The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission, (NCC), Umar Danbatta has announced that a total of 35 million Nigerians are still without access to telecommunications services.
Danbatta disclosed this at the Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) themed: “improving Telecomm Service Delivery to consumer: key to Industry sustainability” stating that effort are being made as the commission is committed to creating a wider coverage and a better satisfaction for all consumers, held in Abuja on Thursday.
He stressed that the commission is working assiduously and continuously to see that there is improvement in quality of service and to eradicate the access gaps around the country which has denied a lot of Nigerians access to telecom services.
“The NCC in partnership with stakeholders deploy base transceiver stations in those places without that bridge access gaps we are doing this at the rate of about 10 per annum and going by the number of access gaps it is going to take the NCC close to 20 years to bridge all access gaps.
“The rural population does not have time to wait, they are not going to be patient for 20years without access to telecom services therefore there is need to find ingenuous ways to bridge in the gaps within a shorter period of time and technology fortunately for us presents itself to solve these problem within a shorter period of time.
“There is what we call rural technology solution which we have deployed through a pilot scheme in about three locations and we are very happy with the outcome of deployment even though it is a pilot we intend therefore in partnership with those in provision of this technology to reciprocate the deployment beyond the pilot so that we can we see what happens but my estimation is that we can be able to through the introduction of these rural technology solution bridge the gaps in about three to four years. We are facilitating some kind of partnership between the owners of the solution (spectrum) with the operators and therefore the NCC is right there to ensure the partnership becomes effective,” Danbatta said
He further explained that telecom service delivery is the totality of how telecoms operators’ packages, provide and deliver services to their consumer from the point of ensuring quality services and delivering the services to the consumers in satisfactory manner.
He said that the commission despite its several initiatives put in place to keep operators on their toes, still notice a huge gap in the the quality of services rendered by the operators.
“let me reiterate the fact that improving telecoms services has become critical not only to businesses but also to the entire national economy, access to telecom services has become an enabler of economic development” he said.
Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, director, consumer affairs bureau, NCC explained that the commission over the years has realized that one of the ways to discuss telecoms consumers related issues and challenges in the industry is through organizing stakeholders’ forum adding that it enhances effective communication.
“as regulator, one of our core mandate is ensuring that there is consistent improvement in the quality of service delivered by the telecom operating companies in order to satisfactorily ensure value for money spent by the ever increasing consumers,” said Felicia.
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