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Buhari seeks protection for telecoms consumers in Africa

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President Muhammadu Buhari has called on telecoms regulatory agencies in Africa to be on top of their game in safeguarding the interests of the end-users of these complex technologies.

He told the agencies to be aware that though these technologies present enormous opportunities for the consumers, on the one hand, it may constitute threats to consumers on the other hand, especially if left improperly regulated.

Buhari, who spoke at the second edition of Conference of African Telecommunications Regulators on Consumer Affairs (CATCO) yesterday in Abuja, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said telecoms regulatory agencies should be concerned about the effects of these technological changes on the consumers.

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adding that as the technological evolution has changed the way we interact as nations, it has also deepened the frontier for the good, the bad and the ugly’.

He noted that technological evolution has facilitated innovations in various sectors of the economy such as banking, agriculture, healthcare, commerce, entertainment, transport and so on, bringing a lot of efficiency in service delivery as we are witnessing in Nigeria.

The President said that the government is working to ensure that the nation continues to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into its digital space through creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Meanwhile, in his address, Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, observed that the growth in the African telecommunications sector and the shift of emphasis from licensing to other obligations such as empowerment and consumer protection have increased both the scope and complexity of regulating telecommunications.

According to him: “Regulators are now faced with the huge and daunting challenges of matching their regulatory policies with the various stakeholders’ interests within the context of the advancement being witnessed every minute in the digital space.

Danbatta, represented by the Director Public Affairs in the Commission, Henry Nkemadu, noted that policies such as guidelines, regulations and other intervention mechanisms had been deliberately put in place to grow the telecoms industry while empowering and protecting the consumers.


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