Why NCC took consumer education seriously – Danbatta

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Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice president of Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has explained that the commission takes its consumer education programme seriously in order to protect their rights.

At a press conference to celebrate the World Consumer Rights Day, WCRD, on Monday, March 15, Danbatta, said that just recently, it approved the re-structuring of the organizations’ legacy consumer outreach and engagement programmes.

“These modifications were made to increase our reach to telecom consumers wherever they are while also observing COVID-19 protocols,” he said.

He listed some of the new information and education programmes to include the ‘Telecom Town Halls on radio’, a phone-in dialogic programme to be hosted via radio stations across the country where consumers at the grassroots level will be engaged in their own local language; ‘Telecom and The Citizen’, a biweekly Twitter Live Chat targeting social media users; ‘Telecom TV Dialogue’, a monthly television-based discourse on topical telecom issues; and ‘Telecom Consumer Conversations’, which is segmented and targeted at different consumer groups including: The Village Square Dialogue, The Telecom Public Sphere, The Professionals’ Dialogue, Campus Conversation, Market Conversation and the NYSC Conversation.

According to him, “The flagship outreach programme, Telecom Consumer Parliament, is still up and running. Similarly, other information, education and communication, IEC, materials like digital banners and factsheets in bookmarks format have been remodelled in a way that deliver lasting value to the consumers.”
Danbatta, at the event, also unveiled a new Consumer Handbook – a compendium of consumer information materials compiled to enhance education and protection of the consumer.

“In keeping with global best practice of digital public communication for information and complaints management, the Commission continued to leverage social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, to inform and educate consumers and to use them as complaints channels for the commission. In addition, the NCC Consumer Web Portal serves as an alternative online channel for lodging complaints and making enquiries,” he said.

He also recalled the specially created toll free number 622 and DND short code 2442, saying that they remain active as ever. “They are emplaced respectively to enable consumers to escalate unresolved complaints earlier reported to service providers, and to manage unsolicited messages. Just last month, we provided evidence that NCC’s DND crashes unsolicited SMS by 96.6% in three years.

“The results we are getting through the NCC Toll-free Number 622 has been phenomenal. Thousands of complaints have been received from consumers and escalated by the commission to service providers for quick resolution to the satisfaction of affected consumers. In our latest report, of the 11,327 genuine consumer complaints received through the 622 between 2019 and 2020, 11,288 which translate to 99.1%, have been successfully resolved, ensuring quantifiable improvements in consumer compliant management process by the operators.”

With regards to the challenges of security in the country, Danbatta said that the Commission has completed and launched Emergency Communications Centers, ECCs, in 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory. The process for the completion of the centers in the remaining states of the federation is ongoing.

He seized the opportunity to duly inform the general public that the toll-free three-digit 112 emergency number is created to bring succour and necessary assistance from appropriate Response Agencies, RAs, to address emergency needs of citizens.

Danbatta assured millions of telecom consumers across the country that the commission will not rest on its oars until the challenges of telecoms consumers have been reduced to the barest minimum.

“NCC seeks the occasion of this year’s World Consumer Rights Day to restate its commitment to protecting, informing and educating the telecoms consumer. We call this our PIE Mandate to the consumers which embodies our philosophical commitment to strengthening all our consumer-centric initiatives and policies,” he added.

Mar 15, 2021 @ 8;52pm

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