By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI—THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, yesterday debunked the claim in some quarters especially from telecommunication consumers/subscribers that the use of mobile phones poses a serious health risk in the country.
South East zonal Controller of the Commission, Emilia Nwokoro made the clarification in Abakaliki during the Consumer Conversation Forum, CCF, held at the secretariat of Abakaliki local government area of the State.
According to her, it was necessary for telecom consumers to be educated on their basic rights, quality service and safety and how to seek redress when their rights are abused as NCC places premium on consumers.
She said:”The NCC is an independent national regulatory authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. In line with the 8-point agenda of the Commission, this year 2017 has been declared “NCC Year of the Telecom Consumers.” The aim is to ensure that the telecommunication consumers are carried along in their regulatory function.”
She however stated that despite frantic effort by NCC to enlighten and educate telecom subscribers, Nigerians are yet to understand and appreciate the role of NCC between Network providers and telecom consumers. She added that no adverse health effects have been established as being caused through the use of mobile phones.
“A number of studies have investigated the effects of radiography fields on brain electrical activity, cognitive function, sleep, heart rate and blood pressure in volunteers. To date, research does not suggest any consistent evidence of adverse health effects from exposure to radiofrequency fields at levels below those that casue tissue heating.
“In line with the position of International Telecommunications Union (ITU) supported by International Council on Non-ioniizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has maintained that as at today, there is no conclusive evidence to show correlation between the Electromagnetic Fields from telecommunications masts and health risk to individuals around these infrastructure”, she stated.
Other areas covered by the campaign include “Do Not Disturb (DND), toll free line, quality service among others.
Speaking earlier, chairman of Abakaliki local government area Emmanuel Nwagele represented by Ugochukwu Onwe described the consumer conversation forum as timely because of complaints from telecom consumers.
Nwagele said, “It is a programme organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, to educate Abakaliki people who are the consumers of telecom. To tell them their rights and privileges and the consumers are here to listen to them.
“It is necessary because the consumers are complaining of a lot of ill treatment from the network providers. The unsolicited messages, the indiscriminate deductions and unnecessary calls from the network providers. There are also rumours that users of telecom are liable to die young through the use of phones but these people are here today to tell them the necessary thing to need to know”.