… As Fed. Poly Nasarawa Solicits for E-Library
By Emmanuel Elebeke, Lafia
The Emir of Nasarawa, HRH. Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibril has railed an alarm that criminals now use unidentified mobile numbers to threaten the lives of his subjects.
The Emir raised the alarm yesterday at the Consumer Conservation held At the ASUP Secretariat, Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa State.
The Emir who was represented at the occasion by Ibrahim Ladan said his subjects were under serious threats by criminal elements in the area who now use improperly registered Sim cards to threaten them and also extort ransom from their victims, warning that the matter has become an issue of public concern.
He appealed to the Nigerian Communication’s Commission, NCC to expedite action in the ongoing verification of improperly registered Sim cards which have turned to a tool in the hands of criminals to make life miserable to innocent Nigerians.
He also urged the Commission to design a system whereby any customer threatened will be able to call and trace the person that threatened their lines immediate and report to the police.
‘‘NCC should know that their lines are being used to threaten people. That they are going to kill them, they are going to take for ransom for money, they are going to hound them. NCC should know that this is worrying about her customers and everybody in Nigerian. They are registering customers for efficient use of the Sim cards but registration may not be enough if somebody calls you and threatens you that he is going to kill you if you do not give him money how you trace it.
‘‘They should design a system where the threatened customer will be able to call and trace the person that threatened your line immediately and report to the police.’’
The Emir, however, thanked the management of NCC for designing programmes meant to inform and educate citizens on their rights and responsibilities as it concerns telecoms.
The Director, North Central Zone, who was represented by the Principal manager in the Department, Mr Lamido Umar said NCC as a consumer-centric regulator holds telecom consumers at higher esteem and as had rolled out programmes to empower them on their rights and responsibilities.
He attributed the issue of poor quality of service to vandalization of telecom infrastructure and use of substandard phones and urged the consumers to protect the telecom facilities in their domain, stressing that the issue protecting such infrastructure is the responsibility of all and not just for operators and NCC alone.
He also charged them to patronize only type-approved handsets as that is the only way they would enjoy a good quality of service where networks made available.
On her part, Principal Manager, Consumer Protection and Advocacy Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC Ifeoma Ifezulike advised the consumers to take advantage of the shortcode 2442 to address the issues of unsolicited SMS and the NCC toll-free line 622 to report back to the commission where their complaints were not attended to. She said NCC took it up itself to monitor the activities and operations of service providers in order to serve the consumers better.
She noted that the issue of unsolicited SMS was prevalent in the past but with the introduction of the shortcodes and other mechanism put in place, the trend has gone down as a result of the regulatory alertness of the NCC which treat the consumer as king.
She urged them to avail themselves with all the available tools to deal with any complaint or issue that arises from service providers.
On Pre-registered Sim Cards, she warned the public to stay clear from them saying that the NCC has been arresting those that buy or sell such Sim cards, insisting that ignorant of the law will not be taken as an excuse.
She further pleaded with them not to buy only properly registered Sim cards by going to approved shops by the service providers so that fraudsters will not take advantage of them.
Sim Swap, Ifezulike said the complaints about the strenuous process was in order as the decision was taken in the best interest of consumers.
She equally urged them to leverage on the availability of Mobile Number Portability to overcome the challenge of poor network connections in their locations, saying that the reason why MNP came about was to offer subscribers with a choice when faced with the issue of poor quality of service.
In his submission, the ASUP Chairman in the institution, Dr Yusuf Hussaini appealed to NCC and all telecom service providers to build E-library for the polytechnic to assist staff and students in their studies.
He also demanded that NCC and the service providers should institute an annual award for the best-performing students to encourage excellence and hard work in the students.
On his part, the ASUP Vice Chairman, Comr. Anthony Madaki challenged NCC to prevail on the service providers to explore the alternative source of energy to power their facilities to lesson cost of making calls, especially now gas is expensive.
Also, he urged NCC to challenge service providers to provide critical infrastructure such as schools, roads and hospitals since they make more than banks.