TELCARE: NCC Opens First Consumer Centre at Abuja Airport
By our reporter
Telecom consumers in Nigeria have always agitated for more robust communications mechanism and faster resolution of complaints and challenges by the leading telecommunications companies in the country, including Glo, MTN, Airtel and others.
They often called on the regulatory authorities to bridge the gap and ensure that telcos provide quality services at best rate and address issues in record time.
These consumers and users can now channel their feedback first-hand and engage more directly with the regulatory authorities with the launch of the first Telecom Consumer Assistance, Resolution and Enquires (TELCARE) Centre by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Abuja.
The unveil of the centre spotted at the public concourse in the Terminal C of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport was as one of the series of events to mark the 2023 International Consumers Rights Day celebrated by the Commission in Abuja last Wednesday.
This was disclosed in a statement by Reuben Muoka, the NCC Director, Public Affairs on Monday.
According to the statement, the Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande, who unveiled the initiative, said the launch of the TELCARE, was the beginning of the helpdesk project expected to adorn some airports and other similar public locations across the country.
Akande said it the move was one of NCC’s strategies for expanding the channels of engagement with telecom consumers.
He noted that the project was a deliberate effort by the Commission to amplify its commitment to promoting the interest of consumers using various engagement strategies and initiatives to protect, inform, and educate telecom consumers.
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While expressing gratitude to the Management of the Federal Airport Authority Nigeria (FAAN) for its support in ensuring the successful establishment of the centre, Akande reiterated that the platform would serve as an additional channel for consumers to make enquiries on consumer issues, allowing the Commission to provide advocacy on consumer concerns as well as create awareness regarding Commission’s activities.
The Commission, under the leadership of its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, has continued to re-engineer its strategies and structures to make them more effective to engage critical stakeholders to address unfair practices including but not limited to matters relating to tariffs.
In his goodwill message, the Regional General Manager, FAAN, Kabir Mohammed, said that the Management of FAAN was delighted to partner with the NCC on the initiative, as the passengers and airport users will have the opportunity to resolve issues bothering them while in transit.
Mohammed also noted that the first-hand interface with consumers would not only expedite the feedback mechanism in addressing telecom consumer issues but also curb unfair practices within the system and further bridge any communication gap between the consumers and its regulators.
NCC’s Head, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Ayanbanji Ojo, speaking through the Head, Consumer Protection and Advocacy at NCC, Clem Omife, expressed optimism about the expected success of the initiative.
Ojo noted that many consumers transiting at the airport are already taking advantage of the Desk even before the launch of the TELCARE Desk, to make enquiries or lodge complaints.
“This is a pilot project, and the Commission will ensure that the TELCARE Desk is established in more strategic locations around the nation.
We believe that through adequate education, information sharing, and the provision of layers of channels for complaints and redress, we can safeguard the interest of telecom consumers and innovatively promote the prospect of more excellent consumer experience,” Ojo said.