The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), yesterday, organised an outreach in a bid to bridge the gap between consumers and telecom operators.

The program is the telecom regulator’s 84th Consumer Outreach Program (COP), held at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital. .

Themed: “Information and Education as Catalyst for Consumer Protection, the outreach had in attendance various stakeholders to discuss issues within the sector.

According to Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, the outreach was aimed at to bridging the gap between consumers and operators in telecommunication industry.

The NCC boss who was represented by Ismail Adedidga, Deputy Director, Information and Reference Unit, said the consumer formed the force in the telecom industry and are entitled to certain rights.

“The outreach is to have an interface between the regulator, consumers and operators to resolve pressing issues that have to do with the consumers in the delivery of telecom services.”

The EVC charged telecom consumers to utilise the avenues and platforms provided by the NCC to resolve complaints against telecom services.

In his submission, Abdullahi Maikano, Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, said the program would serve as an enabler for the NCC, telecom consumers and operators to dialogue and proffer solutions to their problems and ensure effective service delivery.

Abdullahi Maikano who was represented by his Deputy Director, Emphraim Nwokonnaya, Maikano said the program would leverage on protection of the consumers from telecom providers circumventing the rules of operation.

“The Consumer Outreach Program seeks to educate the consumer and other stakeholders on current issues of interest in the industry.

“Besides, the COP serves as a feedback mechanism for the NCC in terms of making regulatory decisions for the benefit of the consumers and the industry as a whole.

“For NCC, the telecom consumers are the target beneficiary of all our activities and they are the focus in enjoying good services and protection from unwholesome practices of some service providers.

“Consumer education is identified by NCC as an effective mechanism that prevents consumers from being exploited in the industry”, Maikano said.

He stressed that the regulator had devised initiatives to ensure that consumers are properly educates and protected.

He explained that some of those initiatives include, the outreach programmes, consumer town hall meetings across the country and interactive platforms on the social media.

Meanwhile, Ali Nuhu, Face of 2017 Nigerian Telecom Consumers, urged the consumers to effectively utilise all the platforms provided by the NCC to resolve unsolicited messages and calls to their mobile lines.