| By Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta |
The Telecoms Consumer Parliament is a platform where stakeholders are engaged in an interactive session. It provides a unique opportunity for consumers of telecom services to be informed and educated on burning issues in the industry and to freely express their views and expectations in the presence of the service providers and the regulator.
In fulfilment of its mandate as prescribed by the Nigerian Communication Act 2003, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), while taking cognizance of the challenges that came along with rapid growth of the industry, has consistently strived to ensure that Nigerians have access to quality telecommunications services at affordable prices.
The industry’s challenges over the years have been that of provision of acceptable quality of service on a consistent basis.
The non-technical factors, which conspire to degrade the quality of service are erratic power supply, vandalisation of telecom infrastructure, multiple taxation and right of way issues as well as security challenge at mobile base stations, among others.
Yet the question is what we are doing to address some of these challenges:
- Quality of Service:
Through the Quality of Service Fixing Project, Industry stakeholders meet regularly to review issues of quality of service and how to overcome them. In addition, to the QoS Regulation, the Commission has also deployed the QoS Infrastructure Tool to proactively manage QoS issues by using the Consumers Quality of Experience as a baseline.
- Multiple Taxation and Right of Way:
To resolve these challenges, we have adopted a pragmatic approach, and one of the platforms used by the Commission is the engagement of the Governors forum through outreaches. Ogun State Governor, His Excellency, Ibikunle Amosun recently ordered for the unsealing of 47 base stations hitherto under lock and key before my visit to the state.
To curtail the problem of vandalism, the Commission is tirelessly working to ensure the passage of the critical infrastructure bill at the National Assembly so that telecoms infrastructure will be declared as National assets.
Notwithstanding these challenges, the Commission has remained resolute and committed to providing Regulatory interventions that ensure Network Operators adhere to the conditions of their licences and consumers get the best of quality of experience.
Consistent with the change agenda of Mr. President, we are committed to the growth and total transformation of the industry.
In line with the Theme of this event, “Regulatory Responses to Consumer issues over the last one year – A Retrospect”, I wish to reiterate that since my assumption of office, a year ago, my priority is to have a stabilized telecoms industry that will efficiently provide good quality of service to Consumers.
Looking back at last one year, I can, with all sense of modesty, state that all the Commission’s Actions, Policies and Projects are aimed towards ensuring that consumers are not only fully empowered but adequately protected. The objective is to ensure that they derive value for money spent.
It is therefore, my hope that the lead paper on the theme of this edition of Telecom Consumer Parliament will provide further insight into what the journey has been in the Telecom industry in the past one year. I enjoin you to make your usual valuable inputs and contributions at the end of the paper.
On this note, ladies and gentlemen, I hereby declare this parliament open. I wish you fruitful deliberations.
Than you and God Bless.
Opening address by the executive vice chairman/chief executive officer, Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar. G. Danbatta, FNSE, at the 78th edition of telecom consumer parliament (TCP) held at the Victoria Crown Plaza Hotel, Lagos on September 29, 2016
— Oct 17, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT