From: Petrus Obi, Enugu
Tales of lamentation and frustration dominated a brief interactive section between GSM users and officials of the Nigerian Telecommunication Commission (NCC) at the just concluded Enugu International Trade Fair.
At the interaction, families of kidnap victims lamented the refusal of service providers to assist in the tracking of suspects.
A particular family, whose member has been abducted for about two years, narrated how service providers bluntly refused to listen or provide assistance even as the suspects continued to make demands with identified numbers.
“We have gone severally to the providers with specific. Umber with which they have been contacting the family but all they will tell us is to go to the police and for two years now we cannot trace these suspects.”
Other issues raised during the interaction to mark NCC’s special day at the fair included unsolicited text messages, regular threats from particular GSM numbers as well as indiscriminate deductions.
In his reaction, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, promised to look into the issues pointing out however, that the police was necessary in handling and tracing kidnappers.
On the issue of unsolicited text messages, he noted that NCC has evolved a solution called Do-Not-Disturb (DND), where consumers are advised to send ‘STOP’ to a code ‘2442’ to stop all unsolicited text messages.
In the words of Dambatta, “There are also options that will enable you to stop particular types of messages when you send ‘HELP to 2442” as we have continued to advertise on radios, television, and all type of printed materials in all parts of the country at the moment. We are again urging you to take advantage of this code.
“In addition to this, the NCC have continued to drum to the ears of consumers about the availability of the toll free telephone number 622 with which consumers can lodge complaints to the Commission if their service providers refuse, or are unable to resolve such complaints when it is reported to them.
“On the quality of service issue, we have put the service providers on special notice about our current monitoring of user experience and will call them to account in due course. Where the service provider continues to fail to improve services to the detriment of the consumers, the Commission will apply appropriate regulatory actions and sanctions against such service provider.”
“Let us all be vigilant to protect telecommunications infrastructure which enables us to remain in communications with one another, and beyond our immediate environments.”