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NCC tasks telecoms licensees on compliance with regulations, licence obligations

(L-R): Mr. Yakubu Gontor, Director of Financial Services at NCC; Mr. Muhammed Babajika, Director of Licensing and Authorisation; Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services; Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO; Mr. Ayuba Shuaibu, Executive Secretary of Universal Services Provision Fund (USPF); Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs of NCC; Malam Hafiz Shehu, Chief of Staff to EVC/CEO of NCC; Mr. Shuaibu Swade, NCC Zonal Controller, Kano; and Malam Yakubu Musa, Special Assistant to EVC on Media, at a Forum, in Kano Photo: NCC

*Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission says as the Commission continues to engender effective regulatory environment, the telecoms licensees should support several initiatives the regulator has designed to enhance market opportunities for them

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has charged telecoms licensees to always comply with the provisions of extant laws, subsidiary legislations, and other regulatory frameworks the Commission has formulated to ensure a more competitive and sustainable telecoms sector in the country.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, gave this directive at a recent two-day tripartite dialogue of the country’s telecoms sector regulatory Commission tagged, ‘Talk To The Regulator (TTTR) Forum’ held Friday, October 15, 2021, in Kano, Northern Nigeria.

ConsumerConnect reports the NCC noted that 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.

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According to the telecoms regulator, the overarching objective of the forum, which is in line with NCC’s vision of strategic collaboration and partnership, was to get first-hand feedback from NCC’s licensees.

Prof. Danbatta said as the Commission continues to engender effective regulatory environment, there is a need for licensees to support several initiatives carefully designed to enhance market opportunities for all its licensees.

The NCC EVC/CEO stated: “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 further 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), Nigerian national Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-202), and Revised national Digital Identity Policy for SIM Registration among others.

Danbatta also sought the licensees’ full and unalloyed commitment to ensuring their successful implementation in the Nigerian telecoms ecosystem.

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The NCC CEO on the occasion also briefed the licensees on some activities which the Commission is pursuing to further facilitate the achievement of its regulatory mandate in the country.

According to him, these include the recently-launched NCC’s five-pillar Strategic Vision Plan (SVP 2021,2025), commencement of a comprehensive review of its licensing frameworks, ongoing reviews of other key regulatory instruments to align with the rapidly emerging contemporary developments, National Identification Numbers (NINs) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards linkage exercise, as well as the ongoing efforts at launching the Fifth Generation (5G) networks in Nigeria.

As the regulator, the NCC provides the enabling environment for healthy competition in the industry, said Danbatta.

In his remarks, Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management of NCC, who amplified Danbatta’s voice on the need for strict compliance with telecoms regulations by the licensees, said telecommunications has continued to lead national economic growth through effective regulation and adherence to rules of engagement by the licensees.

Adewolu said the sector has consistently driven growth of the Nigerian economy and has provided critical infrastructure required for the digital transformation of practically all spheres of life.

The NCC Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at the forum declared that in the second quarter of 2021, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector sustained its trajectory of growth and contributed 17.9 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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He, 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.

Adewolu stated: “The NCC has, therefore, organised this forum to enable us to strengthen collaboration along these three lines, to enable our valued stakeholders give us feedback on ongoing initiatives, and to enable you seek clarifications on issue of concern.”

Mohammed Babajika, Director of Licensing and Authorisation at NCC, speaking at the programme, noted while the Commission is fully aware and committed to discharging its mandate, especially in facilitating conducive telecoms environment and guiding the industry to sustain the achievement already recorded in the industry, these can only be possible with the cooperation and support of the licensees.

Babajika said that the Commission recognises the importance of various service providers, and the need to constantly engage the licensees with a view to identifying generic and unique challenges and collectively proffering solutions to them.

The programme will be hosted in other cities across the country during the year, said the NCC.

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