Give Your Subscribers Your Best, NCC Tells Telecom Operators

By Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin

Telecom service providers in the country have been asked to give commensurate services devoid of fraudulent practices to their subscribers.

The executive commissioner, Stakeholders Management, of the Nigerian Communications Commission NCC, Okechukwu Itanyi, who gave the charge yesterday in Ekpoma, headquarters of Esan West local government of Edo State at the 14th edition of Consumer Town Hall Meeting organised by the commission with the theme: “Empowering Rural Telecom Consumers”, urged service providers to ensure that the desires of consumers of telecom products and services are always met and that they remain affordable and of good quality.

The executive commissioner who was represented by the deputy director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Femi Atoyebi, said that the commission was determined to protect consumers from perceived fraudulent practices by telecommunication service providers.

He also stated that the programme was initiated for the purpose of bringing together consumers, service providers, the regulator and other stakeholders under one platform to discuss and proffer solutions to emergent challenges that are confronting the telecom industry in Nigeria.

Noting that it was the tradition of the forum to feature discussions and interactive sessions where consumers ask questions while service providers and the regulator proffer solutions, he stated that “consumers of telecoms services in Nigeria are no longer the few who were endowed much about inability to afford a phone because of very high cost or that locations of business or residence are not covered by any telephone network as most urban and semi-urban parts of the country is covered today.”

“The consumers of telecom products and services have many desires expected to be met. Our consumer wants services available at all times, affordable and of good quality.”

“The consumer wants the operator to respond at all times when attention is needed and provide explanations whenever anything goes wrong; wants to be protected at all times from being taken advantage of by service providers”, Itanyi stated.



    The NCC commissioner highlighted the fact that the customer is indeed king and that this underscores the need for establishing special structures to ensure that their needs and desires are taken care of.

    Also speaking from the perspective of operators, Itanyi said operators deserve a non-partial regulator to protect their huge investment by ensuring that no other entity interferes with their network resources such as frequency spectrum or base station.

    Consumers were given opportunity to give feedback to the operators during the interactive session. Many consumers expressed disappointment over the prevalence of poor services by telecom operators naming occurrences such as charged drop calls, inundation of text messages and other forms of underhand practices as some of the frustrations that they often encounter with their chosen telecom operators.

    The representatives of four telecom service providers, MTN, Airtel, Globacom and Etiisalat who were also present promised to look into all the complaints and ensure improved services for the subscribers.

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