By Kester Omu
Telecommunications infrastructure servicing company, Medallion Communications Limited has been adjudged the best ICT Clearing House of the Year, at the Beacon of Information and Communications Technology Awards, organized by Communication Week Media, in Lagos on Saturday at Eko Hotel & Suites.
Reacting to the award, the Chief Executive Officer of Medallion Communications Limited, Mr. Ikechukwu Nnamani, said as a company, it is exciting because receiving the award goes to show the ICT industry recognizes Medallion’s contributions to the industry, which reports says is presently contributing 10 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
“We are happy for the awards we got at the Beacon of ICT event. It is a testament that the industry has continued to recognize the work we do and the contribution we are making to the industry,” he said on the sideline of the awards night that attracted several industry stakeholders.
Ikechukwu, who was also adjudged the ICT Enterpreneur of the Year, admitted the award is also a call for more effort from Medallion so that the company, touted as Nigeria’s Telecom House will be recognized and win future awards. “The award tells us that people are watching and are appreciative of the effort we have been putting into making the Nigerian telecom industry more vibrant and efficient. It also shows that hard work has its rewards so we will keep working hard and adding value to the telecom industry in Nigeria,” he assured.
Speaking on the ICT Enterpreneur of the Year award, Ikechukwu noted that Entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted, stressing that people see the glory when you are successful but don’t see the pain that leads to that success.
He urged young entrepreneurs to put in the extra effort and be positive at all times, despite some unanticipated challenges along the way, saying at the right time, their projects will be successful.
He also addressed the recent suspension of the interconnect license of Medallion by the telecom regulator based on allegations of involvement on call masking. Engr Nnamani indicated that the issue of the suspension is a most unfortunate one. “The suspension is one that should have never happened in the first place,” he said.
While confirming that the suspension has been lifted by the telecom regulator, Ikechukwu rejected the allegation of call masking, which was the reason given by the regulator for the suspension.
His words: “We totally rejected that, since we knew we were never involved in call masking. It was practically impossible for us to be involved since we do not bring in international traffic into the country and all the calls we terminate on other networks was sent to them as we received it from the originating network.
“It was therefore shocking and strange that the regulator would accuse us of call masking and even went ahead to suspend our interconnect license. However,s we believe in the rule of law and the telecom industry in Nigeria operates under the guidelines of the Nigerian Communication Act 2003. The Act stipulates that when an operator disagrees with any determination made against it by the Regulator, you have the right to appeal and ask for a review of the decision and most importantly, you have the right to demand that you be given written reasons why you were punished and the evidence against you so you can properly respond. In the event that you do that and there is still no agreement between the Regulator and the operator, the operator has the right to seek redress in the law court. In our case we wrote to the Regulator asking for evidence against us that indicates we were involved in call masking. No evidence was presented to Medallion indicating we were involved in call masking. I am glad to report that following our appeal of the suspension the Regulator has lifted the suspension against Medallion and we are now able to run our interconnect business.”
He added that he is glad the issue was resolved without Medallion needing to take the Regulator to court, which was to be its next line of action iin the case that the company’s request for review of the decision was not positive in line with the provisions of the Communication Act 2003.
Medallion Communications has the most interconnected peering point in West Africa, with over 83 service providers, including all GSM, LTE, CDMA operators, Fixed Wireless and Fixed line operators connected to its infrastructure.