The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has pledged its commitment to ensure that telecommunications consumers get value for their money as well as timely and fair redress of complaints.
Speaking at the 75th Consumer Outreach Programme in Enugu on Thursday, the commission’s Director of Consumer Affairs, Mrs Maryam Bayi, said it would also continue to protect the consumer from infringement on their rights by service providers.
Bayi, who was represented by her deputy, Dr Joseph Atoyebi, said the commission had over the years made remarkable strides to protect the interest of consumers.
She said that the outreach programme was one of the ways the commission used to bridge the gap between the service providers and the consumer and urged the consumers to make the best use of the opportunity.
The director said that the commission was concerned with the way the network operators provided their services to the consumer.
“It is worrisome to note that the commission has received numerous complaints on how dissatisfied consumers are regarding how services are delivered by the network operators,’’ she said.
She listed the major complaints to include unsolicited text messages, telemarketing, inaccessibility to customer care help lines and poor spread of customer care centres.
Also listed among the complaints were unlawful deduction of credit for value added services not subscribed to, poor data services and disruption without compensation.
Representatives of the service providers while responding to the complaints said they were mainly systemic and conformed generally with the country’s level of development and economy.
They also pleaded with the consumers to bear with them as they worked to improve the situation.
Some of the consumers, who attended the programme in their hundreds, thanked the NCC for making it possible for them to sit with the service providers to resolve their differences.
In an interview after the forum, Dr. Mike Onyia, Commissioner representing South East zone on the Board of NCC, said that the idea behind the consumers outreach programme was for the consumers to interact with the operators while the NCC as the regulator would oversee what is going on.
He said that the idea was for the two groups to discuss their problems because, according to him, “a problem discussed is half solved and we believe that by giving them the opportunity to discuss the operators will hear first hand complaints of the consumers and we are here to make sure that they treat their complaints.”
“We as regulators are committed to ensuring that the consumers get value for their money by getting quality services”, Onyia said, adding that the commission had in the past taken steps to sanction those operators who failed to adhere to Key Performance Indicators.
“I am sure you have heard a number of occasions where we have to sanction these operators. We monitor the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for the operators on monthly basis and I can assure you that all the areas that need to be improved upon the NCC is on top of the situation and we make that the operators do all they have to do to improve services,” the Commissioner said.