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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

ATDI lauds NCC on consumer protection

Pan-African non-governmental organisation committed to the development of telecom on the continent, Africa Telecom Development Initiative (ATDI), has lauded the leadership of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for revolutionary regulation of the industry.

The Executive Secretary, ATDI, Mr. Ken Ugbechie, in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online, said “the telecom regulator’s revolutionary advocacy for the protection of telecom consumers in the country through the monthly telecom consumer parliament,” is unequal.

According to him, upon the licensing of the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) companies in 2001, NCC oriented itself to regulatory activism to protect the consumer, thereby raising the quality of service consciousness among operators and promotion of potentials in the nation’s ICT market.

This position, he said, was strengthened with the set up of the Consumer Affairs Bureau in September 2001, barely one month after the first two GSM companies rolled out services essentially to inform, educate and protect consumers.

The Bureau, he noted was charged to coordinate the telecom consumer parliament, therefore building bridges between consumers and operators.

Mr. Ugbechie also said such initiative speaks volume of a people-centric commission wholly committed to protecting the consumer in an increasingly capitalist investment environment.

“The Parliament is an expression in regulatory activism by the NCC to protect the consumer and help the operators improve their service offerings.  It currently holds once in a month in different parts of the country and it has been held in all the geo-political zones, thus bringing both the operators and the regulator closer to the consumers. We recommend this model for other agencies in other sectors,” he asserted.

Ugbechie pointed out that through the Parliament, consumers have a voice and equally been heard.

“More importantly, the consumer, the operator and the regulator now have a regular forum to rub minds for the overall development of the telecom sector,” he declared.

ATDI noted that by moving the event from one part of the country to another every month has assisted the operators to access and better appreciate their level of market penetration, quality of service delivery in addition to consumer behavior.

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