By Clem Khena-Ogbena
The telecoms operators in Nigeria have been told to make best practices the hallmark of their operations.
The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr.Samuel Ortom, gave this charge yesterday, at the Consumer Roundtable On Phone Rights, organised in Abuja, by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), in commemoration of the 2014 World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD).
Ortom also said that consumer protection had always remained as the pivot upon which competitive economy was built, because it sought to develop standards, codes of practice and regulations, adding that as a result of this, unfair competition and deceptions were prevented, thus regulating the conduct of trade for the good of the people.
The minister, who pointed out that consumers were the driving force of any economy , as whatever goods and services produced within an economy would be worthless if not consumed, stated: “To complement the efforts of Mr. President, businesses are enjoined to make bbest practices the hallmark of their operations. This is more so that with heightening consumers awareness in the country, businesses will continue to be judged by their adherence to government regulations and responsiveness to consumers.
“Consumer protection is the pivot on which a competitive economy is built, because it seeks to develop standards, codes of practice and regulations. This in turn prevent unfair competition, deceptive acts,
and regulate the conduct of trade for the good of the people.”
Ortom applauded the efforts of the new leadership of CPC, headed by Mrs. Dupe Atoki, for the renewed tenacity at ensuring the rights of the Nigerian citizens were respected.
Earlier, in her welcome address, the CPC director-general reeled off the issues that affected mobile phone consumers globally, to include, among others: Providing consumers with fair contracts, explained in clear, complete and accessible language* Providing consumers with their money’s worth* Providing consumers with fair and transparent billing* Providing consumers with power over their own information* and Listening and responding to consumer complaints.
Atoki, however, added, “These issues affect us all, as the record of complaints in CPC shows that Nigerian consumers are faced with challenges that revolve around them. These include: Poor nework
service, enrolment of subscribers in unsolicited services, unlawful deductions/wrong billing, exploitative automated services, unauthorised SIM swaps, poor internet service and poor consumer service.”
According to her, one of the measures taken by CPC to tackle the challenges in the telecoms sector in the country was the meeting recently held with the operators, where they were mandated to come up
with policy initiative that would provide actual comfort and protection for telecoms subscribers