••Frowns at hike in prices of recharge cards
The Nigerian Commu-nications Commission, NCC, has dismissed fears being expressed by some Nigerians that tele-communication masts and towers erected within residential areas could constitute health hazards.
The commission also said that it was illegal for retailers of GSM recharge cards to sell above the price tags on the cards, advising the subscribers to resist such exploitation.
NCC Zonal Director in Enugu, Mrs. Emilia Nwokolo, who made this known during the 1st Consumer Conversation Forum held for subscribers and stakeholders in the South East Zone, said there has not been any research report on Radio Frequency Exposure indicating that telecommunication masts were hazardous to human health.
She told the participants that “no research what-soever has been able to prove any adverse health challenge caused by radio frequency” stressing that the World Health Organisation, WHO, had affirmed that no result of any such hazard has been established against base stations.
Nwokolo, who was responding to some concerns raised by participants on the danger of electromagnetic wave from masts and towers, said that the rumuors being peddled on the hazardous nature of the masts were not necessary as there was no proof of such hazards so far.
On the reported exploitation of subscribers by hawkers of recharge cards, the NCC zonal director exonerated telecom operators from such illegal act, advising the customers to report those selling above the approved prices to the operators for necessary action.
“The customers should make good use of information provided by the regulators (NCC) so that no one takes undue advantage of you. Customers should resist any attempt by fraudsters to extract their Bank Verification Number, BVM, and other personal details through text messages and emails; they should always delete or contact their banks whenever they received such suspicious messages on their phones.”
Nwokolo, however, assured the telecom customers of the commission’s determination to protect their interests, as year 2017 had been declared “Year of the Consumers.”
Registrar of the Federal College of Dental Technology, Enugu, Sir. Patrick Anigbo, said the institution agreed to host the consumer forum because of the need to enlighten member of the academic community on the need to know their rights and access quality services provided by network operators.
He urged the NCC to check what he described as invasion of telephone lines with unwanted messages describing such practice by network operators as very embarrassing.
Some of the participants who spoke at the forum expressed gratitude to the commission for giving them the opportunity to air their view on telecom services.