The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that as a responsible regulator that envisions top-notch service delivery by the operators, it would continue to do everything within its regulatory mandate to ensure that constant improvement in telecoms service delivery is sustained.
Efosa Idehen, Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of the NCC gave this assurance in his Welcome address to participants at the first-ever virtual edition of the NCC organised Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) held at the Commission’s Conference Room, Maitama, Abuja.
He said the objective for the choice of the theme: “The Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on Telecom Service Delivery” for discussion at the virtual Parliament was to ascertain the role telecom service providers played and are expected to play to protect telecoms consumers and deliver quality service to them during this unique period.
“With this theme in mind, it becomes necessary to ask: What roles are currently being played by telecom service providers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) alike towards protecting their consumers in the Covid-19 pandemic era.
“Additionally, are the measures put in place to protect the consumers sufficient? Do the service providers need to institute new measures to improve upon consumer protection initiatives? Finally, do the additional measures compliment the current legal and regulatory frameworks to ensure improved security for telecom consumers while online?” he asked.
The NCC Consumer Affairs Chief explained that being a platform through which various Consumer issues are addressed, the Telecom Consumer Parliament has had significant, positive and far-reaching impacts on the growth of the industry and benefited stakeholders in many ways.
“The Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) provides high-level engagement and interactions with consumers and other stakeholders in the telecommunications industry. The programme, which is hosted on a quarterly basis, has become a great platform for addressing critical industry issues affecting consumers and other stakeholders in the telecommunications value-chain in Nigeria,” Idehen said.
He disclosed that while access to high-speed broadband connectivity is getting more pervasive and available to Nigerians to improve efficiency in their daily activities, associated with this increased use, is cyber criminals, cyber hackers or cyber fraudsters, whose stock in trade is to perpetuate criminality on the Internet.
The activities of these criminals he said, has heightened since the outbreak of Covid-19, adding that these cyber criminals defraud unsuspecting internet users who now, more than ever before, rely on broadband internet to reach friends, clients and partners.
“Though the issue of cybercrime is a global phenomenon with levels of pervasiveness different from country to country and from region to region, it is becoming more pronounced in Nigeria along with it costs to individuals and organizations in terms of revenue losses, among other dangers it poses to victims.
“It is, therefore, our concern in NCC to ensure that risks associated with the usage of the Internet by Nigerians are addressed and managed successfully,” Idehen stated.
While acknowledging the challenges facing the network operators especially because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Idehen said there was the need to find solutions to the numerous complaints received from consumers with regards to the poor Quality of Service delivered especially in the voice and data segment.
“The Consumer Affairs Bureau has been engaging the industry at different level to ensure the Consumer get value for money spent. The more recent was the Bi-annual meeting with Senior Executives Directors of telecom companies on complaint management on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 hence the need for the meeting to swiftly address the issues raised and resolutions were reached at the meeting,” he said.
Idehen restated that the forum was in line with NCC’s culture of robust stakeholder engagement and consultation on any industry issue and enjoined all to maximise the opportunity created by the forum to contribute to discussions that will help to reinforce efforts aimed at protecting telecom consumer interest and ultimately promote a healthy telecom industry for all.