NCC reaffirms commitment to protect telecoms subscribers, Reads Riot Act to Operators

Due to the incessant complaints from telecoms subscribers over poor service quality, especially during the yuletide season, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has restated its commitment to protect telecoms subscribers, and vowed to sanction any operator that violates its directives on consumer protection.

 

The Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau at NCC, Mr. Ismail Adedigba, charged telecommunications operators to comply with the directives given them on consumer protection or face severe sanction.

 

Adedigba, who said this during the 45th edition of the Consumer Town Hall Meeting, organised by NCC, in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, recently, said the directives became necessary to address the deluge of complaints coming from telecoms subscribers.

 

“I need to emphasise that failure of the operators to comply with the NCC directives on consumer protection, will attract appropriate penalties and sanctions,” Adedigba said.

 

According to him, the commission had been inundated with various complaints such as unsolicited text messages and call drops, including delay in delivering text messages and fast depletion of subscriber data before they are used up.

He said the commission had also received complaints on failure/refusal to roll over unused data at the expiration of data bundle by service providers.

 

Adedigba, said there were complaints of automatic renewal of data services upon expiration and activation/subscription to data and Value Added Services (VAS) without prior consent of the subscribers.

He also said there were complaints about call masking/refiling.

 

According to him, NCC in response to the complaints, decided to come up with the directives, in order to protect the consumer, being a consumer-centric institution that listens to subscribers.

”The NCC has taken a step on the issuance of directive to service providers on data rollover, which now enables consumers to roll over unused data for period of time, ranging from one day to seven days, depending on the data plan.

 

”NCC has also issued direction to service providers on forceful subscription of data services and Value Added Services (VAS), for them to desist from forceful/automatic renewal of data services, without prior consent of subscribers.

”The commission also developed 622 Toll-Free Line through which you can easily lodge complaints for any unresolved service issue to the NCC,” Adedigba said.

Adedigba said that with respect to call masking/refiling, the commission was working seriously to abate menace of the ugly development, including deployment of appropriate technology as a strategy to combat it.

 

The Chairman, Board of NCC, Sen Olabiyi Durojaiye said the programme was to enable a tripartite meeting of the regulator, operators and consumers.

 

Represented by Deputy Director/Head, Government and Public Relations Unit at NCC, Mr. Bashir Idris, Durojaiye said the meeting would enlighten telecommunications consumers and resolve pressing issues in the telecoms sector.

Adedigba said consumer is ‘King’ and as such, must be accorded the basic rights which include the right to be heard, right to be educated, right to choose, right to redress as well as right to safety.

 

In order to effectively address the myriad of challenges faced by telecoms subscribers and to effectively regulate the telecoms sector, the NCC had in February 2009, established The Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) with sets of objectives that will help address telecoms subscribers’ challenges, which range from poor service quality, incessant drop calls, inability to recharge mobile phones, fast depletion of data, to receiving of unsolicited messages.

 

Since its inception, ICAF, under the guidance of NCC, has identified several challenges and made appropriate recommendations on how best to address the challenges.

Determined to do more in promoting telecoms consumer satisfaction, ICAF recently held its 2018 fourth quarter open meeting with the theme “Progressing From Customer Service to Customer Experience-The Consumer ’3 Point of View”.

NCAA boss calls for regular interactions between Regulatory, Operators

NCAA boss calls for regular interaction with operators

The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Muhtar Usman, has advocated for regular interactions between the Regulatory Authority and the Airline Operators of Nigeria.

Usman made the call during a meeting penultimate week with the airline operators at his Aviation House office.

The meeting was to discuss various issues affecting the aviation industry and proffer ways to build on the laudable gains so far.

Among the issues that were deliberated upon was the directive by the NCAA to the airlines to meet the deadline to join the automation platform for seamless remittance of 5 per cent ticket and cargo sales charge.

Others are that airlines should take advantage of the window of Billing Settlement Plan, Simulator training, Aircraft Inspection, etc.

At the end of the meeting, the DG thanked all present and reiterated that all airline operations must be carried out within the ambit of the law.

There was a consensus that the meeting should be a monthly affair, to be held precisely every last Wednesday of every month.

All the scheduled commercial airlines attended the meeting led by the AON Chairman, Captain Nogie Meggison, while all NCAA Directors were present.

In the same development  the NCAA has said that it has sanctioned an airline, Lyxor International, a non-schedule, general aviation operator, for violating the terms of approved flight clearance for its type of operation.

The regulatory authority grounded the airline’s aircraft at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on February 16, for the violation of airspace regulation.

THISDAY learnt that the aircraft owned by a foreign airline operated domestic charter service, which is against the regulation, as the airline did not secure any approval from NCAA to do so, and according to the rules, foreign airlines cannot fly from one local airport to another, except on peculiar circumstances when NCAA grants it such privilege.

According to the Letter of Sanction written to the airline, “NCAA’s Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) on the February 16, 2017, during a routine ramp inspection of the airline’s Bombardier Challenger CL605 aircraft, found it culpable of the infraction.”