NCC Headquarters in Abuja, FCT

NCC urges telecom firms to improve QoS, offer affordable data prices to consumers

*Administration reduces RoW charges below N145 per linear metre, some states waive charges out rightly, says NCC EVC Prof. Umar Danbatta

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the authorities reduce the Right of Way (RoW) payments below N145 per linear metre, while some states have waived same the charges out rightly in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has urged telecommunications companies (telcos) to reciprocate the reduction in RoW by making data prices more affordable to telecom consumers.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive of NCC, said this Friday in his address to participants in the First Virtual Edition of the Telecoms Consumer Parliament (VTCP) held at the NCC Headquarters in Abuja, FCT.

ConsumerConnect reports the NCC Executive Vice-Chairman, at the event with the theme, “Impact of COVID-19 on Telecoms Service Delivery”, remarked that in view of the present administration’s to reduce RoW charges below N145 per linear metre, whereas some states waived the charges completely, it has become obligatory for telecom operators to reciprocate the gesture.

Prof. Danbatta said: “The Commission is hopeful that with the reduction in RoW, which will automatically result in reduction in capital expenditure (CAPEX) by the network operators, telecom companies will sooner or later reciprocate the gesture by making their services in particular, data services more affordable to Nigerians.”

According to him, the event was organised, taking into cognizance the dynamics of the global pandemic, the Federal Government’s directives on physical distancing, and other measures in place to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

The Telecoms Consumer Parliament, he stressed, also provided an opportunity for industry stakeholders to have a quick look at how the pandemic is impacting service delivery in the telecommunications industry, which currently provides the digital platform for the economy to remain afloat.

Danbatta further stated: “As we all are aware, telecoms is highly capital intensive, and as such, continuous network upgrade and expansion are very key to operators’ ability to deliver topnotch QoS (Quality of Service) to their consumers.

“For instance, if operators are not able to expand or they are incapacitated to expand and upgrade their network in the face of spike in traffic, as occasioned by the pandemic, it will definitely have potential grave impact on Quality of Service delivery.”

He stressed that in spite of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus, “we on our part have also not relented to ensure that the quality of telecom services is sustained during and post COVID–19 period.”

Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner Stakeholders Management at NCC, on the occasion warned against the activities of cyber criminals, while urging the people to remain vigilant.

Adewolu said: “You will agree with me that while access to high-speed broadband connectivity is getting more pervasive and available to Nigerians to improve efficiency in their daily activities.

“Associated with this increased use, cyber criminals, cyber hackers or cyber fraudsters – whose stock in trade is to perpetuate criminality on the Internet has heightened since the outbreak of COVID-19.

“These cyber criminals defraud unsuspecting internet users who now, more than ever before rely on broadband internet to reach friends, clients and partners.”

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