About 36 million unused telephone lines were withdrawn over the past few months by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as part of efforts to better manage telecoms facilities/resources.
The NCC Vice Chairman, Professor Garba Danbatta, disclosed this on Wednesday while addressing journalists shortly before the commencement of the 84th edition of Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) in Abuja.
According to him, it became imperative to withdraw the 36 million lines because the NCC does not have the privilege to waste valuable resources.
“It is expected of NCC that resources that are not being put to use are withdrawn so that this can in turn enable operators to put them in good use and activate them.
“We do not have time to allow resources to be put to waste. The intention is to ensure that all resources at our disposal, number resources, spectrum resources are put into good use and benefit of the country.” – Danbatta
Professor Danbatta also stated that the NCC’s is committed to continually regulate the telecoms industry whilst ensuring growth and development. According to him, the Commission is doing everything possible to bridge the 198 telecom access gap, a situation whereby as many as 40 million people lack access to telephone usage; particularly in rural and remote areas.
He gave further insight into the work of the NCC, including a partnership with telecom operators to install base transceivers across three locations in Nigeria; A strategic move aimed at facilitating network access to rural dwellers while tackling major problems facing the industry. This is one of the many short-term solutions the NCC has undertaken towards improving, accessibility and affordability of telecoms services.
“The rural population does not have the time to wait; they are not going to be patient for 20 years without access to telecoms services. Therefore, there is need to find ingenious ways to close these gaps within shortest period of time. And fortunately, technology presents itself with various options in solving this problem in shorter time,” – Danbatta
Commenting on the telecom consumer protection, Danbatta said that it is a good platform established by the NCC to encourage interaction between stakeholders on important issues peculiar to industry players. The platform also serves as an opportunity “for the consumers of telecoms services to be enlightened and educated on burning issues in the industry.”
The theme of this year’s telecom consumer protection is “Improving Service Delivery to Telecom Consumers: Key to Industry Sustainability”.