By Angeleen Nkwocha
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has vowed to keep to its mandate of ensuring that telecom consumers are adequately informed, educated and protected from exploitation because of their significant role in the telecom space.
This was made known on Thursday at the Federal College of Education, Zaria, Kaduna State, during the 38th edition of Consumer Town Hall Meeting, (CTM) themed, “Information and Education as Catalyst for Consumer Protection”.
In his welcome address, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbata, represented by the Deputy Director Consumer Affairs Bereau, Alhaji Ismail Adedigba, said the forum seeks to enable tripartite meeting between telecom regulators, operators, and consumers to resolve pressing issues as it relates to the provision of telecom services to educate telecom consumers.
He noted that one of the cardinal objectives of the commission is ensuring the protection of telecom consumers from market exploitation and empowering them to make rational and informed decision when making choices of services.
He said that the most important stakeholder of the telecommunication industry is the consumer and should be accorded the right to be heard, and educated adding that the commission has stepped up programmes to aid consumer empowerment.
“The commission stepped up programmes aimed at empowering and protecting telecom Consumers with focus on the key drivers such as awareness on 622 toll free line to lodge complains to NCC and the 2442 short code to stop unsolicited messages with great emphasis on Quality of Service improvement”, he said.
On her part, the Director Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mrs. Felicia Onwuegbuchulam said the forum seeks to ensure that consumers have value for their money as well as serve as feedback mechanism for the commission in making regulatory interventions for the benefit of all parties.
She called on service providers to provide consumers with relevant, current, accurate and timely information and should be given the choice of receiving information in any language they can understand.
While presenting “Wheel of Hope Consumer Advocacy” on behalf of consumers Jide Abdulazeez said consumers determine the market and their protection is tantamount to market expansion sustainability and protection to aid revenue generation thus their right to clear and complete terms and conditions for service agreement.
“There is need to disclose all facts that relate to the services rendered, these must include the terms and conditions for the consumers to enjoy the services provided. The actual price list and fees for enjoying a particular service must be disclosed and other operational services available for the consumer spelt out”, he said.