The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has defined a new path to effective telecoms regulation and industry growth in Nigeria, in collaboration with industry stakeholders.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission, said the summit’s topic, “The Future of Telecom Regulation in Nigeria,” provided a unique opportunity for the commission to meet with crucial stakeholders.
The commission will be allowed to brainstorm and migrate to new frontiers of creative rules that will galvanize and support desirable growth in the business, according to the EVC.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Danbatta, created worldwide political and socio-economic uncertainty, highlighting the critical significance of digital connectivity in keeping societies operating, as online existence has effectively become a new way of life.
With the growing reliance on digital platforms, he noted that the event’s theme had become vital to establish a larger regulatory framework that would strengthen and preserve the industry’s integrity in the emerging digital economy.
In this regard, the EVC stated that the NCC would continue to diligently pursue the implementation of policy frameworks such as the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 and the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, which are in line with the NCC’s regulatory interventions such as the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024 and Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) 2021-2025, among others.
All of the policy and regulatory frameworks, according to Danbatta, aim to offer a platform for Nigerian citizens to participate in new telecoms advances and increase the country’s ability to compete in the global market.
Danbatta continued, “The sector is witnessing new business delivery and breakthroughs due to the development of borders of digital Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), especially fintech and e-commerce enterprises, as a result of the expanding spectrum of the digital ecosystem.” According to the EVC, those significant ecosystems have aided the rise of Nigeria’s digital economy, which is based on telecom infrastructure.
Danbatta correctly predicted that these SMEs’ digital services and content will take use of broadband infrastructure and the Commission’s future deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) networks to give consumers with more innovative and high-quality experiences.
In a keynote address titled “The Future of Telecom Regulation in Nigeria: Challenges of Access to Funding,” Dr. Ademola Sogunle, Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC, echoed the EVC’s position, claiming that the telecommunications industry had become the sustaining stimulus of the post-pandemic era as consumers’ behavior continues to shift towards digital trends. According to Danbatta, the telecoms sector’s contribution continues to benefit the entire ecosystem.
Yetunde Akinloye, Director, Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis, NCC, said the Commission had implemented the recommendations of the first edition of the Summit held in 2019, which included an Executive Order on Duplicity of Taxes and Levies and Harmonization of Right of Way (RoW) fees.
Other recommendations that have been implemented, according to her, include addressing interconnect debt, reviewing the framework for interconnect clearing houses to ensure that 10% of traffic is routed through clearing houses, providing incentives to small operators, and monitoring compliance with the Code of Corporate Governance.