By Anthony Isibor
THE National Communications Commission, NCC on Wednesday marked the 2023 World Consumer Rights Day, WCRD with a pledge to ensure Clean Energy Transition so as to mitigate unintended side-effects of critical social infrastructure on the environment and serve its consumers better.
Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management made the pledge during the opening remarks on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at the event organized for its customers.
Speaking on the theme “Empowering Consumers through Clean Energy Transition“, Adewolu, noted that Nigerian telecoms industry today boasts of over 226 million voice customers and over 156 million internet customers as at 31 January, 2023, who leverage on communications infrastructure for social interaction, health service, access to education, banking, and others.
He said 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.
According to him, these emerging technologies like 5th Generation, 5G, mobile services will also require more infrastructure whose components are mostly powered by fossil fuels to ensure 100% availability.
Adewolu also assured that the Commission will find answers to some germane questions which bother on the environmental impacts of “these activities.”
Some of the questions include:
“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?