In what has been widely reported as an advice, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the 24th of July issued a warning to telecommunications company operating in Nigeria to stop the practice of call masking and refilling. Call Masking is to hide the identity of a caller on the network or to buy an identity that is ordinarily not yours. Call refill is when a company cheats another by distorting the interconnection data so that they pay less and have some other company pay more for interconnecting calls.
The instruction reinforcing the prohibition of these and warning the telecommunications companies was contained in a letter which made the following point:
That the Commission has been investigating the activity of call masking and refilling before and after receiving complains.
That the Commission finds the incidence of call masking and refilling widespread in the telecom industry.
That due to the economic and security implications, the commission is giving all telecommunications company up till July 28 (4 days after the letter) to ensure that the practice is stopped on their network.
That compliance monitoring and enforcement actions shall be taken after the said deadline and failure to effect changes will be met with sanction and such sanction may be followed by further actions to be taken by the National Security Adviser due to the national security implication of the crime.
A meeting of telecommunications companies and the NCC was fixed for 27th July being a day to the end of the deadline. The Chief Technical Officer and other relevant members of the company was also mandated to be in attendance.
In February the NCC had announce that it is carrying out a study of mobile voice termination rates for telecommunication industries in the country. As of the time it announced the Accounting Firm Messrs PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (Pwc) as its auditors to carry out impact assessment on the subsisting interconnect regime; identify shortfalls on the subsisting interconnection rate regime and provide workable solutions. PWC is the second biggest professional services firm in the world, matter of fact it was ranked the most prestigious accounting firm in the world for 7 years consecutively. Hence the apprehension in the telco industry.