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NCC, CPC Start Joint Regulatory Investigations In Telecoms Sector

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) have formally commenced a joint regulatory investigation into unwholesome practices by telecommunications network operators in Nigeria.

A statement on the joint session by the executive commissioner, stakeholders management (ECSM) of the NCC, Mr Sunday Dare and the director-general of the CPC, Babatunde Irukera, said the inquiry would look into consumer issues in the telecommunications industry.

“The joint inquiry which is in furtherance of the partnership with relevant security agencies is in part on account of the incessant and continuing dissatisfaction and complaints by consumers of telecoms services. It is also in part a response to a resolution of the senate of the National Assembly requiring investigation and remedial measures of vital services issues and grievances by consumers. Both NCC and CPC intend to keep abreast of this important issue to ensure enhanced operations and customers’ satisfaction.

“The expected outcome is to address the challenges and ensure the provision of better services, more transparent charges and increased customer satisfaction and service responsiveness by the telecommunications operators,” the statement said.

It pointed out that the scope of the investigation included service quality, service issues such as call masking, unsolicited subscriptions, difficulty with unsubscribing to billed value added services, and transparency in billing with respect to clarity, data roll over, disclosures about real consumption, deductions for value added services and other key telecommunications services.

The statement added: “We take a very important step with respect to protecting consumers and ensuring that the telecommunication industry remains robust, continues its leading role in our economic growth and expanding prosperity to citizens.”

Both NCC and CPC, it further said, emphasised that the joint regulatory inquiry into consumer issues in the telecommunications industry was the right step to take as they promote regulatory collaboration and all round protection.

“It also ensures regulatory clarity and eliminates possible multiple regulatory approaches to similar issues. This is good for industry and operators as well as investors who always appreciate such clarity and stability.  This is consistent and complimentary to the Federal Government’s commitment to ease of doing business and the economic recovery and growth plan which prioritises people and firm but clear regulation that protects citizen, and promotes business and investment.

“The expected outcomes are better services, more transparent charges and increased customer service responsiveness by telecommunications operators.  NCC and CPC have assembled a team of skilled operatives to discharge this assignment.

“However, for the success of this joint inquiry into the telecom sector, there must be cooperation of consumers, operators and other stakeholders, particularly with providing information as may be, and when necessary that could be relevant to the subjects of the inquiry,” it added.

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