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VAS generates N330 billion, says WASPAN


Chijioke Eze, President WASPAN

Chijioke Ezeh, national coordinator, Wireless Application Service Providers Association of Nigeria (WASPAN), has claimed that the stoppage of automatic renewal is collapsing the Value Added Service (VAS) sector and called on authorities no to stop it.

Ezeh also claimed that the sector generated about N300 billion in 2016.

”In 2017, it was about 10 per cent higher than 2016, but as at today, a VAS provider can barely attain N1 million. So the industry has crashed by at least 80 per cent in revenue generation.


”Also, at least 70 per cent of the work strength has been relieved in the VAS sector. We were employing an upward of 100,000 people but now, a VAS provider can barely retain one staff,” Ezeh said.

He said that in the last couple of years; the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in response to pressures, had issued multiple regulations and counter regulations, which ultimately resulted in the collapse of the VAS sector.

According to him, the over-regulation of the sector leads to the stoppage of auto-renewal, without consultation with the VAS providers.

”It is just a barrage of regulations – stop marketing, to implement Do Not Disturb (DND), to deactivate services on DND, then to stop auto-renewal.

”When they stopped auto-renewal, within 24 hours, the VAS sector collapsed. ”Cleaning up the sector does not mean removing auto-renewal, because there were consumers who legitimately subscribe to the services.

”The system should be developed in such a way that anybody who wants to opt-out can do so, and let the penalty be the failure or inability to opt-out,” he said.

Ezeh said that the association was already reviewing the situation with NCC, hoping that the regulatory body would speed up engagement with the VAS providers, for a faster resolution of the issue.

”NCC has seen the gravity of the regulation, as people have lost job, people have lost money and NCC’s intention is not for the industry to die.

”So they are reviewing it and trying to find way for us to get back to business, ” he said.

The NCC, had on May 21, issued a directive to all network providers to desist from carrying out automatic or unwarranted renewal of data packages without customers’ consent and to stop forcefully subscribing consumers to VAS.

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