NCC reviews regulations, seeks to protect telecom consumers

Umahi legacy

 



By Chimezie Godfrey

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, says review of regulatory instrument will ensure protection of telecommunication consumers’ interest.

This assertion was made by the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, NCC, Adeleke Adeolu at the close of the 3 days Public Inquiry on five (5) regulatory instruments of the Nigerian communication sector held 9th to 11th August, 2022 in Abuja.

Adeolu noted that the engagement had been very productive as it afforded the Commission the opportunity to perform its primary regulatory function, to review the industry and to ensure that the interests of consumers are adequately protected.

He said,”It has been very productive, I think at the end of the day this is our primary regulatory function which is to constantly review the industry and ensure that there are regulations in place and to ensure that the interest of the consumers are adequately protected. And also enables us to carry out our responsibilities set out by the Nigerian communication act to undertake what we call participatory regulation.

“You see in the last three days we have come up with the proper review of the regulatory instruments, five of them have been reviewed. In this three days of public inquiry, we looked at the regulation covering consumers practice, and we looked at other regulatory instruments. You can see that over the days we have presented our proposals to the industry, some of them have already made written comment to us, so we have reviewed those ones as well, so we are now presenting them to the wider stakeholders for additional commentary. And essentially what we have here is that we have agreed on the changes.

On the complaints by some of the industry players about multiple taxation, he noted that they are just fees allowed by the laws guiding the operations of the Commission.

“I think multiple taxation, these are fees for the administration for application process whereby licences have to be applied to us by law, to ensure that where advertisement and promotions are being run on telecommunication platforms they are done with responsibility, they abide by existing laws, and to ensure that the interest of consumers are protected.

“Now if you look at the rates for advertisements and promotions, these rates were set many many years ago, it does not reflect the current reality, and all we are only doing is bringing them in line with current trends in the country and the industry,” he said.

Adeolu cited the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), which has its own role to play as regulators of lotteries, adding that thesame way the NCC is mandated to regulate the communications sector in order to protect the interest of the consumers, among others.

“National Lottery Regulatory Commission have a role to play in ensuring that the interest of people participating in lottery are protected. And of course, they fix their charge for the purpose of carrying out their obligations under their act. The NCC on the other hand has the clear mandate to protect the interest of the consumers in running advertisements and promotions on telecommunication platforms,” he stressed.