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Quality of Service, value and consumers’ QoE a necessity in Nigeria’s telecoms ecosystem –Maida

*Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, also discloses the telecoms sector regulatory Commission will unveil its Strategic Plan in line with the current administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda and extant policy direction of the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy January 2024

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the Federal Government and attendant policy direction of the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stated the regulator will unveil a Strategic Plan for the telecoms industry by the end of January 2024.

ConsumerConnect reports  Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC,  disclosed this development while receiving the Executive members of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), Abuja Chapter, who were on a courtesy visit in his office recently.

Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of NCC

He explained the telecoms sector regulatory Commission’s proposed Strategic Plan would align with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, and the stated policy direction of the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy.

In connection with the developments in the industry since he assumed office as the NCC Chief this year, Maida said:

“I think the strategy put forward by the Minister (Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani) was very clear in terms of policy direction, and we have to try to achieve it.

“Be assured that our guiding principle is the Renewed Hope Agenda and the Strategic Roadmap set out by the Minister and of course, there are some aspects that are specific to us that we will add to that.”

He also noted that at the end of January next year, the Commission “will be releasing our Strategic Plan for the NCC and by and large for the industry in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda.”

On Quality of Service and consumers’ Quality of Experience

As regards the Quality of Service (QoS) by telecoms companies, Maida rather urged Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to ensure that telecoms consumers get value for their hard-earned money.

“Of course, Quality of Service matters in my engagement with the Chief Executive Officers of telecommunications providers.

“I had to let them know that we need to make sure people, everybody gets value for their money, there are challenges everywhere, whether it is Forex, diesel, security,” he explained.

The Executive Vice-Chairman of the Commission further stated: “We are going to be driving very hard on that, as one of the areas that we should be held responsible; we will make sure it is transparent.

“I want it to be transparent so that we can drive the industry.

He as well assured industry stakeholders that “I am going on a compliance drive next year to make sure that we are working on the things that will help the licensees, MNOs, and other stakeholders in the value chain.

“And we are going to hold them accountable because what you do not measure, you do not hold people accountable, and there is no consequence.”

He equally said: “But in a collaborative fashion, we are going to sit down and look at the challenges and know what we can do together. I do not intend to use horsewhip.”

SIM Cards and NINs linkage to continue, says EVC/CEO

In regard to the latest directive to the Telcos to ensure that more telecoms consumers get their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) linked with their National Identification Numbers (NINs), Dr. Maida affirmed that his leadership would intensify efforts at doing more in this regard.

He also stated: “Again, we are trying to push forward the work started by our predecessors to link NINs to SIMs.

“Although, we are being pragmatic in dealing with the challenges, it is the job that must be completed because the benefits far outweigh the pains.”

Maida noted: “If we have a way to tie everybody to an identity, there are other sectors that have similar identities like banks, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), bringing it all together to NIN gives us a foundation whereby a lot of digital services can be built and there is security aspect as well because we know our challenges.

“I think we need to focus on the fact that we need to do this as a nation.

“We are not doing it to cause pain, we are doing it so that the economy can grow, there is so much in our plan.”

Earlier in his remarks during the visit, Blessing Olaifa, President of NITRA, had congratulated Dr. Maida on his appointment by President Tinubu and confirmation by the Nigerian Senate, in the National Assembly (NASS).

Olaifa commended the Commission’s achievements in the telecoms sector of the economy over the years.

“The telecoms sector is growing very fast, not only in Nigeria but across the globe.

“We appreciate the performances of the former EVC, who took broadband penetration from 19% to over 40%; telecoms mobile subscription was about 150million and he left it at about 202million; internet penetration moved from 80million to over 150million,” said he.

Olaifa also stated: “These are great achievements. In terms of contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the telecoms and ICT in general played a leading role in the last three years.

“And we have played our role over these years.”

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