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NCC Targets Achievement of New WCRD Theme

………. Launches TELCARE 

The Nigerian Communications Commission has set fresh targets in its consumer rights protection programme for the year in line with the theme of this year’s World Consumer Rights Day, “Empowering Consumers Though Clean Energy Transition”.

This was announced yesterday at the Commission’s event held to commemorate the Day.

While taking stock of its performance in the past year, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta , was upbeat stating that: 

“Exactly one year ago at the Nigerian Communications Commission’s Head Office in Maitama, I unveiled the Commission’s year-round plan for implementing initiatives for realizing the theme of 2022 World Consumer Right Day, which was “Fair Digital Finance”. 

“In the period between March 15, 2022, and today, NCC carried out its mandate in a manner that further strengthened consumer protection while safeguarding the interest of telecom consumers.

“In that period, in addition to continuing to implement the policy that ensured improved access to broadband connectivity, the Commission, through Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) constantly alerted consumers to cyber threats that could have led to the compromise of their financial profile through the execution of malicious codes by threat actors.

“By the time cashless banking fully took off in late 2023, the connectivity platforms on which electronic transactions ride have become robust to the extent of being able to absorb the surge in demand for cashless transactions.

Encouraged by the previous year’s success, Danbattadeclared that the Commission is poised to realize the theme for this year, which is Empowering Consumers through Clean Energy Transition”.

He considered the theme as particularly relevant to Nigeria against the backdrop of the recent licensing of the 5G spectrum which he admitted uses about double the energy requirements of the 4G.

He projected that, as a consequence of the licensing, “Nigeria will witness an increased deployment of telecom infrastructure to satisfy the wireless service coverage requirement for 5G services.   

“This anticipated growth in the number of 5G coverage will trigger high demand for data services which will result in increased energy consumption for the network infrastructure especially the Base Transceiver Stations (BTS), Internet of Things (IoT), 5G Customer Premise Equipment (CPEs) and mobile devices for example. 

“This requires the industry to look for green and sustainable power solutions required for the connectivity of IoT devices and network optimisation. 

The EVC therefore challenged Mobile Network Operators to cut dependence on fossil fuels and come up with renewable energy, modern and more energy efficient networks. 

“Transitioning to a renewable energy source like solar power will significantly reduce the menace of pollution from individually-powered generators. This will be zero carbon emission from the BTS just as noise pollution would be a thing of the past.

“In this regard and for the industry stakeholders, especially consumers, to benefit from the advantages of renewable energy, the Commission is working on a policy to encourage the adoption of renewable energy sources by operators.

He also promised that the Commission will continue to support research and innovations that contribute to transitioning to renewable energy sources.

Danbatta, highlighting the proactive nature of the Commission’s regulations and programs also mentioned a few that are already in place and well tuned in the direction of energy efficiency and renewable energy. These include regulations on collocation and infrastructure sharing, energy efficiency as a condition for Type Approval and annual renewable energy themed ICT competitions. 

A regulation on e-waste being formulated in concert with other relevant agencies with a view to minimizing carbon emissions into the environment is in the works. 

In addition to the above, the Commission plans a comprehensive sensitization through its Consumer Affairs Bureau to create awareness and enlighten consumers about the regulator’s interventions.

The Commission also used the opportunity to announce the launching of its Telecom Consumer AssistanceResolution and Enquiries (TELCARE) Desk, in the Arrival Lounge of the Nnamdi AzikiweAirport Abuja.

The TELCARE Desk serves as an additional platform to receive and facilitate the resolution of consumer complaints; provide a means through which consumers and citizens can make inquiries on consumer issues;provide a platform for advocacy on any thematic consumer issue or concerns; to further enhance awareness of the Commission’s activities.

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