By Etuka Sunday
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday took its Consumer enlightenment Campaign to Zaria, Kaduna State with a vow to ensure that the consumers are protected from wrong choices, exploitation and fraud.
Speaking at the 38th Edition of the Consumer Town Hall Meeting (CTM), in Zaria, the Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said, the Meeting was put together by the Commission in recognition of the role of Consumer as a King in the palace of market.
Prof. Danbatta who was represented by the Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Alh. Ismail Adedigba said, the Consumer as a King must be accorded basic rights such as right to be heard, right to be educated, right to redress as well as right to safety.
He said, the main aim of the Consumer Town Hall Meeting was to enable tripartite meeting between regulators, operators and consumers to resolve pressing consumer’s issues as it relates to provision of telecom services.
He emphasized that “the focus of NCC on Consumer did not end with 2017 as Year of Telecom Consumer. In fact, it has just begun as the Commission is not in any way winding down on our avowed commitment to serve the Consumers better in all fronts as the Consumer remains the King of the Industry”.
He therefore, urged the Consumers to take advantage of the numerous channels to reach NCC as and when required.
Speaking in her Opening Remarks, the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam said, the event was one of the initiatives of NCC to bring together Telecom Consumers in the rural areas with the Network Operators and the Regulator (NCC) to discuss, proffer solutions to Consumer related issues and ensure they have value for money through effective service delivery.
Mrs Onwuegbuchulam was represented by the Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Alh. Ismail Adedigba.
She said, “the forum seeks to educate telecom Consumers and other stakeholders on contemporary issues generating interest in the industry and also serves as a feedback mechanism for the Commission in making regulatory intervention for the benefit of the Consumers and the Service Providers as well as the industry as a whole.
“At the NCC, the telecom Consumers are the target beneficiaries of all our activities which make them enjoy primary focus in terms of ensuring that they get good quality of service, value for money spent, timely and fair redress of complaints and protection from unwholesome practices of some Service Providers”, she said.
According to her, the Theme of the programme, “Information & Education as a Catalyst for Consumer Protection” was carefully chosen to reflect one of the cardinal objectives of NCC of ensuring the protection of telecom consumers from market exploitation and empowering them to make rational and informed decision when making choices of services.
“Consumers education is identified by the Commission as one of the most cost effective mechanism that provides and guarantees consumer protection.
“Besides serving as a pro-active way of protecting consumers from making wrong choices, it also serves as a preventive measure that protect consumers from being exploited and against fraud”, she said.
Some of the programmes put together by the Commission for consumer enlightenment are: Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP), Consumer Outreach Programme (COP) and Consumer Town Hall Meeting (CTM).