..pledges support for small operators
The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has enjoined telecom licensees to always comply with the provisions of extant laws, subsidiary legislation, and other regulatory frameworks put in place by the Commission. This is to ensure a more competitive and sustainable telecoms sector in Nigeria. The EVC gave the charge at a two-day tripartite dialogue of the Commission tagged, ‘Talk To The Regulator (TTTR) Forum,” held in Kano. The programme had in attendance representatives of over 104 telecoms licensees in different categories and segments of the Nigerian telecoms market, as well as consumers of telecoms services. Prof. Danbatta said while the Commission continues to engender an effective regulatory environment, there was a need for licensees to support several initiatives carefully designed to enhance market opportunities for all its licensees.
“Telecoms industry sustainability can only be guaranteed where all licensees ensure full and effective compliance with licence conditions and other regulatory prescriptions. “So, this forum provides an opportunity to discuss areas where some of our licensees are falling short of their licence obligations, and how we can collectively improve on the present situation,” he said.
The EVC highlighted some of the key policies that have been articulated by the Federal Government, including the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS, 2020-2030); the Nigerian national Broadband Plan (NNBP, 2020-202), the Revised national Digital Identity Policy for SIM Registration, among others, and sought the licensees’ full and unalloyed commitment to ensure their successful implementation.
The NCC CEO said, as the regulator, the NCC provides the enabling environment for healthy competition in the industry. Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, who amplified Danbatta’s voice on the need for strict compliance with telecoms regulations by the licensees, said telecoms had continued to lead national economic growth through effective regulation and adherence to rules of engagement by the licensees. Thus, Adewolu said the sector had consistently driven the growth of the Nigerian economy and has provided the critical infrastructure required for the digital transformation of practically all spheres of life.
He declared that in the second quarter of 2021, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector sustained its trajectory of growth and contributed 17.9 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Adewolu, however, identified three key factors driving the sector’s performance to include a stable policy environment engendered by various digital economy policies; a consistent tradition of firm, fair, forthright, transparent, and developmental regulatory oversight provided by the NCC; as well as long-term infrastructure investment and service commitments of telecoms licensees.