NCC Reveals Ways to Protect Telco Consumers  


By Adedapo Adesanya

The National Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated its dedication to protecting telecommunication service users in Nigeria from any unfavourable practice by service providers.

This assurance was given during the commemoration of the World Consumer Rights Day on March 15 and was celebrated in Abuja on Sunday at an event tagged The Sustainable Consumer.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Mr Umar Danbatta, noted as the regulatory body for telecommunications services in Nigeria, it was important to ensure the interest of consumers whom he called the lifeblood of the sector.

“In keeping with its commitment to the tradition of celebrating the telecom consumer, the NCC is reiterating its commitment to safeguarding the interest and ensuring the satisfaction of the consumer as the central factor of the telecom ecosystem,” he explained.

He noted measures that have been rolled out to focus on the consumers to educate and inform them on what their rights are.

“Some of those consumer-centric initiatives, programmes, directions, policies and regulations, include the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 Short Code, to which over 24 million subscribers have subscribed to in order to be able to control unsolicited text messages.

“There is also the Toll-Free Number 622 as a second level mechanism for escalating consumer complaints not satisfactorily resolved by the service providers to the Commission for effective resolutions. Over a million complaints have been successfully resolved for the consumers through this channel,” he added.

Speaking further, Mr Danbatta noted that, “We have also put in place regulations to combat e-waste in the country, working in collaboration with other agency to combat influx of fake and substandard phones into the country.

“We have also developed guidelines on disaster recovery to ensure consumers do not face the negative impact of network problem on service delivery for long,” he added.

On other related services offered by Nigerian telcos, the NCC Chief noted that a number of Nigerians who carry out financial transactions on their phones are liable to a lot of dangers. He said in view of this, the NCC has inaugurated a 26-member multi-sectorial committee to develop modalities for protecting telecoms consumers from being vulnerable to electronic frauds and cyber-criminals.

Mr Danbatta further noted that the commission has reviewed  its Consumer Complaints and Service Level Agreement (CC/SLA) by the operators and has developed the 112 Emergency Communication Number, which can be dialed by a telecoms consumer in an emergency situation to get help from emergency response agencies through the Emergency Communications Centres (ECCs) built by the Commission.

He said there are currently 17 states plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) who have ECCs, adding that there are plans to add more in other states in years to come.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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