20 February 2013

Nigeria: Group Plans Code of Ethics for Telecom Operators

Lagos — The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) on Wednesday said that the code of ethics for practitioners in the industry would be ready by the second quarter of 2013.

Mr Lanre Ajayi, the President of ATCON, gave the indication in an interview in Lagos. He said the Code of Ethics Committee had already submitted a draft code to the association.

Ajayi said the association would be sending the draft to a lawyer for review, after which it would be distributed to members for endorsement.

According to him, the code of ethics is designed to guide members as the association pushes for industry self-regulation.

"We are still working and talking on it. We are trying to self- regulate our members.

"The national executive council of the association has recognised the need for a voluntary industry self-regulatory process.

"This shall guide the activities of member companies in their dealings with customers and fellow member organisations.

"When you set a code of ethics and your members agree to abide by it, anybody that violates it is going to be penalised.

"You don't wait till the regulator uses the big stick, it is always better for the industry to self- regulate, to discipline itself, to earn the respect of the customers," he said.

Ajayi also said that the code of ethics was to ensure that member companies conducted their businesses with high degree of professionalism and in fair and ethical manner.

The ATCON official said the code would protect consumers from quackery as members would be bound by certain rules of professional and ethical conduct.

According to him, the code will ensure that complaints of unethical and unprofessional behaviour and practices by member companies are investigated and defaulting companies are appropriately sanctioned.

Ajayi said that the code of ethics would ensure that any identified infraction by a member company was remedied to the satisfaction of the customer or complainant.

"It will promote ATCON's image as a responsible industry association which other organisations can safely do business with its member companies," he said. (NAN)

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