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Poor telecom services: Minister enjoins Nigerians to be proactive

Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu

Mr Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communications, has urged Nigerians to join hands with the ministry and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to be proactive in the fight against poor telecom services.

Mr Victor Oluwadamilare, the Special Assistant to the Minister on Media, made this known in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja.

Shittu gave the advice while reviewing the ministry’s efforts aimed at enhancing the quality of service by telecom service providers in the country.

The minister called on Nigerians to assist the ministry and NCC in the much touted short comings such as poor quality services, unsolicited SMS and unauthorised deductions by telecom service operators in the country.

“Rather than name callings and transferred aggression being exhibited on the social media,’’ he said.

The minister frowned at the substitution of name calling for good argumentation on the need for all hands to be on deck to checkmate the unwholesome and obvious detestable conduct of operators in the area of poor quality service, unsolicited messages and outright extortion.

‘’The social media should be put to more productive use in such a way to project the country well in the comity of nations and proffer enduring solutions to tame the monstrosity of epileptic services by telecom operators.

“Nigerians have the right to complain about unsavoury services they experienced in recent times from telecom operators, but I assure them that the ministry was not folding its hands or shying away from its responsibility of ensuring that normalcy prevails in the industry.

“The ministry always put regulatory agencies on their toes to do the needful. “Rather than casting aspersions on the ministry and the NCC for improper monitoring or not penalising telecom operators by infuriated Nigerians, ‘’ Shittu said.

He said that people should understand the workings of government and in turn appreciate the efforts of the regulators in ensuring that consumers enjoyed value for their money.

The minister said that as part of his commitment to ensure quality telecom service on March 8, 2016, he read a riot act at a meeting with top management staff of all telecom operators in the country.

“Issues discussed among others include extortion of Nigerian subscribers by telecom operators, incessant dropped calls on all networks, poor Quality of Service (QoS), dead or silent calls and call tariff plans.

“Others are deficiency in data penetration, roll out of 4G/LTE network, under-declared revenue and profit by telecom operators, disengagement of Nigerian taxpaying employees by telecom operators.

“Through outsourcing to foreign companies and discrepancy and discrimination against Nigerian employees by telecom operators,’’ he said.

The minister said that in as much as he was not holding brief for the telecoms regulatory agency NCC, the ministry and NCC had taken many positive steps in the last one year to stem the tide of most of the subscribers’ complaints.

“The innuendoes to the effect that the ministry and the NCC have been compromised, indolent and not capable of rescuing the Nigerian masses is far from the truth.

“While it may be a sad truism that poor quality service, extortion and other malfeasance by operators might have led to misconceptions and somewhat destroyed family ties.

“It will be wrong to use the social media to disparage genuine efforts of the ministry and the NCC to beat the offending operators to line.

‘’What we required is complementary support of the Nigerian people in achieving an enduring quality service that will be a pride of all and promote the nation’s economy,” Shittu added.

Shittu said that the NCC had carried out a technical review following widespread complaints by consumers about deteriorating QoS experienced from November 2016 to February 2017.

He said that the commission had on the strength of the findings by NCC summoned the major operators to a meeting at which it warned that provision of poor quality services was not acceptable as the consumer cannot be short-changed.


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