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Shuts down Owntel over illegal operations

For allegedly offering telecommunications services to Nigerians without obtaining operational licence from Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the enforcement department of the federal agency has shut down Owntel Communications Limited.
Led by Mr. Salisu Abdul, head of Enforcement, the team visited the office of Owntel on Isheri Road in Ojodu Lagos, where it confiscated some of its equipments as evidence for illegal operation.
Owntel was accused of offering telecommunications services on vehicle tracking as well as sales and installation of fixed and mobile telecommunication terminals without operational licence, which NCC described as an offense amounting to fraud against the federal government revenue drive.
Apart from offering vehicle tracking devices, Owntel was also involved in the sales and installation of telecommunication equipment like CCTV Camera, GSM terminal, Routers and Internet Modems, including Walkie Talkie and other mobile devices, which the law stipulates that a person must be competent in the sales and installation and in the delivering of such services with operational licence from the telecoms regulatory body, the NCC, before embarking on such business.
Explaining issues to newsmen shortly after the raid, Abdul revealed that “Owntel is providing telecommunication services, especially vehicle tracking services, which involve network and data services that require licence, yet it is operating without any licence.”
According to him, the company was duly monitored for some months before taking the decision to clamp down on it, explaining further that NCC had in October 8 this year, written to Owntel, warning it of the implications of its action, and gave it time to respond to the NCC to begin  the process of registration, but the company bluntly disregarded the warning and continued in the illegal business.
The firm’s manager, who refused to speak to the enforcement team, was seen shouting aloud that the company had begun the process of licensing but has not completed it.
Mr. Mohammed Abaji, head of Licensing at NCC, who was part of the NCC enforcement team, said if Owntel had started the process of licensing, as claimed by the manager, the company would have completed the process long ago, as it takes only two days to process and complete registration process for licensing operations for sales and installations, while it takes 90 days to complete the registration and licensing for vehicle tracking services.

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