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Nigeria: Regulator Says Telecom impacting agriculture through exchange of relevant information

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that its continuous regulatory drive for increased access to telecoms services such as voice and data has continued to have positive impacts on the agricultural sector, especially in the area of timely exchange of vital information that facilitates operational efficiency for players in the agricultural value chain.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, stated this on the occasion of the NCC Day at the ongoing 40th Kano International Trade Fair. Danbatta was represented at the event by Ismail Adedigba, Head, Information and Reference, Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Commission.

Speaking on theme of the trade fair: “Promoting Agricultural Value Chains for Nigeria’s Sustainable Economic Development” , Danbatta said the positive impact that telecoms/ICTs may play in agricultural value chains depends, in large part, on the boost of supportive infrastructure and policy initiatives in the area of equitable digital access to the most socially-disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in rural communities, particularly the producers of agricultural products who are the most important group in the value chain.

“To this end, the NCC has embarked on various initiatives to ensure availability of telecoms/ICT infrastructure that will facilitate digital access to all nooks and crevices of the country through connecting more players in the agribusiness to enhance efficiency as well as to engender overall sustainable economic development for Nigeria,” he said.

He added that, aside the promotion of pervasive infrastructure to bridge access gap in the country, the NCC has also developed such consumer-centric protection initiatives such as the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 Short Code to stop unsolicited text messages (SMS) and calls. The EVC said the NCC Toll Free Line 622 is also available, as second-level complaints resolution mechanism for consumers’ use to address concerns they may have about telecom services. Danbatta also stated that the Commission will not cease to continuously undertake sensitisation on industry issues and will issue necessary guidelines to service providers as may become necessary to protect the consumers.

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Danbatta therefore urged all telecom consumers to activate the DND code and also use the 622 line to get improved service delivery on their respective mobile networks.

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