To commemorate this year, 2021 World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has declared its unwavering commitment to regulate plastic pollution in the telecoms industry.
The commission explained that, in reconnecting with the theme for this year’s celebration “Tackling Plastic Pollution”, NCC is concluding processes to issue the regulation on Electronic Waste.
According to the commission, this year’s WCRD awareness on global plastic pollution crisis is coming three years after NCC drafted its Nigerian Communications Industry E-Waste Regulations in 2018.
Speaking with pressmen yesterday, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta highlighted that, the objective of the Regulation is to manage E-Waste; promote reuse, recycling and other forms of recovery; improve environmental management system of operators in the telecom industry; and reduce greenhouse emissions as well as enhance sustainable development efforts.
Danbatta said the commission is mindful of the fact that many ICT and telecom devices have plastic components, whose waste materials could worsen plastic pollution.
“In other words, we reckon that improper disposal of such disused ICT-plastic embedded products have grave implication on public health, and especially in achieving Goals 11, 12 and 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030. These goals speak to the imperative of adhering to practices that enhance Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production; as well as Climate Action respectively” he said.
Reteirating NCC’s commitment towards protecting Nigeria’s telecoms consumers, he noted that the commission has carried out several initiatives to protect the rights of telecom consumers.
In his words, “the Commission, worried by the recurrent cycle of fraudulent deployment of fake and substandard mobile devices – usually made of iron and plastic components, collaborated with the Office of the National Security Adviser and other relevant government agencies to inaugurate a committee to implement Mobile Devices Management Systems (DMS).
“This initiative is designed as a Public-Private Partnership aimed at combating the proliferation of fake, counterfeit, substandard and cloned communication devices in the telecommunications industry. The expected result of this initiative is that, only genuine materials malleable to enduring usage are available for consumer use.
“The Commission also implemented a strict type-approval process that ensures all equipment used in the telecommunications industry are of a suitable standard, both for the good of the consumers and for the preservation of our environment”.
According to Danbatta, this coincidental connection between the 2021 theme for World Consumer Rights Day, “Tackling Plastic Pollution”, and the proactive initiatives of the Commission towards protecting the environment as well as efforts on tackling electronic waste in Nigeria tells the story of a shared vision for a satisfied consumer.
Furthermore, he assured telecom consumers of their protected interest saying “without the telecom consumers, there will be no telecom operators and there would be no regulator.
“NCC seeks the occasion of this year’s World Consumer Rights Day to restate its commitment to Protecting, Informing and Educating the telecoms consumer. We call this our PIE Mandate to the consumers which embodies our philosophical commitment to strengthening all our consumer-centric initiatives and policies.” he stated.
Similarly, the Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Barrister Adeleke Adewolu said, as a consumer-centric organisation, NCC aligns with all visions that call attention to concerns about consumer rights and the need to secure them, because the prosperity of any business or service takes life from its consumers and stakeholders.
He also noted that In 2017, NCC expressed unequivocal commitment to the centrality of the telecom consumer in the telecom ecosystem by declaring that Year as Year of the Telecom Consumers.