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Digital Economy: Excellent service delivery is a necessity in Nigerian telecoms industry –NCC EVC

Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, President of ALTON; Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services at NCC; Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of NCC; Barr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at NCC; and Tony Emoekpere, President of ATCON at NCC EVC/CEO’s Interactive Session with CEOs of Telecom Companies in Nigeria, in Lagos         Photo: NCC

*Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, emphasises the importance of industry regulations and standards in meeting the expectations of telecoms consumers in the West African country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has emphasised that Quality of Service (QoS) in the telecommunications sector is non-negotiable, urging stakeholders for industry collaboration to make this a reality.

Maida, who spoke in Lagos at a recent interactive session with Chief Executive Officers in the industry, assured of collaborations within the industry and commitment to transparency in the country’s telecoms ecosystem.

The telecoms sector regulatory Commission noted the EC/CEO urged the industry chieftains to appreciate that they have a very important role to play to consolidate the achievements already recorded in the sector, which is an enabler of Nigeria’s digital economy.

Nigerian telecoms consumers’ expectations very high, says Maida

Speaking as his confirmation as the substantive Chief Executive Officer of the Commission was taking place at the Senate Chambers recently, Maida also stated that  the expectations of telecoms consumers are very high in the West African country.

He affirmed: “People actually expect telecoms services to work. I don’t think they really appreciate what it takes to deliver these services.

“So, it has come to a stage they just see telecom service as utility like water and electricity. Like a social service, it needs to work. We need to really come together in the industry and deliver value to the customer.”

As regards compliance with industry regulations and standards, the NCC Executive Vice-Chairman said: “When it comes to compliance, this is an area where we are going to be placing a lot more focus, and things are going to be a lot more urgent.

“I am not going to be asking for compliance after the fact. That is going to be a very key area of focus for me.

“So, we owe it to ourselves to benchmark ourselves against the best, not against other sectors. We have to just take ourselves as setting the benchmark for every person else. So, let people compare and say we have to be as good as telecoms.”

On Broadband connectivity

In highlighting the Commission’s efforts at deepening Broadband connectivity and penetration in the Nigeria Digital Economy ecosystem, Maida as well disclosed that NCC has a very short time to do so much.

The EVC/CEO stated: “A lot has been done with the Infrastructure Company (InfraCo) licensing.

“We just have to re-imagine, look at it again, and see whether that is the right approach and re-imagine how we approach it.

“We now need to start getting into the states, and perhaps we might need to sit down and see how we can do that differently. Again, on the Broadband issue, we need to increase the investment.”

Maida further said that he considered operating entities as a very crucial segment of the national telecoms development, hence his desire to hear directly from industry CEOs about the issues, challenges, and opportunities.

“We also have to be clear that this is not just a conversation about you representing your shareholders. This is a conversation about Nigeria. This is a conversation about moving Nigeria forward.

“So, your shareholders are one part of your stakeholders, but Nigerians are also another critical, in fact, your most important stakeholders.”

The NCC Chief added: “This conversation is going to be about you having your shareholders, but you also have Nigerians to whom you will have to deliver services.”

Industry CEOs speak

In their separate remarks on Maida’s presentation at the stakeholder engagement in Lagos, the CEOs of companies in the sector expressed delight at the consultative approach of the EVC/CEO of NCC, as they pledged to work closely in support of Maida’s mandate.

In his comment, Tony Emoekpere, President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), said the industry is reassured by the steps that Maida has taken in convening the interactive session.

Emoekpere noted: “We are really encouraged that your first action is to meet with us here at this interactive session. What you have done to invite us here to hear what we have to say is the right step.”

Likewise, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), commended the interactive session for providing a platform for discussing the issues in the industry.

Adebayo asserted that the stakeholder engagement approach of the new Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO  of NCC is very promising.

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