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NCC: Danbatta applauds Swedish Government, Ericsson for sustained partnership, improved regulatory activities

L-R: Peter Ogundele, Country Manager and Managing Director, LM Ericsson Nigeria Limited; Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of NCC; Annika Hahn, Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon; Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services at NCC; and Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Special Duties of NCC, at the Workshop for Regulators in West African Region Held in Abuja, FCT Photo: NCC

*Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, commends the Swedish Government and Ericsson on their commitment and consistency in a strategic partnership on capacity building that has boosted the Commission’s regulatory activities in the country’s telecoms ecosystem

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has lauded the Swedish Government and Ericsson for their commitment and consistency in a strategic partnership with the telecoms sector regulatory Commission on capacity building.

ConsumerConnect reports the NCC Wednesday, September 6, 2023, stated the “sustained and remarkable partnership” with them had strengthened the Commission’s regulatory affairs in the West African country’s telecoms industry.

The Commission said Ericsson and Swedish Programme for ICT in Developing and Emerging Regions (SPIDER) organised  the workshop for regulators at the NCC Annex Office, Mbora, Abuja, FCT.

Danbatta made the remark in his address at a recent workshop, jointly organised by NCC and its Swedish partners within the framework of the Swedish Programme for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Developing and Emerging Regions (SPIDER).

Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, said the EVC/CEO at the forum highlighted the significant strides the Commission had attained in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector of the economy.

Significance of strategic engagement with Sweden, SPIDER

Danbatta said: “This workshop signposts the vital role the Nigerian Communications Commission, as a regulator, has been playing in the West African sub-region.

“It also highlights the unending objective of keeping up with the times and ever-evolving dynamics of the telecommunications sector.”

The NCC Chief also restated the enduring commitment of the Swedish Government and SPIDER to the cause of ICT development in emerging regions and acknowledged their roles in improving access to healthcare, education, income generation, and employment opportunities in West Africa, thereby contributing to poverty reduction.

He further disclosed “this periodic strategic engagement under the auspices of SPIDER over the years has made the Commission a more effective regulator and enhanced it contribution to the development of the telecommunications sector.

“This contribution will further support the creation of an ecosystem that is beneficial to the economies and people of the region.”

Human capacity building crucial in regulatory activities -Swedish Ambassador

Also speaking at the forum, Mrs. Annika Hahn, Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), highlighted the significance of ICT regulation and capacity building as key drivers for economic development and social progress.

Hahn applauded the NCC for hosting the event and fostering collaboration between the two countries.

The envoy also acknowledged the pivotal role ICT has played in Sweden’s economic growth being the birthplace of Ericsson, one of the world’s oldest and largest ICT companies, with a rich history in the sector.

The ambassador further stressed the potential of the global technological revolution to catalyse industrial and economic development.

According to her, there is the need for modern and adaptable regulation to navigate this rapidly-evolving landscape.

“To cope with this new and swiftly-developing environment, we need to regulate in a modern and adaptable way.

“Therefore, human capacity building in ICT regulation is crucial for all of us,” she noted.

On COVID-19 pandemic and global ICT adoption

Mrs. Hahn as well stated the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of ICT across the globe.

She said the deployment of ICT tools led to an increase in Internet users as the shift impacted various sectors, including education, commerce, and financial services.

E-learning practices on various platforms, according to her, played a significant role in digital transformation.

The Swedish Ambassador disclosed Ericsson had reported that there were over 900 million registered mobile subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022, with a considerable portion of those in Nigeria.

In driving growth and contributing to the ambitious goal of over a billion mobile subscriptions by the end of 2023 within Sub-Saharan Africa, “education must be an essential part of our regulatory development strategies and policies, hence the need for collaboration in knowledge-sharing and up-skilling of human resources by all stakeholders,” Hahn further stated.

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