NCC Urges Telecom Operators to Deliver Quality Service, Treat Consumers As Kings, Queens
By Azeez Disu
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has tasked telecommunications service providers to deliver quality service, ensure that customers get value for money by treating them as Kings and Queens in order to remain in business.
The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta made the charge during NCC Day at this year’s edition of the Kaduna International Trade Fair organized by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Industry (KADCCIMA) recently.
Prof. Danbatta said there was no running from the fact that consumers of telecommunications services deserve to get value for their money, and to be treated right as very important stakeholders in the sector.
The NCC boss also disclosed that plans have been concluded to roll out G5 network, starting from Abuja, the federal capital to other States across the country, in no distant time.
He assured consumers of protection against cybercrime fraud while legitimately using the internet.
“Permit me to emphasise that the NCC will continue to drive the remarkable digital transformation we are witnessing in our economy today and one area that the Commission pays greater priority to is how our consumers are treated by the service providers. This is why at NCC, we continue to treat consumers as Kings and Queens of course, that is who they are because without the consumer, both the regulator and the service providers have no business being in business!
Above all, know that this event is essentially meant for you and without you being here today, we would not have achieved our objective.
“Therefore, it is my pleasure to restate the NCC’s commitment to protecting and empowering consumers – whether individuals and corporate consumers – from unfair practices willingly or unwillingly orchestrated by the service providers. This is based on our regulatory mandate of ensuring that consumers of telecommunications services deserve to get value for their money, and to be treated right as very important stakeholders in the scheme of things.
“Consequently, the Commission will continue to focus on excellence and efficiency of our regulatory activities and ensure increased connectivity to telecoms consumer through deployment of robust infrastructure.
“The Commission recognises the fact that telecommunications sector has been a strategic driver of the digital economy agenda of the Federal Government, as it continues to provide the needed digital stamina to support the economy, especially the activities of the SMEs across in Nigeria and beyond.
“Information Communications Technology (ICT) is not only one of the fastest growing industries – directly creating millions of jobs – but it is also an important enabler of innovation and development, as it provides the backbone infrastructure for transnational business.
“Hence, in line with the Digital Literacy and Skills Pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, for a Digital Nigeria, the Commission embarked on digital literacy training for entrepreneurs across the six geopolitical zones of the country. The aim was to equip small-scale business owners with the requisite skills and to generate ideas for development of product and service that can be exported.
“NCC’s regulatory efforts in deepening access to digital services will benefit Nigeria and make it competitive comparable with other economies in the areas of job creation; contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth; emergence of new services and industries; workforce transformation; and business innovation.
It is in our response to ensuring that Nigeria is competitive in all these areas that Commission continuously puts a number of regulatory measures in place to ensure seamless access by Nigerians to telecommunications services in order to deepen competitiveness of the Nigerian economy by making our SMEs digitally compliant.
“In Nigeria today, the number of active mobile subscriptions reached about 222,571 million at December 2022 and Teledensity of 116.60 per cent as at December 2022. Also, Internet subscribers have exceeded 154.8 million with broadband penetration standing at 47.36 per cent as at December, 2022. In this new environment, the competitiveness of Nigeria’s SMEs, for instance, depends on their ability to leverage new technologies by acquiring the necessary digital skills to do business on an international scale.
“The steady growth of telecoms sector over the years with its pervasive positive impact on all other sectors of the economy in terms of increased automation of processes and digital transformation in service delivery, has been remarkable. This, however, would not have been possible without you, telecoms consumers who are using the services daily.
“To sustain this, therefore, the NCC continues to create a conducive environment that stimulates deployment of robust telecoms/broadband infrastructure for improving the quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) for telecoms consumers, be it individuals or corporates. This is because, as a country, we need robust telecoms infrastructure that will help our SMEs to transit to becoming Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-driven if we hope to be digitally competitive on the global stage.
“The Commission is working assiduously with various stakeholders including you, the consumers, to see how more businesses can embrace digital platforms for delivering their services to the consumer. As a regulator, we also ensure we constantly inform you, the consumers on how to be protected to prevent cases of online fraud or eschew consumer falling victims of cybercrime antics while in their legitimate use of the Internet.
“Indeed, digitalisation of the SME sector of the Nigerian economy is strongly connected to telecommunications, giving the power the telecom sector has to positively disrupt traditional business models. This explains why the growing demand for connectivity is pressuring telecom companies to upgrade their telecommunications infrastructure. As a result, network transformation has become far more imperative for innovative businesses, allowing them to address changing customer expectations. With high-speed internet, mobile apps, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), social media networking sites and other means of digital communication, staff of a company can exchange information in real time and reach out to prospective clients. These technologies support branding efforts and customer service strategy. The SMEs can leverage ICT platforms to run their operations, thereby reducing operational costs, saving office space, increasing productivity across and ultimately increasing bottom-lines.
“As you may be aware, the NCC is driving initiatives for full commercial launch of Fifth Generation (5G) network in Nigeria. Already, spectrum licences for the companies that will rollout service have been issued. Though, the deployment will start from the state capital and gradually extends to other areas across the state, it is important to state that the 5G network will bring substantial network improvements, including higher connection speed, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities to communications services in Nigeria. I am happy to inform you that one of the licensees has kicked off commercial launch in Lagos.
“More importantly, it is also our commitment, at NCC, to continue to provide a level-playing ground for operators to thrive, promote investment and delivery of innovative services to individual consumers, SMEs and big business owners by ensuring enhanced consumer quality of experience”. Prof. Danbatta said.