Nigeria’s National Communication Commission, NCC, has taken its intensive consumer awareness campaign to remote villages in Cross River State.
The campaign, which was the 39th edition took the form of a town hall at Ikang clan, a riverine community in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau at the Commission, assured the locals of the Nigerian Government’s commitment to sanction telecom operators on grounds of exploitation.
Onwuegbuchulam, who spoke on the theme ‘Using Information and education as a Tool for Consumer Empowerment and Protection’, said: “the era where telecom operators short-changed consumers was over.”
According to her, town halls provided the commission a better platform to properly educate majority of Nigerians, particularly those in rural communities, about contemporary issues in the sector.
”Consumer information and education is identified by the commission as one of the most cost-effective mechanisms that guarantees consumer empowerment and education,” said Onwuegbuchulam.
The Director further observed that such interchange enhances the commission’s drive to set up regulations, which would better protect all telecom services consumers as well as ensure efficiency by operators.
She said: “Besides serving as a proactive way of protecting consumers from making wrong choices, it also serves as a measure to protect consumers against exploitation and fraud.”
Another official of the Commission, Ishmail Adedigba explained to members of the Ikang Community that the town hall was to bring regulators, operators and consumers together with a view to resolving pressing challenges bothering on service delivery.
Adedigba explained:“The commission has been inundated with complaints such as unsolicited text messages and calls; failure or refusal to roll over unused data at expiration of bundles by service providers, as well as automatic renewal of data services upon expiration and activation of subscription to data including deduction of Value Added Tax, VAT, without prior consent of subscribers.”
Ishmail averred that the short code was developed to end unsolicited text messages and calls, disclosing “With effect from June 26, 2018, service providers will roll-over unused data from one to seven days depending on your data plan.”
The town hall, which was attended by a cross section of rural dwellers, featured questions and answers session as well as hands-on demonstrations of the use of short codes to disable unsolicited messages and calls.