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NCC harps on official complaints channels, settles 98% consumer issues in 15 months

…Renews commitment to improving QoS, QoE

New report released by the telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has shown that it perfectly resolved ninety eight per cent (98%) of the total service-related complaints received from consumers within a 15-month period. The period spanned from January 2019 to April 2020, according to the report.

Besides this declaration, the Commission has reiterated its commitment to ensuring improvement in the Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) for the nation’s over 190 million telecom subscribers, even as the global community grapples with the challenges of containing the spread and management of COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Commission, in the period under review, 26,169 complaints were received and managed by the Commission to the satisfaction of the overwhelming majority of telecom consumers. Of that number, 25,575, representing 98 percent of the total complaints received were expeditiously resolved.

Many of the satisfied consumers reverted to either acknowledge the prompt resolution of their complaints or to thank the Commission for its intervention in service-related issues between them and their respective service providers.

A statement signed by the newly redeployed Director, Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, revealed further that the complaints were received through all the Commission’s official channels of communication. These include 24,481 complaints received through Commission’s Contact Centres; 1,007 complaints received through the NCC Consumer Portal; and 296 others received as written complaints submitted at NCC Head Office in Abuja and at the Commission’s five zonal offices in Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Kano and Ibadan.

Complaints also reached the Commission through its official email (ncc@ncc.gov.ng) while 366 of the complaints were transmitted to the Commission through its social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and the specially-dedicated Twitter handle for consumer issues (@ConsumersNCC).

Also, 19 complaints were also referred to the Commission during the period through the Twitter account of Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

In his remarks on the report, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, “the Commission is pleased to find that consumers are increasingly accessing the numerous complaint channels instituted by the Commission to resolve second level complaints brought to its attention.”

He averred that the NCC has emplaced all the channels to enable consumers to escalate to the Commission complaints earlier reported to their service providers that may not have been addressed promptly and/or satisfactorily.

“It is important to note that Commission’s actions in this regard is in congruence with NCC’s mandate to protect and defend the rights of the consumer, and to give concrete expression to its faith in the consumer as the lifeblood of the telecom sector, and therefore deserving of priority attention as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003,” Danbatta said.

While stressing that the Commission’s commitment to taking several steps, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, to continuously improve QoS both for voice and data services remains strong, the EVC inferred that such responsibility has become more imperative, in view of the outbreak of COVID-19 and the attendant necessities for containing the contagion, giving that telecom consumers, in their majority, have come to rely more on telecom services in order to cope with the restrictions to physical movement and close contacts.

Danbatta assured consumers of NCC’s readiness to sustain existing measures put in place to sustain improvement in QoS, in order to reduce incidents of complaints and to ensure the overall protection of the rights of the telecom consumer.

“Such measures include monthly engagement sessions with operators on QoS; quarterly QoS Industry Working Group  (IWG) meetings on QoS; continuous engagement with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Right of Way (RoW) issue; regular publication of QoS performance data on the Commission’s website; instituting benchmarking drive test across the country to measure performance of each operator; establishing new QoS measurement mechanisms for assessing operators’ performance across all states of the Federation, among others,” Danbatta emphasised.

The Manchester trained Electrical Electronics expert therefore assured telecom consumers of its readiness to address every challenge stifling robust delivery of telecom services, and he urged that: “telecom consumers should continue to report challenges about quality of service, first with their service providers, and if not satisfied with the handling of the complaints by service providers, the consumer may then escalate the matter to the Commission through various channels provided as mentioned above.”