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Telecoms: Amendments to regulatory instruments to improve compliance, monitoring systems –NCC

Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of NCC, Addressing the Participants in the Public Inquiry, at the Commission's Corporate Headquarters, in Abuja, FCT Photo: NCC

*The Nigerian Communications Commission asserts the proposed amendments to three telecoms regulatory instruments at the recent two-day public hearing, in Abuja, are aimed at enhancing compliance, providing a comprehensive interconnection framework, and improving monitoring systems in the country’s telecoms space

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stressed its reviews of working regulatory instruments in consonance with industry stakeholders are designed to boost compliance, offer a comprehensive interconnection framework, and improve monitoring systems in the country’s digital ecosystem.

ConsumerConnect reports the telecoms sector regulatory Commission, which noted this Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at the two-day Public Inquiry on three regulatory instruments, emphasised the exercise is a vital part of the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) mandate to create a dynamic communications sector.

Reviews of regulatory instruments conform to Nigerian Communications Act 2003, says Chizua Whyte

Mrs. Chizua Whyte, Acting Head of Legal and Regulatory Services at NCC, in her welcome address at event, held at the Corporate Headquarters of the Commission, in Abuja, FCT, stated that the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 empowers the NCC to develop and amend regulatory instruments.

Whyte, in her address at the event, said the Commission had sought inputs of industry stakeholders in refining these regulations to address the sector’s evolving challenges.

On essence of the proposed amendments, she also stated: “We will review three key regulatory instruments: The First is the Telecommunications Networks Interconnect Regulations.

“The proposed amendments aim to enhance compliance, provide a comprehensive interconnection framework, and improve monitoring systems. Interconnection fosters service delivery and market cohesion, ensuring operators have fair and non- discriminatory access.”

The Acting Head of Legal and Regulatory Services at NCC noted the Second is the Guidelines on Procedure for Granting Approval to Disconnect Telecommunications Operators.

According to her, this framework ensures fairness, transparency, and certainty in disconnection procedures, protecting operators from unjustified disconnections and ensuring contractual obligations are honoured.

“This review will bolster investor confidence and promote healthy competition,” stated Whyte.

She further noted the third is the Guidelines for Dispute Resolution, on which Mrs. Whyte stressed that in line with Section 73 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, “effective dispute resolution is essential for resolving issues efficiently and fairly.”

She restated that the updated guidelines aim to streamline the process, save time, reduce costs, and minimise service disruptions, particularly for small claims which ultimately, would enhance stakeholder confidence in the resolution process in the telecoms industry.

In respect of the regulatory excellence for which the Commission is noted by stakeholders, Whyte averred that as the communications industry evolves with emerging technologies, the NCC regulatory instruments “must adapt swiftly.”

The Commission’s collaborative efforts with stakeholders have driven significant advancements and will continue to propel the sector forward, she said.

The NCC Acting Head of Legal and Regulatory Services further noted that the Public Inquiry underscored the Commission’s commitment to regulatory excellence, and building a robust communications sector that supports the Nigerian economy.

“We value your contributions and look forward to shaping a strong, dynamic industry together,” Whyte stated.

Earlier in his opening remarks at the forum Tuesday, May 21, in Abuja, Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Commission, had urged the industry experts, stakeholders and engaged citizens, to bring valuable insights and perspectives that would help shape the future of the telecoms industry in the country.

Maida stated: “Your participations, valuable contributions and feedback are vital in shaping a path forward that benefits all of us. Before we delve into the details of these regulatory instruments, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the significance of this event.”

Public Inquiry a testament to NCC’s dedication to transparency and inclusivity, by Maida

The EVC/CEO also emphasised the Commission’s independent regulatory authority for the communications industry and its commitment to promoting an efficient, accessible and competitive telecoms industry in Nigeria.

On the strategic importance of the two-day gathering, Dr. Maida said: “The public inquiry we are conducting today (Tuesday) is a testament to the Commission’s dedication to transparency and inclusivity ensuring that the voices of all stakeholders are heard and considered.

“These regulatory instruments play a vital role in shaping our communications landscape, and it is essential that we visit and refine them to address emerging challenges, trends and opportunities.

“The instruments that we considered during the course of this public inquiry are vital in ensuring the communications sector meets the demand of the ever-evolving digital age.”

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