In flagging off “2017 – the Year of Consumer” campaign as declared by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Commission has reiterated its commitment to making the Nigerian consumer the focal point of its telecom services.
In the bid to ensure that consumers get the right quality of service from communication network operators, the NCC has said it may have to employ more stringent measures against the operators.
Speaking in Lagos at the flag-off event, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta disclosed that he had convened a meeting with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and infrastructure providers to demand that telecoms quality of services must be improved upon immediately as efforts geared towards realizing the objectives of NCC 2017 Year of The Consumer campaign.
In his words: “There are sanctions for failing the KPIs. The NCC will not hesitate to enforce them and might consider making them even more stringent.”
He further pointed out that however, as a regulator, NCC has the mandate to ensure all its key stakeholders are protected and their interests balanced in an atmosphere of fairness.
The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a set of technical standards used as yardsticks for measuring quality of service performance of MNOs.
The two main focus in the KPIs boarder on Drop Call Rate (DCR) and Call Setup (Completion) Rate (CSR).
“In its determination to ensure that the consumer experiences improved quality of service in the year and beyond, the Commission is Implementing measures to ensure Drop Call Rate reduces and meets its industry benchmark of less than one percent (<1% DCR) rate.”
Enumerating the need for the Year of The Consumer Campaign, the EVC noted that the goal is to protect consumers from unfair practices through availability of information and education required to make informed choices in the use of Telecom services. This goal, it says, is being actively pursued by strengthening initiatives to educate and inform consumers in their use of the services and acting swiftly and consistently whenever necessary, in the use of enforcement to protect telecom services, consumers’ rights and privileges.
“As key stakeholders, the Consumers are therefore at the core of the 8-Point Agenda and the regulatory activities of the NCC. In this regard, the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Commission has the mandate to ensure the protection of the rights, privileges and interests of telecommunications consumers,” Prof. Danbatta reiterated.
The Year of The Consumer will focus on two areas, which are improving the QoS and protecting and educating the consumer. The Commission has already introduced the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) facility to address issues of unsolicited text messages by allowing consumers send a text to the short code ‘2442’ to stop such messages. It has also provided a direct toll-free consumer complaint service telephone line of ‘622’.
The Commission hopes that it would be able to measure the success and impact of the initiatives by the level of awareness created among consumers and the number of consumers that have activated the 2442 facility.
Entertainment Artistes Alli Nuhu and Helen Paul (Tatafo) were unveiled as the NCC Face of Telecom to propagate the campaign.