By Aanuoluwa Omotosho
It’s a consumers’ year, as the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) officially launched in Abuja the “Year of Telecom Consumer” campaign programme designed to give concrete expression to the centrality of the consumer in the telecom ecosystem.
The Nigerian telecom regulator declares that “the consumer supplies the bloodline for telecom services” and is therefore, entitled to quality telecom services even as the NCC applies stricter scrutiny on operators to ensure compliance to quality of service (QoS) guidelines.
Deriving life from items 2 and 6 of the NCC Management’s 8-point Agenda launched February 27 2016, the declaration of year 2017 as YEAR OF TELECOM CONSUMER is meant to focus on the needs and satisfaction of the Nigerian telecom consumer.
What this means, said the regulator, is greater emphasis on the consumer’s end of the service chain. The campaigh will be driving series of campaign to further enlighten consumers on their rights as subscribers of telecom services.
The Quality of Service (QoS) had deteriorated beyond what was permissible particularly the drop call rate which was quite high by the last quarter of 2016. Having received a barrage of complaints from consumers and having undertook studies to confirm what the consumers have said to be factual, the NCC was galvanized to institute processes to check the deterioration.
Speakers at the fomal launch of the campaign at the NCC’s headquarters in Abuja include President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Minister of Communications Barr. Adebayo Shittu; the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, represented by Senator Babafemi Ojudu, a Special Adviser in the presidency; President of Senate Olusola Saraki, represented by Senator Solomon Olamilaken Adeola; and Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara represented by Hon. Saheed Fijabi, Chairman House Committee on Telecommunications.
They commended the Commission for acting speedily in the interest of the consumer. President Buhari speaking through Communications Minister Shittu, particularly noted the timeliness of the campaigh as the economy with its players become more consumer-centric to sustain business and stand up to competition.
Miniteries, departments and agemcies (MDAs) og government were represented at the event, mostly by their Chief Executives.
The Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Garba
thanked them all for the support and solidarity. He appealed to all stakeholders to amplify the voice of the Commission and to continue to support NCC in its efforts to improve consumer experience.
The key components of the campaigns for the Year of Telecom Consumers include: Creation of greater awareness on Quality of Service; Facts on Electromagnetic Fields Radiation; Do Not Disturb (DND) Code 2442, which consumers can use to stop unsolicited text messages; and the NCC’s toll free line – 622 – through which consumers can reach the Commission in cases where service providers fail to resolve their complaints.