The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami has directed the Board and Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to resolve the issues of illegal data deduction and review downwards, the price of data in the country within five days.
Pantami gave the directive during the oat taking ceremony of the new Board member and Executive Commissioner and stakeholders management to the Minister, Barr. Adeleke Adewolu, on Tuesday in Abuja.
The Minister pointed out that there were numerous complaints from Nigerians regarding illegal data deduction and high price of data, adding that he had personally experienced illegal data deduction.
He charged NCC to facilitate the penetration and expansion of 3G and 4G and urged the Commission to design a target on how mobile operators can expand penetration of 3G and 4G in the country.
Pantami stated that government is aware of the challenges the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) experience in their businesses such as vandalism and issues of Right of Way (ROW).
According to him, “the way we pursue the mobile operators to do what is right, we should also work together to protect their interest and resolve the challenges operators face.
“I commented last time on the issue over illegal data deduction. This is not the issues that is worrying me but trying to defend the operators on one hand and the commission on the other hand.
“Please go sit down review that issue. It is very important. And I want to get a feedback of that report in the next five working days because the complains from Nigerians is beyond what I can handle as at today.
“People are complaining and it happened to me; I recharged my phone, my data line used it and I believed that what I used was not up to 20 per cent of what I purchased. So that is an issue that is very important to deal with.”
Pantami charged the new Commissioner, Adewolu to use his experience and support the board to fight corruption, adding that the success of the ministry and NCC was the success of Nigeria.
He, however, said that the main agenda of NCC was to protect the interest of customers and the ministry’s priority was to protect Nigerians.
He noted that the mandate of the Ministry had expanded towards improving the economy of the country through ICT hence, there was a need to work together for the progress of Nigeria.
“It is our collective responsibility to make sure we give 100 per cent support to MrPresident to deliver his key mandate.”.
The Minister commended NCC on the success recorded in the deactivation of unregistered Sim cards, 35 per cent broadband penetration and operators compliance in payment of fines as well as remittance of the amount to the government.
Mr Adewolu, the new Executive Commissioner, NCC, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and promised to carryout his duties diligently.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the Oath of Office was administered by the Director of Legal Unit, Ministry of Communications, Mrs Oluwagbemisola Ajibade.
edited by Sadiya Hamza
NCC urges telecoms operators to uphold complaints framework for stakeholders’ protection
In a statement by Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, its Director, Public Affairs, NCC stated that it had carried out a revision of the framework stipulating the processes for resolving consumer complaints arising from service delivery by operators.
Adinde said that the revision was done in recognition of the 2019 revised framework at a programme attended by representatives of telecoms stakeholders.
He stated that this was in order to achieve greater effectiveness in the sector and to strengthen the protection of telecoms consumers and other stakeholders.
Adinde said that the framework was tagged Complaints Categories and Service Level Agreements ().
“In the reviewed , when a telecom subscriber experiences fluctuation in service, such as instability in the internet services, the subscriber shall be contacted by the service provider within four hours of reporting the incident.
“The disruption shall be restored within 72 hours.
“If the matter is escalated to the commission, the consumer is expected to receive feedback within two hours, while the commission ensures the issue is resolved within 48 hours.
“Additionally, the subscriber shall be offered an apology and the expiry date of his data bundle shall be extended by the number of days the disruption lasted,” he said.
Adinde added that billing complaints by consumers would be revised within 24 hours while compensation would be paid where necessary.
“Under the broad category, ‘billing’, complaints connected to any unexplained change in account balance resulting in a drop in balance, due to overcharging subscriber’s account for calls, SMS, and MMS shall be resolved by the operator within 24 hours.
“Should there be a need by the subscriber to escalate the complaint to NCC, the Commission shall ensure the matter is resolved within 12 hours.
“The subscriber shall be notified of resolution and where applicable, compensated with five per cent of overcharged amount which is payable daily to the consumer for every 24hrs of default.
“Similarly, the revised agreement stipulates that, when there is call interference or challenge with voice clarity, resulting in the inability of a subscriber to carry out uninterrupted conversation, the subscriber shall receive response from the service provider within four hours of reporting the incident.
“The service provider shall ensure the challenge is resolved within 72 hours.
“Should there be a basis for the subscriber to escalate the matter to NCC, the commission shall revert to the subscriber within two hours of receiving the report and ensure that the matter is resolved within 48 hours in line with the Quality of Service (QoS) Regulations, ” he said.
He said that the regulation also mandated service providers to redeem incentives won by customers promptly.
“Under the new s, in the case of sales promotion and advertisement, when a subscriber does not receive, within stipulated time, bonus or incentives won during promotions, the service provider shall resolve the matter within 12 hours of receiving the complaints.
“Should the matter be escalated to NCC, the commission shall ensure it is resolved within six hours in line with the guidelines on advertisement and promotions.
“As in all cases, the subscriber shall be communicated on steps taken towards resolution of complaints,” he assured.
He said that the NCC has agreed with stakeholders that when a subscriber was unable to connect to call centre or service provider help line, the matter shall be treated by the service provider within four hours of receiving the report.
“Where the matter is escalated to the commission, NCC shall ensure that the issue is resolved within two hours of receiving the complaints, and steps taken towards resolution shall be communicated to the subscriber in all circumstances.”
On matters connected to faulty terminals, such as defective devices that stifle a subscriber’s ability to use phones, modems, routers and related devices appropriately, Adinde said that such incidents shall be resolved based on terms and conditions for all devices.
Meanwhile, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that the 2019 review of the , in collaboration with operators and other stakeholders, was essentially to strengthen effective and prompt resolutions of consumers’ complaints.
“This would be done by reviewing the timelines, broaden and streamline complaint categories and establishing applicable sanctions on operators that fail to meet the timelines stated for resolving issues related to services delivery to their consumers,” the EVC said.
Danbatta stated that matters relating to Base Transceiver Stations (BTS), such as problems arising from installation and location of base stations, masts or towers, shall be resolved by the concerned operator(s) within the 48 hours, as stated in the revised .
He said that if the Commission was notified by the affected consumer, the matter would be referred, to the Commission’s Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department, which shall ensure resolution of the matter within 48 hours and inform the complainant accordingly.
He added that the document, which is available on the Commission’s website, contains 17 broad categories and about 90 sub-categories.
He enjoined all stakeholders, particularly the telecom consumers, to create the time to study the document in order to understand their rights and privileges.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
NCC begins implementation of ASF in telecoms industry
Danbatta said that the ASF, which took effect from July 15, was in order to further ensure transparency and accountability in regard to effective regulation and prevention of anti-competitive behaviour.
He explained that NCC was committed to create an enabling environment for competition among operators to ensure the provision of qualitative and efficient telecoms services as stipulated in Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003.
According to him, determination on the Implementation of an ASF for the Nigerian Telecoms Industry, was developed via a consultative process in 2015.
It has undergone a comprehensive review by the regulator in collaboration with telecoms licencees and other critical industry stakeholders,” he said.
He called on telecoms licencees to henceforth submit their Regulatory Financial Statement (RFS) to the commission in line with the new ASF, within seven months after the end of the lincencees’ financial year.
Danbatta expressed optimism about the framework noting that the new ASF would promote an industry environment that fosters open and transparent financial reporting, while ensuring that charges for telecom services were cost-based and non-discriminatory.
“With the commencement of the implementation telecoms licencees are henceforth obligated to submit their Regulatory Financial Statement (RFS) to the Commission in line with the new ASF, within seven months after the end of the licencees’ financial year.
“The submission of RFS, in line with the new framework, is currently limited to and mandatory for only six telecom licencees.
“This will subsist for an initial period of two years after which the regulator may review the list to include other operators,” he said.
Stating reasons for limiting compliance to six operators for now, the EVC said the decision was taken to ensure necessary structure was in place to review and analyse the accounts before applying the new framework to all licencees in the industry.
He also stated that any other licencee willing to prepare its financial statements in line with the new framework was allowed to voluntarily do so.
He noted that the Commission might exercise its discretion to demand that a licencee should prepare and submit separated account where it was determined that the activities of such a service provider were deemed critical to the overall well-being of the Nigerian telecoms industry.
He advised that for full and effective implementation of the Framework, every operator under the ambit of accounting separation is required to prepare an Operator-specific Accounting Separation Manual (OASM).
He, however said that the OASM contained policies, principles, methodologies and procedures for accounting and cost allocation, which must be submitted to the Commission on or before October 30, for regulatory approval.
He said that licencees would also be required to prepare their financial and non-financial reports in line with the guidelines for the ASF while reports shall be furnished by the licencees for every account year beginning from the 2020 financial year end.
Danbatta said that as part of operators’ licencing conditions, the Commission required licencees to prepare, in respect of each complete financial year or of such less periods as might be specified, separate accounting statements for all their activities.
“The commission considers the ASF as an effective, least evasive and less costly solution to implement and meet its regulatory objectives.
“The implementation of the Framework is also a key deliverable for the Commission in the new National Broadband Plan (NBP), 2020-2025,” he said.
The EVC informed that the commission took into consideration the inputs from industry stakeholders and had provided capacity-building for operators and for relevant staff of the commission to ensure seamless implementation of the Framework.
He reiterated the commitment of the commission towards continually developing policies, initiatives and programmes aimed at boosting healthy competition among telecoms operators in the country.
He said that the commission was also to ensure that consumers continued to enjoy efficient and affordable telecom services.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)
NCC clamps down on vendors of pirated books in FCT
The director, who was represented by the Assistant Chief Copyright Officer, Mr Chukwuemeka Ngene, said pirated books seized included the Legendary ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe.
According to him, others are copies of Ola Rotimi’s masterpiece ‘The Gods Are Not To Blame’, ‘The Drummer Boy’ by Cyprian Ekwensi, as well as pirated works of some contemporary authors.
He said the raid was part of the nationwide intensified enforcement operations against pirated works launched by the organisation to protect the nation’s creative industry.
He noted that the operation was made possible because of effective intelligence gathering mechanism of the commission.
“The commission under its current director-general has scaled up its enforcement activities to ensure that piracy becomes unattractive for those who saw it as a means of making quick money.
“As part of the NCC’s zero-tolerance stance against piracy in all its forms, we are working closely with the Nigeria Police.
“The commission is poised to ensure total sanity of the creative industry to ensure that right owners enjoy the fruits of their hard labours,” he said.
He said that those arrested would be made to face the wrath of the law in line with the enabling Acts of the board.
He, however, urged vendors of books, films and music materials to ensure that they deal directly with the original producers and right owners.
Edited By: Joe Idika and Dorcas Jonah / Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
Danbatta pledges further accelerated growth of telecommunications industry in Nigeria
Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), says he is committed to further accelerate the growth of telecommunications industry in Nigeria.
Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs of NCC, said in a statement on Sunday in Lagos, that Danbatta’s assertion was in view of the agency’s role as a key driver of Nigeria’s digital economy vision for the next five years.
Adinde quoted Danbatta as saying, “As a commission, we are committed to challenging our current achievements.
“Consequently, we are poised to work more with the National Assembly and other necessary stakeholders in order to ensure we take Mr President’s digital agenda for the country to the next level in the next five years.”
The statement said that Danbatta was awaiting the Senate’s confirmation of his reappointment by President Muhammadu Buhari for another five years term.
“His re-appointment followed the acknowledgement of his outstanding performance in the last five years when he appeared before the Senate Screening Committee on July 15.
“The committee is expected to report the outcome of the screening to the Senate Committee of the Whole House for confirmation of Danbatta’s re-appointment during the next legislative sitting,” he said in the statement.
Adinde also said that Danbatta, during the screening, had demonstrated his deep knowledge of the industry, and extensively discussed his scorecard since he assumed office as the executive vice-chairman of NCC on Aug. 4, 2015.
He said that the committee members had applauded Danbatta for his sterling performance and exceptional leadership qualities, which, they said, had helped in accelerating the growth of the telecommunications sector.
Adinde said: “Danbatta, who gave convincing accounts of his stewardship in the last five years, said the diligent implementation of NCC’s auspicious strategic Eight-Point Agenda, which he put in place when he assumed office in 2015, provided the basis for most of the commission’s achievements.
“These, especially, are in the areas of service availability, accessibility and affordability.
“The EVC reeled outstanding achievements under him in the past five years and provided relevant industry and macro-economic statistics to illuminate his efforts and strides in the areas of the sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Quality of Service (QoS) delivery, broadband infrastructure deployment, broadband penetration, effective spectrum utilisation, consumer empowerment, technology innovation as well as the commission’s efforts with respect to curbing fraudulent Subscriber Identity Management (SIM) registration and 112 Emergency Number toward ridding the country of insecurity, among others.”
He said Danbatta thanked the lawmakers for their supports over the last five years.
Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)