Despite the various network giants in Nigeria, I cannot categorically boast of their efficiency especially in terms of good network, Tariff and customer’s satisfaction. The network and tariff is terrifying and horrible with funny packages like first minute call of the day N48, undermining even though is few seconds you used for the first second of the day thereafter. You can call flat tariff of 9 Kobo per second, mathematically, this amount to N15 per minute which is still considered not fair enough in a competitive market. I felt there is a cooperative monopolized of tariff; this is because all the networks charged roughly the same. This negates a competitive market which Nigerians bargain for.
Now the shortcomings
Another frustrating situation is when customer cares are called for support but instead get converted into an avenue for advert or marketing. After a while, the machine tells you ‘Thank you’, then cut off without getting any representative to attend to your complaints. This is shocking and frustrating someone like me. This had happened to me several times, each time I tried laying complain that requires immediate attention.
The Unimagined issue confronting network users is the issue of getting subscribed forcefully into ringing tone, sport news and others without user’s consent, and continually to renew it even when you’re not interested. A similar situation when subscribers recharge their lines and the money got missing, in other words, wrong deduction of credit. Same vein, constant network failure, error prompting when checking balance, voice echoing during phone calls conversation, high call tariff and bundle changes. Most cases, in attend to complain often proved abortive. You will be asked to wait till the next 24 hours, but likely you will not get feedback from them, even when you call again and again is like lodging in fresh complains. These challenges are still rocking the GSM sub-sector of Nigeria Telecommunications Industry.
Though, the National Assembly had deliberated on this issue of poor networks among the GSM companies. The consequences still relies on Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Which has the prerogatives to regulate the industry, recently expressed its intention to find on a monthly basis on the operators of GSM for poor quality of service. Nigerians are still patiently waiting the new dawn of better quality service delivery. Also hoping the NCC is not another toothless bulldog in the country. I stand to be corrected. Nigerians are not getting quality services they bargained for, as we paid heavily for poor service. Lack of competition among these network providers make subscribers seem as if we are fused to a particular network, thereby making porting unnecessary. The question now is, why the absent of competitive market among these giant network providers? This is a topic for another day.
Most of these shortcomings are what the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) should look into. Because it is their duty to protects the right of the subscribers.
Nigeria Telecommunication regulation
The Cable and Wireless Act of 1962, confirmed the Ministry of Communications the regulatory body for Telecommunications in Nigeria. The Ministry regulated Nitel until a Decree in 1992, established the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), with the sole responsibility of regulating the telecommunications sector. It became operational in September, 1993. The regulating responsibility includes:
- Overseeing the quality of service provided by network operators.
- Setting terms for the inter-connection of carrier networks.
- Licensing Telecommunications operators
- Facilitating private sector participation and investment in the telecommunications sector.
- Confirming and supervising technical and operational standards and practices for network operators.
- Ensuring the improvement of Nigerian telecommunications penetration
- Ensuring that the interests of telecommunications customers are protected by promoting competitive pricing and guiding against abuse of market power.
Putting down my pen, I cannot boastfully say all these are met. Let’s keep our fingers crossed to see how healthy competitively the sector becomes in few years to come. With hope, this publication will undoubtedly be beneficial to all sundry especially Information Technology Students, researchers, communication companies, schools and also very informative for individuals for the sake of knowledge.
Should you have any contribution or comment, use the comment box below.