Apparently worried by the torrents of complaints occasioned by what has been described in some quarters as high data and voice tariffs and unreliable internet service, the Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers (ATCIS) has added its voice to the call for the intervention of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The advocacy group, according to the media team of the NCC, also appealed to the Commission to ensure there is no automatic fix charge and non-charges for drop calls, expressing readiness to collaborate with the NCC to promote the rights, interests and welfare of the ever-growing telecoms subscribers in Nigeria.
Speaking through its President, Prince Sina Bilesanmi, at a meeting with NCC in Abuja, the group says since one of the agenda of the Commission is to promote subscribers’ satisfaction; it is poised to advance a mutually-beneficial relationship with the Commission on all fronts, with respect to the protection of the over 185 million subscribers under its watch.
“We believe that working together; we will also bring the regulator closer to its core stakeholders (consumers) and make demands occasionally on behalf of the consumers. We believe this is a quicker way of getting to the regulator and to bridge the communication gap and promote co-operation,” said Bilesanmi.
The NCC, however, said it was working with operators to improve the quality of service despite the many factors that deny subscribers the value for their money.
“We are all stakeholders and subscribers in the industry. Despite some challenges, we are always working with the operators to improve the quality of service,” said Hafsat Lawal, Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, who led the NCC’s team to receive ATCIS delegation on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta.
Lawal also stressed that the issue of quality of service (QoS) is a function of many factors, some of which are environmental. For instance, it is doubtful if “any operator will deliberately with its consumers experience poor network or drop call on its network because those issues will affect the revenue of the operator.”
It would be recalled that the Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Pantami, had directed the Nigerian Communications Commission to compel telecommunications service providers to reduce the prices of data being offered subscribers.
According to Yusuf Abubakar, an aide of the minister, Pantami gave the directive to the regulator when he received a report on the implementation of the ministry’s short-term performance targets.