…Tasks Telcos on Free Calls, Data Services on Independent Day
By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Association of Telephone, Cable TV, and Internet Subscribers (ATCIS) has called on the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC to prevail on the Service Providers deliver quality services to the Nigerian subscribers.
The group insisted that subscribers should be entitled to receive value for their money.
The Association made the call on Tuesday in Abuja while paying a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, to seek areas of partnership and jointly work towards ensuring that consumers get quality of service.
While making the call, the National President of ATCIS, Prince Sina Bilesanmi, said the association advances a course that promotes the rights, interests and welfare of telecom subscribers in Nigeria, thus the reason for the visit aimed at presenting issues affecting subscribers in Nigeria.
The Association therefore advocated for a day free voice calls and data services for subscribers on every independence days in Nigeria in line with world best practice.
Describing NCC as the chief advocate of consumer rights and interests, ATCIS maintained that subscribers should be entitled to a day free voice and data call at every independence day in Nigeria as well as improve telecom service, and reduction of the tariff of data and voice calls.
They equally called for affordable reliable internet service, a stop to automatic fix charge, and advocated for 5% interest rate for borrowed money as against 15%, and a bridge in access gaps.
While lauding NCC for delivering incredible gains to the telecom industry, the group solicited for mutual cooperation with the Commission in the vest interest of subscribers.
“The nations economy has been benefiting tremendously and with an enviable record in relation to many other African countries. The National Bureau of statistics revealed in it latest report released just two weeks ago that the Telecom sector contributed a total of N11.9 trillion to the national economy in 2019 alone compared with 2018 record of N9.7 trillion”.
He further applauded the commission for the implementation of Emergency Communication centres, the Do Not Disturb toll free 2442 short code, consumer complaints line and Mobile Number Portability.
The ATCIS President noted that the association remains a major voice against operators move to indiscriminately raise tariffs, adding that it has sponsored 206 publications, rejected direct USSD charge by Telecom and CEO of banks from subscribers account amongst other feats.
Responding on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, Deputy Director Consumer Affairs Bureau at NCC, Ms Hafsat Lawal, called for collective protection of telecom infrastructure to aid quality of service as according to her vandalization of telecom infrastructure is contributory to poor quality of service.
She said reduction of data involves stringent processes in line with international best practices adding that operators do not charge for drop calls but for the successful calls that has already been made. Speaking on automatic roll over she averred that NCC has given directive to operators to stop automatic roll over.
Reacting to their demand for reduction of borrowing charges from 15% to 5%, she said borrowing of money (credit) which she likened to collecting loan from a bank, the EVC representative said it is subject to the agreement of the parties involved.
On the demand for the Commission to prevail on Service Providers to offer free voice call and data service for subscribers by the association the Commission promised that the issues among others would be looked into for consideration.