Nigeria telecoms consumers spend $6.6b on services

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said consumers of telecoms services in the country spent a colossal $6.6billion last year to access services from the telcos. It added that the figure is huge $1 billion jump over the $5.6 billion spent the previous year.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, who spoke during the official flag-off of its declaration of the year as NCC’s Year of Consumers, said the Commission, together with the regulator of the financial services sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has prevented the take-over of Etisalat by a consortium of local lenders over a loan of N200 billion.

He restated the commitment of the two regulators to ensure that the loan default payment issue by Etisalat is amicably settled in the interest of the industry, Etisalat’s over 20 million customers and the nation’s investment climate.

Though the matter has not been finally settled, the EVC said negotiations will continue among all the parties concerned.

“Let me assure that there is no cause for alarm regarding the matter; the regulators are on top of the situation and details of the resolution would be made available within the next couple of weeks.

“The NCC and the CBN have to intervene particularly in a manner that will not disturb the business operations of all the parties involved and in the larger interest of the nation’s economy,” Danbatta Danbatta said, adding that another has been  fixed for next week among the major actors.

“Today’s event is remarkable and more remarkable is that this year is dedicated to the telecom consumer. This is a management decision that compels us to seek to amplify our activities towards ensuring that the consumer enjoys a consumer experience that is enhanced and consistent in time and granted.

“Just as their patronage is important, they must not and cannot be taken for granted. NCC knows and recognises this. That is why 2017 and even beyond, the consumer will be our focus. NCC intends to inform and educate the consumer with the sole intent of protecting and empowering them to make the right decisions,” he said.

 

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