By Emma Okonji
The Nigerian Communication Commission has highlighted the importance of consumers in the telecoms industry, even as it stressed the need for consumer satisfaction and protection as enshrined in the eight Point Agenda of the Commission.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who was represented at the consumer parliament by the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management at NCC, Mr. Sunday Dare stated this at the 81st edition of Telecom Consumer Parliament held in Lagos last week.
He said the NCC being a consumercentric regulatory organisation, would continue to take into cognizance, the second and sixth items on the 8 Point Agenda, which focuses on the rights and privileges of the telecoms consumers, adding that they are the core drivers of the Commission’s Year of Telecom Consumer initiative because they focussed addressing consumer protection, empowerment and improved service quality.
Danbatta explained that all NCC’s initiatives such as SIM Card registration, Mobile Number Portability, National Broadband Policy implementation, development of 2442 and 622 short codes, as well as various consumer awareness campaigns are to ensure consumer satisfaction and protection.
“We are grateful to consumers for responding positively to the telecommunications revolution. Consumers have continued to spend significant portion of their disposable income on telecommunication services as it continues to improve quality of life, businesses and social engagements.
“If all these initiatives, projects, investments and efforts were met with low consumer patronage, the telecommunications revolution would have been an unqualified failure. It is really the investment of the consumer through patronage of services that has encouraged the build out and supported service provision. Thus, there is need to celebrate and recognize the consumer as the boss and centre on which the entire telecoms industry revolves round. As boss, consumers should dictate the direction of growth of telecoms in the country, because he who pays the piper dictates the tune,” he said.
The NCC boss added that the Commission had taken steps to ensure that the telecommunications sector remains vibrant and carries out its regulatory functions to ensure that the companies operating in the industry are healthy. Where necessary, NCC has made interventions to prevent disruptions to consumer experience.
The Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau at NCC, Abdullahi Maikano, expressed delight that the Telecoms Consumer Parliament has proven to be an innovative way of bringing all stakeholders together to discuss and proffer solutions to industry-wide issues, especially issues that touch on consumer interest and well-being.
According to him, “For us at the NCC , the consumer continues to occupy a pride of place in our activities, hence the management of the NCC has continued to provide significant resources to ensure that the Telecom Consumer Parliament is held regularly for the benefits of the consumers and the industry as a whole.”