Ernest Ndukwe, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) has listed the integrity of any organization as crucial in stakeholder communications in the Nigerian telecom industry.
Ndukwe who said this at the recent Timex Communications Summit on Legislative Communications which ended at the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja, said the NCC has for depended on its integrity as an agency to engender credibility of its information for is various stakeholders.
He said effective stakeholder communication is critical in achieving stakeholder support and endorsement for any organization in carrying out its mandate.
“Since the globally acclaimed transparent frequency auction of 2001, the Commission has sustained transparency in its activities and we must say that this has rubbed off creditably on the Commission’s communication with its stakeholders and indeed on Nigeria’s reputation abroad in this sector”, he said.
He listed key stakeholders of the Commission that are considered very critical in its communications to include the Consumers, the government, the service providers, the media, the international community, among others.
He said the regulator’s job in an open liberalized market is typically very demanding and encompasses far-reaching and multi-disciplinary issues, and that advances in telecommunications regulation, and massive expansion of the network would continue to demand effective communication to keep all the stakeholders abreast of our regulatory processes and actions.
In the case of the Consumer, he said Commission has put in place special structures to ensure that the needs and desires of the consumer are taken care of and for the Commission, the consumer is the main object, the subject and the reason for our being; hence the place of the Consumer as the KING is sacrosanct which is explained in the quantum of communication that is directed at the Consumer.
He said communications with the consumer is very expressive in two major programmes, the Telecom Consumer Parliament and Consumer Outreach Programme where the Commission engages in an interactive session, where the consumers of telecom products and services are given the opportunity to freely express their views about the services they enjoy, in the presence of the service providers, the regulator and the media.
“A whole lot of enlightenment and usage education are formally provided to the consumers, through seminars, support for advocacy groups that promote consumer education and awareness, publications like frequently asked questions, and various issues about the telecom industry which are made public through the media”, he said.
Ndukwe said the impact of communications with consumers as stakeholders could be seen with the level of voice that consumers of telecom services have gained in the country, which is not comparable with consumers of any other service in the country.
“It is our considered opinion that our communication with the consumers are very effective to have resulted in this level of awareness among the consumers”, he said.
On the operators, he said apart from being part of the Telecom Consumer Parliament where they are called to account, the Commission also engages them in major interactive communication by way of regular consultative forum organized by the Commission with the media and the public in attendance. This open forum is designed to obtain the views of all the stakeholders before any regulation made.
He said the forum provides the operators the opportunity to give their perspectives to the regulations made by the Commission, and this approach the Commission has charted a predictable regulatory process which has given credibility to its communication with the operators.