L-R: Oladokun Oye, Vice President, Retail and Postpaid, Airtel Nigeria; Abdulrahman Ado, Executive Director, 9Mobile; Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Dr. Chris Nwanoro, President, National Disability Empowerment Forum; Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of Commissioners, NCC; Abdulazeez Salman, Commissioner, NCC; Ugonwa Nwoye, Chief Customer Relations Officer, MTN Plc, at the commemoration of the World Consumer Rights Day 2023 by the Commission in Abuja on Wednesday (March 15, 2023).
The World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is undoubtedly one of the most important dates in the NCC’s annual calendar of events.
The Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management), Mr Adeleke Adewolu stated this during his opening remarks at The World Consumer Right Day (WCRD) 2023. 15 March, 2023 disclosed that it is a day we set aside to celebrate our most important stakeholder group, that is, our Consumers. According to him, this year, we are pivoting our celebrations around a theme which allows us to design more environmentally sustainable service models so that we can truly serve our consumer better, and I am indeed pleased to welcome you all to this opening session.
The 2023 World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) held at the Commission Annex Head Office, Mbora, Abuja on Wednesday March 15th, 2023
In his words: The theme of WCRD 2023 is “Empowering Consumers through Clean Energy Transition”. This theme allows us to carefully examine the unintended side-effects of our critical social infrastructure on our environment. Adewolu disclosed that the Nigerian telecoms industry today boasts of over 226 million voice customers and over 156million internet customers as at 31 January, 2023. These consumers leverage on communications infrastructure for social interaction, health service, access to education, banking, etc, he added.
Meanwhile, Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) noted that as consumer volumes and service diversity continue to grow, network operators have to roll-out more infrastructure for coverage in new, mostly rural areas, and for network expansion in already saturated urban markets. Emerging technologies like 5th Generation (5G) mobile services will also require more infrastructure adding that these infrastructure components are mostly powered by fossil fuels to ensure 100% availability. Without pre-empting the planned discussions about the environmental impacts of these activities, it is important that we ask ourselves some pertinent questions, he stressed.
“Are there more environmentally conscious means by which we can power network infrastructure and reduce our carbon footprint? Telecoms infrastructure have helped to reduce other environment-impacting activities such as travel – can we quantify these benefits and do they offset the negative impacts? Have we convinced everyone about the safety of electromagnetic emissions? Can we find a balance between environmentally-friendly network operations and cheaper services; or do we have to choose one over the other? How can we improve the quality of the environment through our network services and how can we grow public consciousness about responsible services using telecoms infrastructure?
As responsible stakeholders, Adewolu continue, we must find answers to these and other nagging questions and I am pleased that the organizers of WCRD 2023 have carefully designed a programme of events that will help us do just that, he concluded.