The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) on Monday hinted that they had launched a joint investigation into the series of consumer abuses in the telecommunication sector.
The two agencies in a statement jointly signed by their managements reported that their action necessitated by the need to protect consumers in the sector.
They clarified: “We announce the commencement of a joint regulatory inquiry into consumer issues in the telecommunication industry by the Nigerian Telecommunications Commission and the Consumer Protection Council.
“Today as a nation, we take a very important step with respect to protecting consumers and ensuring that the telecommunication industry remains robust, continues it leading role in our economic growth and expanding prosperity to citizens.
‘Indeed, the telecommunications industry has become one of the most vital to our economy, and in particular inclusiveness for a large and vast nation such as ours. As such, it is a matter of utmost importance and urgency that we pay the appropriate attention to growing the industry and protecting consumers.
“These two crucial objectives are not mutually exclusive. At the end of the day, we are regulators, and operators in the industry have a unified mutual objective, and that is to ensure service that consumers are happy with, and happy to pay for.
“This is the right thing to do. It promotes regulatory collaboration and all round protection. It also ensures regulatory clarity and eliminates possible multiple regulatory approaches to similar issues. This is good for industry and operators as well as investors always appreciate such clarity and stability”, they added.
The telecoms industry regulator and CPC stated further that the initiative was aimed at complementing the Federal Government’s commitment to Ease of Doing Business and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which prioritize people and firm but clear regulations that protects citizen, and promotes business and investment.
They stated: “This joint inquiry which is in further partnership with relevant security agencies is in part on account of incessant and continuing dissatisfaction and complaints by consumers. It is also in part in response to a resolution of the Senate of the National Assembly requiring investigation and remedial measures of vital service issues and grievances by consumers.”
Both NCC and CPC intend to keep abreast of this important issue to ensure enhanced operations and customer satisfaction.
According to the agencies, the scope of the investigation essentially includes service quality, service issues such as call masking, unsolicited subscriptions, difficulty with unsubscribing to billed value added services, and transparency in billing with respect to clarity, data roll over, disclosures about real consumption, deductions for value added services and other key telecommunications services.
They stated that the expected outcomes included better services, more transparent charges and increased customer service responsiveness by telecommunications operators.