- Anayo Ezugwu
WITH the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, insisting on its planned 14 days grace for data roll-over, the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, has said that its members are likely to implement the plan. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, ALTON, said the period for data roll over was a commercial issue, which each telecommunications operator would determine how it suited its business plan.
Adebayo, who spoke in Lagos, said: “The decision is left to the individual players. As an industry player I think it is good for the subscribers. If the data roll over grace makes the subscribers happy, I am certain that our members will align with the directive provided it does not impact on the existing cost.”
But the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers, NATCOMS, has said that the 14 days was not enough. Instead the association has called for an extension of unused data rollover to 30 days. Deolu Ogunbanjo, president, NATCOMS, while describing the idea of 14 days as a welcome development, said it was not enough considering the present economic situation as subscribers were not getting value for their money with regard to data usage.
“NCC should give at least 30 days grace instead of 14 days because of the recent economic situation. One may also have pressing needs or competing demands in the family and may not have money to subscribe within the 14 days period. The grace period for voice recharge is 90 days, hence, data subscription should not be different,” he said.
NCC is working to issue a directive to telecommunications operators to give 14 days’ window to subscribers to enable them to roll over their unused data. The commission had on November 15, 2017, during the Lagos International Trade Fair, said it was set to issue a directive to telecommunications operators to give 14 days’ window to subscribers to enable them roll over their unused data.
Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC, said subscribers would be given the 14 days grace, even if they do not renew on the date of expiration of their data. He said this would stop the present practice where subscribers would lose the entire unused data if they failed to renew on the date of the expiration of the present subscription.
According to him, NCC recognises that telecommunications services are very important to the nation’s development. “NCC also recognises more importantly, that the consumers of telecommunications services deserve to get value for their money. NCC also recognises that consumer should be treated as a very important stakeholder in the scheme of things as far as service delivery is concerned.
“Let me recall that in the 8-Points Agenda of my administration, the issue of empowerment and protection of the consumer occupied the sixth position. The vision in this agenda is to protect consumers from unfair practices through availability of information and education to make informed choices in the use of ICT services. The strategy which we have adopted in achieving these agenda is to strengthen initiatives to educate and inform consumers in the use of communications,” he said.
Danbatta said the commission had adopted the strategy to act swiftly and consistently whenever necessary in the use of enforcement to protect consumers’ rights and privileges. He said the regulatory body had put the service providers on special notice about NCC’s present monitoring of users experience and would call them to account in due course.
– Jan. 19, 2018 @ 09:35 GMT