By Amole Olatunde
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) came calling into Lagos recently for the formal launch of the Year of the Nigerian Telecom Consumer campaign. The campaign had earlier in March been flagged off in Abuja. The Lagos launch a day after the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, met technology media executives, was designed to emphasize the value of Lagos to the business of telecom in Nigeria.
Lagos has the largest concentration of consumers, base stations, enterprise use of mobile telephony and is Nigeria’s epicenter of business. At the meeting with media executives, Danbatta reiterated the commitment of the regulator to advance the interests of all stakeholders, operators, and consumers inclusive. The choice of the consumers as the centerpiece of NCC’s 2017 campaign is to drive home the point that the consumers make the business of telecom a sustainable economic enabler for all sectors. There will no business boom and economic transformation without consumers. For this reason, “consumers must be seen to be critical,” said Danbatta.
With more than 150 million ringing phones, Nigeria’s telecom market has remained the reference point for how mobile telephony has changed the African technology landscape. The Nigerian market is driven by subscribers hungry for connection and innovations to underscore why ARPU (average revenue per subscriber) has remained high for operators despite the country’s recent economic downturns.
— ITEdgeNews.NG (@ITEdgeNewsNG) May 23, 2017
At the Lagos launch, Professor Danbatta told the audience that the Nigerian telecom consumer represents the organic springboard of the exponential growth in the telecom industry in Nigeria, adding that the consumers have collectively “made all the success stories we speak about in telecom possible” and thus deserve special attention.
“Today’s event emphasizes the centrality of Lagos State as the telecommunications hub of Nigeria. The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics in its first quarter telecommunications sector report for 2016 placed Lagos voice subscriber base at 19.04 million or 12.8% of the country’s subscribers, and 12.62 million Internet subscriptions or 13.65%. The state is home to many of the key players in the telecommunications sector so it is understandable that is has been selected as the flag off city after the major event in Abuja on March 15 2017”.
Danbatta made this known while speaking to a representative of the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Right Honorable Mudashiru Obasa, former Minister of Defense, Honorable Ademola Seriki, the top management staff of the NCC and telecom companies as well as other stakeholders in the industry.
The campaign was conceptualized by NCC to amplify the education of the consumer on several initiatives instituted by the Commission to improve the Quality of Service (QoS), to protect and educate the consumer on steps to be taken to redress the challenges of telecom subscription, and thus reiterate the position of the consumer as the preeminent stakeholder of the telecom industry.
NCC’s Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Mr. Sunday Dare, indicated in his remark at the occasion that the drivers of the NCC 2017 Year of the Nigerian Telecom Consumer campaign are the 2442 Do-Not-Disturb Service Code, the 622 toll free complaints line, Quality of Service (QoS), and correcting misrepresentations about Electromagnetic Field (EMF) radiation. These are the areas the campaign programme would focus on.
The highlight of the event was the unveiling of popular female comedian Helen Paul (characterized by a voice that makes her sound as a child) and popular male actor, Ali Nuhu (referred to in the media as the King of Kannywood). They were unveiled as Face of the Nigerian Telecom Consumer.
Danbatta emphasized that the Commission is closely monitoring, tracking and reviewing the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of operators and promised that greater efforts would also be put in place to ensure compliance monitoring and enforcement of set standards. He also stated that NCC is guided by the principles of fairness and transparency in the promotion of access to information by all.