…As Senate moves to pass consumer protection bill into law
By Emmanuel Elebeke
Abuja—THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has said Nigerians spent N3.66 trillion on telecommunications services in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Dambatta, dropped the hint at the flag-off of the NCC Year of Consumer at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
According to him, Nigerian subscribers spent $5.6 billion in 2015 and $6.6 billion in 2016, amounting to $12.2 billion (N3.6trn) on telecommunications services at an average exchange rate of N300.
The analysis of the amount showed that the N3.66 trillion spent by Nigerians telecoms subscribers is more than half of the 2017 annual budget of N7.298 trillion.
He said: “In 2015, Nigerian telecom consumers spent a whooping $5.6 billion on telecommunications services. And in 2016, they topped it up by another $1 billion to make it $6.6 billion.That is why today’s event is remarkable. More remarkable is that the year 2017 is dedicated to the Nigerian Telecom Consumers.
”A management decision that compels us to seek to amplify our activities towards ensuring that the consumer enjoys a customer experience that is enhanced and consistent in time and quality.
“Just as their patronage is important, the consumer will be our focus. NCC intends to inform and educate the consumer with the sole intent of protecting and empowering them to make the right decisions. As a regulator, NCC has the mandate to ensure all its key stakeholders are protected and their interests balanced in an atmosphere of openness and transparency and within the framework of the NCA 2003 and other subsidiary legislations.”
Continuing, Dambatta noted that the Commission was rolling out new initiatives to achieve high quality of service by the service providers.
To address the two key areas of focus: improving the quality of service and protecting and educating the consumers on the rights this year, the EVC said the Commission has lined up measures to boost customer awareness creation in all the 774 Local Government Councils by ensuring prompt enforcement of the Do Not Disturb (DND) facility already provided by NCC.
In his goodwill message, the Senate President, Bukola SAraki, said that the Senate was at the forefront of Consumer protection, and is at the verge of passing the Consumer Protection bill in to law.
Saraki, who was represented by the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Communication, Solomon Adeola, said the bill when passed into law, was expected to provide consumers with protective prices and further insulate them from any exploitative tendencies currently experienced in the sector.