NCC reviews Short Code services as Broadband penetration hits 44.5 percent

*Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, stresses the emerging technologies, advancements in the telecoms sector now require that the Commission is prepared to match these developments with appropriate regulations and guidelines for operational efficiency and excellence

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In line with the Federal Government’s Digita Economy programme, Nigeria’s Broadband usage has continued on the rise, moving up from 40.9 percent February 2022 to 44.5 percent July this year, a figure considered hopeful for achieving the National Broadband target of 70 percent by 2025.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), who disclosed this development Tuesday, August 9, 2022, at the beginning of a three-day public inquiry on five telecom regulations and guidelines, which began in Abuja, FCT, said emerging technologies and advancements in the sector then demanded that the Commission is prepared to match these developments with appropriate regulations and guidelines.

RELATED: Broadband Connectivity Reaching Underserved Nigerian Telecoms Consumers: Danbatta

Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Tuesday, in Abuja, stated that Prof. Danbatta said: “With the technological advancements anticipated in the coming years, it is expected that there will be a proliferation of devices in the industry.

Source: NCC

“It is, therefore, essential for the Commission to ensure that the right regulatory frameworks can accommodate such eventualities.”

At the event, which was attended by all members of the Board of Commissioners, led by Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of NCC, the EVC/CEO disclosed the public inquiry, which covered five areas of existing regulations, are aimed at achieving operational efficiency and excellence.

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Danbatta listed the regulatory instruments under review at the public inquiry to include Type Approval Regulations, Guidelines on Short Code Operation in Nigeria, Guidelines on Technical Specifications for the Deployment of Communications Infrastructure, Guidelines on Advertisements and Promotions, as well as Consumer Code of Practice Regulations.

According to him, the focus areas were already articulated in some important documents guiding the operations of the Commission.

RELATED: Danbatta Restates NCC’s Commitment To Broadband, Consumer Protection, Digital Economy

These include the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020–2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020–2030, NCC’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024, and its Strategic Vision Implementation Plan (SVIP) 2021–2025, which are being implemented towards achieving its mandate.

While stating that these strides are the results of the Commission’s regulatory efficiency and focused implementation of policies and strategies of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the NCC Chief Executive said the public inquiry is in tandem with the Commission’s strategy of consulting stakeholders in all its regulatory interventions.

READ ALSO: NCC Activating Strategic Plan For Broadband Infrastructure, All-Inclusive Digital Economy ─Danbatta

The amendment of these regulatory instruments were to reflect current realities, one of which is the anticipated deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) technology, and management of short codes in Nigeria, including the Toll-Free Emergency Code 112, stated he.

Earlier, Helen Obi, Head of Telecoms Laws and Regulations at NCC, had stated that public inquiry allows the Commission to incorporate the comments and suggestions of industry stakeholders into the development of its regulatory instruments.

She said the process ensures that the Commission’s regulatory instruments are in line with the current realities in the industry as it had done with some regulatory frameworks and guidelines 2021.

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