Telecom consumers and other stakeholders in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State, this afternoon, defied the scorching sun to receive the team from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) who arrived the city for the latest edition of Telecom Consumer Conversation.

Despite the declaration of the 2017 as Year of the Telecom Consumer by the NCC, the regulatory authority for telecommunications services in Nigeria continue to demonstrate that the telecom consumer is the lifeblood of the telecom sector and by that fact reiterating the centrality of the consumer in the telecom ecology.

This explains why the implementation of NCC’s multilayered consumer-centric programmes have not diminished in frequency, tempo and sophistication even after the seminal and historic declaration of March 15, 2017. Thus, the gracious hosting of the Conversation few hours ago by the people of Lafia spoke to the granite partnership between NCC and stakeholders in the sector towards finding mutually agreed solutions to the challenges of telecom service provision in Nigeria.

The Consumer Conversation is an organic public sensitisation and dialogue between the telecom consumer and the regulator. A demonstration of NCC’s commitment to taking communication campaigns on topical telecom issues to the consumer in every nook and cranny. The Conversation – unlike other consumer-focused dialogues instituted by the NCC that are in the purview of its Consumer Affairs Bureau – is a programme of the Directorate of Zonal Operations.

Amina Shehu, Director of Zonal Operations who was represented by Oladisun Ekisola, a Principal Manager in the Directorate, told participants at the Lafia Conversation that the forum is designed to sensitize telecom consumers about a range of issues and programmes of the Commission.
These programmes include the DO NOT DISTURB Code – 2442 – created by the Commission to enable consumers to manage unsolicited and intrusive messages the receive from the tele om networks; the 622 Toll free number, which the consumer can call to report to NCC any unresolved complaints hitherto reported to their service providers; the hoopla and misinformation with respect to Electromagnetic Frequency; Recurring challenges of billings, unauthorized deductions from airtime and data subscription; as well as processes of Mobile Number Portability and the attendant challenges of SIM Swap.
Interestingly, comments and questions that arose from today’s Conversation are focused on all these issues. Staff of the Commission present and some representatives of mobile network operators provided clarifications to ensure consumers are well informed about these issues, and they also took away feedbacks from the consumers and other stakeholders.

The programme was attended by leaders of the communities and trading associations connected to telecoms, women groups, journalists and other communication professionals, telecom service providers, traders and other categories of businesses, as well as representatives of agencies in the security governance sector.