NCC mulls telecom tariffs simplicity




The Nigerian Communications Commission Executive Vice Chairman Aminu Maida says the commission has extracted commitments from Mobile Network Operators to simplify their tariffs for subscribers.

On Tuesday, Maida disclosed this during a media engagement with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association, NITRA Abuja Chapter.

According to the EVC, the Commission is committed on initiating a practical approach to tackling challenges facing Nigeria’s telecom sector.

Maida pledged that the Commission will take up first-level consumer complaints to ensure quick intervention and improve service delivery.

“All the MNOs have committed to simplifying their tariffs. We have to reduce the number of tariffs out there. When people come to choose, it is not because they don’t have time to go through all the tariffs but because it is clear and you know what you are signing on to.

“And the NCC is looking at bringing regulations to formalize the simplicity of tariffs.

“We are moving away from end-of-month reports to almost real data on the sector but not only on system level performance such as drop calls, the speed of data, latent or ability to set up calls, we are also moving away from second level complaints from the consumers to also analyzing the first level complaints that come in through the operators.

“We are not going to take over consumer support, but we tend to analyze trends of consumer complaints. To see what people are complaining about, how long does it take them to be resolved. So that we can intervene very quickly, all in the spirit of holding operators in the sector accountable, why are these complaints lingering?” he said.

On his part, the President of NITRA Abuja Chapter, Blessing Olaifa, lauded the EVC for his remarkable leadership and for seeing that Nigeria’s telecom industry serves citizens better.

“We’ve started seeing your leadership in the industry. We urged you to continue in this momentum”, he said.

Earlier, Engr Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, while reacting to questions from journalists, blamed the vandalization of fibre cables as a hindrance to achieving the Nigeria National Broadband Penetration Plan, NNBP, 2020-2025 target and quality telecom services.

He, however, said it has turned to satellite as its approach to achieving a broadband penetration target.

“There is consistent vandalization of telecoms infrastructure all over the country.

“Every day, major operators suffer multiple cable cuts nationwide. Some day, it could be 50, 60, 70. We get 100 of these cable cuts every month.

“For instance, the road projects break fibres and cables across the country.

“To achieve the NBPP, the Commission has turned to satellite broadband like Starlink and others that are coming into the country to meet up with its target”, he said.

Meanwhile, in his closing remarks, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, called for more partnership with the media for the Commission to deliver its mandate.

“As the EVC has said, Kindly work with us in partnership and Collaboration. Hold us accountable, give us feedback”, he said.