NCC Moves to Curb Data Depletion, Faulty Deductions

Garba Danbatta

Emma Okonji

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stepped into all cases of data depletion and wrong deductions of consumers’ credit through an ongoing forensic audit instituted by the Commission.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated this while receiving ‘Man of the Year 2020’ award from MoneyReport magazine in Abuja.

The EVC said while consumer protection remained a key focus area of the Commission’s regulatory activities, it has accomplished improvements in this direction through various initiatives aimed at putting mobile operators on their toes to be more consumer-centric.

He said through the ongoing forensic audit, the Commission plans, “to get to the bottom of why consumers are experiencing data depletion and the possibility of compensating them for wrong deductions, which may arise from short message service (SMS).”

“We have instituted and we have insisted that despite the fall in data price, that forensic audit must go on and must be concluded and the outcome communicated to the CEOs of telecom companies”, Danbatta said.
While appealing to Nigerians to wait for the outcome of the ongoing forensic audit, Danbatta said operators would be made to comply with whatever directions are given after the investigation with a view to ensuring maximum protection for telecom consumers.

He, however, noted that the Commission has developed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on data depletion, which are designed to inform consumers on activities that may result in faster depletion of their data as well as enlighten them on measures to mitigate such. The FAQs are accessible from the Commission’s website.
Over the years, the NCC said it had given boost to consumer protection through sustained awareness and education on consumer rights and privileges.

The Commission has also intensified its compliance monitoring exercises with the acquisition of efficient tools and capacities to bring sanity in the industry all in a bid to improve the quality of consumer experience.
Among several initiatives, Danbatta said the introduction of the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) had helped over 30 million consumers to block unsolicited text messages on their phones while stern regulatory actions had constantly been taken against any operator that prevents a consumer from subscribing to the DND service.

Also, the EVC said the Commission launched the 622 Toll-free Number, which consumer can use to lodge and escalate service-related complaints to the Commission for resolution, stating that thousands of complaints have been successfully resolved since its introduction.