The Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Muhammadu Mustapha has expressed his appreciation to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its remarkable efforts in safeguarding telecom consumers through various initiatives.
One such initiative, he said, is the Village Square Dialogue (VSD), which recently took place in Yola, Adamawa State.
Representing the traditional ruler at the consumer conversation programme themed “Know Your Rights as Telecom Consumers,” the Kakakin Adamawa, Prof. Abubakar Tahir lauded the NCC for prioritising consumer education and enlightenment. He acknowledged that apart from its regulatory role, the NCC has been actively disseminating consumer information and he commended the commission for bringing this essential initiative to the people of Adamawa.
In addition to the commendation, the royal father offered a valuable suggestion to the commission. He urged the NCC to explore other avenues to further reduce the cost of telecom services and ensure that these services are available in all parts of the country.
“The commission should kindly look inwards and ensure that all communities in the country continue to enjoy cheaper, better, qualitative and more accessible telecommunications services,” he emphasised.
The director of consumer affairs at NCC, Alkasim Umar represented the executive vice chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, during the event. He affirmed the commission’s steadfast commitment to safeguarding the rights and interests of telecom consumers while creating an enabling environment for licensed service providers to deliver quality services.
Umar highlighted some of the consumer-centric initiatives introduced by the Commission. Among these initiatives are the harmonised shortcodes, which provide uniform codes for telecom consumers to access various consumer services across all networks. These shortcodes cover tasks like airtime loading, checking airtime balance, calling customer care centres and checking data plan balance.
He also reminded consumers about the NCC Toll-Free Number, 622, which they can use to register complaints about telecom service-related issues. The 112 Emergency Number was highlighted as a means to seek assistance during emergencies and the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 short code was recommended to block unsolicited messages.
“Information and education are key to the empowerment of telecom consumers. The protection of the rights and interests of telecom consumers is one of the mandates of the Commission, as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003. When telecom consumers are duly informed and educated, they are protected against the unfair practices by the service providers,” Umar said.
In a statement by the commission’s director of public affairs, Reuben Muoka, Umar emphasised the pivotal role of telecommunications services in the digital world. He stressed that educating consumers plays a vital role in informing and empowering them through knowledge and enlightenment.
In conclusion, he described the VSD as a significant decision that sensitizes people about their rights, privileges, and expectations regarding telecom businesses in Nigeria. The dialogue serves as an avenue for face-to-face interactions between the NCC, service providers and consumers, fostering a stronger relationship and better understanding between all parties involved.