By Etuka Sunday
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has again urged the about 175 million telecom subscribers in the country to use the available consumer intervention channels to protect themselves from being short-changed by their service providers.
NCC made the call during a Consumer Conversation programme organised by its Zonal Operations Department at the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa State.
Two of such consumer centric interventions include the 622 Toll-Free Number for escalating unresolved complaints or complaints that were not satisfactorily resolved by service providers.
Officials of the Commission also enjoined telecom consumers to utilise the Do-Not-Stop (DND) 2442 Short Code to manage the challenges with unsolicited text messages.
Addressing telecom consumers at the programme, the Director Zonal Operations, NCC, Amina Shehu, restated the commitment of the Commission in ensuring fairness and protection for the telecom consumers.
“The consumer is very important to us as a Commission because without them, there cannot be a booming telecom industry as we have it today. That is why we need to protect them and protecting consumers has correlation with industry protection. So, we don’t take consumer issues lightly at the Commission,” she said.
Shehu, who was represented by the Principal Manager, Zonal Operations, NCC, Umar Lamido, affirmed that “telecom consumers deserve to get value for their money, and be treated as very important stakeholders as regards service delivery.”
“We, therefore, urge the consumers to take advantage of NCC’s consumer protection initiatives such as the DND 2442 and the 622 Toll-Free Numbers so that no service provider would take advantage of you,” she said.
The Director said, the Commission conceived in details the idea of the consumer conservation to educate, protect and empower consumers towards making informed choices of ICT products and services in order to ensure sustainable growth and further development of the sector.
She noted that NCC, operators and consumers have a role to play in ensuring good quality of service, just as she added that the protection of Telecom infrastructure from Vandals was also the collective responsibility of all.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Dr. Yusuf Hussaini demanded for an e-Library to aid the Polytechnic in the computation of results.
“We need an e-Library as it was established in ABU, BUK, and other institutions, whether it is going to be NCC or telco sponsored.The Academic Staff of the Poly need E-Library itself because every semester we produce results.
“Why can’t we have NCC award for best students in physics, chemistry, and microbiology. It will encourage them to read more.
“The government has tried, we need PPP. Education is not what it used to be but we can make it what it ought to be. These multi-nationals are not only breaking even but repatriating profits.
“It will make the student better in research and studies.The best thing we can do is to add value to our communities. This community has been peaceful and deserves the best,” he said.
The well-attended programme had many students of the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa in attendance and it provided an opportunity for all the participants to express their concerns as well as the challenges they face with their telecom providers and with telecom service provisioning in general.