Alake Of Egbaland Hails NCC For Impacting Lives Positively

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Abeokuta NCC
L-R: The deputy director, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Clem Omife; director, consumer affairs bureau, NCC, Mr. Efosa Idehen; assistant director, NCC, Hajiya Mistura Aruna; the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, the egba, HRM Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Okukenu IV; executive commissioner, stakeholder management, NCC, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu; NCC zonal controller, Lagos, Mr. Yomi Arowosafe during a courtesy visit to the Palace in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Okukenu IV, has applauded the role of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in ensuring accelerated growth of telecommunications sector and making the sector a flagship enabler of Nigeria’s prosperity.

The traditional ruler gave the commendation when the executive commissioner, stakeholder management (ECSM) of NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, led a delegation from the commission to the state where the maiden edition of the Village Square Dialogue (VSD) was organised by NCC in Abeokuta.

The VSD, a version of the Telecom Consumer Conversation (a strategic, multistakeholder consumer outreach programme of NCC), took place at the 92-year-old Centenary Hall, adjacent to the Alake’s palace. The VSD was conceived by the NCC to interact with telecom consumers at the grassroots to sensitise telecom consumers through information sharing, education and advocacy on telecommunications-related issues. Importantly, the forum provides an opportunity for telecom consumers in rural areas to contribute to the governance process of the telecom ecosystem and engage their service providers to resolve complaints.

Oba Gbadebo, who was the Royal Father of the Day at the event and was represented by Oluwo of Ake, Egbaland, Chief Samuel Tanimowo, said: “One of the public institutions, whose activities are felt by Nigerians in many positive ways is NCC and the leadership of the commission must be commended for its doggedness in ensuring that Nigerians enjoy the benefits of digital revolutions.”

The monarch described the NCC as a flagship public institution positively impacting the lives of all Nigerians and particularly commended Adewolu, a native of the state, for his positive representation of the people of Owu Kingdom, Ogun State. “We also thank you and your entire board and management for bringing the first edition of the Village Square Dialogue to us in Ogun State. This is a testament to how important you take our state, which has contributed tremendously to the socio-economic and political history of Nigeria.” The leading monarch’s assertion was underscored by the Iyaloja of Egbaland, Chief Oluwakemi Oloyede, who thanked the NCC for the sensitisation programme which benefited not only the market women and men who attended the event but also the entire telecom consumers across social strata.

“We have listened to all you have told us as telecom consumers. We would always recall the information when you have left us and ensure that we take all measures possible to join hands in protecting telecom facilities in our vicinities for improved quality of service delivery. From all indications, [you are] doing this for our benefits as consumers,” the Iyaloja said.

Earlier in his welcome address, Adewolu, who once served as a commissioner for special duties and inter-governmental affairs in the state, called on the community leaders and people of the state to own telecommunications infrastructure in their localities and protect them from vandalism or theft.

The ECSM said Ogun is central to telecoms growth in Nigeria, seeing as it hosts one of the largest concentrations of users of telecoms services in Nigeria, with an active subscriber base of over eight million users in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

“This huge subscriber base is supported by a dynamic ecosystem of service providers, dealers, marketers and innovators. We are, therefore, here to host the maiden edition of the NCC-instituted Village Square Dialogue and to salute the legendary entrepreneurial spirit of the people of Ogun State. On behalf of the commission, I also thank you for the warm reception accorded us and the warmth traditionally accorded telecom service providers to bolster infrastructure development,” Adewolu said.

Addressing the audience further, Adewolu said telecoms services have long been recognised as the easiest and cheapest means of meeting critical socio-economic needs such as education, financial inclusion, economic empowerment and deepening social interactions. Accordingly, Adewolu said the infrastructure through which these services are provided is called the “infrastructure of infrastructures” because it enables the digitisation and seamless connectivity of all other socio-economic sectors.

“Without telecoms infrastructure, we cannot communicate with friends and family over long distances at the touch of a button and we cannot conduct banking, insurance, governmental services, education, entertainment and many other activities with ease without telecommunications. This means that telecoms infrastructure is critical to modern existence and we must all do what we can to ensure that we tackle anything that affects its seamless operation.

“Issues like hostile communities, the theft of diesel, batteries and power-generating sets, digging up fibre lines, sealing/locking up of Base Transceiver Station (BTS) sites and such other illegal activities must be tackled decisively by all of us. I, therefore, urge you all to, please, see telecoms’ infrastructure as your own and to protect them as communal property. Anybody that tampers with telecoms infrastructure is tampering with your future and those of your children – they should be resisted and reported,” the ECSM stated.

A statement by NCC’s director, public affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, disclosed that at the event, NCC’s director of consumer affairs (DCA), Efosa Idehen, made a presentation on how NCC protects the interests, rights and privileges of telecom consumers. The DCA emphasised consumer obligations, especially in the area of telecoms infrastructure protection to ensure improved quality of service (QoS) and better quality of experience (QoE).

Similarly, a principal manager, technical standards and network integrity (TSNI), NCC, Kunle Olorundare, spoke on the contributions of telecoms to the economy, mobile network development, benefits of telecoms, network outages and their causes. He further enjoined consumers to protect telecoms’ infrastructure.

“By protecting the infrastructure, you are protecting every service offered on the network. You are protecting your money (mobile banking), your jobs (recharge card and phone businesses), your children’s future (learning on the Internet) and even your community (social communication),” Olorundare said to restate the centrality of telecommunications to individuals and businesses.

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