- The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that it would ensure that all its licensees are given a conducive atmosphere to operate
- Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the commission, disclosed this on Thursday, November 25, in Lagos
- Danbatta noted that the forum examines issues that negatively affect licence compliance and industry growth
Lekki, Lagos - The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has declared that the commission would ensure that all its licensees are given a good atmosphere to operate.
Legit.ng reports that Danbatta, who made this known on Thursday, November 25, in Lagos at the ongoing "Talk to the Regulator" forum, said the gathering is one of the most important events in the annual stakeholder engagement diary of the NCC.
He said that the forum provides the commission with a unique opportunity to engage with its licensees in a collaborative atmosphere which, in turn, enables it to jointly examine issues that are negatively affecting licence compliance and industry growth.
Danbatta added that the forum is also an opportunity for the NCC to jointly work out collaborative solutions and implementation programmes in the national interest.
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He further noted that the regulator-licensee interactions like the “Talk to the Regulator” forum are critical to industry growth and development, saying that the interaction seat squarely within the five pillars of the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (2020-2024).
The EVC said:
"These pillars are, respectively, Regulatory Excellence, Promotion of Universal Broadband Access, the Development of the Digital Economy, Facilitation of Market Development, and Strategic Partnering.
"Through regular interactions with our licensees, the Commission is able to gain valuable insights to enhance our regulatory output and drive excellence in consonance with the five pillars of our strategic vision for the industry as encapsulated in the Commission’s Strategic Vision Plan (SVP, 2021-2025)."
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He explained that analysts agree that the industry has continued to show improvements in key indices such as contribution to GDP, active internet subscriptions, teledensity, and broadband pen.etration.
According to him, the commission is not resting on these achievements, saying that not all the licensees are doing as well as they ought to be doing.
He said several licensees are struggling to pay their staff, adding that many are unable to comply with basic licence obligations, while several are defaulting in the payment of their Annual Operating Levies (AOL).
Danbatta stated that the commission would continue to roll out forward-looking and all-inclusive regulatory initiatives to provide market opportunities for all its licensees.
"We have also committed to the constant review of our licensing framework as well as key regulatory instruments so as to refresh our regulatory frameworks and ensure better service delivery for consumers and efficient attainment of other national interest objectives.
"However, the industry can only achieve the national interest objectives set out in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) and other policy instruments if most (if not all) of our licensees are operating at optimal strength. We are therefore keenly aware of the need to listen to our licensees and address any concerns that may impede the attainment of the relevant policy objectives.
In his speech at the forum, the executive commissioner, stakeholder management of the NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, said the forum was held in Lagos because the state is arguably the hub of communications services in Nigeria, saying that most of the commission's licensees have their headquarters in Lagos.
He said the state hosts the largest single concentration of telecoms infrastructure and telecoms subscribers, adding that it is only natural that the regulator should come over to interact with the “customers” where they are – in the spirit of superior customer service which the NCC champions.
"Over the years, we have consistently deployed stakeholder engagement tools like public enquiries, private investigations, written information requests, one-on-one discussions and diverse consumer engagement platforms. These tools enable us to ensure that our interventions are well-grounded and that our decisions are based on a clear understanding of stakeholder perspectives."
NCC announces auction of 5G spectrum, pegs reserve price at $197.4m
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the NCC said the upcoming spectrum auction for 5G services would hold on Monday, December 13, 2021.
It was reported that the director of spectrum administration at NCC, Oluwatoyin Asaju, announced this on Thursday, November 4, at a stakeholders’ consultative forum in Lagos.
The commission had fixed the reserve price for the 3.5GHz spectrum auction at $197.4 million.