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NATCOMS calls for NCC, NBC merger

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Lagos  –  The National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) on Wednesday urged Federal Government to merge Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
The group made the call in a statement signed by its National President, Mr Adeolu Ogunbanjo, and in Lagos.
It called on the Minister of Communication, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, to as a matter of urgency, facilitate the merger in the overall interest of the country.
“Putting it succinctly, the industry has remotely converged in view of the fact that, with your phone, you can make calls, watch videos and send messages, browse the internet, among other things.
“The new minister, should without much ado, pursue the needful by making the golden difference and actualise the merging of NCC and NBC for the overall benefit of Nigerians,” it said.
The statement also urged the minister to put in place a Subscriber’s Compensation Policy Plan for compensating subscribers anytime operators performed below the key performance indicators parameters set by NCC.
It stated that the current practice where telecommunication operators fell short of performance indicators parameters and were fined huge amounts, which went to government coffers, was highly exploitative.
It said that the practice was unsavoury to the subscribers, who suffered the ‘’injury and the brunt’’ of poor quality service and other unauthorized deductions.
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“In the spirit of consumer-centrism, we will want the new minister to look into the following – poor quality of telecoms services, with reference to the vexed issue of dropping/breaking calls.
“The undelivered but paid for text messages, data services deductions, internet poor quality; unauthorised call credit deductions, all without adequate reward and compensation.
“Restoration of land lines must be a key policy focus of this administration, backed by a lower level inter-connect rates. The current telecoms sector inter-connect rates does not encourage the use of land lines.
“Take drastic action against the lingering issue of unsolicited text messages that most of the time, lead to forced activations and regular unauthorised credit deductions.
“The minister should ensure that telecoms operators supply subscribers with an irrevocable code to unsubscribe whatever messages that comes through their network, just as it is provided for with electronic mails,” it said.
“While government makes an income from subscribers on voice calls, data, internet services, etc, which amounts to billions of Naira yearly, Nigerian subscribers spend a minimum of N212 billion every month on telecoms services,” it added.
The association, however, urged the ministry and its subsidiaries to protect consumer by making sure that they got free airtime compensation periodically.
It said suggested that to reduce cyber-crime, the minister should interface with law enforcement agencies to make mobile phone cyber-crime step-by-step reporting process less cumbersome.
According to it, the approach will encourage the reporting of mobile phone cyber-crime as well as make tracking of fraudsters easier. (NAN)

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