NCC vows to increase consumer-centric campaign, Allays fears of Operation Disruption, in Etisalat

By Odili Christel

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has assured of NCC resolve to increase efforts

at providing better services to telecom consumers.

Prof. Danbatta stated this while speaking at the 80th edition of” Telecom Consumers Parliament (TCP), at the Yar’Adua Center, Abuja.

He declared that buoyed by the growth recorded in the telecom sector and the increasing patronage, NCC has declared” 2017 the year of Nigerian Telecom Consumer”

The Vice Chairman who vowed to remain ” the Consumer Czar” also assured that the “NCC will continue to improve on the quality, ubiquitous and affordable services to the consumer, increase NCC’s consultative engagement with the consumer to always Service the need and desire of the consumer positively.”

The Commission, he said will also ensure that ” services yield result of improving consumer satisfaction by supporting better access to life changing and improvement opportunities, access to governance Service, business and career development, quality education and social engagements”

The event which attracted several consumers, according to him, was designed to improve on consumer information and education, as well as create room for interactions between service providers and telecom consumers.

He announced that the Commission has taken steps to ensure that the sector remains vibrant, while guaranteeing that companies operating in the industry remain healthy.

” In addition, to ensure that Licensees in the industry continue to operate as viable businesses, WE have commenced aggressive enforcement of the NCC’s Code of Corporate Governance” he said

The EVC said though the Commission never anticipated the crisis would befall Etisalat, it was resolute in ensuring that it does not jeopardize the interest of the consumers.

‘‘This year 2017 is a year of the consumer. We never anticipated the challenge Etisalat is currently facing and because of the lives of the 21 million consumers at stake, NCC and the CBN came in to intervene.

‘‘As I speak, Etisalat is still running, despite the proposed plan to change the name. In spite of the challenges, we have kept it running for the sake of the consumers. I can assure you that no single staff of Etisalat has been fired, we will make sure all of them are protected and the services not disrupted.’’

Also speaking on the matter, the Director, Consumer Care at Etisalat, Mr. Plato Syrimis, also dismissed the fear of the staff and subscriber of Etisalat, saying that the change of name would have no impact on the operation and service delivery of the company, insisting that no consumer would lose his line.

‘‘Don’t expect any dare consequences because of the proposed change of name. The truth is that Etisalat has been operating from the Middle East shareholder until it pulled out of Nigeria two weeks ago.

‘‘We have been operating and still running. That will not affect our services. It is unfortunate that this happened but will not affect the market, which had been in operation for many years.

‘‘Airtel changed name six times and that did not make it lose its market that is what is expected to happen in Etisalat. It is only the brand name that is going to change, all our services , innovations, staff are not going to be lost. You are not going to wake up one day and lose your line.

‘‘What is happening for the past 24 hours is not going to affect Etisalat services, what happened two weeks ago is only going to affect the brand name, that is what is likely to change, if it does change.

The name on the door will change but the services, innovation, customer focus, customer services will always be there,’’ he further explained.

On the TCP, the EVC said the event was unique and remarkable because the Commission had decided to celebrate the consumer of the Nigerian telecom industry this year in consistent with the 8 Point Agenda of his administration. He commended the consumers for consistently spending a significant portion of their disposable income on telecommunication services, even as it continues to improve the quality of life, businesses and social engagements.

In recognition of the consumers’ contribution to the industry, Dambatta promised to strive further in ensuring improved quality of service, ubiquitous and affordable services to the consumers.

He also assured that the Commission would entrench a consumer-centric regulatory governance and policy administration and also ensure consumer information flow and education as well as ensure consumer satisfaction by supporting better access to life changing and improvement opportunities and social engagement.

‘‘We are however grateful to consumers for responding positively to the telecommunications revolution. It is really the investment of the consumer through patronage of services that has encouraged build out and supported services provision. There is need to celebrate and recognize the consumer as the Boss of the industry and as Boss he who pays the piper dictates the tune.

‘‘The Commission has taken steps to ensure that the telecommunications sector remain vibrant and has carried out its regulatory functions to ensure that the companies operating in the industry are healthy.

Where necessary, NCC has made interventions to prevent disruptions to consumer experience,’’ he added.

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