World Consumer Rights Day- NCC spotlights renewable energy

THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has concluded arrangements to host an event to mark the 2023 World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD).

A statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by the NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr Reuben Muoka, said that the event would spotlight its regulatory initiatives on clean energy usage in the telecoms sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the 2023 edition of WCRD is “Empowering Consumers through Clean Energy Transitions”.

Mouka said: “In what has become a tradition in the Commission since 2017, when it declared 2017 as Year of the Telecom Consumers when it honoured telecom consumers.

“By connecting with the global theme for the commemoration to celebrate the Day with landmark activities, the Commission has continued to promote consumer protection and enlightenment.”

According to the NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, the theme provides opportunity for NCC to share with beloved telecom consumers and other stakeholders, as well as the public.

“The policies it has instituted and other actions taken to encourage operators in the sector to transition to environmentally friendly and renewable energy sources in their operations,” he added.

Adewolu, who represented the Executive Vice-Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, at the inauguration of the organising committee for the forthcoming event, said the commission was committed to reducing the impact that telecommunications operation had on climate change and the environment.

He also said that the peculiarities of Nigeria’s electricity supply have resulted in the telecommunications sector being a contributor to carbon emissions.

According to Danbatta, studies have shown that renewables and energy efficiency, boosted by substantial electrification, can provide over 90 per cent of the necessary reductions in energy-related carbon emissions.

He said increasing the use of electricity sourced from renewables presented the best opportunity to accelerate world’s energy transformation.

“The theme is very apt this year, as we know the implication of the climate change disaster facing the world.

“As a commission, we are committed to reducing the impact of climate change.

“The telecoms sector contributes to global emissions, particularly when you realise that there are over 54,000 base transmitter stations powered, in some cases 24 hours, seven days a week, by generators.

“You can just imagine the emissions from these,” he said.

Danbatta said that the commission was already looking at introducing a policy to encourage ethical energy source as part of its commitment to safeguard the environment.

This, he said, was crucial for consumers and other users of telecom services, adding that it is a move in tandem with the process of actualising some of the key items of the SDGs.

Danbatta said that, in recent years, the commission had introduced a regulatory framework on infrastructure sharing and collocation among the licensees.

He said this had encouraged operators to fully maximise their already-deployed infrastructure.

“By sharing infrastructure, some operators do not need to entirely build a telecoms site in an area where another operator had deployed one.

“With the challenge of inadequate public electricity supply in Nigeria, telecom companies rely on diesel-powered generators to keep their telecom sites live round-the-clock.

“But, a regulatory framework such as infrastructure sharing and collocation are helping in this regard,” the EVC said. (NAN)