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NCC urges telecom consumers to explore opportunities in ICT

By Osteen Oyibode, Asaba on 30/06/2015

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Commissioner for Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Michael Onyia,  has urged telecommunication consumers to explore opportunities available in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the country.

He also charged the media to showcase the positive areas of the Global System of Mobile (GSM) Telecommunication Service Providers rather than focusing on challenges in the sector.

The commissioner gave the charge at the 74th Edition of Consumer Outreach Programme, organised by NCC in Asaba, Delta State capital. He said focusing on the areas of strength would enable consumers key into opportunities to better their living standard.

He said the challenges of the service providers were obvious and that NCC has set up key performance indicators (KPI) which it would strictly monitor to ensure that consumers get improved services in the country.

He said that the commission would not relent in slamming sanctions on the service providers when their performance falls below the KPI.

According to him, the cardinal provision of the NCC Act is to ensure that the consumers are not exploited by the service providers.

“Although we know the challenges of the service providers, NCC has insisted that consumer consumers must be happy by ensuring that all service providers establish functional care centres and consumers’ complaints are being addressed.

“The media should also showcase the positive side of the service providers to enable the consumers take advantage of the ICT,” Onyia said.

NCC Director, Public Affairs, Mr Tony Ojobo noted that a lot of successes have been recorders since the inception of the GSM in the country.

He said that Nigerians should take advantage of the global market through the online businesses made available by the telecommunication networks in the country.

Ojobo said though there were challenges but there was no doubt that the much value has been added to the life of an average Nigerians through telecommunication.

According to Ojobo, if Nigerians focus on the challenges of the sector, they may neither see exiting opportunities nor exploit them.

“The last general election was improved upon due to telecommunications because all the card readers used then had a SIM card attached.

“Apart from the e-commerce, e-medicines among others, government offices no longer depend on files and as at April this year, we have 145 million active mobile phone lines in the country with tele-density of 103.5 per cent.

“Our Internet connectivity is 89.5 million for Internet users and 57 per cent of Nigerians are now connected to the Internet,” he said.

Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Mrs Maryam Bayi, represented by Dr Femi Atoyebi, her deputy in the commission, said the commission mandate was to protect the consumers against unfair practices from service providers.

She noted that the theme for the edition ‘Effective Service Delivery: The Right of the Telecoms Consumer’ was in line with the commissions’ responsibility to inform and educate the public on their privileges as consumers.

Bayi noted that the bureau has provided channels for consumers to express the complaints and grievances.

She said the outreach programme was one of such channels NCC has put together to bring all the stakeholders in the industry together which include the consumers, service providers and the NCC to resolve some of the issues.

Although some of the consumers acknowledged that telecommunication has improved lots of the situations in the country, they argued that the service providers should improve their service to the people

They said something should be done to address issues of drop calls, unsolicited text messages, unlawful deductions of credits, poor data service and distributions without compensation among others.

The consumers also called for intensified education and sensitisation by the NCC.

Responding, the representatives of the service providers, MTN, Globacom, Etisalat, Visafone and Airtel pledged their commitment to delivering service improved services to the consumers.

They, however, blamed their challenges on cost of running the business due to power failures and called on government to sustain its support to enable.

The providers said that it was work in progress and efforts were being intensified to make the system better.

•Photo shows NCC Executive Vice President, Dr. Eugene Juwah.

Source News Express

Posted 30/06/2015 05:22:58 AM


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