…As NCC, Stakeholders Jointly Commemorate World Consumer Rights Day
…Nigerian Telecoms Boasts Over 226 Million Voice Customers, 156 Million Internet Customers As Of 31 January 2023 – Adeleke Adewolu
Written by Rashidat Olushola Okunlade
The independent National Regulatory Authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) continues to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to consumers as it marked World Consumer Rights Day, 2023 with stakeholders in the telecommunication industry.
NCC has been responsible for creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry as well as ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout the country.
This year World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) marked another giant step NCC is taking to protect consumers’ rights.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner Stakeholders Management stated that: “The World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is undoubtedly one of the most important dates in the NCC’s annual calendar of events. It is a day we set aside to celebrate our most important stakeholder group, that is, our Consumers. This year, we are pivoting our celebrations around a theme that allows us to design more environmentally sustainable service models so that we can truly serve our consumer better, and I am indeed pleased to welcome you all to this opening session.
The theme of WCRD 2023 is “Empowering Consumers through Clean Energy Transition“. This theme allows us to carefully examine the unintended side-effects of our critical social infrastructure on our environment. The Nigerian telecoms industry today boasts over 226 million voice customers and over 156 million internet customers as of 31 January 2023. These consumers leverage communications infrastructure for social interaction, health services, access to education, banking, etc.
Adewolu said as consumer volumes and service diversity continue to grow, network operators have to roll out more infrastructure for coverage in new, mostly rural areas, and for network expansion in already saturated urban markets. Emerging technologies like 5th Generation (5G) mobile services will also require more infrastructure. These infrastructure components are mostly powered by fossil fuels to ensure 100% availability. Without pre-empting the planned discussions about the environmental impacts of these activities, it is important that we ask ourselves some pertinent questions.
“Are there more environmentally conscious means by which we can power network infrastructure and reduce our carbon footprint? Telecoms infrastructure has helped to reduce other environment-impacting activities such as travel – can we quantify these benefits and do they offset the negative impacts? Have we convinced everyone about the safety of electromagnetic emissions? Can we find a balance between environmentally-friendly network operations and cheaper services; or do we have to choose one over the other? How can we improve the quality of the environment through our network services and how can we grow public consciousness about responsible services using telecoms infrastructure?
“As responsible stakeholders, we must find answers to these and other nagging questions and I am pleased that the organizers of WCRD 2023 have carefully designed a program of events that will help us do just that”, he concluded.