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The Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mrs. Maryam Bayi, has said the commission is daily inundated with over 500,000 complaints from consumers of telecommunications services due to poor services. This translates to 15 million complaints in a month.
Bayi said when compared to the large numbers of telecommunications users across the country, the number was low. According to him, a quite a number of users might not even know that they have the right to complain.
The director spoke in Abuja during NCC fourth quarter meeting and open forum of the industry consumer advisory forum. She said NCC was doing everything possible to make sure unsolicited text messages come to an end.
On the huge amount lost through drop calls, Bayi noted that NCC actually had provided key performance indicators (KPIs) on the call success rate, on drop calls and interference.
"We have operators' guidelines on how to bring about proper quality service and in the event that these complains are still going on and therefore we have established two contact centres in Lagos and Abuja and asked them to provide call across the country to ensure that the issue of consumers complaints are dealt with through the automation of our system."
She, however, added NCC was aware that the service providers face some challenges like the subscription level that had gone up because over 75 per cent of Nigerians now carry telephones.
"Also we have power problem though I'm not holding brief for them. Because we are regulator, we have to see both sides of the coin. Also they have challenges with infrastructure like damages to base stations. We are making sure that our enforcement team daily to enforce compliance and that consumer issues are resolved once and for all," she stated.
While underscoring the sovereignty of consumers, she added that if consumers were not happy, the telecommunications industry could not survive.
Bayi also said: "Repeatedly for five years, Nigeria was noted as the fastest ICT industry growth in the world according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). It was because of drop call problems that made us to bring the number portability so that when you are not satisfied with one operator you can port to another operator and this will put operators on their toes. This is in the interest of consumers."
In his remarks, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Mr. Okechukwu Itanyi, said drop calls were caused by poor quality of service adding that NCC had taken steps to work with operators to improve the quality of service. "We have the key performance indicators in place and we told the operators that if they do not meet these KPIs, they will be penalised as we have done that before and we are in a position to do that again if operators fail to meet our KPIs." he said.