The public concourse at the Terminal C of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja is the first beneficiary of a Telecom Consumer Assistance, Resolution and Enquires (TELCARE) Centre unveiled by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) was as one of the series of events to mark the 2023 International Consumers Rights Day celebrated by the Commission in Abuja last week Wednesday.
Prof. Adeolu Akande, the Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, who unveiled the initiative, said the launch of the TELCARE, is the beginning of the helpdesk project expected to adorn some airports and other similar public locations across the country.
He said it is one of NCC’s strategies for expanding the channels of engagement with telecom consumers.
Akande said the project is a deliberate effort by the Commission to amplify its commitment to promoting the interest of consumers using various engagement strategies and initiatives to protect, inform, and educate telecom consumers.
While expressing gratitude to the Management of the Federal Airport Authority Nigeria (FAAN) for its support in ensuring the successful establishment of a TELCARE Desk at the airport, Akande reiterated that the platform would serve as an additional channel for consumers to make enquiries on consumer issues, allowing the Commission to provide advocacy on consumer concerns as well as create awareness regarding Commission’s activities.
The Commission, under the leadership of its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, has continued to re-engineer its strategies and structures to make them more effective to engage critical stakeholders to address unfair practices including but not limited to matters relating to tariffs.
In his goodwill message, Kabir Mohammed, the Regional General Manager, FAAN, said that the Management of FAAN was delighted to partner with the NCC on the initiative, as the passengers and airport users will have the opportunity to resolve issues bothering them while in transit.
Mohammed also noted that the first-hand interface with consumers would not only expedite the feedback mechanism in addressing telecom consumer issues but also curb unfair practices within the system and further bridge any communication gap between the consumers and its regulators.
Ayanbanji Ojo, NCC’s Head, Consumer Affairs Bureau, speaking through Clem Omife, the Head, Consumer Protection and Advocacy at NCC, expressed optimism about the expected success of the initiative.
Ojo noted that many consumers transiting at the airport are already taking advantage of the Desk even before the launch of the TELCARE Desk, to make enquiries or lodge complaints.
“This is a pilot project, and the Commission will ensure that the TELCARE Desk is established in more strategic locations around the nation. We believe that through adequate education, information sharing, and the provision of layers of channels for complaints and redress, we can safeguard the interest of telecom consumers and innovatively promote the prospect of more excellent consumer experience,” Ojo said.