Issue #25   •   Quarter 3/4 Edition   •   December 2018

 

After a painstaking exercise and consultation, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has unveiled an 8-point agenda covering 2015-2020.

The new vision is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s change mantra. It is “to promote innovation, investment, competition and consumer empowerment in and on top of Communications platforms of today and the future-maximizing the power of Information and Communications Technology to grow our economy, create jobs, and enhance national competitiveness through the deployment of broadband infrastructure to facilitate roll out of broadband services that will hold out opportunities and higher network quality of service for all Nigerians.”

The 8-point pillars rest on a tripod of 'A's which include Availability of Service, Accessibility of Service and Affordability of service in line with the Buhari change agenda, an ideological shift in creation of structures for social benefits and inclusiveness for national development.

Prof. Danbatta who spoke to journalists at an International Press conference in Lagos, listed the 8-point agenda as follows:

  1. Facilitate Broadband penetration through provision and optimization access to and use of affordable fixed and mobile broadband in Nigeria;
  2. Improve Quality of Service by promoting the availability of reliable, interoperable, rapidly restorable critical ICT infrastructure that are supportive of all required services;
  3. Optimize usage and benefits of spectrum by maximizing availability of spectrum in order to provide diverse and affordable ICT services and ensuring that spectrum acquisition does not distort marketing competition;
  4. Promote ICT innovation and investment opportunities. By this, ICT innovations will be promoted in ways that improve the nation’s ability to compete in the global economy, increased investment in youth and promotion of SMEs for new business delivery breakthroughs;
  5. Facilitate Strategic Collaboration and partnership with relevant stakeholders to foster ICT for sustainable economic development and social advancement;
  6. Protect and empower consumers from unfair practices through availability of information and education required to make informed choices in the use of ICT services;
  7. Promote fair competition and inclusive growth by creating a competitive market for ICT services that foster fair inclusion of all actors in innovative ways that facilitate new investment, job creation and consumer satisfaction; and
  8. Ensure regulatory excellence and operational efficiency through effective regulatory framework, efficient processes, strict compliance monitoring and enforcement efficient management of internal resources and structure and maintain a commitment to transparency.

Danbatta said; "Wealth creation through application of human knowledge and creativity is steadily outpacing wealth creation through extraction and processing of natural resources. Knowledge has increasingly become an important means for value creation. Hence, with globalization and the technological revolution of the last few decades, knowledge has clearly become the key driver of competitiveness and is now profoundly reshaping the patterns of the world’s economic growth and activity."

He maintained that "the policy goals of the Nigerian Communications Commission recognize the immense socio-economic importance of ICTs to national development and therefore seeks to ensure that the infrastructure necessary to provide ubiquitous broadband services is available and accessible to all citizens at affordable rates. Broadband is the next frontier in the ICT industry which will help in the speedy transformation of the Nigerian economy."

Hence, he added "This Strategic Vision 2015-2020 responds to this by setting out the foundations, for future growth and competitiveness that will be sustainable and inclusive and which would address our principal societal challenges as a nation."

Lagos
January 27, 2016