By Angela Nkwocha
The Association of Telephone, Cable TV, and Internet Subscribers (ATCIS) in a bid to strengthen consumer protection and satisfaction has advocated that subscribers be entitled to a day free voice and data call to mark independence day in Nigeria and has as well called for collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, to protect the right of subscribers.
They made the call in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the Commission to seek areas of collaboration to ensure that consumers get quality of service.
Speaking at the event the National President of ATCIS, Prince Sina Bilesanmi, said the Association advances a course that promotes the rights, interests and welfare of telecom subscribers in Nigeria, thus requested NCC to make MNOs to grant subscribers voice and data-free day every Independence Day (October 1) in Nigeria, as a way of appreciating the consumers, who are the important stakeholders of the telecoms industry.
Describing NCC as the chief advocate of consumer rights and interests they further called for affordable reliable internet service, a stop to automatic fix charge, and advocated for 5% interest rate for borrowed money as against 15%, and a bridge in access gaps amongst other demands.
While lauding NCC for delivering incredible gains to the telecom industry, Bilesanmi said:
“The nation’s economy has been benefiting tremendously and with an enviable record in relation to many other African countries. The National Bureau of statistics revealed in it latest report released just two weeks ago that the Telecom sector contributed a total of N11.9 trillion to the national economy in 2019 alone compared with 2018 record of N9.7 trillion”.
Responding on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, Ms Hafsat Lawal, Deputy Director Consumer Affairs Bureau at NCC, called for collective protection of telecom infrastructure to aid quality of service as according to her vandalization of telecom infrastructure, and closure of base stations by communities where telecom installations such as base stations and fibre optic cables are sited are major contributory factors to poor quality of service.
Lawal also stressed that the issue of quality of service (QoS) is a function of many factors, some of which are environmental. For instance, it is doubtful if “any operator will deliberately wish its consumers experience poor network or drop call on its network because those issues will affect the revenue of the operator”.