Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has said that the telecom industry has witnessed milestones in more ways than one.
This he said, includes the rapid growth in technology, which is redefining service delivery, and creating wide and high expectations from all stakeholders.
Danbatta made this assertion in his keynote speech at the ‘Talk To The Regulator’ Forum held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Thursday, June 1, 2023.
He said that to keep up to date with developments in the industry, the Commission has equally taken measures to improve regulations to accommodate rapid and continuous development.
He listed some of the interventions and responses of the Commission including facilitating the roll-out of 5G services provision; and the introduction of a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) license to bridge the gap between unserved and underserved areas.
Another area of intervention is the current review of the scope and structure of the Commission’s existing licenses to make them more robust and to accommodate some of the identified new industry trends.
Danbatta said that in line with the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020 – 2025), the NCC is providing industry leadership to facilitate the achievement of 90% Broadband penetration by the year 2025, and well above 50% at the end of 2023.
“Currently, over One Hundred and Fifty (I50) million Nigerians have access to the internet, while over eighty (80) million can access high-speed internet,” he disclosed.
Danbatta described the ‘Talk-To-The Regulator` (TTTR) Forum as a common platform for non-discriminatory interaction on a one-on-one basis, between the Licensees and the Regulator on several industry issues, pertinent to the Licensees and of national interest.
He expressed delight with the presence of the Licensees at the event and was hopeful that during the 2-Day Session, participants would discuss and identify the measures necessary to improve investment and service delivery in the industry.
The TTTR Forum in Yenagoa was originally scheduled to hold in 2022 but was postponed due to the dreadful flood disaster that hit Bayelsa and some other states in the year.
The Commission, through the Executive Vice Chairman, seized the opportunity at the Forum to commiserate with the people of Bayelsa State and the entire nation on the worst flood disaster recorded in the history of the nation.
“We pray that such natural disaster shall not plaque our dear nation again, and equally believe that the state has made adequate preparations for any future occurrences,” he prayed.
Recall that the Nigeria Communications Commission, in keeping with its mandate, creates opportunities to interact with its licensees on industry issues and new trends via stakeholder fora, with a view to gathering relevant information that would further advance the development of the industry, while improving regulations and service delivery to telecom consumers.