Telecommunications service consumers in Edo State have expressed fears over the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)'s planned introduction of mobile money transaction, saying the unreliable internet connectivity of service providers would be a major impediment.
Some of the consumers, who spoke during the NCC telecoms consumer parliament forum in Benin City, expressed pessimism over the practicability of the policy in the state, raising fears that bother on connectivity, confidence and unconducive environment for it to thrive.
However, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) management has assured the consumers that it would closely monitor the service providers to ensure that consumers are not short-changed in any way.
Speaking at the forum in Benin City, the commission's Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said the gathering was meant to give all stakeholders including the consumers and operators the opportunity to interact.
"It is meant to be an interactive session where consumers would raise questions and the operators to provide answers to questions raised. At the end of the day, it is for the NCC to come up with policy to address these issues. And today, we have also invited the CBN since we are talking about cashless transaction in the country", he added.
Represented by the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Mr. Ikechukwu Itanyi, Juwah gave the assurance that the commission would not hesitate to sanction any of the operators which service delivery was found to fall below expectation.
"We have been working on improving quality of service with service providers in the past two year. The issue of connectivity is something that is of major concern to the commission and to all stakeholders.
"And we are doing our very best to work with the operators to improve the situation. And we hope it will improve this year and if it does not improve, we have instrument that we use to enforce they do the right thing. We will work with them and if that does not work out, we can sanction them and there are other steps we can also take to improve service delivery to consumers", Juwah said.
On its part, the CBN said the challenge of connectivity was still a major challenge in Lagos where it was being test-run as a pilot project.
The apex bank, which was represented at the forum by Mrs. Monica Adeyemi, educated consumers on the enormous benefits of the cashless policy, when fully operational. However, she said, "I must say that the connectivity is a challenge. But we are trying to overcome these challenges quickly as possible".
Meanwhile, representatives of all the service providers present at the forum have expressed readiness to give smooth service delivery to consumers, especially on the planned mobile money transaction.