16 December 2012

Nigeria: NCC Seeks Intense Grass Root Consumer Rights Campaign

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has acknowledged poor rural sensitization efforts on consumer rights as a foremost challenge toward the efforts of the agency in realising its mandate of creating the desired awareness on consumer rights and privileges.

To this end, the commission has sought the collaboration of active advocacy groups in the country to exert energy towards raising the consciousness of telecommunication subscribers through their advocacy initiative to engage service providers when their expectations were not met.

Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the commission Dr. Eugene Juwah who made the call in Lagos while addressing a one day capacity enrichment workshop for consumer rights advocacy groups and strategic dialogue with regulators in Nigeria noted that notwithstanding the numerous achievements of the commission in the past, a profound chasm exists in the area of consumer awareness, enlightenment and education in rural communities where there is principally limited access to consumer information and education.

Juwah who was represented by Mr. Okechukwu Aninweke zonal co-ordinator, Lagos zonal office explained that primary objective of NCC is to protect, inform and educate telecommunication consumers and provide policy formulation and strategic intervention for the industry.

He stated that the commission may not successfully achieve that task thus the need for strategic alliance with the consumer advocacy groups adding that the workshop has become necessary to further reinforce existing partnerships geared toward consumer protection and satisfaction.

The EVC pointed to various successful collaboration and support of specific consumer advocacy groups such as the Arrive Alive Road Safety Initiative (AARSI) for awareness creation and sensitization on dangers of distracted driving via the use of mobile phones.

He assured of the commission's continued support that would promote understanding of the consumer and the relevance of consumer advocacy groups towards the enhancement of consumer-centricity in the country.

According to him the commission sees the consumer as a major stakeholder in the telecoms industry and also defines such as any individual, corporation, community or institution who subscribes to the services of the telecoms operators.

He stated that there has been a paradigm shift from mere service provisions to ensuring that consumer satisfaction ranked highest in priority in the provision of ICT goods and services.

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