Thursday January 20, 2022

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The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, earlier today met senior media executives, ICT correspondents and other communication specialists at a special interactive session held at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja to share the successes of the implementation of the 8-Point Agenda and the attendant challenges of telecom regulation.

The meeting, Danbatta said, was an expression of Management’s effort to translate into concrete action the agendum on stakeholder collaboration and partnership because the media is central among NCC’s stakeholders, “a key player in the value chain through which Commission gets feedback and on whose expertise NCC can leverage to reach out to other stakeholders about its strides and initiatives”.

Interaction with Senior Media Executives and Specialized Reporters in Lagos
Click to view pictures.
“Cumulatively, the telecom sector has contributed at least 15 Trillion naira to the economy and giving the economic challenges, it is gratifying to reveal that the telecom sector’s contribution to the GDP is over 9 percent”. Danbatta told the audience of a spectrum of media executives and other communication professionals which included specialized reporters of the telecommunication technology industry.

Danbatta also said NCC has reached out to State Governments as strategic stakeholders in order to address the challenges of telecom service provision in their respective jurisdictions, noting that NCC’s commitment to broadband penetration is irrevocable and will be sustained in full swing as a topmost agenda of Management of the Commission, just as the need to address the challenges of the telecom consumer and particularly to empower the consumer as a pre-eminent stakeholder. This explains the declaration of 2017 as the YEAR OF THE NIGERIAN TELECOM CONSUMER. Danbatta declared to the audience.
 
Prof. Danbatta said the recurring challenges of deteriorating quality of service will be addressed frontally because the CALL DROP RATE and the CALL SET UP RATE which should not be above 1 and 2 percent respectively, is yet to improve, “So we are escalating regulatory actions to stimulate a robust and better quality of service”.

The Executive Vice Chairman said the challenge Etisalat faces with respect to the loan it took from a consortium of banks is already being addressed. “Meetings are ongoing to have a restructure of the loan to ensure there is no disruption of Etisalat’s telecom operations. The Management of the Commission has also secured a priority window for Mobile Network Operators to have access to FOREX to service their operations”.

On the Ransomeware, “WannaCry” Virus which has attacked ICT networks in over 100 countries, Professor Danbatta said the Office of the National Security Adviser has set up a fortress to protect national networks and the NCC, NITDA and other partners have also instituted processes as a second layer of fortification to contain the Virus. Danbatta appealed to the general public to check NCC website and follow the Commission on its social media platforms for details on the actions that needs to be taken to prevent the viral assault on computers and other devices.

Responding to an intervention by a journalist in respect of the hoopla about radiation from telecom masts, the EVC said series of research from the World Health Organization (WHO) show no evidence that base stations produce radiation significant enough to harm human health.

The Special Media Interaction Programme is part of the Commission’s continuous efforts to engaging stakeholders in a discourse about the strides, emerging trends and challenges in the telecoms sector.