Communications Minister Haruna Iddrisu has repeated calls for mobile phone companies to pay a fine imposed on them by the National Communication Authority (NCA) within the next 24 hours or lose your operating licenses.

The NCA slapped a three-million-cedi fine on the telcos for delivering poor quality service.

But some of them – Airtel, Expresso, Vodafone and MTN – still have some bills to pay, according to the NCA.

But Mr Iddrisu said the telcos must finish paying the fines or lose their licenses.

He issued the warning at the launch of the Ghana Telecommunications Network earlier Tuesday.

“One or two operators is yet to honour the particular sanction. That in my honest and strongest view amounts to a contemptuous disrespect for the national regulator of the telecom industry and we’ll not tolerate that,” he said.

“All network providers who are in default of this penalty have 24 hours to settle it or risk having their licenses suspended.”

Asked if the ultimatum was too short for the companies to settle the bills, Mr Iddrisu said “the order was not given this morning; it was given over a week ago. They have ample and sufficient time to show respect for the regulator and particularly to the consuming public.”

Mr Haruna hinted the authority could “review the sanctions tomorrow; they’d be obliged to reward subscribers who suffer as a result of disruption of services by the network operator.”

But Chief Executive Officer of the Telecommunications Chamber Kwaku Sakyi Addo urged the regulator to be cautious in how it deals with telecom companies.

“Our part as a chamber of mobile operators, we take the recent expression of anger about quality of service. We’ll keep an open mind and an open door to work with the institutions, agencies and decision makers to solve problem and strive to build a world-class industry,” he said.

Referring to the “import duty of 20% based on SIM cards based on the 2010 copyright legislation” Mr Sakyi-Addo stressed that “regulatory policy should be based on sound and efficient legal system that enables timely contract enforcement, adequate appeal processes and effective implementation.”

Chairman of the occasion, the Okyehene, Osagyefu Amoatia Ofori Panin called for collaboration between the two entities.

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