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Robust Broadband infrastructure improving service quality, QoE for telecoms consumers –NCC

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

*Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, has reassured industry stakeholders of the Commission’s commitment to creating a conducive environment for deployment of robust telecoms/Broadband infrastructure to improve Quality of Service and Quality of Experience for consumers in the country’s telecoms ecosystem

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has assured the telecoms industry stakeholders that the Commission will continue to create a conducive environment that stimulates deployment of robust telecoms/Broadband infrastructure for improving the Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) for individual or corporate telecoms consumers.

ConsumerConnect reports Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, stated this in his speech delivered on the “NCC Day” at the 18th Abuja International Trade Fair (AITF), in the FCT.

The Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) organised the event Thursday, October 5, 2023, at the Abuja Trade and Convention Centre, in Abuja.

The NCC held what is christened “NCC Special Day” at the 18th Abuja International Trade Fair.

According to him, this year’s AITF with the theme, This year’s edition of the Trade Fair with the theme, “Sustainable Financing and Taxation”, provides “a veritable avenue for the Commission to have face-to-face interactions with telecoms consumers”, by enlightening them, educating them about their rights and privileges as consumers.

The NCC also takes the opportunity of the Special Day to educate them on various consumer-centric initiatives of the regulatory Commission.

Danbatta as well said the commitment to supporting the stakeholders in advancing the QoS and QoE for consumers had become necessary because Nigeria as a country needs robust telecoms infrastructure that will help industries to transition to becoming Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-driven.

The EVC/CEO of NCC averred that deployment of these critical telecoms infrastructure is essential “if we hope to be digitally competitive on the global stage.”

NCC’s achievements and strategic stakeholder engagements

Prof. Danbatta, who noted that’s he was delighted to be part of 18th Abuja International Trade Fair, told the audience that “the Commission is working assiduously with various stakeholders including you, the consumers, to see how more businesses can embrace digital platforms for delivering their services to the consumer.

“As a regulator, we also ensure we constantly inform you, the consumers on how to be protected to prevent cases of online fraud or avoid consumer falling victims of cybercrime antics while in their legitimate use of the Internet.”

He equally related how the telecoms sector regulatory Commission has supported the stakeholders to achieve marked improvements in the Nigerian digital ecosystem over the years.

He disclosed that as of now, the West African country boasts the number of active mobile subscriptions estimated at 220,715,961 million as of August 2023, while Teledensity stood at 115.63 percent at the same period.

Danbatta stated: “Also, the number of active Internet subscribers was 159,034,717 million with Broadband penetration at 45.57 percent as of August, 2023.

“In this new environment, the competitiveness of Nigerian businesses depends on their ability to leverage on new technologies by acquiring the necessary digital skills to do business on an international scale.”

Digital transformation in improved service delivery in Nigeria

According to Danbatta, these attainments coupled with robust regulatory regine and operationsl excellence, in turn, have benefitted the Nigerian economy financially.

“The steady growth of telecoms sector over the years with its pervasive positive impact on all other sectors of the economy in terms of increased automation of processes and digital transformation in service delivery, has been remarkable.

“This, however, would not have been possible without you, telecoms consumers who are using the services daily,” said Danbatta in his speech.

The NCC Chief recalled that the Commission, over the years, has continued to be a strategic partner to the Commerce, Mines and Industry, as it leverages the Trade Fair platform to engage telecoms consumers and business owners, who are based in various regions of the country.

He stated: “Partnering with ACCI through our Special ‘NCC Day’ event is a pleasure for us at the Commission, as it usually provides a veritable platform for interaction with telecoms stakeholders, especially our esteemed telecoms consumers.”

Danbatta expressed appreciation of the Board and Management of the Commission to ACCI for an invitation to participate in the annual Trade Fair in the FCT.

On stable, accessible and conducive financing, taxation for telecoms industry growth

As regards the strategic  importance of sustainable financing for businesses, including investments in telecoms infrastructure, Danbatta said this year’s edition of the Abuja International Trade Fair with the theme, “Sustainable Financing and Taxation”, is very apt and timely.

He noted this is so, especially considering the pivotal role the telecommunications industry plays in driving economic growth, fostering innovation, and enhancing the quality of life for citizens across the globe.

The EVC/CEO stated: “As the telecommunications regulator in Nigeria, we bear the responsibility of ensuring the sustainability and vitality of the sector.

“The Commission recognises the fact that telecommunications sector has been a strategic driver of the digital economy agenda of the Federal Government, as it continues to provide the needed digital stamina to support the economy, especially through technology.”

Danbatta opined that it is not unusual to acknowledge the fact that telecommunications empowers individuals, connects businesses, strengthen industries and enable governments to provide essential services efficiently, thereby driving development and prosperity.

He opined that Information Communications Technology (ICT) is not only one of the fastest growing industries – directly creating millions of jobs – but it is also an important enabler of innovation and development.

It provides the backbone infrastructure for transactional business and taxation for Government, Danbatta declared in his speech.

The Executive Vice-Chairman, however, noted that maintaining the improving digital infrastructure and its continued growth necessitates substantial investment in the industry.

He said that sustainable financing in telecommunication involves sourcing the necessary capital to build and maintain robust telecommunications networks in the ecosystem in Nigeria.

Danbatta stated: “As regulators, we understand that this financing should be stable, accessible and conducive for industry growth.

“Taxation while essential for funding of Government initiatives must strike a delicate balance between revenue generation and industry growth.”

He added that the regulatory Commission’s role is to advocate fair taxation practices that do not stifle innovation or place undue burden on telecoms consumers.

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