Susbscribers in Nigeria may have spent a whooping sum of $12.2 billion on telecom services in two years, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)

Telecom subscribers in Nigeria consumed telecom services worth $5. 6 billion in 2015, which significantly rose to $6.6billion in 2016, recording an increase of $1billion from the the previous year.

“Nigerian telecom consumers spent $6.6 billion in 2016.In 2015, the Nigerian telecom consumers spent 5.6 billion dollars, adding that consumers’ had made the success stories possible in the sector” Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said.

Danbatta disclosed this in Abuja during the launch of the NCC Year of Consumer.

“That’s why today’s event is remarkable. More remarkable is that the year 2017 is dedicated to the Nigerian Telecom Consumer, he said.

The EVC explained that NCC this year intends to inform and educate consumers with the sole aim of protecting and empowering them to make the right decisions.

He said that a robust media programme would accompany the initiatives in the campaign through the year providing unique and timely information to all.

“That is why in 2017, and I dare say and even beyond, the consumer will be our focus. The NCC is mandated to monitor the quality of service and ensure it conforms to acceptable standard.

“A management decision that compelled us to seek to amplify our activities toward ensuring that the consumer enjoys a customer experience that is enhanced and consistent in time and quality.

“We must remember that these consumers together have made all the success stories we speak about in the telecom industry today,“ he said

According to him, the event is remarkable because the Nigerian Telecom Consumer is the centre stage.

As part of the launch, the commission announced Mr Ali Nuhu, an actor and producer popularly known as King of Kannywood of Hausa movies and Ms Helen Paul, a broadcaster and stand-up comedian as the “Faces of the Nigerian Telecom Consumer“.

Speaking also at the event in Abuja, the Minister of Communication, Mr Adebayo Shittu said that the ministry was working on formulating policies and guidelines on protecting ICT consumers.

Shittu said that government has actively engaged key stakeholders to ensure quality of service and consumer rights.

“Our goal is to fully balance between consumer rights and rights to privacy.

“Also to facilitating inter-Governmental Consultations on ICT matters to avoid unnecessary disparities in developmental structures and standards in Nigeria.

“Government is also working to create digital awareness with the objective of increasing the capacity, confidence and trust Nigerians have in digital lives.

“ICTs are invaluable to the process of governance, business, education, health among others,“ he said.

Shittu said that government was intensifying its adoption of ICT to provide better response to the citizens’ demands and improve service delivery to make the administration more efficient.

“I am delighted to be invited to be part of the celebration of the flagging off of the NCC 2017 year of the consumer.

“This is timely in view of the fact that the date coincided with the Wold Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) celebration”.