By Favour Nnabugwu
The meeting scheduled by the Consumers Protection Council, CPC with telecommunication companies over public outcry on poor service delivery to consumers, was stalled as some operators shunned the meeting.
CPC had summoned chief executives of all telecom operators to a meeting to address subscribers’ complaints of poor services, compensation to the complainants as well as provision of quality services.
The meeting neither reached identifiable conclusion nor practically addressed issues bordering on drop calls and unsolicited messages among others.
Director-General of the Council, Mrs Dupe Atoki, after a brief meeting with the representatives of some of the telecom operators told journalists the duo would have to reconvene the meeting.
Atoki said Nigerians are faced with poor network service delivery. Among other things, she said this makes it impossible to receive calls while also experiencing drop calls, lack of sustainability of calls, unsolicited text messages at odd hours, unsolicited telemarketing, deceptive broadband speed adverts and failure to compensate consumers for poor services.
Atoki said operators risk prosecution and jail terms of up to five years if investigations currently on-going reveal that they deliberately short-change Nigerians.
“CPC can make orders in the interest and protection of consumers and disobedience is also criminalised by law. While NCC can impose fines on an offending operator, CPC can in addition, commit such recalcitrant offenders to jail terms for contravening any consumer protection enactment,” she said.
It is common knowledge that the operators are practically ripping off Nigerians. As far as their services are concerned, Nigerians have been largely short-changed. The last 18 months, in particular, have witnessed the worst service regime. Making or receiving calls is a most frustrating experience. And the other services using broadband are not better. There is little value for money. Sadly enough, there is no effective channel of complaints and getting redress.
She reiterated that the CPC has the power to sanction, prosecute and compel any product or service provider to answer a lawful inquiry, of which disobedience is criminalised.