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NCC highlights renewable energy on 2023 World Consumer Rights Day

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of NCC

*The Nigerian Communications Commission, in commemorating this year’s World Consumer Rights Day, is hosting an event in Abuja, FCT, to spotlight the Commission’s regulatory initiatives on clean energy usage in the telecoms sector of the economy

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the telecoms sector regulator prepares to mark the 2023 World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) in Abuja, FCT, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has concluded arrangements to host an event to spotlight its regulatory initiatives on clean energy usage in the telecoms sector.

In what has become a tradition in the Commission since 2017, when it declared 2017 as ‘Year of the Telecom Consumers’ when it honoured consumers by connecting with the global theme for the commemoration to celebrate the Day with landmark activities, the Commission has continued to promote consumer protection and enlightenment.

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ConsumerConnect reports the theme of the 2023 edition of the Day is, “Empowering Consumers through Clean Energy Transitions”.

Speaking on the forthcoming event, Barr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management (ECSM) at NCC, noted the theme for this year’s IWD provides opportunity for NCC to share with beloved telecoms consumers and other stakeholders, as well as the public, the policies it has instituted, and other actions taken to encourage operators in the sector to transition to environmentally friendly and renewable energy sources in their operations.

Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Thursday, March 9, stated Adewolu, who represented Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO), at the inauguration of the committee to organisation the event, said the Commission remains committed to reducing the impact that telecommunications operation has on climate change and the environment.

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The peculiarities of Nigeria’s electricity supply have resulted in the telecommunications sector being a contributor to carbon emissions, the NCC EVC/CEO stated.

Prof. Danbatta, who is a Fellow of the Renewable Alternative Energy Society (FRAES), also asserted studies had shown that renewables and energy efficiency, boosted by substantial electrification, can provide over 90 percent of the necessary reductions in energy-related carbon emissions.

According to him, increasing the use of electricity sourced from renewables presents the best opportunity to accelerate world’s energy transformation.

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Danbatta stated: “The theme is very apt this year, as we know the implication of the climate change disaster facing the world.

“So, as a Commission, we are committed to reducing the impact of climate change.

“The telecoms sector contributes to global emissions, particularly when you realise that there are over 54,000 base transmitter stations powered, in some cases 24 hours, seven days a week, by generators.

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“You can just imagine the emissions from these.”

The NCC Executive Vice-Chairman further explained that the Commission is already looking at introducing a policy to encourage ethical energy source, as part of the NCC’s commitment to safeguarding the environment for consumers and other users of telecoms services, a move that is also in tandem with the process of actualising some of the key items of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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In recent years, Danbatta said the Commission had introduced a regulatory framework on infrastructure sharing and collocation among the licensees which, he said, has encouraged operators to fully maximise their already-deployed infrastructure.

“By sharing infrastructure, some operators do not need to entirely build a telecoms site in an area where another operator had deployed one.

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“With the challenge of inadequate public electricity supply in Nigeria, telecom companies rely on diesel-powered generators to keep their telecoms sites live round-the-clock.

“But a regulatory framework such as infrastructure sharing and collocation is helping in this regard,” stated he.

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