NCC Promises Telecom Consumers Better Days Ahead

The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has again assured telecom consumers that it would continue to act as a bridge between them and the operators to guarantee improved quality of service and ensure speedy response to their complaints.

Director, Consumers Affairs Bureau at the NCC, Mrs. Maryam Bayi, stated this in Ilorin, Kwara State during the 73rd Consumers Outreach Programme (COP) held at the University of Ilorin Multi- Purpose Hall.

She said the NCC is aware of the complaints and frustrations of consumers hence it is going round the country sensitizing people through the outreach programme specially designed to bring the complaints of consumers to the knowledge of operators. According to her, through the programme, operators get to know their popularity rating with the consuming publics and strive to make adjustment to ensure consumer satisfaction.

Through this effort we have compelled operators to address the series of complaints ranging from unsolicited messages, arbitrary deduction of credits, call drops and irregular network services, among others.

She said the outreach programme was established as a platform on which telecommunication consumers and service providers interact, with the regulator playing a conciliatory role.

Mrs. Bayi who was represented by Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Commission, Dr. Femi Atoyebi, also said that the aim of the programme was to address consumer-related issues and educate stakeholders on contemporary issues that were generating attention in the telecom industry. According to her, "The telecom consumers are the target beneficiary of all activities of the Nigerian Communications Communication. The commission is committed to ensuring consumers get quality service, value for money spent, timely and fair redress of complaints and protection from unwholesome practices of some service providers".

Speaking on the programme theme, "The Benefits of Broadband to Telecom Consumers", she said the commission's mandate to protect, inform and educate telecom consumers and the increased emphasis on broadband and its limitless opportunities had inspired the theme at such a time in the nation.

According to her, with increasing deployment of broadband across the country, telecom consumers will soon begin to enjoy maximum benefits which the broadband genre of telecom services offers.

She reaffirmed the commitment of the Commission to vigorously pursue the national broadband plan that would provide cheaper and faster internet access to Nigerians.

The commission has consistently stressed the import of broadband, saying a good broadband connection to homes, offices or businesses engenders "greater capacity to send and receive data far more quickly from your computer."

Broadband according to her "refers to high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access. It also provides internet access without keeping the phone lines busy."

Bayi noted that broadband provides limitless opportunities for all in terms of education, leisure and entertainment possibilities.

According to her, other areas broadband could be beneficial include healthcare, public safety and emergency response and economic and workforce development.

"Through broadband new business practices and models can be adopted which increase revenues, reduce costs and improve customer service. Being online allows businesses to be anywhere and can serve customers everywhere.

"Broadband also promotes economic development and revitalization through electronic commerce (e-commerce) by creating new jobs and attracting new industries as well as providing access to regional, national and worldwide markets".

She stressed the resolve of the NCC towards ensuring that consumers get quality service, value for money, timely and fair redress of complaints and protection from unwholesome practices by some service providers.

The Consumer Outreach Programme and the Consumer Affairs Parliament are trademark programmes created by the NCC to redress consumer complaints and bring operators to account. They form part of the attributes that have made the Nigerian telecom regulator a benchmark among emerging economies.