As the COVID-19, better known as coronavirus, continues to ravage the global community, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), as the telecommunications industry regulator, has put in place measures to support initiatives by other stakeholders to curtail this scourge.
A statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Henry Nkemadu, states that the Commission, in conjunction with industry players and all other government agencies, has agreed to reduce the frequency of physical meetings all through the period of the coronavirus outbreak and considered alternative electronic meeting platforms, in order to reduce person-to-person contact that may arise from travels or meetings.
Departments within the Commission that interface with customers have developed e-platforms where all licensing requests, consumer complaints and base transceiver station (BTS) investigation requests could be channeled or provide designated e-mail addresses to be used for such requests throughout the pandemic period.
According to Mr. Nkemadu, the Commission has also approved resource sharing by operators throughout the period of coronavirus pandemic. These include fibre optics cables and other resources in the event of cable cuts and other unforeseen developments during the period of coronavirus outbreak.
He said NCC directed Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to ensure that their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes are in tandem with government initiatives to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic in order to provide safety and support aid materials that will protect the public against coronavirus.
As measures, Mr. Nkemadu revealed that the Commission directed that all social and official visits to the Commission be cancelled immediately and visitors advised to use relevant online platforms and or telephone services in accessing the Commission’s services.
“For those who may be affected, the Commission implores them to take advantage of the Emergency Communications Centres (ECCs) by dialing the toll-free number 112.
The NCC supports Right of Passage (RoP) for all telecommunications members for easy movement in the event of a total lockdown and or restriction of movement.”
He noted that the regulator is in support of RoP for suppliers that are involved in supplies of fuels, foods and other support services to telecom operators, to allow for free movement in the event of partial or total lockdown as a result of the coronavirus.
“The Commission is in touch with Law Enforcement Agencies to constantly protect telecom infrastructure nationwide. The NCC will come out from time to time with enlightenment information on the dangers of the virus so that consumers can be guided accordingly,” he assured.
He reiterated that no effort will be spared to bring this deadly disease to an end.