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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stakeholders meet on consumers’ rights

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders in the country are gearing up for the annual forum, which would this year focus on consumers’ rights.

With the theme, “The Place of the Consumer in the Nigerian Telecom Industry,” the organisers of the event being managed on behalf of the NCC by IT & Telecom Digest said the seminar which began in 2006, would on its third session tackle consumer rights so as to improve the area of consumerism within the sector.

Head, Public Affairs, Mr. Dave Imoko in a press statement informed that the Commission recognised the high importance of the consumer, but also realised that most Nigerians either do not know their rights or are not adequately informed to confront service providers and operators when they fail to live up the service obligations.

This, he said, was the motive behind staging the awareness, education and information, and many other salient reasons through the seminar.

“Therefore, this seminar is most vital so that the operators and service providers can also be reminded of what they owe the consumers, while on their part, the consumers will come to understand the important position they occupy in the scheme of things,” Imoko said.

He added that the seminar scheduled to hold at the Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi, on May 19, 2007, would bring together all telecom industry stakeholders, including government officials, mobile and fixed operators, internet service providers, equipment suppliers as well as consumers and consumer advocacy groups, in what promises to be a most opportune platform for discussing the place of the consumer in the emerging scenario.

In his comment, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, Mr. Mkpe Abang, said consumers needed to be educated on recognising and realising their rights, adding that with awareness and the right education, consumers could adequately make the right choices and insist on their rights whenever these are infringed upon.

He pointed out that no one could ask for their rights unless they know what really these rights are.

“This seminar therefore, would afford the NCC the opportunity to educate the Nigerian public in the area of consumerism. Of course, the operators and other service providers will also use the occasion to amplify how they are really working to serve the consumers, who remain the main subject of their business,” Abang said.

Champion Infotel recalls that IT & Telecom Digest initiated the Stakeholders’ Forum series in 2006, and that maiden edition discussed and prepared Nigerians for the Unified Licensing Regime which was ultimately introduced by the NCC at the end of the five-year exclusivity period granted Digital Mobile Licensees.

The second edition of the Stakeholders’ Forum, held in 2007, explored the NCC’s broadband initiatives for Nigeria.

Abang further said, the forum would continue to play pivotal roles in crystallising the focus for the ICT industry in Nigeria while providing a veritable platform for the NCC, government and industry stakeholders to discuss and find solutions to the challenges in the nation’s ICT industry.



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