NCC
Umar Garba Danbatta. Source: The Guardian Nigeria.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says everything is set to for the repositioning of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, starting by ensuring that network spreads to everywhere in the country.

The Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta said this during an annual stakeholders’ consultative forum on selected licence categories in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital on Wednesday, tagged, ‘talk to the regulator, 2018’.

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Represented in the meeting by the Director, Licensing and Authorisation, Ms Funlola Akiode, Danbatta noted that the commission has licensed infrastructural companies to commence shared access broadband infrastructure across the country on an output based incentive system.

He said “Our framework will ensure that telecom subscribers truly get added value when they sign up for such services, and that all stakeholders along the value chain are treated equitably so that the industry can grow.

“Our expectation is that licensees will compliment interventions like these from the commission in instituting best practices while running their activities.”

He called on the operators to key into the commission’s technology neutral regulatory focus policy for a better service delivery.

According to him “The technology neutral regulatory focus of the Commission is a plus in this regard. It is something licensees should exploit when thinking solutions to the challenges faced in the sector.”

The forum was aimed at addressing identified problems hindering broadband penetration targets in the country.

“This forum is aimed at fostering harmonious relationship with licensees, identifying their challenges and providing feedbacks on licensees’ fulfillment of their licence obligations and to re-emphasis the role of licensees in ensuring good quality of service and partnership towards the achievement of the Broadband penetration targets.

“It is noteworthy that the Nigerian telecommunications industry has continued to make giant strides which is evidenced in the progressive growth of mobile telephony and internet penetration/data usage. However, there are concerns on the telecom/internet quality of service by subscribers.” Akiode added.Meanwhile licensees in the industry urged the commission to facilitate moves for investments to boost economy.

In an interview with newsmen at the event, a lincensees, Mr. Basil Njoku observed that most rural areas in the country are still neglected in terms of Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

He noted that the development is affecting negatively the growth of the industry and the economy.

He said, “The rural areas are being neglected. The ISPs are not there and this is one of the major areas government needs to be interested in, to support the licenses and see how we can get into such areas because individuals cannot achieve that project alone”

“The licenses also need to know what is currently obtainable in the industry, digital world is evolving and NCC is not doing anything to educate and retrain the lincensees to embrace this developments but we hope that this forum would address such challenges.”