Dr. Maida Unveils NCC’s Initiatives to Safeguard and Empower Telecom Consumers in Nigeria

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Dr. Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), emphasized the organization’s commitment to safeguarding consumers’ interests. Speaking at the 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair during the NCC Special Day, Dr. Maida highlighted the NCC’s dedication to ensuring consumers receive commensurate value for the telecommunications services they have paid for.

He reiterated the NCC’s acknowledgment of the significance of consumers and emphasized the imperative to protect and empower them. Dr. Maida stressed the NCC’s goal to provide consumers with access to high-quality telecommunications services while ensuring they are well-informed about their rights and responsibilities.

“We believe that an empowered consumer base is essential for driving demand and sustaining the growth of the local content value chain,” Maida said.

He affirmed that the telecommunications regulatory body is dedicated to consistently tackling the challenges encountered by Nigerian consumers. Emphasizing the commitment of the NCC, he stated, “We are devoted to safeguarding their rights and ensuring their satisfaction.” Consequently, he urged businesses and service providers to prioritize customer satisfaction and uphold the highest standards of service delivery.

“With our keen interest and commitment to consumer protection, the NCC has implemented measures to safeguard the interests of consumers and businesses alike.

“We have established a robust regulatory framework that promotes transparency, quality of service, and fair competition.

“Additionally, we have set up channels for consumer redress, ensuring that consumers can resolve disputes in a timely and efficient manner,” he said.

Dr. Maida highlighted that the NCC has implemented comprehensive programs under the Protect, Inform, and Educate (PIE Mandate) framework, specifically designed to benefit telecom consumers through various consumer-centric initiatives.

Consumer Education Outreach Programs encompass a range of initiatives such as the Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP), Telecom Town Halls on Radio (TTR), Telecom Consumer Conservation (TCC), Professionals’ Dialogue, Market Square Conversation, Village Square Dialogue, Television (TV) Dialogue, and participation in trade fairs.

For Consumer Complaints Management (CCM), the NCC has established multiple channels, including the NCC Toll-Free 622 Contact Centre, available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily except on Sundays and public holidays. Complaints can also be lodged through the Consumer Portal http://consumer.ncc.gov.ng, email (consumerportal@ncc.gov.ng), Consumer X account @Consumersncc, or by submitting written complaints to NCC Head Office in Abuja or any of the Zonal Offices in Lagos, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Kano States.

To curb unsolicited messages and nuisance calls, the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 Short Code was introduced in 2016, allowing consumers to activate FULL DND service by texting “STOP” to 2442 or PARTIAL DND service by texting “HELP” to 2442.

The development of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) facilitates consumers in switching networks without changing their original phone number.

The NCC collaborates with law enforcement agencies through an MoU to protect telecom infrastructure from vandalization.

A campaign against the sale and purchase of pre-registered SIM cards is emphasized, reminding consumers that it is a criminal offense in Nigeria.

The NCC provides directives on data rollover, mandating service providers to roll over unused data if renewed within specific time frames.

The Telecom Consumer Assistance, Resolution, and Enquiries (TELCARE) Desk at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja serve as a platform for consumer inquiries and complaint resolutions, fostering awareness of the Commission’s activities.

Harmonized Short Codes (HSC) have been introduced to improve the Quality of Experience (QoE) for consumers across all mobile networks, allowing them to use the same codes for accessing services, such as *310# for checking airtime balance, across all networks. This initiative, directed by the NCC on May 17, 2023, aims to enhance convenience and standardization for consumers using the over 224 million active mobile telephone lines in Nigeria.

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