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NCC, NIMASA ink MoU on submarine cable regulatory framework

*The Nigerian Communications Commission, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency with relevant stakeholders plan to develop a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for Submarine Cable and Pipeline Operators in the West African country

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As part of the telecoms sector regulatory Commission’s stakeholder engagement and collaborative approach to evolve robust frameworks to advance the Nigeria Digital Economy, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and  Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have partnered to work with relevant industry stakeholders to formulate guidelines for submarine cable and pipeline operations in the economy.

Fiber optic cables

ConsumerConnect reports the collaboration between the two regulators comes on the heels of NIMASA’s move to develop a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for Submarine Cable and Pipeline Operators in the West African country.

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It was learnt the officials of both NCC and NIMASA reached the agreement at a recent pre-audit meeting on submarine cable regulation held in Lagos.

Dr. Bashir Jamoh, Director-General of NIMASA, who chaired the meeting, with Mr. Dasuki Arabi, Director-General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) in attendance, noted that the Agency is committed to the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria while implementing International Conventions which the country has ratified and domesticated.

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According to Jamoh, with Nigeria now a destination for global communication players, the time has come to prevent unregulated underwater cable laying, which might become hazardous to shipping in the country’s territorial waters.

The NIMASA Chief also said: “It is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters.

“Our focus is to ensure safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid.”

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He stated that “NIMASA is actually developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS; which we have ratified and NIMASA is the Agency of Government in Nigeria responsible for its implementation.

“We do not just implement laws; we consult.”

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The Director-General further said: “Where the responsibility of an Agency stops, that is where the responsibilities of another Agency starts.

“Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this.”

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Officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment and representatives of Submarine Cable Operators in Nigeria were also said to attended the meeting.

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