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NCC to empower consumers through information


Umar Danbatta, NCC Boss.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is to empower citizens, especially the telephone users with needed information henceforth.

This move is part of the decision that emanated from the NCC, organised 2017 Year of the Nigerian Telecom Consumer in Abuja, recently.

Improper and inadequate information, coupled with the appropriate channel through which unsatisfied telecommunications subscriber can voice out his or her grievances has remained one of the bane of the sector since its liberalisation in 2001.

According to NCC, there is a need to protect the consumer from unfair practices by providing information and education to them. “This is being actively pursued by strengthening initiatives, to educate and inform consumers in their use of communications services and act swiftly whenever necessary in the use of enforcement to protect telecom services consumers’ rights and privileges.”

According to NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who informed that in 2015, Nigerian telecoms consumers spent a whopping $5.6 billion on telecommunications services, topped it up by another $1 billion to make it $6.6 billion in 2016.

He said the Commission took “a management decision that compels us to seek to amplify our activities towards ensuring the consumer enjoys a customer experience that is enhanced and content in time and quality.

“The patronage of the consumer is important and the NCC acknowledges this; that is why in 2017 and, I dare say and even beyond, the consumer will be our focus.”

According to him, the NCC planned to inform and educate the consumers with the sole intent of protecting and empowering them to make the right decisions.

“The telecoms weak link, rightly or wrongly, is the consumer,” Danbatta said, adding that there were no small consumers as those buying N200 worth of card and those spending N100,000 were equal.

On the menace of unsolicited telemarketing whereby consumers receive unsolicited text messages and calls, Danbatta had good news for the consumers. “The NCC has introduced the ‘Do Not Disturb’ facility where consumers are expected to activate the same by dialling 2442.”

According to him, part of the plan to actualise the year of Nigerian Telecoms Consumer is the determination of the NCC to ensure that the consumer experiences improved quality of service in the year 2017 and beyond.

The NCC EVC said it will closely monitor, track and review the Key Performance Indicators of operators by network integrity and technical standards. Greater efforts will also be put in compliance, monitoring and enforcement of set standards.

The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, Sunday Dare, provided further insights into the significance of the declaration.

He said many would want to ask why the NCC 2017 focused on the Nigerian telecom consumers. “A loaded question, no doubt. I will attempt to provide a quick answer using the five Ws and H that guided me through my career as a media and communications professional. They are the why, when, where, what and who.”

Dare explained that the consumer is important as the oxygen that keeps operators alive. He stressed that the consumer is a major stakeholder whose satisfaction matters, adding that the satisfaction of the consumer will help the telcos increase their revenue base.

“The campaign runs in year 2017 and beyond. Every time we seek to engage and explore ways to make customer experience better is the when of this campaign.

“In the Nigeria telecoms industry, both for the inbound and outbound call experience – it is all over the country, from Kano to Kotongora, from Ado-Ekiti to Ekpoma, from Ikeja to Lokoja, from Dutse to Jos, Birnin-Kebbi to Yenagoa, we want the consumer to experience good quality of service.”

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