Telecoms Regulation: NCC, stakeholders chart new path


In line with its tradition and commitment to engage with stakeholders in the telecom ecosystem, 
the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has hosted the second edition of the Nigerian Telecoms Leadership Summit. This is also with a view to pursuing proactive regulatory interventions and enabling operating environment as well as improving investment climate in the Nigerian telecom industry.

The event, which took place at the Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos, was an assemblage of key industry stakeholders, according to reports. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, Prof. Umar, disclosed that the theme of the Summit: “The Future of Telecom Regulation in Nigeria,” presented a unique opportunity for the Commission to interact with critical stakeholders.

While noting the the need for such interaction, among which is to brainstorm and migrate to new frontiers of visionary regulations that will galvanise and foster desired growth in the industry, Danbatta explained that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic triggered political and socio-economic uncertainties globally. This underscored the crucial role of digital connectivity in keeping societies functioning, as the online life became, essentially, new way of life.

With the increased dependence on digital platforms, he said the theme of the event had become necessary in order to put in place a broader regulatory framework that will enhance and protect the integrity of the industry in the emergent digital economy.

As such, the NCC, he said, will continue to diligently pursue the implementation of policy frameworks such as Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025; and the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, which are consistent with NCC’s regulatory interventions such as the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP), 2020-2024 and Strategic Vision Plan (SVP), 2021-2025, among others.

According to the NCC’s boss, all the policy and regulatory frameworks principally seek to provide a platform for Nigerian citizens to engage in innovative developments for the telecoms industry and improve the nation’s ability to compete in the ever-competitive global space.

Danbatta said further that the industry is witnessing new business delivery and breakthroughs due to the expansion of boundaries of digital Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), especially fintech and e-commerce firms, maintaining that those consequential ecosystem have contributed to the growth of the Nigerian digital economy riding on telecom infrastructure.

Danbatta aptly reckoned that digital services and contents provided by these SMEs will leverage on broadband infrastructure and the upcoming deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) network being driven by the Commission to deliver more innovative and high-quality experiences to consumers.

“The Commission’s successful auction and licensing of the 3.5GHz spectrum licences in the last quarter of 2021 for the deployment of 5G technology is set to creat many opportunities for the development of the industry and as a regulator, we are conversant with the fact that a dynamic regulatory environment is needed to sustain this industry growth”, Danbatta said.

He said further: “Therefore, it has become imperative for us, as critical stakeholders, to appraise the progress made so far as an industry and chart the course for the future of the telecoms industry in the country.” He also noted that one of the sectors that had been positively impacted by the digital transformation is the financial services sector.

Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC, Dr. Ademola Sogunle, in his keynote address titled: “The Future of Telecom Regulation in Nigeria: Challenges of Access to Funding”, asserted that the telecommunications industry had become the sustaining stimulus of the post-pandemic era as consumers’ behaviours continue to shift towards digital trends.

And while reviewing resolutions of the first edition of the Summit held in 2019, the Director, Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis, NCC, Yetunde Akinloye, said the Commission had implemented the recommendations of that meeting among which were Executive Order on Duplicity of Taxes and Levies, and Harmonization of Right of Way (ROW) fees, among other things.
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