IT NEWS NIGERIA
The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has said all stakeholders must consult often to offer lasting solution the problems and other impediments that beset the telecoms industry.
Danbatta gave this reflection through Okechukwu Aninweke, an Assistant Director for Corporate Strategy and Risk Management at NCC, who spoke in his stead at NCC Day in the ongoing 40th Kaduna International Trade Fair focusing on “Consolidating Interface Between Industry and Agriculture for Nigeria’s Sustainable Development”.
According to him, “regulator, service providers and consumers must consult regularly to tackle the challenges of telecom service provisioning.”
The EVC stated that telecoms has been impacted in an unprecedented way by the rapidity and amazement dictated by emerging technologies and thus thrown up newer challenges so frequently, demanding regular consultations among stakeholders in the telecom sector and users of telecom services toward addressing the challenges.
He said this reality shaped NCC’s focus and commitment to using every available platform to sensitize and inform consumers, as well as to reflect together with all stakeholders on ways to manage the challenges that come with contemporary telecom service provision. Danbatta informed participants at the Fair that the NCC is committed to expanding the frontiers of broadband access across Nigeria. He said that commitment is the reason the Commission licensed Infrastructure Companies (Infracos) to expand fibre optics connections in Nigeria. For that purpose, Nigeria is divided into 7 zones – the extant 6 geopolitical zones and Lagos as a separate zone. Danbatta added that save for the North Central Zone, all the Infracos have been authorized and will soon commence operations. Danbatta reminded the participants that NCC’s faith in consultations, supremacy of the customer and broadband development derives from the importance of those factors and explains why those issues are in the 8-Point Agenda of NCC Management under his leadership.
Shuaibu Swade, Zonal Controller of NCC Zonal Office in Kano, who represented Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, NCC Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB), amplified Danbatta’s voice by emphasising that the centrality of the consumer in the comity of telecom stakeholders finds expression in the establishment of CAB which is mandated to Protect, Inform and Educate (PIE) the consumer so no segment of the telecom ecosystem takes advantage of the consumer.
Onwuegbuchulam recalled NCC’s initiatives and programmes to further illustrate the commitment to consumer protection. These include the creation of Do Not Disturb Code (2442) to enable consumers to deactivate the receipt of unsolicited messages; the provision of the 622 Toll Free Line that enables consumers to escalate unresolved or unsatisfactorily resolved complaints earlier filed with their service providers; and the directives to service providers to provide a window for Data Roll Over for unused data in certain data plans.
Onwuegbuchulam equally told the large crowd at the NCC pavilion at the Fair that several fora and platforms have been instituted to sustain the engagement with stakeholder in resolving challenges in the sector. Among these are the Telecom Consumer Parliament, Consumer Outreach Programmes, Consumer Town Hall Meetings, Consumer Conversations and other online and social media channels. These are the Commission’s award-winning website and its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube social media assets, as well as the official email account (email@example.com).
The NCC Day at the Kaduna International Trade Fair ended with a raffle draw in which many participants won several gifts, including smartphones.