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NCC Sensitises Telecom Consumers on Rights



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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has again called on telecom subscribers to dial 622 toll free for complaints and send STOP to 2442 for unsolicited messages.

The commission made the call at its 84th Consumer Outreach Programme (COP), in Abuja on Thursday.

The outreach, with the theme: “Information and Education as Catalyst for Consumer Protection, was held at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, said the outreach was to bridge the gap between consumers and operators in telecom services.

Represented by Mr Ismail Adedidga, Deputy Director, Information and Reference Unit, Danbatta said the consumer formed the force in the telecom industry and had rights.

“The programme is to have an interface between the regulator, consumers and operators to resolve pressing issues that have to do with the consumers in the delivery of telecom services.”

Danbatta implored the telecom consumers to utilise the platforms provided by the commission to resolve complaints against telecom services.

Mr Abdullahi Maikano, Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, said the programme would enable NCC, telecom consumers and operators to discuss and proffer solutions to their problems and ensure effective service delivery.

Represented by his Deputy Director, Mr Emphraim Nwokonnaya, Maikano said the programme would leverage on protection of the consumers from telecom providers deviating from the rules of operation.

“The COP seeks to educate the consumer and other stakeholders on contemporary issues of interest in the industry. “It will also serve as a feedback mechanism for the commission in making regulatory interventions for the benefit of the consumers and the industry as a whole.

“At the NCC, the telecom consumers are the target beneficiary of all our activities and they are the focus in enjoying good services and protection from unwholesome practices of some service providers.

“Consumer education is identified by NCC as an effective mechanism that prevents consumers from being exploited in the industry”, Maikano said.

He reiterated that the NCC had developed initiatives to ensure the proper education and protection of the telecom consumers.

According to him, some of those initiatives include, the outreach programmes, consumer town hall meetings across the country and interactive platforms on the social media.

Mr Ayola Oke, a representative of Consumer Advocacy Groups, said telecom consumers were the “paymasters of the telecom industry.’’

Oke added that without the communication activities of consumers, telecom operators would not be in existence.

Mr Ali Nuhu, Face of 2017 Nigerian Telecom Consumers, urged the consumers to maximise every platform provided by the commission to resolve unsolicited messages and calls to their mobile lines.

Nuhu said telecom consumers were the king in the industry and deserved the best of services. Highlight of the programme was an interactive session between service providers – MTN, GLO, Airtel, Etisalat, and telecom consumers.

The session was to enable the providers to react and proffer solutions to the challenges encountered by the consumers in the process of using their mobile lines.

The outreach commenced with a march from NCC headquarters, Banex Plaza, Gwarinpa Estate, Kubwa, Zuba, Giri junction and terminated at the venue of event in Gwagwalada.

The NCC, in July 2016, mandated telecom operators to stop unsolicited messages to consumers, violation of the rule which attracts a fine. The NCC also provided `Do Not Disturb (DND)’ code by sending `STOP’ to 2442 or dialing 622 for complaints.

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NCC: US Delegation‎ Visits Commission, Lauds Regulatory Strides



(L-R): Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC; Rachel Atwood Mendiola, Manager, U.S Embassy; Engr. Ubale Ahmed Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC; Mudari Aliyu Dura


Nigerian Communications Commission NCC, Thursday, received a delegation from the United States Embassy in Abuja,

The team, led by Rachel Atwood Mendiola, Fraud Prevention Manager, United States Embassy, was received by the Commission’s Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive, Prof. Umar Danbatta and other top Management staff of the Commission.

The delegation was at the Nigerian Communications Commission’s Head Office to gain insight into the workings of the Commission and to commend NCC’s Management for its regulatory strides in sustaining the growth of the telecommunication industry in Nigeria.


Prof.Danbatta while addressing the delegation, recalled to the admiration of his guests some of the Commission’s efforts in ensuring effective regulation of the telecoms sector and providing an enabling environment for telecoms services to flourish, exponentially attributing the Commission’s successes to the faith reposed on it by the consumers and their unflinching loyalty.


And that is, the reason the Commission commits itself irrevocably to protecting the interest of consumers and all stakeholders in the industry.

He told his guests that, “NCC continues to be a strategic member and active participant in the activities of many bodies including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), African Telecommunications Union (ATU), and the West Africa Telecommunication Regulators Assembly (WATRA).”

To demonstrate the resilience of the telecommunication sector even in the face of challenging economic climate, Danbatta stayed that the sector contributed about 9.5% to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product in the second quarter of 2017 and credited the Nigerian telecom consumers with the successes recorded because of their patronage.

The EVC/CEO of NCC said it is the faith the consumers have demonstrated in the sector that made the Management of the Commission to declare the 2017 as the Year of the Telecom Consumer to celebrate the primacy of the consumer and to rededicate itself to addressing the challenges of the consumer.

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NCC Ignores Telcos, Says No to OTT Regulation



Prof Umar Garuba Danbatta, NCC’s executive vice chairman

Nigerian Communications Commission [NCC] has said it can’t regulate Over The Top Technology [OTT] for now, refusing the telecom operators’ call that the technology be regulated in the country.


OTT operators are firms like Facebook, WhatsApp, 2go, Instagram and others who ride on social media to reach their audience.


Prof Umar Garuba Danbatta, NCC’s executive vice chairman disclosed this Thursday when a delegation from the United States [US] embassy paid a working visit to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.


‘’ The operators are saying we should do something about the OTT. That the OTT is riding on their infrastructure to make money and all other. But it will be very difficult to regulate OTT,” Prof Danbatta said.


According to him, though NCC understands the operators’ plight ‘’ the truth is that there is nothing we can do for now’’.


The NCC EVC, said he had interacted with head of telecom industry’s regulatory agencies in US and some other advanced economies and he was indirectly told that OTT couldn’t be regulated for now.


He also said NCC couldn’t regulate content in the social media as this falls within the jurisdiction of its sister regulatory agency, the National Broadcasting Commission [NBC].


He also told the US embassy delegation which was led by Rachael Atwood Mendiola to convince US investors to come and invest in Nigeria’s telecom industry as this is the best time to stake their money in the country.


‘’We want investors to come and invest in telecoms infrastructure across the country. I believe they will make their money in no time. Our investment environment is becoming friendlier, our security has improved greatly and the Federal Government had promised some number of incentives for would-be investors.


‘’ Plus we still have access gap. We still have about 200 locations across the country yet to have telecom services. This has cut off about 40million people, including people in my local government in Kano. So, investors can come in and take this opportunities.’’, he said.


But he said the NCC was working to see the access gaps blocked in the next two years.

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Nigeria to Increase Mobile Broadband Subscriptions to 50% by 2020



NCC headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria

By peter oluka

Nigeria has disclosed plans to increasing the current coverage of the active mobile broadband subscription per 100 from 20.95 per cent to 50 per cent by 2020.

This was disclosed by Mr Bolaji Akinremi, minister plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN, while delivering Nigeria’s statement on ‘Information and Communications Technologies for Development’ at the UN General Assembly’s debate in New York.

Active mobile broadband subscription is the number of subscriptions to mobile cellular networks with access to data communications – like the Internet – at broadband downstream speeds of 256 kilobit per second.

Nigeria’s mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants increased from 1.0 inhabitant in 2012 to 11.7 inhabitants in 2016.

Akinremi said Nigeria recognised the direct impact of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) on the wellbeing of Nigerians.

“The Government of Nigeria recognises the reality that Information and Communications Technologies has direct impact on the nation’s ability to improve the economic wellbeing of its people.

“The Government of Nigeria is committed to facilitating universal availability and cost-effective access to communications infrastructure and promoting utilisation of ICT in all spheres of life.

“Nigeria is committed to achieving cutting-edge global ICT standards, encourage rapid ICT penetration among all socio-economic levels.

“The Government of Nigeria is also committed to increasing the current coverage of the active mobile broadband subscription per 100 from 20.95 per cent to 50 per cent by 2020.

“Nigeria is committed to promoting and encouraging local production of ICT hard and software so as to reduce import dependence and generate foreign exchange by exporting to the regional and continental markets”.

He said that involving developing countries in the ICT revolution would bridge the wide gap of access to information among people.

According to him, if the information gap keeps widening, the possibility of attaining sustainable development by 2030 is not certain.

“It is in this vein that Nigeria further calls on Member States to consider giving Information and Communications Technologies a pride of place in the education curriculum. By so doing, they will undoubted bridge the digital divide,” Akinremi added.

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