Connect with us

Telecom

Senate Committee Commends NCC’s Regulatory Performance

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Senate Committee on Communications said it was impressed by the various regulatory interventions which the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has taken to ensure improved service delivery and bridging access gaps in the country.

Senate Committee Commends NCC’s Regulatory Performance

L-R: Sen. Ibrahim Bomai, Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications; Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, Chairman, Committee; Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, during the familiarization and fact-finding tour of the Committee to the Commission in Abuja .

Senator Oluremi Tinubu, chairman of the Committee, who led other members of the Committee to NCC’s Head Office in Abuja on a familiarisation and fact-finding visit, said, given the mammoth  of challenges facing the industry and the achievements of the Commission so far,  its regulatory interventions and performance deserves to be  appreciated and commended.

The Committee members were received by the Executive Management team of the Commission, led by Prof. Umar Danbatta, NCC’s executive vice chairman (EVC), who provided a detailed briefing of the Commission’s core mandates, its various initiatives that have helped to improve wider access to telecommunications as well as the challenges in the regulatory environment, which formed the basis for the comments made by the Committee members.

“We are here on a familiarisation and fact-finding tour to the Commission but I must say that we are impressed by the presentation made by the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, on the activities of the Commission so far in regulating the industry.

“We particularly see the Platinum Category Certificate of Award for exceptional organisational performance which NCC received from the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) in 2017 as a testament to your recognition as a performing agency of the Federal  Government. However, we want you to do more for Nigerians, ” Tinubu said.

Earlier, while addressing the Committee members, Danbatta reeled out industry statistics which, irrefutably captured the growth recorded in the industry.

According to him, Nigeria attained and surpassed 30 percent broadband penetration target in December, 2018 and the penetration has further increase to 38.49 per cent as of December, 2019.

Also, Danbatta said the number of active phone lines has increased to over 185 million; active Internet subscriptions on global system for mobile communications (GSM), fixed wired and voice over internet protocol (VoIP)  networks have equally increased to over 126 million.

The EVC added that teledensity is 96.76 per cent, and quarterly contribution of telecoms to gross domestic product (GDP) has reached 10.60  per cent. The NCC, through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has reduced the number of access-gaps clusters in the country further from 114. Hitherto, some 38 million Nigerians were affected by access gap clusters.

Danbatta explained to the  Committee what the Commission has done, so far, with respect to spectrum administration in the sector.

He stated that despite the crucial role of spectrum, and being a scarce resoure, the Commission has deployed spectrum quite effectively for the development of the telecom industry.

Some of the clear goal-oriented programmes in that regard include development of spectrum trading, ongoing effort to leverage Television White Space (TVWS) to address rural connectivity, the Proof of Concept (PoC) non-commercial trial of Fifth Generation (5G) networks, and development guidelines on commercial satellites deployment.

Danbatta stated that the Commission’s efforts in licensing Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) to cascade fibre optic into the hinterland to reach all the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country, is succeeding and will bolster government’s effort at expanding the nation’s broadband infrastructure.

The EVC recalled various inter-agency collaborations, frequent engagement of state governments to discuss issue of Right of Way (RoW), multiple regulations, taxation and other challenges, are consciously articulated towards improving deployment of telecoms infrastructure to ensure improved services for the telecom consumers.

The Commission, Danbatta said, has also issued various Directions to Mobile Metwork Operators (MNOs) with respect to roll-over data and forceful subscriptions to ensure that consumers are not shortchanged by market forces.

Similarly, Danbatta said the introduction of Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 Short Code to manage unsolicited messages, the Toll-Free Number (622) for the escalation of complaints and the 112 Emergency Communication Number which is connected to the Emergency Communication Centres (ECCs), are conscious policies put in place to ensure that the rights of telecom consumers are safeguarded and to ensure that Nigerians enjoy derivable benefits of new communication  technologies.

At the moment, eighteen (18) states of the Federation currently have operational ECCs while the efforts are ongoing by the Commission to ensure ECCs are operational in the remaining states in the country.

The EVC also told the Committee members that the Commission is instrumental to the listing of MTN and Airtel on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE); resolved N1.03 trillion fine against MTN; promoted the Code of Corporate Governance in the industry from voluntary to mandatory compliance; developed new numbering plan to enhance opportunities for emerging technologies; and restructured the telecoms value-added services (VAS) segment resulting in licensing of 10 VAS aggregator companies,

Danbatta, who appreciated the support of the National Assembly so far, however, listed key issues affecting the regulatory environment. These, he said, include power, which is the biggest challenge facing telecommunications operations in the country; multiple regulations and multiple regulations; security challenges, vandalism and theft of telecom installations and transmission cable cuts; as well as RoW issue.

The Committee members assured NCC of their readiness to support the regulatory efforts of the Commission through legislative intervention and other collaboration towards addressing the challenges in the regulatory environment.

They also urged the NCC to focus more on increased access across the country as well as ensuring affordability of telecoms services for Nigerians.

 

 

 

 

 


Kindly share this post

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Comments

Telecom

NCC @ ICTEL EXPO, Pledges Robust ICT Infrastructure for Economic Growth

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that the Commission will continue to promote and facilitate expansion of robust broadband/Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure across the country for the rapid development of the nation’s digital economy.

NCC @ ICTEL EXPO,  Pledges Robust ICT Infrastructure for Economic Growth

Prof Umar Danbatta, EVC, NCC

Danbatta gave the assurance in a presentation titled “Communication Technology for Service Delivery in Health, Education, Tourism, the Creative Industry and Agriculture” delivered during the first virtual and sixth edition of Information Communications Technology and Telecommunications Conference and Exhibition (ICTEL) EXPO 2020.

He said the Commission, not only successfully achieved but surpassed the 30 per cent broadband penetration target in 2018.

Danabatta observed that through various policy initiatives, broadband penetration has further increased to 42.02 per cent as of July, 2020, noting that this has laid a solid foundation to drive the national efforts at achieving the new 70 per cent broadband penetration target set in the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025.

Represented by Efosa Idehen, director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Danbatta said in line with this commitment, the Commission has commenced the review of the framework for engaging infrastructure companies to cascade fibre optic deployment to the hinterlands of Nigeria to ensure pervasive access to broadband services in the country.

He stated that with the support of the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, NCC is resolving the perennial problem of high cost of Right of Way (RoW) with the support of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) to hasten ICT infrastructure that will enable socio-economic activities across various sectors.

According to him, as the world is becoming increasingly digitised; there will be no sector or facet of human life where ICT will not be required for optimal service delivery and improved conditions of living for the citizens.

With regard to the health sector, Danbatta said ICT is playing a very important role in the manner health services are now delivered, adding that the new Internet speed and low latency of 5G technology are expected to further enhance the possibilities of telemedicine and remote surgery.

Similarly, the EVC said the educational sector has also greatly soared on the wings of ICT, as there has been a surge in online learning in many institutions around the globe due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, while illustrating the symbiotic relationship between ICT and educational sectors.

Danbatta said “the relationship between ICT and the educational sector has been mutually beneficial. He assured the stakeholders that the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to enhance the capabilities of the educational sector even further.”

According to him, the agricultural sector has also benefitted from ICT, as several agro-based apps have been designed to ensure that stakeholders in the sector are able to provide and improve on essential agro-services.

These developments have helped to boost food production and security, just as a lot of digitisation is also holding sway in the creative industry, enhancing its growth thereby enabling job creation and greater contribution to the Gross Domestic product (GDP).

 


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

Telecom

NDPR to Safeguard Personal Data of Nigerians -DG NITDA

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has disclosed that the motive behind the issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulations, (NDPR) by the Agency was to safeguard the right of natural persons to data privacy, fostering safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data, enablement of Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant and competitive and to create jobs for Nigerians.

 

Mallam Abdullahi revealed this Friday while delivering the keynote address  at the 6th annual conference of Institute Internal Auditors of Nigeria, (IIAN) with the theme:, “Agility and Resilience” which was held on zoom conference platform.

 

The Conference aimed at preparing participants across Internal Audits, Internal Controls, risk management, revenue and Government assurance and other business professionals to learn how to leverage on new technologies and procedures towards actualisation of the organisation’s goals and objectives.

 

The NITDA DG who was represented Director e-Government Development and Regulations, Dr Vincent Olatunji stated that since inception of the Agency in 2001, it has been playing a catalytic roles to spur the infusion of technology into nation’s work processes reiterating that the Agency plays “critical roles in capacity development, provision of working tools for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

 

“NITDA also has an existing arrangement with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to aid the office in the discharge of its activities.”

 

Mallam Abdullahi said, “The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued on 25th January, 2020 by my predecessor, DrIsa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

 

“As part of his think-tank then, our thinking was that Nigeria needed to quickly provide a regulatory framework for the processing of personal data.

 

“This was even more pertinent in consideration of the global implications of non-performance.

 

“Businesses where losing bids because investors felt there was no data privacy regime in Nigeria.

 

“The Agency’s implementation of the NDPR has been innovative and impact oriented. For the first time in data protection implementation, auditors became recognised as Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO)”.

 

He maintained that NITDA has 72 licensed DPCOs among which are members of this “august body,” adding that “this posture is not as a result of lack of professionals in the IT industry, rather, we have made conscious efforts to carry every relevant stakeholder along in our developmental regulatory strategy.

 

“ I hope this noble institute would repay NITDA’s generosity by imbibing ethical and professional principles on your members for better implementation of the Regulation.”

 

Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, New Capital Cooperatives Society Mr. Benedict Anyalenka while commending the organisers of the conference affirmed that data privacy and protection should be a requisite skill needed for development of the Information Technology Sector as it would create platform for protection of information against unauthorized usage.

 

Anyalenka, however, called for proper awareness on the importance of data privacy among organisations and stakeholders across the country to safeguard citizens’ data.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

Telecom

FG Reveals Plans to Deploy Technology in the Health Sector

Published

on

Kindly share this post

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to deploy information and communications technology (ICT) in the country’s health sector.

This is part of the plans to achieve transparency and accountability in health care delivery across the country.

Dr. Ngozi R. C. Azodoh, director, Special Projects, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health, revealed this while speaking at MTN Nigeria’s Revv Programme masterclass on Thursday, September 17, 2020 .

The virtual session themed ‘Bridging the healthcare divide through technology and partnerships’ had in attendance health sector experts including Chief Executive Officer, Hygeia HMO Limited, Obinnia Abajue; Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Afya Care, Kola Oni; Managing Director, Ingress Health Partners, Dr. Orode Doherty and Chief Executive Officer, Tremendoc Limited, Ugochukwu Chikezie. The session was moderated by the General Manager, Business Development, MTN Nigeria, Omotayo Ojulatayo.

According to Azodoh, the federal government has put structures in place to utilise ICT as part of efforts to standardise the healthcare system.

“The government is working hand in hand with state governments across the country to maintain transparency and accountability, adding that ICT and other forms of electronic platforms are currently being improved and expanded following the federal government’s COVID intervention”.

She also shared that the ministry is willing to support small businesses in the sector imploring the participating SMEs to seize the opportunities provided by The Revv Programme.

“I want to ask everyone who is listening to write to the MTN Revv team and say this is one thing I want the Federal Ministry of Health to do to help my business then we can engage on how to proceed,” she enthused.

In her parting remarks, she also commended MTN Nigeria for providing a platform for SMEs to expand their capacity. “I must commend MTN for this excellent initiative. It has been very productive for me and an opportunity to transfer knowledge.”

The Revv Programme is an initiative from MTN Nigeria to help small businesses rethink and retool their operations in order to withstand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic using a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Social

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending