Subscriber Group Wants Regulator’s Collaboration To Strengthen Consumer Protection


By Cyber Era Reporter

Consumer advocacy group, the Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers (ATCIS) on Tuesday March 10, 2020, assured of its preparedness to synerise with telecommunications sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to take the rights, interests and welfare of the ever-growing telecoms subscribers in Nigeria to higher pedestals.

Speaking through its President, Prince Sina Bilesanmi, at a meeting with NCC in Abuja,north central, Nigeria, ACTIS said that since one of the agenda of the Commission is promoting subscriber’s satisfaction, it was poised to advance a mutually-beneficial relationship with the Commission on all fronts, with respect to the protection of the over 185 million subscribers under its watch.

“We believe that working together, we will also bring the regulator closer to its core stakeholders (consumers) and make demands occasionally on behalf of the consumers. We believe this is a quicker way of getting to the regulator and to bridge the communication gap and promote co-operation,” said Bilesanmi.

Bilesanmi also appealed to NCC to try to reduce tariffs of data and voice services, and to ensure affordable and reliable Internet service for subscribers. The advocacy group also appealed to the Commission to ensure there was no automatic fixed charge and non-charges for drop calls.

The group also requested NCC to make MNOs to grant subscribers voice and data-free day every Independence Day (October 1) in Nigeria, as a way of appreciating the consumers, who were the most important stakeholders of the telecoms industry.  

Responding, the NCC said, though the demands brought forward by ATCIS to the Commission were multidimensional, it was ready to collaborate with any stakeholder that offered suggestions that might move the industry forward while stressing that industry collaboration was part of the Commission’s 8-Point Agenda.

“We are all stakeholders and subscribers in the industry. Despite some challenges, we are always working with the operators to improve the quality of service,” said Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Hafsat Lawal who led the NCC’s team to receive ATCIS delegation on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta.

Lawal also stressed that the issue of quality of service (QoS) was a function of many factors, some of which were environmental. For instance, it is doubtful if “any operator will deliberately wish its consumers experience poor network or drop call on its network because those issues will affect the revenue of the operator.”

The challenges, according to her, had to do with vandalism of telecom infrastructure and closure of base stations by communities where telecom installations such as base stations and fibre optic cables were sited or laid respectively.

Lawal also told the ATCIS that its request for collaboration would be conveyed to NCC Management for review and necessary action.

L-R: Aliyu Ibrahim, Head, Consumer Protection and Advocacy, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Hafsat Lawal, Head, Consumer Policy Development and Monitoring, NCC and Sina Ilesanmi, President Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers (ATCIS) during a courtesy visit by the association to the Commission.

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