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Fuel Price Hike: NCC not set for telecoms tariff increase –Official

*The Nigerian Communications Commission clarifies the telecoms sector regulator does not just increase tariff without due consultations with relevant industry stakeholders in line with its participative system of engagement

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the recent removal of fuel subsidy and subsequent increases in the pump prices of the petroleum product, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said the telecoms regulatory Commission is not ready to increase tariff due to subsidy removal.

ConsumerConnect reports the Commission, which noted this at the Titans of Tech (ToT) Awards event held in Lagos, stated that such a critical decision is for the entire industry stakeholders to determine, and it requires a longer time to decide.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, and Mr. Reuben Mouka, Director of Public Affairs (DPA) of the Commission, both received Titans of Tech awards, in Lagos.

Danbatta bagged the Pan-African Telecoms Operator of the Year, while Mouka received the Digital Public Relations Communicator of the Year.

No tariff increase without stakeholder engagements

Asked to comment on the industry’s possible increase in telecoms tariff, the EVC/CEO, represented  at the event by Mr. Yomi Arowosafe, Lagos Zonal Controller of NCC, rather clarified that the NCC does not just increase tariff without due consultations with relevant industry stakeholders.

Arowosafe also said: “In NCC, we don’t just increase rates, we do a lot of industry consultation, and that is left for the industry to determine.

“We run a participative system of engagement in NCC.

“We can’t even talk about increase now; it has to be a lot of engagements which takes time.”

Speaking on the awards for the NCC top officials, the Lagos Zonal Controller  said: “For me, I’m elated that this has happened and this has shown that the industry is really doing well under the leadership of EVC.

“We thank Titans of Tech Award for counting the EVC and NCC worthy of these awards.”

Technology is fastest way to create wealth: Ex-Deputy Governor

Earlier in his welcome address at the ToT Awards in Lagos, Mr. Femi Pedro, a former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, also commended the organisers of the awards for promoting and encouraging innovators in Nigeria.

Pedro urged the promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) from primary to tertiary institutions in the country.

“Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, is what we need to be promoting in Nigeria particularly in our schools, we cannot be a technologically advanced nation unless we adopt STEM right from the primary, secondary schools and Universities.

“Our university education must have focused on STEM.

“We cannot compete in today’s world if we don’t adopt technology, it is in fact, a panacea for economic development and that is why I commend the organisers of this event,” stated he.

The erstwhile Deputy Governor also stressed “we must begin to encourage our entrepreneurs and young people to be innovative and creative.

“I believe that the fastest way to create wealth today is by the use of technology, many young people who have left school and are complaining that there are no jobs, need to sit down and use their creative power to come up with ideas that can be used to create wealth.”

Pedro further noted: “On the part of the government, technology is not a government thing; it is a private sector enterprise, anybody can acquire it.

“Foreign investors are willing to bring capital to Nigeria because we have a huge population, mostly of young people who are ready and willing to use tech to drive wealth.”

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