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NCC stresses consumers’ role in protection of telecoms infrastructure, others

A Cross-Section of Participants at the Event Photo: NCC

*The Nigerian Communications Commission emphasises the telecoms consumers have a major role to play in complementing ongoing efforts at ensuring effective protection of telecoms infrastructure in the country

*Sensitises consumers on illegality of pre-registered SIM Cards and importance of NIN-SIM integration

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has emphasised the telecommunications consumers have a major role to play in complementing efforts at ensuring effective protection of telecoms infrastructure in the West African country.

The telecoms regulatory Commission noted this is important to sustain and improve on the quality of service delivery by the service providers.

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Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs, disclosed the Commission made this request and assertion at a recent sensitisation programme it organised at Wannune, Tarka Local Government Area of Benue State.

According to the Commission, aside from the role of the law enforcement agencies in protecting telecoms infrastructure, the consumers, who are the subscribers and ultimate users of telecoms services, have an obligation to do everything to protect telecoms infrastructure in their environment.

These include the Base Transceiver Stations (BTS), the underground fibre optic cable, as well as associated infrastructure.

Vandalism of infrastructure and poor quality of telecoms service delivery

Addressing audience at the programme at Wannune, Amina Shehu, Director of Zonal Operations at NCC, decried the problem of vandalism caused to telecoms infrastructure which often result in poor quality of service delivery to the end-users.

Shehu stated: “One of the major challenges to quality of service that operator provide to you is vandalism of telecoms infrastructure, such as Base Transceiver Stations (BTS).

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“Others are theft, hostility from some host communities, which have continued to pose a major setback to the industry.”

The Commission’s Director of Zonal Operations also said: “Therefore, it is imperative for the public to regard telecoms facilities as collectively-owned infrastructure that are crucial and essential for the provision of efficient and acceptable telecom services.

“The more reason these facilities need to be adequately protected.”

While imploring the indigenes of Tarka Local Government Area of Benue State to ensure that they protect telecoms facilities in their communities, Shehu, represented at the event by Abubakar Usman, an Assistant Director, Zonal Operations of NCC, further enjoined the consumers to always alert law enforcement agencies close to them once they suspect any act of vandalism, theft or other suspicious activities directed at telecoms infrastructure because such nefarious activities have implications for quality of service delivery in the communities.

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Shehu further underscored the centrality of telecommunications sector to the economy as  she also informed the audience that in the last 15 years, telecoms has been a major contributor to economic growth and development in Nigeria.

The Director Zonal Operations also said the Commission would continue to collaborate with relevant agencies and keep sensitising the consumers on their role in ensuring the security of telecoms infrastructure.

Correcting misinformation about Electromagnetic Frequency and human health

An issue Shehu discussed in her speech was the misinformation about Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) radiation emanating from telecommunications infrastructure which she asserted was not harmful, according to studies conducted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

She stated that the overall objective of the event is to sensitise members of the public on the need to protect telecommunications infrastructure, and more importantly, to correct the misconception people have on the effect of radio magnetic waves on human health.

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“So, the Commission is saying again to you that there is no scientific evidence yet that shows that radiation from telecom masts constitute health hazards to human and we want you to help spread this information to those that are not here,” she said.

During the event, participants were also enlightened on the illegality of pre-registered Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards, the imperatives of proper SIM registration, the importance of National Identification Number, NIN-SIM linkage exercise.

Some NCC’s facilities to enhance consumer experience

The consumers were also informed about facilities provided by the Commission, which they can use to improve their telecoms experience and quality of life in general.

These include the NCC Toll-free Number (622); the 112 National Emergency Number; and the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 short code for managing cases of unsolicited text messages, among others.

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Meanwhile, Chief Gandeorun Orokaa, Paramount Ruler of Wannune, who attended the event, thanked the Commission on behalf of the participants for bringing the sensitisation programme to the community to educate the consumers on sensitive consumer-related issues as well as correcting wrong notions and clarifying misconceptions.

Chief Orokaa also called on the indigenes to support the NCC in protecting telecoms infrastructure so as to ensure that quality of service improves in the areas.

The event ended with an audience session, where questions and answers were asked, and observations and recommendations were also made on several aspects of telecoms services.

The Commission added the Local Government workers, village heads, community leaders, students, women leaders, as well as Staff of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) attended the event.

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