Customers right in telecom

Dr. Muhammadu Mustapha, has pay tribute to Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)

on a range of its telecom consumer protection initiatives, including the recent Village Square Dialogue (VSD), which took place at Yola, Adamawa State.

The Kakakin of Adamawa, Prof. Abubakar Tahir, who represented Lamido Adamawa at the Consumer Conversation programme of the Commission with the theme: “Know Your Rights as Telecom Consumers” in Yola, said the event was an opportunity for individuals who are telecom consumers and businesses in the state to ask questions and get face-to-face response from the regulator on telecom-related issues.

“We must commend the NCC for the great work it has been doing in the area of consumer education and enlightenment.

Aside from being the regulator of the sector, the NCC leadership has taken the issue of consumer information very serious; we appreciate you for bringing this initiative to the good people of Adamawa,” he said.

The Commission was also given an advice from the royal father for them to also consider the possible areas that can lead to further reduction in the cost of telecom services and to ensure that services are available in most parts of the country.

“The Commission should kindly look inwards and ensure that all communities in the country continue to enjoy cheaper, better, qualitative and more accessible telecommunications services,” he added.

The Director of NCC Consumer Affairs, Alkasim Umar, who stood in place of the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said that the regulators has always been at the forefront of ensuring maximum protection for telecom consumers while providing the enabling environment for licensed service providers to enable them provide good quality of service to the consumers.

“The NCC remains committed to its mandate of protecting, informing and educating consumers about telecoms services across all the 36 states of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

This essence of the Village Square Dialogue, as one of our outreach events, is to provide a face-to-face interaction among the NCC, the service providers and the consumers,” Umar said.

Some of the consumer-centric initiatives of the Commission, Umar also stated that the Commission as recently introduced the harmonized shortcodes which provide uniform codes for telecom consumers to access any consumer service type across all networks, either for airtime loading, checking airtime balance, call centres, data plan balance, and so on.

He also bring to the notice of consumers about the availability of the NCC Toll-Free Number, 622, which consumers can use to make complaints to the Commission on any telecom service-related issues they may be having with their service providers; the 112 Emergency Number to seek help during emergencies, as well as the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 Short Code to block unsolicited messages.

“Information and education are key to the empowerment of telecom consumers.

The protection of the rights and interests of telecom consumers is one of the mandates of the Commission, which is preserve in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003.

When telecom consumers are duly informed and educated, they are protected against the unfair practices by the service providers,” Umar said.

Furthermore, Umar said everything in the current digital world revolves around telecommunications services and that educating consumers plays an important role in informing them, clarifying issues, and empowering them through information and enlightenment.

“So, it is a great decision which will make the people to beware of their rights, their privileges and the expectations they have about the telecom businesses in the country,” he added.