By Juliet Umeh
In its pursuit to protect consumers of the telecommunications sector, inform and educate them, the Consumer Affairs Bureau, CAB, of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, is requesting for proposals for engagement of Consumer Advocacy Groups.
The Commission said it wants to establish a robust database of these Advocacy Groups which help to inform and educate consumers on their rights and responsibilities as well as create awareness for the Commissions activities and industry trends.
According to NCC, the objectives are to have a pool of genuine Advocates who are passionate about consumer protection and willing to:
• Inform and educate telecoms consumers.
• Protect consumers from abuses, exploitation and deceit.
• Assist NCC to educate telecom consumers on their rights and obligations.
• Bridge the communication gaps existing between consumers and the regulator on one hand, and the operating companies on the other.
• Obtain useful feedback to improve telecom service delivery.
*Scope of Work
The scope of the engagement shall include:
·Assist the Commission in creating consumer awareness and education
·Sensitize telecom consumers and bridge information gaps on relevant consumer issues
·Assist in mobilizing and enlightening some target consumers such as market women, artisans, the unskilled and the grassroots at various programmes and regulatory interventions by the Commission that benefit the consumers
·Provide leverage for the Commission to execute consumer centric projects that will cover the six Geopolitical zones and impact telecom consumers in the nook and crannies of Nigeria.
·Assist in reaching out to special groups like the “Differently Abled People” to ensure all-inclusive participation in the Nigerian telecom space.
The Commission said: “Telecom Consumer Advocacy Groups are encouraged to serve as Consumer Protection Ambassadors within their communities and should be able to meet the needs of the diverse population. This is to ensure that ICT consumers across the country are well informed irrespective of their geopolitical zones or inability to attend formal consumer-centric programs.”
Consumer Advocacy Groups should: Be a corporate entity duly registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission and should have verifiable directors/ trustees; have a verifiable physical address/location; have a good knowledge of the Commission and Telecoms/ICT industry;
be able to demonstrate a good knowledge of various consumer issues and should be passionate about consumer Information and Education; be able to demonstrate/provide evidence of previous or ongoing consumer advocacy work carried out; have capacity to deliver consumer advocacy programmes in English and three major Nigerian languages
Submission of Documents
Interested Consumer Advocacy Groups are invited to send written requests to the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Commission via firstname.lastname@example.org and attach soft copies of the following:
• Brief profile of the Advocacy Group
• Qualification and experience of team members
• Proof of registration with Corporate Affairs Commission
• Track record of previous or ongoing consumer advocacy work carried out.
• Evidence of area of specialization and proof of influence within communities
It also stated that Advocacy Groups may also wish to provide evidence of other unique qualifications/experiences that make them most suited for such assignments.