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Shittu Frowns at Poor QoS, Urges Subscriber to Invoke ‘DnD’ Code

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Mr. Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications

Nigerians have been urged to join hands with the Federal Ministry of Communications and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) by being proactive in the fight against the much touted short comings, poor quality services, unsolicited SMS and unauthorized deductions by telecom service operators in the country, rather than name callings and transferred aggression being exhibited on the social media.

This advice was given in Abuja by Barrister Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications, while reviewing the Ministry’s efforts at enhancing the quality of service by telecom service providers in the country.

In a press statement by Victor Oluwadamilare, the SA, the Minister frowned at the substitution of name calling for good argumentation on the need for all hands to be on deck to checkmate the unwholesome and obvious detestable conduct of operators in the area of poor quality service, unsolicited messages and outright extortion.

‘’The social media should be put to more productive use in such a way to project the country well in the comity of nations and proffer enduring solutions to tame the monstrosity of epileptic services by telecom operators”, he quipped.

The Minister said that Nigerians have the right to complain about unsavory services they experienced in recent times from telecoms operators, but assured them that the Ministry is not folding its hands or shying away from its responsibility of ensuring that normalcy prevails in the industry, adding that the Ministry always put regulatory agencies on their toes to do the needful.

Rather than casting aspersions on the Ministry and the NCC for improper monitoring or not penalizing telecom operators by infuriated Nigerians, he said people should understand the workings of government and in turn appreciate the efforts of the regulators in ensuring that consumers enjoyed value for their money.

For the records, as part of his commitment to ensure quality telecom service, the Minster on March 8, 2016 read a riot act at a meeting with top management staff of all telecom operators in the country.

Issues discussed among others include Extortion of nigerian subscribers by telecom operators, incessant dropped calls on all networks, poor quality of Service (QoS), dead or silent calls and call tariff plans. others are deficiency in data penetration, roll out of 4G/LTE network, under-declared revenue and profit by telecom operators, disengagement of nigerian tax paying employees by telecom operators through outsourcing to foreign companies and discrepancy and discrimination against nigerian employees by telecom operators.

“In as much as I’m not holding brief for the telecoms regulatory agency, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), I know as a matter of fact many positive steps the Ministry in conjunction with the NCC have taken in the last one year to stem the tide of most of the subscribers’ complaints”, adding that the innuendoes to the effect that the Ministry and the NCC have been compromised, indolent and not capable of rescuing the Nigerian masses is far from the truth.

“While it may be a sad truism that poor quality service, extortion and other malfeasances by operators might have led to misconceptions and somewhat destroyed family ties, it will be wrong to use the social media to disparage genuine efforts of the Ministry and the NCC to beat the offending operators to line.

‘’What we required is complementary support of the Nigerian people in achieving an enduring quality service that will be a pride of all and promote the nation’s economy”, Barr. Shittu added.

The NCC, he said, has made the consumer the focus of its regulatory activities which explains the proactive approach the current management of the Commission has towards issues that affect the consumer and on a large scale the entire industry.

The Minister added that the NCC has carried out a technical review following widespread complaints by consumers about deteriorating Quality of Service (QoS) experienced from November last year to February this year and that the Commission has on the strength of the findings summoned the major operators to a meeting at which it warned that provision of poor quality services is not acceptable, the consumer cannot be short-changed.

Speaking further, he said that rather than continuing to insinuate that there is corruption everywhere, from the Ministry to the telecom operators, subscribers should stop being complacent, they should equally be alive to their responsibilities as discernible consumers by being proactive and possibly sue erring operator where a prima facie case could be established.

For the avoidance of doubt, the regulatory agency, the NCC has come up with an idea among its numerous efforts, with a ‘Do Not Disturb’ code (2442) to be used by subscribers. Failure to adhere to lodged complaints, the subscribers are advised to call a toll free line 622 for complaints management by the NCC.

In the same vein, Barrister Shittu only about three weeks ago presented a catalogue of complaints by the Nigerian subscribers to the top management of MTN led by its Chairman who came on a courtesy call.

 

 

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Telecom

NCC Hosts UNODC, Vows to Sustain Collaborations Against Cybercrimes

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will continue to collaborate with other government agencies and international partners towards stemming the tide of cybercrimes.

Mr Sunday Dare, NCC’s executive commissioner, Stakeholder Management, stated this on recently at the Commission’s Headquarters during an interactive session with representatives of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC.

Kamal Toure, the UNODC eLearning Project Officer and Patrick Boismenu, cybercrime expert, were at the Commission’s Headquarters as part of their assessment mission to West Africa to gauge how well Nigeria, Senegal and the Gambia are able to fight cybercrime.

Mr. Dare noted that the Commission performs its regulatory functions in a way that ensures that its licensees take the steps necessary to combat cybercrimes.

He explained that “The role of the NCC here is to do an audit and make sure that we have all the ISPs having active databases and meeting the six months (data retention requirement) as stipulated in the license provision.”

Responding, Patrick Boismenu stated that UNODC is willing to provide assistance in needed areas to ensure that ISPs comply with requirements for data retention because of the crucial role data plays in fighting cybercrimes.

“Our goal is to ensure that cybercrime investigators have access to the tools they need to do their work,” Mr Boismenu explained.

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TCP: NCC Says Consumer Satisfaction, Robust Sector Top Priorities

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By Ugo Onwuaso

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is determined to carry out its regulatory functions to ensure that the companies operating in the industry were healthy.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the executive vice chairman of the Commission, made the remark during the 81st edition of the Telecoms Consumer Parliament (TCP) held in Lagos.

He added that “it has taken steps to ensure that the telecommunications sector remains vibrant”.

Mr. Sunday Dare, the executive commission, Stakeholders Management, NCC, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman, said that “the commission would carry out its regulatory functions to ensure that the companies operating in the industry were healthy”.

The Chairman said that the regulatory body had made interventions to prevent disruptions in the consumer’s experience.

According to him, “NCC has commenced aggressive enforcement of the Code of Corporate Governance to ensure that licensees in the industry continue to operate as viable businesses.

“The consumer deserves all the credits for the past and indeed the future successes of this industry.

“The Nigerian telecommunications consumers are at the centre stage of our regulation.

“We at the NCC, being consumer centric regulatory organisation have decided to celebrate consumers of the Nigerian telecommunications industry consistent with the eight point agenda that I set out when I assumed office in 2015.

The number two and six items of the agenda are the core drivers of the NCC year of telecommunications consumer initiative.

“While the number two item of the agenda addresses improved quality of service.

And item six is concerned with protection and empowerment of the telecommunications consumers,” he said.

He also stated that all NCC’s initiatives such as SIM card registration, Mobile Number Portability, Broadband policy implementation, development of 2442 and 622 short codes as well as various consumer awareness campaigns were to ensure consumer satisfaction and protection.

Danbatta added that the commission would continue to look out for and protect the interest of the consumer without compromising the interests of other stakeholders in the industry.

Mr Abdullahi Maikano, director, Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB) of NCC, said that over the years, TCP had proven to be an innovative way of bringing all stakeholders together to discuss and proffer solutions to industry issues.

Maikano said that the TCP had continued to occupy a pride of place in the commission’s activities.

He said that NCC would continue to provide significant resources to ensure that the parliament is held regularly for the benefit of consumers and the industry.

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Banks’ Working for Early Sale of 9Mobile — Fidelity Bank Boss

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Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, managing director of Fidelity Bank Plc, has said that all the banks whose money is trapped are working together for smooth sale of the telecoms on or before the end of the year.

This is as the 180 days’ window handed down to the receiver managers of 9Mobile draw nearer.

Explaining industry issues in a recent interactive session with select editors and publishers in Lagos, he said “As you are aware, the creditor banks came together to appoint a new Board and Management for the company, with the Deputy Governor of the CBN as chairman of the Board”.

“The company has good fundamentals with about 22 million subscribers, and it is also very strong in data. Our interest is to ensure the company remains a going concern so that it can attract interested buyers. The banks are working collectively on this,” Fidelity bank chief executive revealed.

It would recalled that at the heat of the $1.2bn syndicated loan default crisis which nearly grounded the former Etisalat, both the telecoms regulator and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), considered the volume of subscribers and intervened.

Part of the intervention was the appointment of Dr. Joseph Nnanna, former Deputy Governor of the CBN to head the chair the board and prepare it for potential investors between 90 to 180 days.

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