With the successful hosting of the 2nd NIPR Lagos Stakeholders’ Conference, the Nigerian Institute Public Relations
Lagos Chapter, has commended the participation and support of key regulators and corporate organisions in the conference.
The event which was held in collaboration with the Mass Communication Department, University of Lagos, was organized by Addefort Limited.
Speaking on the well attended event, Chairman, NIPR Lagos Chapter, Barrister Joseph Okonmah, commended the supports of corporate organizations that made the event a huge success.
“I must commend the support of all regulators that participated and our corporate sponsors; Airtel, Coca-Cola, First Bank and MTN for identifying with the Nigerian Consumer,” he said.
Okonmah explained that the conference with the theme: “The Nigerian Consumer- Rights, Duties & Obligations” was designed for regulatory authorities and corporate organizations to deliberate on issues affecting consumers in the country.
The special guest of honour, Prof. Rahamon Bello, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Management Services, Prof Duro Oni while Dr. Rotimi Oladele, FNIPR, President, Chairman Governing Council NIPR, was the Conference Chairman. The Conference Lecture; “The role of Public Relations in protecting the rights of the consumers” was delivered by Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, FNIPR.
Among key regulators and organisations that made presentations at the Conference include; The Consumer Protection Council, CPC; Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC; Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC; Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON; National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA; MTN Nigeria and Airtel.
In his opening remark the Conference Chairman, used the platform to advocate for the involvement of all stakeholders in ensuring that the essence of the Conference is not defeated.
According to Dr Oladele, “protecting the rights of the Nigerian Consumer is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders.”
Mr Tam Tamunokonbia, CPC Head, Lagos Office, spoke on the efforts being made by the Commission in protecting the rights of consumers in the country, calling on consumers to always demand for their rights by bringing complaints to the notice of the Commission.
Dr. Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC was represented by Mr Tony Ojobo, Director Public Affairs. He spoke on “Challenges of Providing Quality Telecom Services in Nigeria”. Mr Ojobo insisted that the quality of telecoms service in Nigeria is not falling in any way. According to him, “Even if we wish to compare service quality with the situation in the 1970s to 1990s, up to 2000, or at the inception and during the telecom revolution years which began in 2001, or just the status in three to five years ago, we are uncomfortable to admit that the quality, or standard of services are falling. But we may argue that the challenges to quality of service is increasing at the same pace at which services are expanding to all the nooks and crannies of the country.”
He enumerated the challenges facing the industry to include; power supply, multiple regulation and taxation, right of way issues, vandalization of telecoms infrastructure and infrastructure deficit, further reassuring that the commission remains committed to ensuring that the telecoms operators deliver on their promises.
Dr. Sam Amadi, Chaiman/CEO, NERC while speaking on; “Post-Privatisation Challenges Impeding Power Sector Reform and Ways Forward”, highlighted key issues impeding the Power Sector Reform. These include; Gas Supply Shortages, Fragile Electricity Transmission System, Cost Reflective Tariffs, Electricity Market Revenue Shortfall, Metering in the NESI, Threats to Effective Regulation: the NEMSA Bill, Challenges to Subsidy Disbursement, Transitional Electricity Market (TEM), Customer Dissatisfaction and Apathy, Poor Supply and Outrageous Billing.
On Metering, the chairman who was represented by Dr Uche S. Okoro explained that the Commission has adopted a two pronged approach to addressing the metering challenge: “CAPMI (METERING INTERVENTION): With the aim of facilitating and supporting the Operators on one hand and protecting the Consumer on the other, the Commission introduced a ‘Voluntary Scheme’ known as Credited Advance Program for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) to assist in dealing with the metering gap.”
“Strong Enforcement of the commitment made by the Discos on closing the metering gap as contained in their business plans during the privatisation of the entities. Appropriate financial penalties will be imposed on the Discos once the AT&C losses are adjusted and cost- reflective tariff released.”
Dr. Joseph Odumodu, Director General, SON spoke on “Checking The Rate Of Substandard Products In Nigeria”. According to him, “The Management of SON, in its resolve to reposition the Organisation towards higher productivity particularly in the fight against the menace of substandard products importation, production, storage and distribution merged the Enforcement, Ports and Border Operation Units into a full directorate which is now called ‘’Inspectorate and Compliance Directorate (ICD). This is to achieve the overall objectives of SON particularly in its “Zero Tolerance to substandard products” initiative in the Country. “