The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has threatened to penalize service providers who fail to comply with its directive to ensure effective service to consumers in the country.
Alhaji Ismail Adedigbe, the deputy director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of the commission, started this at the 44th edition of Consumer Town Hall Meeting held at Oguta, Imo State
Adedigbe regretted the commission had been inundated with complaints such as unsolicited text messages and calls, failure or refusal to roll over unusual data at the expiration of the bundle, automatic renewal of date service and call masking and refilling. He directed the service providers to attend to those issues raised by consumers
He said: “Failure of the operators to comply with the directives would attract appropriate penalties and sanctions.”
Adedigbe assured that NCC as the consumer-centric institution has taken necessary steps towards addressing the major complaints by developing the 2442 DND Short Code aimed at solving the unsolicited text messages and calls, issuing directive to service providers on data roll-over, issuance of directive to service providers on forceful subscription of data service and developing 622 toll-free line through which a consumer can easily lodge his complaints.
He said that NCC for taking full cognizance and recognition of the fact that consumers are kings, has vowed to accord them their basic right including the right to be heard, to be educated and to chose as well as the right to redress and right to safety as the case may be.
He stated the willingness of NCC as a telecom regulatory agency to empower the telecom consumers with adequate information and education.
The Director Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC, Mrs. Felicia Onwuegbuchulam in her opening remarks, said that the meeting was aimed at educating telecom consumers and other stakeholders on contemporary issues generating interest in the industry.
She said that the Theme of the programme “Using Information and Education as Tolls for Consumer Empowerment and Protection was carefully chosen to reflect objectives of the Nigeria Communication Commission of ensuring consumer empowerment
According to her through empowerment and education, telecom consumers are fortifies with necessary tools to be protected from market exploitation and to make rational and informed decision when making choice of services
She said that to ensure the telecom consumers is well protected, informed and educated, the commission has developed series of initiatives with the main goal of empowering consumers with appropriate information and education that would ensure their right, privileges and interest are adequately protected
Welcoming the NCC in his speech, the traditional ruler of Oguta HRH Eze Nnani Chinedu Nzeribe commended the NCC for their choice of Oguta for the meeting and called for establishment of ICT centre in Oguta as the only presence sited in the LGA since creation
He regretted that since the formation of Oguta Council in 1955 and since after the coming of the Whitemen in 1885 there has not been any Federal Government structure representing Federal presence
In their separate reactions, the representatives of the service providers such as MTN, AIRTEL, GLO, 9MOBIL assured the consumers steps taken by them to offer effective service to them
The representative of the Glo Network Mobile Mrs. Chinwe Ejiofor commended the NCC for organizing such a meeting, which has offered them an opportunity to meet and interact with the consumers from the area.