A recent consumer parliament meeting in Nigeria

By Lukas Ajanaku, Lagos, Nigeria

A telecommunications subscriber body in Nigeria, the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), has urged the regulator of the telecoms industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to stop behaving like a toothless bull dog which only barks but cannot bite.

NATCOMS is making the charge against the background of poor telecoms services and what has been described as an “outright rip-off of customers” by ISPs and pay television service providers in the country whose major interest in collection of money for services, most times, not rendered.

Deolu Ogunbanjo, president of NATCOMS made this charge at the stakeholders’ forum organised by the NCC in Lagos, adding that the regulator should be firm in its decisions in the course of protecting the customers.

“The Regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission must be firm in enforcing the rules and regulations not only to GSM and CDMA service providers, but also to Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) and Pay Television Operators (Cable TV).

He says the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and pay television operators (Cable TV) companies have been short-changing their subscribers by not compensating them during system outages, weather downtimes, network malfunctions and other periods of no service delivery.

However, their products and services are billed and charged weekly, monthly or quarterly as usual, even when there are issues and concerns expressed by subscribers, there is no consideration. “This must be addressed,” Ogunbanjo said

According to him, the NCC should, as a matter of urgency, introduce the pay-per-use technology to cover internet and pay television services. “We task the Nigerian Communications Commission to introduce the Pay As You Use Technology to also cover Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) and Pay Television Operators (Cable TV), so that subscribers are not on the receiving end all the time,” the NATCOMS chief said.

NATCOMS has also been agitating for improved telecoms service delivery, noting that the nation’s telecoms infrastructure needs to be improved to improve quality of service from mobile operators.

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