As part of efforts to ensure that Nigerians get values for their money, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has advised telecommunication providers to improve the quality of their services.
The regulatory agency said the body is aware of the challenges being faced by Nigerians in telecom sector, warning that the body would not hesitate to impose stiffer sanctions against operators cheating the system through poor network and arbitrary charges .
The NCC Director in charge of Consumer Affairs Bureau, Alhaji Abdullahi Maikano, made the statements in Oye Ekiti at the weekend, during a Consumer Town Hall meeting, where issues bordering on ‘Information and Education as a Catalyst for Consumer Protection’ were discussed exhaustively.
Those that attended the meeting include NCC top officials, representatives of MTN, GLO, AIRTEL and ETISALAT, Security agencies, as well as consumers, including farmers, civil servants , marketmen and women and others from various sectors of the economy.
Maikano said: “The event was an initiative of NCC to bring telecom consumers in the urban areas together with network operators and regulator to discuss and proffer solutions to consumer related issues .
“We have to protect consumers from market exploitation and empower them to make rational and informed decision when making their choices of services.
“We hereby directed that service providers must always communicate with our consumers in plain language and such must be relevant, timely and accurate. They should also ensure that access to information is made possible at all times.”
The Ekiti Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr. Ismail Kugu, said network failure had several times led to the loss of human lives on highways , when they found it difficult to link with the right agency for evacuation of accident victims.
“It is hindering our operation in so many ways. The operators can give us a special line that can make us call our offices and individuals, because the customised one we are presently operating are often blocked when we used it to call families of accident victims, because they are specially made for special operational calls”, he said.
Some consumers, Mrs Beatrice Ige and the Iyaloja of Oye Ekiti, Mrs. O. Adegboyega, charged NCC to always impose sanctions on service providers engaging in act of extortion.
They said the sharp practice is gradually becoming endemic among telecom operators.
Representatives of telecom providers assured Nigerians of quality service delivery in the year , promising to embark on holistic approach to bring information for subscribers to enjoy all benefitsassociated with services they render.