unbundle charges for interconnection, so that the telecommunications
operator requesting the interconnection is not required to pay for any
item not strictly related to the service requested

                            (c)        maintain a cost accounting system which-

  (i)     in the opinion of the Commission is suitable to demonstrate that its
charges for interconnection have been fairly and properly calculated;
and

                                 (ii) provides any information requested by the Commission; and

      (d)        make available to any person with a legitimate interest, on request, a descrip-
tion of its cost accounting system showing the main categories under which
costs are grouped and the rules for the allocation of costs to interconnection
and the Commission or any other competent body independent of the dominant
telecommunications operator and approved by the Commission, shall verify
compliance of the dominant telecommunications operator with the cost
accounting system and the statement concerning compliance shall be published
by the Commission annually.

12. Separate accounts and financial information

(I) Where interconnection services are not provided through a structurally separated
subsidiary, a dominant operator shall keep separate accounts as if the telecommunications
activities in question were in fact carried out by legally independent companies, so as to
identify all elements of cost and revenue with the basis of their calculation and the de-
tailed attribution methods used.

(2) Every dominant operator shall maintain separate accounts in respect of intercon-
nection services and its core telecommunications services and the accounts shall be sub-
mitted for independent audit and thereafter published.

(3) Every dominant operator shall supply financial information to the Commission
promptly on request and to the level of detail required by the Commission.

(4) The Commission may publish any information which in its opinion will contribute
to an open and competitive telecommunications market, while having considerations
for commercial confidentiality.

PARTlV

Interconnection Principles Applicablto all TelecommunicationOperators

13. Essential requirements of interconnection

(I) Every telecommunications operator shall maintain the highest level of service and
meet any priorities set by the Commission.

(2) The Commission shall take all necessary steps-

      (a)        to impose, including, where appropriate, conditions on interconnection, to en-
sure that the availability of the public telecommunications network is main-
tained in the event of catastrophic network breakdown or in exceptional cases
oi force majeure, such as extreme weather condition, earthquakes, flood, lightning or fire;

      (b)        to ensure that the integrity of the public telecommunications network is main-
tained and the need to maintain network integrity does not, however, constitute
a valid reason for refusal to negotiate terms of interconnection.

(3) The Commission shall ensure that all the conditions for interconnection relating
to the protection of telecommunications network integrity are proportionate and non-
discriminatory in nature and are based on objective criteria identified in advance.

(4) The Commission may impose conditions in interconnection agreements in order
to ensure-

      (a)        inter-operability of services, including conditions designed to ensure satisfac-
tory end-to-end quality and such conditions may include implementation of
specific technical standards, specifications or codes of conduct; and

      (b)       the protection of data, to the extent necessary to ensure compliance with rele-
vant legal and regulatory provisions on the protection of data, including pro-
tection of personal data, the confidentiality of information processed, transmit-
ted or stored and the protection of privacy.

(5) Where the Commission imposes conditions in an interconnection agreement
based on the essential requirements set out in this regulation, these conditions shall be
published in accordance with subregulation (I) of regulation 16 of these Regulations.

14. Collocation and facility sharing

(1) Where a telecommunications operator has the right to install facilities on, over or
under a private land or take advantage of a procedure for the expropriation or use of
property, the Commission shall encourage the sharing of such facilities and property with
other telecommunications operators, in particular, where other telecommunications op-
erators do not have access to viable alternatives.

(2) The terms and conditions for collocation or sharing offacilities shall be subject to
a commercial and technical agreement between the parties concerned and the Commis-
sion nevertheless may intervene to resolve disputes arising thereof, as provided for in
Part V of these Regulations.

15. Technical standards

Every telecommunications operator shall-

       (a)              provide technical interfaces for interconnection in accordance with relevant
enactments, law or regulations in Nigeria; and

       (b)              comply with the requirements of administrative documents and standards in
the telecommunications sector in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and such
other international standards or recommendations as may be adopted, from
time to time, by the International Telecommunications Union or any other in-
ternational organisation of which Nigeria is a member.

16. Publication of and access to information

(I) The Commission shall, from time to time, publish or ensure that there is pub-
lished an up-to-date information on interconnection agreements and the information shall
be published in such a way as to provide easy access for users of that information and be
made available on request to interested parties during normal working hours.

(2) All telecommunications operators shall provide the Commission with all such
technical, operational and accounting information as the Commission may reasonably
require in order to ensure that the publication requirements are met.

(3) The Commission shall ensure that any information provided to it which is ex-
pressed to be confidential is maintained as such in accordance with the provisions of
subregulations (6) and (7) of regulation 3 of these Regulations.

PART V

Interconnection Disputes Resolution

17. Interconnection disputes resolution procedures

(I) Where no agreement is reached in any interconnection negotiations between tele-
communications operators within 90 days of the commencement of the negotiations, ei-
ther party may appeal to the Commission and the Commission shall decide on the case,
taking into consideration the interests of both parties.

(2) An appeal shall be made in writing, setting out the reasons on which it is based, in
particular the areas of agreement and dispute, including but not limited to when intercon-
nection was requested, what telecommunications network or service offerings were re-
quested and on what issues agreement failed to be reached.

(3) An appeal may be withdrawn.

(4) The Commission may refuse to resolve the dispute in a case where none of the
telecommunications operators involved is dominant in the relevant market.

(5) Upon any ofthe interconnecting parties filing an appeal-

      (a)        the Commission shall give the parties concerned the opportunity to state their
case;

      (b)              a preliminary enquiry phase shall be introduced when initial consideration is
given, so that the Commission can decide if there is a case to answer or to pro-
ceed to a detailed investigation;

      (c)               the Commission shall inform the complainant of the outcome of the prelimi-
nary enquiry phase within four weeks;

       (d)              the preliminary enquiry phase shall be followed by an investigation phase in-
volving the gathering of analysis and assessment of more detailed information;

      (e)               the Commission may require written argument with supporting facts and re-
search, if necessary, to assist in clarifying the issues in dispute;

      (f)         where appropriate, the Commission may give representatives of business cir-
cles affected by the dispute the opportunity to state their case; and
       (g)              the Commission may also consider inviting other interested parties to comment
on the issues.

(6) The Commission shall decide on the dispute based on oral or written submissions
and public proceedings and subject to the agreement of the parties concerned, a decision
can be reached without oral submission. 

(7) Where the presence of the public may pose a threat to public order, specifically to
national security or to an important business or operating secret, the public may, at the
request of one of the parties concerned or by a determination of the Commission be excluded from the proceedings or from any part thereof.

(8) The Commission shall take into due consideration the interests of the users and
the entrepreneurial freedom of each telecommunications operator in its decision.

(9) The Commission-

      (a)        may, given the urgency of the case, issue an interim order before arriving at a decision; and

(b)  shall decide the case within six months, beginning from the date of the appeal.

(10)    The parties to the dispute shall be-

(a)  notified of the Commission's decision and the decision shall be published; and
(b)  given the statement of the reasons on which the decision is based.

 

(11) The Commission shall have the power to set the effective date of any determination retroactively to the date at which the dispute was referred to the Commission.

 

(12) Any party that is not satisfied with the decision of the Commission may apply
on notice to the Federal High Court for a review of the decision and a copy of the application shall be lodged with the Commission within 30 days from the date of the decision.

 

PARTVl

 

Miscellaneous Provisions

 

18. Penalties

Any telecommunications operator who contravenes or is in breach of any of the pro-
visions of these Regulations shall be liable to such fines, sanctions or penalties as may be determined by the Commission, from time to time.

 

19. Interpretation

In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires-

"Act" means the Nigerian Communications Commission Act, 1992, as amended, and
any succeeding legislation thereto;

 

"Commission" means the Nigerian Communications Commission;

 

"dominant operator" means a licensed telecommunications operator determined by
the Commission to be a dominant operator in a relevant market segment who has a share of at least 50 percent of the relevant telecommunications market in a geographical area of the Federal Republic of Nigeria within which it is authorised to operate and the Commission may presume that an operator which has a share of at least 30 percent of such a relevant market segment has a dominant market position, which however, has to be substantiated by further evidence and the Commission may, from time to time, prescribe detailed criteria for determining market dominance and shall make a ruling according to these criteria;

 
 
 

 

 

CAP. N97

Nigerian Communications Act

"interconnection" means the physical and logical linking of telecommunications net-
works used by the same or a different telecommunications operator in order to allow the
users of one telecommunications operator to communicate with the users of the same or
another telecommunications operator to access services provided by a telecommunica-
tions operator and the services may be provided by the parties involved or other parties
who have access to the telecommunications network;

"Guidelines on Interconnection" means the Guidelines on Interconnection of Tele-
communications Networks issued by the Commission setting out the requirements for
interconnection between telecommunications operators;

"licence" means a licence granted or having effect as if granted under section 12 of
the Act;

"public telecommunications network" means a telecommunications network used
in whole or in part for the provision of publicly available telecommunications services
provided either by the operator of that telecommunications network or a third party;

"requested party" means a telecommunications operator who has been asked by an-
other telecommunications operator to provide interconnection to the telecommunications
network of the other telecommunications operator;

"requesting party" means a telecommunications operator who desires to intercon-
nect its telecommunications network with the telecommunications network of another
telecommunications operator;

"telecommunications" means any form of transmission, broadcast or reception of
signs, signals, texts, images, sounds or data by wire, optical means, microwave or other
electro-magnetic means;

"telecommunications network" means any form of installation or group of installa-
tions which ensure either the transmission or the transmission and routing of telecommu-
nications signals and the associated exchange of the control and operational information
between network termination points;

"telecommunications operator" means a provider of telecommunications services
duly licensed to manage and operate a public telecommunications network;

"telecommunications services" means services whose provision consists wholly or
partly in the transmission and routing of signs, signals, texts, images, sounds or data or a
combination of these functions on telecommunications networks using telecommunica-
tions process;

"users" means a person, (including but not limited to an operator, reseller or value-
added service provider) who has entered into a contract with an operator for the provision
of telecommunications services on the operator's terms and conditions approved in ac-
cordance with relevant conditions of the operator's licence.

20. Citation

These Regulations may be cited as the Telecommunications Networks Interconnec-
tion Regulations, 2003.

SCHEDULE

List of Issues to bcovered in the Telecommunications Interconnection Agreements

[Regulation 3 (4).]

   I. Description of interconnection services to be provided.

  1. Terms of payment, including procedures.
  2. Points of interconnection and interconnection facilities.
  3. Technical standards for interconnection.
  4. Tests on inter-operability.
  5. Measures to comply with essential requirements.
  6. Intellectual property rights.
  7. Interconnection charges and their evolution over time.
  8. Dispute resolution procedure between parties before requesting for the intervention of
    the Commission.
  9. Procedures for alterations being proposed to the telecommunications network or service
    offerings of one of the parties.
  10. Achievement of equal access.
  11. Provision of facility sharing, including collocation.
  12. Access to ancillary, supplementary and advanced services.
  13. Traffic and network management.
  14. Operational and maintenance procedures.
  15. Maintenance of end-to-end quality of interconnection services.
  16. Confidentiality of non-public parts of the agreements.
  17. Publication and access to interconnection agreements.
  18. Duration and renegotiation of agreements.
  19. Termination procedures.
  20. Definition and limitation of liability and indemnity.
  21. Forcmajeure situation.
  22. Assignment of agreement.
  23. Training of staff.
  24. Any other general contract terms and conditions (applicable laws, regulatory approvals,
    legal interpretation).
  25. Any other terms and conditions as may be agreed upon, from time to time, by the parties.