The Ebonyi state Governor, Chief David Nweze Umahi on Thursday urged telecommunication industry in Nigeria to desist from indiscriminately billing customers as such billing has brought distrust, apathy and frustration among members of the public.
Gov Umahi emphasized that telecommunication industry plays key role in Information Communication Technology thereby advancing the growth and development of Nigeria especially in the present economic situation in the country.
Gov Umahi represented by his Deputy, Barr. Kelechi Igwe at the 79th edition of the Consumer Outreach Programme with the theme: “Information and Education as a catalyst for Consumer protection” in Abakaliki, said the the opportunities offered by the new media if harnessed can put the nation on a path to economic revitalization.
According to him “If the NCC as the ombudsman could properly regulate unsolicited text messages, ring tunes and arbitrary reductions of monies by service providers from users, it will be a catalyst for economic growth.
The Governor who expressed dismay over the way and manner the service providers treat their customers most often without apology poses great consequences to the growth of the industry. He blamed ignorance on the part of the consumers for the alleged misconducts of service providers.
“So, I think that these complaints are what NCC as a body has to look at with a view to encouraging the service providers to resolve the issues”, he stressed, revealing that the state government as a result of its unequivocal commitment to developing the ICT sector and has therefore established the Ebonyi Telecom Infrastructure Compliance Agency to ensure there are legal and proper ways of developing Telecom infrastructure in the state.
Earlier in his address, the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau in the NCC, Abdullahi Maikano represented by his deputy, Joseph Atoyebi said the commission has identified Consumer education as one of the most-effective mechanism that provides and guarantees consumer protection.
He stated therefore that to ensure that the Telecoms consumer is well Protected, Informed and Educated (PIE mandate), the commission has developed series of initiatives with the main goal of empowering Consumers with appropriate information that will ensure that their rights are not only protected but their choices provide them with value for money.
He further stressed that the commission recognizes that the rights of every telecoms Consumer must be protected and one of the fundamental rights of the telecom consumer is the right to be informed and educated.