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.