NCC’s unwavering commitment to consumer rights, safety

Danbatta, NCC, EVC.

By Anthony Isibor

AS the world marks the 2023 Consumer Rights Day, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has stayed focused and committed to its promise of protecting the rights and safety of consumers.

With the exponential growth being recorded in the Nigerian telecoms industry, and the continuous advancement in global technology, including the 5G, it has become imperative that the NCC finds ways to ensure that both the consumers and the environment are protected from the unintended side-effects of these critical social infrastructure.

The Commission reports that as at 31 January, 2023, Nigeria boasts of over 226 million voice customers and over 156 million internet customers, who are leveraging on communications infrastructure for social interaction, health service, access to education, banking, among others. 

According to Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, from the period between March 15, 2022, and today, the commission has carried out its mandate in a manner that further strengthened consumer protection while safeguarding the interest of telecom consumers.

“In that period, in addition to continuing to implement the policy that ensured improved access to broadband connectivity, the Commission, through Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) constantly alerted consumers to cyber threats that could have led to the compromise of their financial profile through the execution of malicious codes by threat actors.”

Prof. Danbatta, who was speaking at the 2023 world consumer rights day held at the NCC annex head office in Abuja on Wednesday March 15th, 2023, said that arising from the successes in implementing initiatives to realize last year’s theme of “Fair Digital Finance”, the Commission was poised to realize the theme for this year, which is “Empowering Consumers through Clean Energy Transition”.

According to him, the theme is geared towards delivering a smooth transition for consumers experiencing a high cost of living as the globe responds to the ongoing energy crisis caused by supply and climate issues.

“This theme is very relevant given Nigeria’s recent licensing of the 5G spectrum networks, which consume twice as much energy as 4Gs, although they are more energy-efficient per gigabyte.”

Additionally, Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management also revealed that while 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.

According to him, emerging technologies like 5th Generation, 5G, mobile services will also require more infrastructure. These infrastructure components are mostly powered by fossil fuels to ensure 100% availability.