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NCC Says Consumers Remain its Focal Point

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Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said the Commission will abide by all the tenets of consumer rights in its day-to-day activities.

NCC Says Consumers Remain its Focal Pointncc

It said that with consumers’ interest and how they could get better quality of services is the commission’s focal point.

Dr. Henry Nkemadu, director,  Public Affairs, NCC said the EVC’s statement underpins activities of the regulatory agency, which has manifest oversight functions over the various network operators in Nigeria, as Nigeria joins the rest of the global community to mark the World Consumer’s Right Day (WCRD) on March 15, 2020.

He quoted the EVC as saying that the NCC had put in place a series of initiatives to always address the concerns of and protect the interest of the consumers in line with the theme of this year’s WCRD: ‘The Sustainable Consumer.’

For instance, the Commission has, over the years, hosted the flagship Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP), where consumer issues are discussed extensively in a high- profile session where the regulator, operators, and consumers interact and answers got in the process. Eighty-eight of such parliaments have been held so far in the major cities across Nigeria.

Besides, no fewer than 110 Consumer Outreach Programmes (COPs) have been held.

The event holds monthly in urban centres in the country.

Also, Consumer Town Hall Meetings (CTM), which exclusively holds in rural communities, has been well received across the land. So far, 53 of such events have taken place.

There have also been Elite Enlightenment Campaigns targeted at professional organisations during their yearly conferences. This is done to carry along the high- profile professionals, who may not have enough time to participate in the TCP, COP, and CTMs which hold regularly.

There are campaigns too to empower the Nigerian youth through information and awareness creation regarding their rights and obligations within the Nigerian telecom industry as well as apprising them about the consumer protection initiatives of the Commission.

“We participate in trade fairs where we engage the consumer on a one-on-one basis,” the EVC said.

According to the EVC, the Commission has developed and produced consumer education materials on major telecom issues for distribution.

The developed factsheets are translated into the three major languages (Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba) including Pidgin.

Such materials cover the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 campaign, Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) Registration and Replacement, role of NCC in consumer protection, among others.

The Commission has also put in place different channels for lodging consumer complaints. These include:

  • The NCC 622 Toll-Free Number for escalating unresolved complaints to NCC contact centre and for seeking redress is working. The centre opens from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. every day except on Sunday and national public holidays. There has been consistent campaign on the 622 NCC Toll-Free Line.
  • Consumer Portal – The portal is an alternative online channel for lodging complaints and making enquiries. The portal is available 24 hours and can be accessed via: www.ncc.gov.ng/consumer
  • Management of twitter account (@consumersncc) for disseminating information to consumers. The twitter account is updated with current topical issues of interest to consumers and it currently has 10,700 followers (consumers).
  • Consistent campaign has attracted 22,487,849 subscribers on DND services as of December 2019.
  • Regular monitoring of service providers’ helplines to ensure that the threshold set by the Commission is met i.e. the number of rings before connecting to Interactive Voice Response (IVR), the connection of calls to live agents, percentage of failed attempts to customer care helplines, etc.
  • Review of the Complaint Categories and Service Level Agreements (CC/SLAs) on the complaint management in view of recent technological advancements.
  • Coordination of Consumer Protection Special Intervention Initiatives such as:
  1. Strategic Bi-Annual Meeting with Senior Executive Directors of Telcos on Complaint Management.
  2. Constitution of a Multi-Sectorial Working Group on E-Fraud.
  3. Development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with relevant stakeholders on E-Fraud.
  • Periodic visits to Service Providers’ call centres to monitor real-time handling of consumer complaints on the quality of service (QoS) and assurance, among others.

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NDPR to Safeguard Personal Data of Nigerians -DG NITDA

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Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has disclosed that the motive behind the issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulations, (NDPR) by the Agency was to safeguard the right of natural persons to data privacy, fostering safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data, enablement of Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant and competitive and to create jobs for Nigerians.

 

Mallam Abdullahi revealed this Friday while delivering the keynote address  at the 6th annual conference of Institute Internal Auditors of Nigeria, (IIAN) with the theme:, “Agility and Resilience” which was held on zoom conference platform.

 

The Conference aimed at preparing participants across Internal Audits, Internal Controls, risk management, revenue and Government assurance and other business professionals to learn how to leverage on new technologies and procedures towards actualisation of the organisation’s goals and objectives.

 

The NITDA DG who was represented Director e-Government Development and Regulations, Dr Vincent Olatunji stated that since inception of the Agency in 2001, it has been playing a catalytic roles to spur the infusion of technology into nation’s work processes reiterating that the Agency plays “critical roles in capacity development, provision of working tools for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

 

“NITDA also has an existing arrangement with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to aid the office in the discharge of its activities.”

 

Mallam Abdullahi said, “The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued on 25th January, 2020 by my predecessor, DrIsa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

 

“As part of his think-tank then, our thinking was that Nigeria needed to quickly provide a regulatory framework for the processing of personal data.

 

“This was even more pertinent in consideration of the global implications of non-performance.

 

“Businesses where losing bids because investors felt there was no data privacy regime in Nigeria.

 

“The Agency’s implementation of the NDPR has been innovative and impact oriented. For the first time in data protection implementation, auditors became recognised as Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO)”.

 

He maintained that NITDA has 72 licensed DPCOs among which are members of this “august body,” adding that “this posture is not as a result of lack of professionals in the IT industry, rather, we have made conscious efforts to carry every relevant stakeholder along in our developmental regulatory strategy.

 

“ I hope this noble institute would repay NITDA’s generosity by imbibing ethical and professional principles on your members for better implementation of the Regulation.”

 

Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, New Capital Cooperatives Society Mr. Benedict Anyalenka while commending the organisers of the conference affirmed that data privacy and protection should be a requisite skill needed for development of the Information Technology Sector as it would create platform for protection of information against unauthorized usage.

 

Anyalenka, however, called for proper awareness on the importance of data privacy among organisations and stakeholders across the country to safeguard citizens’ data.


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FG Reveals Plans to Deploy Technology in the Health Sector

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As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to deploy information and communications technology (ICT) in the country’s health sector.

This is part of the plans to achieve transparency and accountability in health care delivery across the country.

Dr. Ngozi R. C. Azodoh, director, Special Projects, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health, revealed this while speaking at MTN Nigeria’s Revv Programme masterclass on Thursday, September 17, 2020 .

The virtual session themed ‘Bridging the healthcare divide through technology and partnerships’ had in attendance health sector experts including Chief Executive Officer, Hygeia HMO Limited, Obinnia Abajue; Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Afya Care, Kola Oni; Managing Director, Ingress Health Partners, Dr. Orode Doherty and Chief Executive Officer, Tremendoc Limited, Ugochukwu Chikezie. The session was moderated by the General Manager, Business Development, MTN Nigeria, Omotayo Ojulatayo.

According to Azodoh, the federal government has put structures in place to utilise ICT as part of efforts to standardise the healthcare system.

“The government is working hand in hand with state governments across the country to maintain transparency and accountability, adding that ICT and other forms of electronic platforms are currently being improved and expanded following the federal government’s COVID intervention”.

She also shared that the ministry is willing to support small businesses in the sector imploring the participating SMEs to seize the opportunities provided by The Revv Programme.

“I want to ask everyone who is listening to write to the MTN Revv team and say this is one thing I want the Federal Ministry of Health to do to help my business then we can engage on how to proceed,” she enthused.

In her parting remarks, she also commended MTN Nigeria for providing a platform for SMEs to expand their capacity. “I must commend MTN for this excellent initiative. It has been very productive for me and an opportunity to transfer knowledge.”

The Revv Programme is an initiative from MTN Nigeria to help small businesses rethink and retool their operations in order to withstand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic using a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives.


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Peace House Charity Foundation Seeks for DCTC Intervention

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Mallam Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), asserted that if we do not empower our people, they become a problem to the society in future.

 

He made this know on Friday while receiving a delegation from Peace House Charity Foundation,Yola who were at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarter, Abuja to seek for interventions in the areas of ICT.

 

The representative of the Director General, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Director eGovernment Development and Regulation stated that one of the mandate of the Agency is the deployment of ICT infrastructure as such the Foundation’s visit at this time is very apt as the Agency is relentlessly working on the implementation of the Digital Economy strategy.

 

MallamAbdullahi affirmed that Agency at the moment is looking for organisations to partner with to sustain Digital Capacity Training Centres deployed across the country.

 

He commended the effort of the organisation in assisting orphans with not only providing basic education but also the provision of skills, mentorship and moral upbringing.

 

Speaking earlier, Mr Mohammad Bello, a Director with the Foundation said that the organisation was at the Agency to seek for ICT intervention and to commend NITDA’s effort in promoting ICT knowledge across the nation.

 

He stated that the organisation supports education for the orphans and the less privileged,  promote health care delivery especially among women and children, provide sensitisation workshop for parents (mothers) on parenting and matrimonial home, promote unity and encourage self-reliance among the populace.

 

 

 

 

 


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