The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said as a very important Stakeholder in the Telecom industry, the telecoms operators should respect the rights of the consumers.
According to the Commission, the task of the NCC as the telecom regulator could not have been achieved without the consumers adding that the 8- point agenda of the Commission on the Empowerment and Protection of the consumers from unfair practices explains the need to respect the consumers’ rights.
The Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta who made the appeal yesterday at the NCC Day of the Lagos International Trade held at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, South-West, Nigeria said that through the 8-point Agenda, the NCC has made available to the consumer information and educational materials that enable them to make informed choices in the use of ICT services.
While urging the telecoms operators to do so, Danbatta who represented at the NCC Day by the Head, Information and Reference, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mr. Ismail Adedigba, said that the presence of the Commission at the Trade Fair was one of its different strategies of reaching out to the consumers.
Danbatta disclosed that the NCC Day at the Trade fairs aims to educate and inform consumers on the use of Communication services and their rights as telecom Consumers.
According to Adedigba, the NCC was at the trade fair to identify key challenges and quickly move to address them adding that one of the issues affecting telecoms consumers, which the Commission has proffered concrete solution to, is the issue of telemarketing, commonly known as unsolicited text message.
“This is any message, voice or SMS made through Telecommunications service which is transmitted for the purpose of informing or soliciting or promoting any commercial transaction in relation to goods investments or services which a subscriber opts not to receive”, he explaine.
He explained further that in order to protect subscribers from this unwholesome practice, the NCC evolved a solution called DO-NOT-DISTURB (DND) directing all Mobile Network Operators to dedicate a short code 2442 to enable subscribers take informed but independent decisions on what messages they wish to receive from their networks by typing STOP to 2442 to stop the messages completely or HELP to choose the message you want.
He said that the NCC is keen on helping to protect the consumers from being victims of cybercrime and e-fraud stressing that the Commission had advised all consumers not to open emails they not familiar to them, never to post personal identification information online or save their password online.
“Note also that your Bank will never ask you your personal detail via internet. In the event of any unfortunate circumstance please contact your bankers immediately to freeze your account and also inform your mobile service provider for further actions”, Adedigba said .
He said: “As a telecom consumer you deserve the right to get value for your investment. NCC as your regulator has devised ways to lodge your complaints when you are dissatisfied with the services provided by your Operator. The Commission will apply appropriate regulatory measures and sanctions against such service provider.”
The Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau,Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam in her remark recalled that the participation of the Commission affords it the opportunity to present NCC’s activities aimed at improving consumer experience of telecoms services to participants.
She noted that NCC will always ensure service availability, accessibility and affordability to consumers, be it individuals or corporates, who are increasingly depending on ICT/telecoms to conduct personal and business activities on daily basis.
Onwuegbuchulam who represented by the, Lagos Zonal Controller, NCC, Mr. Henry Ojiokpota said: “the important role of telecoms services and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), at large, in enhancing businesses, creating new business line, driving innovation and accelerating value addition is inherent in the overarching thematic focus of the Fair which is “Our Brand Promise-Connecting Businesses, Creating Value”.
Ojiokpota said that the theme of the Trade Fair is at the centre of connecting businesses through telecoms infrastructure development initiatives to improve business efficiency and effectiveness for growth.
President,Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, (LCCI), Mr. Babatunde Paul said that the NCC Day was one of the greatest time of visitors to the fair because of the impact of telecoms on the daily life of Nigerians.
He said that the LCCI as organisers of the fair is always excited to receive the NCC at the traditional day for exhibitors, which the NCC has always taken part of across all other fairs in the country.
He noted that the 2019 Lagos Trade Fair was specially packaged for the interest of government agencies whose activities have direct impact on the life of the people.