Mr. Efosa Idehen, Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC (in suit), and Other Officials of the Commission at the Forum Photo: NCC

New TCC: NCC holds maiden Campus Conversation at UniAbuja

*The Nigerian telecoms regulator says Campus Conversation is one of its several initiatives and programmes to deliver on its consumer protection mandate, as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003 and related regulations

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to recent restructuring and rebranding of the telecoms regulator’s current consumer outreach programmes, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has held the maiden edition of the Campus Conversation at the University of Abuja (UniAbuja), in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

ConsumerConnect reports the Campus Conversation is being featured as an important part of the NCC’s new Telecom Consumer Conversation (TCC).

Mr. Efosa Idehen, Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB) at NCC, while speaking at the event, which held on the Main Campus of UniAbuja at the weekend, stated the Commission as a consumer-centric telecoms regulator has always been at the forefront of protecting the interest of the consumers in the country.

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Idehen said over the years, the Commission has embarked on several initiatives and programmes to deliver on its consumer protection mandate, as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, and in line with other subsidiary legislations, guidelines, directions and determinations so as to proactively address consumers’ concerns.

The NCC Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau said as a modified outreach programme, Campus Conversation takes life from NCC’s consumer protection and empowerment agenda.

This, he stated, is stipulated in the Commission’s Strategic Management and Vision Plans, as well as extant policies and well-conceived decisions of the Management.

The NCC disclosed the objective of the Conversation is to ensure that telecoms consumers on University campuses are adequately informed and educated on their rights and privileges.

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The Commission says this effort is aimed at empowering consumers to acquire knowledge required to take informed decisions, and protect themselves from unwholesome practices from service providers.

Idehen further said of the initiative: “Essentially, this maiden edition of our Campus Conversation is kicking off here at the University of Abuja today, as part of our strategic effort at creating awareness among the University students on their rights and obligations as telecoms consumers, as well as sensitising them on the many initiatives of the Commission designed to enhance consumer protection and empowerment.”

The NCC team at the event, led by the Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau, took turns to educate the University community on Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) registration, benefits of National Identification Number (NIN)-SIM integration, cybersecurity and related online protection issues, among other initiatives of the NCC.

The regulatory Commission also noted that it enlightened the members of the academic community on the various consumer-centric activities of NCC.

These include the NCC Consumer Complaint Toll-free Number 622; the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) Short Code 2442 instituted to manage unsolicited messages; and the National Emergency Toll-free Number 112, which every citizen is expected to know and use during emergencies.

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Similarly, the NCC stated it has constructed over 20 Emergency Communication Centres (ECCs) where 112 calls are received and escalated, and the facilities are operational in different states of the Federation and FCT.

The visiting team as well distributed other Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials printed in bookmarks, handbills and stickers to the participants at UniAbuja.

The IECs cover a wide-range of topics on consumer concerns, including Consumer Bill of Rights, Complaints Management Process, Mobile Number Portability (MNP), SIM Registration, Obligations of Telecoms Service Providers and the Consumers, and Tips on Managing Data Usage, said the Commission.

The event is said to have offered a rare opportunity to the students and other members of the University community to interface with the Commission.

The NCC team responded to questions and comments relating to the participants’ experience with telecom services.

Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, represented at the forum by Dr. Evans Ashigwuike, Head of Department (HOD) of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, commended the NCC for the elaborate enlightenment programme hosted in the university community.

The regulator noted that the Vice-Chancellor described the sensitisation programme as highly beneficial to the students.

Prof. Na’Allah assured the Commission that the University would ensure the students, who attended the Consumer Conversation pass the knowledge gained and the IEC materials circulated by NCC to their fellow students for effective knowledge-sharing and education.

According to NCC, the TCC is now segmented and targeted at different consumer groups, comprising the Village Square Dialogue, The Telecom Public Sphere, The Professionals’ Dialogue, Campus Conversation, Market Conversation and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Sensitisation.

Aside from TCC, other strategic outreach programmes of the Commission, delivered through its Consumer Affairs Bureau, include Consumer Telecom Town Halls on Radio, a phone-in radio dialogic programme to educate consumers at the grassroots; Telecom and The Citizen, a bi-monthly Twitter Live Chat targeting telecoms consumers that are active on the social media; and Telecom TV Dialogue, a monthly television-based discourse on topical telecoms issues in the country.

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