By Gabriel Agbeja
Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says Nigerian telecom consumers spent $6.6 billion in 2016.
Danbatta disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja during the launch of the NCC Year of Consumer.
He said that in 2015, the Nigerian telecom consumers spent 5.6 billion dollars, adding that consumers’ contribution had made the success stories possible in the sector.
“That’s why today’s event is remarkable. More remarkable is that the year 2017 is dedicated to the Nigerian Telecom Consumer,’’ he said.
He said that NCC this year intends to inform and educate consumers with the sole aim of protecting and empowering them to make the right decisions.
He said that a robust media programme would accompany the initiatives in this campaign through the year providing unique and timely information to all.
“That is why in 2017, and I dare say and even beyond, the consumer will be our focus.
“The NCC is mandated to monitor the quality of service and ensure it conforms to acceptable standard.
“A management decision that compelled us to seek to amplify our activities toward ensuring that the consumer enjoys a customer experience that is enhanced and consistent in time and quality.
“We must remember that these consumers together have made all the success stories speak about in the telecom industry today,“ he said
According to him, the event is remarkable because the Nigeria Telecom Consumer is centre stage.
As part of the launch, the commission announced Mr Ali Nuhu, an actor and producer popularly known as King of Kannywood of Hausa movies and Ms Helen Paul, a broadcaster and stand-up comedian as the “Faces of the Nigerian Telecom Consumer“.
The Minister of Communication, Mr Adebayo Shittu said that the ministry was working on formulating policies frameworks and guidelines on protecting ICT consumers.
Shittu said that government had actively engaged key stakeholders to ensure quality of service and consumer rights.
“Our goal is to fully balance between consumer rights and rights to privacy.
“Also to facilitating inter-Governmental Consultations on ICT matters to avoid unnecessary disparities in developmental structures and standards in Nigeria.
“Government is also working to create digital awareness with the objective of increasing the capacity, confidence and trust Nigerians have in digital lives.
“ICTs are invaluable to the process of governance, business, education, health among others,“ he said.
Shittu said that government was intensifying its adoption of ICT to provide better response to the citizens’ demands and improve service delivery to make the administration more efficient.
“I am delighted to be invited to be part of the celebration of the flagging off of the NCC 2017 year of the consumer.
“This is timely in view of the fact that the date coincided with the Wold Consumer Right Day (WCRD) celebration”.