The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) are considering possible areas of growing collaboration to enhance the impact and contribution of the telecommunications sector on the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
This was the focal point of the deliberations during a courtesy visit by a delegation from the National Assembly’s Roundtable on the Business Environment (NASSBER), a political unit of the NESG led by Nnanna Ude and a member from the NASSBER Technical Committee, Yemi Keri.
The need for collaboration and stakeholder engagement between the Commission and other stakeholders to conduct an impact assessment and gap analysis of the Nigeria Communications Act (NCA) 2003, which will lead to to improve the legal instrument and reflect new trends, especially in a post-pandemic world, was the main objective of the visit.
The two entities have also considered synergies in the field of Research and Development (R&D); while NESG has expressed its wish to see the Commission feature prominently in the next Nigeria Economic Summit (NES), an annual summit hosted by the NESG, to be held in October this year.
While receiving the delegation on behalf of the NCC Executive Vice President, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, NCC Public Affairs Director Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said the meeting was a welcome development as it took place. aligns with the strategic partnership of the telecommunications regulator. and collaboration goals.
Adinde said NCA 2003 is a robust regulatory instrument, which gave the NCC the mandate to effectively regulate the telecommunications sector, as evidenced by the contribution to the overall economic development of the country.
He added that under section 70 of the 2003 CNA, the Commission has developed various regulations and issued guidelines that have helped it address critical issues related to its regulatory activities.
Other senior officials of the Commission, including the Director, Licenses and Authorizations, Muhammed Babajika; Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil and representatives of legal and regulatory services departments; Political competition and economic analysis; and the financial services of the Commission, took turns talking about the activities of the Commission in the implementation of its regulatory mandate for the benefit of the country.
Mr. Babajika spoke about the Commission’s licensing regime and its impact on innovation in the economy, while Engr Wakil spoke about the regulatory efforts of the NCC and collaborations with various stakeholders, such as the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to address quality of service challenges. (QoS) in the telecommunications industry.
The impact of these challenges such as multiple taxation and regulations, fiber outages, vandalism, high cost of rights of way (right-of-way), theft of telecommunications facilities and the need for adoption of the project National Critical Infrastructure Act (CNI).
Speaking earlier on behalf of NESG CEO Laoye Jaiyeola; Ude recognized the essential role that NCC plays in providing essential digital support to the Nigerian economy.
He noted that in 20 years of telecommunications liberalization, the Commission has contributed significantly to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Ude explained that the visit was part of NESG’s efforts to strengthen collaboration with key government institutions such as the NCC.
He touted the role of the Commission in growing the telecommunications sector through effective and results-oriented regulation, noting that the impact of regulation is evident in industry performance indicators which have shown a trajectory. ascending in recent years.
âThe NCC is key to the government’s digital transformation agenda and we can see the imprints of the country’s readiness in this journey, in terms of broadband penetration level, internet subscription, teledensity and ‘other critical indicators,’ he said. .
Meanwhile, Adinde, said the Commission was excited about the prospects of partnering with NESG and NASSBER, noting that such a partnership will further enhance the contribution of telecommunications to the socio-economic growth of Nigeria.
He added that “all the issues discussed will be articulated in a memorandum, which will be submitted to management for consideration.”