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


The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta has said that ICT is a veritable source of revenue for the revival of the country's dwindling economy.

Speaking at the third edition of the Nigeria Digital Agenda in Lagos, with the theme: ‘Beyond Oil – ICT, A Veritable Alternative,’ Danbatta stressed that the present administration is geared towards exploring other avenues for the creation of wealth for the nation rather than depending almost exclusively on obviously dwindling revenue from oil, more so in an era where wealth creation through application of human knowledge and creativity is steadily outpacing wealth creation through extraction and processing of natural resources.

According to him, to ensure that the country moves to the next frontier in ICT revolution, broadband Internet is crucial to the growth of the ICT industry. This, he said, would also encourage investors. “The country now has seven zones and each zone will have one operator which will deploy broadband services to every part of the zone. So far, two InfraCos licenses have been issued for Lagos and North Central Zones including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and the process for issuing licenses for the other five zones has begun and will soon be completed”, he disclosed.

Danbatta added that the auction of 14 slots 2×5 MHz in the 2.6 GHz spectrum will enable winners to deploy wireless broadband services to complement existing services. He assured that regulatory framework has been put in place to ensure transparent licensing as the Commission intends to bridge this ‘digital divide.’

woman bossA few weeks ago, I was checking my box for new mails when I stumbled across a junk article titled, "5 Ways Women Are Better Bosses Than Men." I almost skipped it, but I was curious. 5 ways women are better bosses than men? I quickly clicked on the fascinating headline. And well, I can’t help but share my discovery.

It asserted "In the battle of the sexes, recent studies shows that women have certain characteristics that make them better leaders, though men still hold the majority of these positions." It then said "According to a survey conducted by Chris Bart, professor of strategic management at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, and Gregory McQueen, a McMaster graduate and senior executive associate dean at Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine, women actually run better performing businesses than men.

Last year, Zeneger Folkman, a company that studies leadership, found that women rated higher than men on 12 out of 16 attributes tested. After analyzing 7,280 of their clients' performance evaluations, they found two traits where women outscored men significantly, taking initiative and driving results.

Here are five additional ways that women are more effective bosses than men." Wait for it...

  1. Better communicators. Women are better listeners than men, and this is exactly the skill that is most critical for managing employees and customers. According to Dr. Susan Sherwood, this is a result of women being more discussion oriented and men wanting to just take action. Men communicate through activities rather than conversations.
  2. Better community builders. Women are better consensus builders and don’t have the need like men to direct everyone in what to do. In this world of the connected Internet, “beta managers,” those that know how to build cooperative relationships, are becoming more successful than traditional “alpha managers.”
  3. Stronger business ethics. Bart and McQueen found that women, who are effective managers, “acknowledge and consider the rights of others in the pursuit of fairness … that is consistently applied in a non-arbitrary fashion.
  4. More patience. Women are far more patient with employees than men. They are less likely to jump to an immediate conclusion or make a quick decision or take action too soon. A study commissioned by myHermes shows that women are willing to wait longer for a desired result.
  5. Better at activating passion. According to Jay Forte, author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, women are “more astute about knowing how to activate passion in their employees. They watch the 43 muscles in your face and see how your emotions change.”

Do we all give in to these assertions? Or are some fellows having a few reservations? Well, whatever the case and irrespective of the sex, a boss is a boss and what makes a better boss is his/her leadership style.

Hon. Saheed Akinade-Fijabi (Chairman, House Committee on Telecommunications,) assures on legislative support for telecom stakeholders

Rating the Nigerian telecoms market

I think I’ll rate it well above average; it is an industry that is still growing. At least out of the GDP of Nigeria for the year, telecoms contributed 9 per cent which is an increase from last year and I think with the level of innovation in the industry there’s still room for improvement.

Now that we want the country to diversify, I think this is another sector we can look to, to create a lot of employment and other opportunities. Even in education, farming and the likes, telecom is needed. I can see the industry growing from where it is now to the highest point you can think of.

The Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, has said that the era of university graduates roaming the streets and looking for job after graduation would soon be over. He hinges his hope on the fact that the six new universities established by the Federal Government which will begin operations in September will focus on adding value to the current level and pace of economic development in Nigeria, diversifying our economy and positioning Nigeria as the leading light in ICT in Africa.

According to the minister, the universities will focus more on practical, hands-on education which will help students hone their skills and talents rather than on theoretical learning which does little to put student on good practical stead.

The following staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, have been promoted from Deputy Director to Director.

They are:

  • Yetunde Akinloye
  • Abubakar K. Yakubu
  • Idehen V. Efosa
  • Felicia Onwuegbuchulam

while the following were promoted from Assistant Director to Deputy Director.

  • Adamu Amshi
  • Gwa T. Mohammed
  • Ogbonnaya N. Ugama
  • Olatokunbo Oyeleye

The Commission also announced the promotion of 20 Principal Managers to the rank of Assistant Director. They include;

  • Clement Omife
  • James Kalu
  • Babagana Digima
  • Adejoke Atte
  • Usman Mamman
  • Henry Ojiokpota
  • Mohammed Dari
  • Sunday Atu
  • Nnenna Ukoha
  • Beluchi Nwanisobi
  • Abubakar Maina
  • Emilia Nwokoro
  • Okechukwu Aninweke,
  • Rita Emeka-Nwachukwu
  • Oluyomi Arowasafe
  • Dr. Kafilu Danbatta
  • Venny Nwabufoh
  • Safiya Jijji
  • Chizua Whyte
  • Tanimu Bawa

The need for more investments in the Nigerian telecoms sector cannot be over emphasised. Even as the industry moved from a paltry $60million private sector investments in 2000 to about $68 billion in 2016, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Umar Danbatta still sees the need for more Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the country’s burgeoning ICT industry which currently thrives on private sector investment.

Data availability through robust broadband is a key element to building a digital economy, says Director Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo

He stated this in a keynote address he delivered at a critical segment of the 2017 Digital PayEXPO in Lagos tagged DATA FIESTA.

The segment which came up for the first time at the 17-year-old event, was to demonstrate the importance of data and broadband infrastructure in the implementation of smart payment systems in the country.

One area that data availability and ease-of-access has played major role is e-commerce. He noted the significance of the value of data with regard to e-commerce explains the massive sales by Nigerian-based online malls such as Yudala, Jumia and Konga among others.

Honourable Minister of Communication Technology
Barrister Adebayo Shittu

Given the pace Nigeria’s ICT sector is growing and in view of the prevailing potentials, the Federal Government is targeting additional Foreign Direct Investment in the sector in excess of N4trillion ($15billion). Speaking at the maiden edition of the communications sector retreat for all ICT stakeholders in Ibadan, the Minister of Communications Technology, Adebayo Shittu said the plan for such investment was an outcome of his recent trip to China where he held discussions with Chinese investors. The investment, he said, would further open and deepen the sector to automatically become the beautiful bride thereby accelerating its contribution to the nation’s GDP. Investment in the telecoms sector alone currently tops $32 billion.

The minister identified five steps to achieving digital economy. They are building on ICT sector growth, policy on innovative continuity, migration to a digitally smart Nigeria, increasing revenue and reducing waste as well as smart government to deliver ICT and broadband penetration. He added that the first step to addressing this is to reduce both the public and private infrastructure deficit in Nigeria’s ICT sector for substantial improvement in quality of service.

“Inadequate ICT infrastructure is the bane of ICT development in the country and a leading cause of quality of service deficiencies. From broadband penetration to last mile fibre optic connectivity, this infrastructure deficit is preventing all Nigerians from gaining affordable and reliable access. Lack of affordability, due in part, to the proliferation of taxes, fees, levies and associated costs further inhibits investment in infrastructure required to support and grow our boisterous ICT market”, he said.

The minister said that Nigeria has a lot to learn from Rwanda, despite its size (12 million population). “As the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria is already a regional hub for West African countries. We must now become the preferred destination for vendors to set up operations that cover the entire West African sub region. This will provide opportunities for the country to act as a supply hub for training, skills transfer, technology leadership and investment.

“We as a government will offer every support to ensure that our local ICT firms (service providers and manufacturers) have a qualitative competitive advantage over others. We need to work together to seize this window of opportunity to deliver the potential this sector promises by agreeing on and implementing a roadmap. If we do so, Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology sector will attract international investors”, he said.

It was a show worth every time and money. The maiden NCC Tennis League, the first ever league format tennis championship in Nigeria kept the nation’s tennis fraternity on edge for months. Mouths gaped, jaws dropped. What with the high velocity serves, the come-backs and the upsets. At the end, Team Tombim, walked away with the prize money.

But it was only just a matter of time before they were crowned champions. From their first game at the inaugural Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Tennis League, Team Tombim showed that they had the flair, skill and guts to become champions of Nigerian tennis and they achieved it on Saturday, December 4, 2016 at the centre court of the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan. But it was not a stroll in the park.

Playing against a Team Civil Defence that has some of the most experienced players in the Nigerian circuit, the Abuja-based Team Tombim made their youthfulness count in their 4-2 victory that won them the N5 million prize money.

Team Tombim, made up of the new generation of players, has Christian Paul, 22, ranked a lowly 27 in the current national rankings, to thank for their victory. Paul beat former number one, Abdulmumuni Babalola, in the first singles and before upstaging immediate past national champion, Christian Enosoregbe in the match that clinched the tie for his team.

Team Tombim had carried a 2-1 lead into the final day, but national ladies’ champion, Christie Agugbom, leveled the tie after shaking off a very nervous start to beat Sarah Adegoke 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The champions reestablished their lead when Moses Michael defeated Babalola 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the fifth rubber and Paul dashed hopes of a dramatic finish by winning the second reverse singles.

Team Civil Defence got the runner-up prize of N3 million. The grand finale attracted top-level dignitaries with the first vice president of Nigeria, Sir (Dr.) Alex Ekwueme and former External Affairs minister, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, attending as special guests of honour.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, represented by Mr. Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs of the NCC said he was delighted at the high quality performance put up by the participants. He thanked the Championship organisers, the International Tennis Academy (ITA) for the grand show which was at the round robin stage played across the nation at centres in Asaba, Abeokuta, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Kaduna, Onitsha and Owerri. The tournament has helped to foster national unity.

According to Professor Danbatta: “The main objective of the tournament is to raise the level of lawn tennis which is one of the most popular and lucrative sporting activities. Since Nigeria’s Nduka Odizor reached the Round of 16 in Wimbledon in 1983, Nigerian players have not made the desired impact in the world tennis circuit. We are witnesses to how tennis stars have brought fame and fortune to themselves and their nations, and we want to be identified to taking these talented players in Nigeria to the circuit.

“Part of our objective is to help in nurturing and exposing our talents through robust competition so as to help them perfect their skills. It is also promoting peace and friendship among the players as this has taken the game to various locations of the country where such competitions have not been held. So far, several matches have been played in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Asaba, Onitsha, Abeokuta, Kaduna, Abuja, and Enugu, with the finals scheduled for Lagos. Another objective of this tournament is so fruitfully engage the players, officials and the youth in some value-driven activities associated with this competition.

“The Commission is glad that most of the objectives of this project have been realized. We understand that most of the best Nigerian players are featuring in this year’s edition, which has made the quality of the competition to be very high. The cross section of the people that matter in Nigerian Lawn Tennis sport have honoured us with their presence in some of the tournaments, including Nduka Odizor that I spoke about. We are happy the way the tournament have been organized as shown by the huge turnout at this second semifinal.

“It is for this reason that I have come to join you today. From the reports that I have received, and from what I have seen, I am encouraged to promise that the Commission will continue to sponsor this tournament. We may also review the prize money to ensure that as many teams from different parts of the country, are attracted to participate in this tournament.

“Let me also invite other corporate bodies or agencies to support the NCC to make lawn tennis to count in our efforts to project the image of our nation and provide useful employment and engagements for our youths”, he said.

The EVC promised to increase the price money in subsequent edition.

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has advised consumers who are not satisfied with the services of network providers‎ not to hesitate to seek redress by bringing their complaints to the knowledge of the Commission.

Director, NCC Consumers Affairs Bureau, Alhaji Abdullahi Maikano, made the appeal in Offa, the headquarters of Offa local government council of Kwara State during the17th edition of NCC Consumers Town Hall meeting held with subscribers of various networks namely MTN, Airtel, Glo, Etisalat in attendance. The theme of the meeting was: “Knowing your right as a telecom consumer".

Juwah Scorecard at a Glance
  • Number of telephone lines grew from 88million to 140 million
  • Foreign Direct Investments rocketed from $18billion to over $32 billion
  • Initiated and launched a National Broadband Strategy
  • Engendered more competition leading to drastic decrease in tariff and cost of short message service (SMS)
  • Revolutionised e-Governance making Nigeria gain 21 points on the Global ranking
  • Created more jobs in the sector than at any other time
  • Telecom now contributes 9.58 percent of GDP, the 4th largest contributor
  • Increased tele-density to over 100 percent from 68 percent in 2010
  • Nigeria now has over 11 terra bits per second (Tbps) bandwidth capacity landing at her shores namely: SAT3, Glo1, MainOne, WACS  and ACE
  • Broadband penetration now 8% from 6% in 2010
  • 1.4 million students in 27 Federal Universities now connected via NgREN courtesy of Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF)
  • 1,552 secondary schools equipped with ICT tools and 1,458,880 students estimated to have been introduced to ICTs through the USPF.
  • Enhanced International Profile for Nigeria:Out of 360 nominations from 74 countries, Nigeria  emerged winner in the 7th Category of  International Telecommunication Union (ITU) “ICT and Broadband strategies, policies and  frameworks that promote women's digital empowerment.”

When Dr. Eugene Juwah assumed office as the Executive Vice Chairman cum Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in July 2010, he listed six areas which, he stressed, would be the centre of his focus in the next five years. They are consolidation and integration of mobile wireless services; fixed line and broadband deployment for national development; enhanced competitive market, enhanced choice for the consumer; vigorous compliance monitoring and enforcement of regulations and directions; national connectivity for accelerated growth; and enhanced international relations.

Juwah’s agenda looked good especially in the dual area of broadband deployment and compliance monitoring and enforcement of regulations. Today, looking back and in view of the preponderance of evidence, it is safe to say that Juwah has achieved his six-point agenda and even much more. For five years, he showed a strong desire to fight for the telecom consumer. Six things have stood him out in this regard: The banning of promotions and lotteries by operators; slashing tariff on text messages from about N10 to N4, the downward review of interconnect rates among operators which had the direct consequence of reducing tariff on voice calls, the introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) which empowers consumers to change their service provider without changing their number, the successful auction of the 2.3 GHz frequency spectrum and the adoption of Open Access model as a precursor to broadband rollout. These six bold moves, taking in context, have had the direct impact of improving quality of service, cutting the budget of consumers on both voice calls and text messages as well as improving the throughput of operators.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission’s functions and duties are set out in the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (the “Act”). Section 4 of the Act lists the Commission’s functions, which include the facilitation of investments in and entry into the Nigerian market for the provision and supply of communications services, equipment and facilities. It permits the NCC to ensure the protection and promotion of the interests of consumers against unfair practices including but not limited to matters relating to tariffs and charges and the availability and quality of communications services, equipment and facilities. The section also encourages the regulator to pursue the promotion of fair competition in the communications industry and protection of communications services and facilities providers from the misuse of market power or anticompetitive and unfair practices by other service or facilities providers. The last review of the interconnection rate was in 2009. Between then and now, a lot has happened in the sector including quantum growth in network throughput. Currently, Nigeria has over 140 million telephone lines. This has engendered more competition among operators.

And if you throw into this menu of tariff slash the introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP), what you get is a highly competitive marketplace where the customer is truly the king. Juwah recognizes that consumers make the network. In a media interview, he said: “At NCC, we realise that without the consumers, there would be no networks or service providers and without the service providers, the regulator has no job; so we will do all that is possible within the law to protect the consumer. Everything we do is geared towards the protection of the consumer but in doing so, we will also give room for the investors to grow their businesses”. Juwah’s five years at the NCC has translated to the sustainability of the mobile telecom revolution, improved infrastructure among operators resulting in improvement in quality of service, sustained aggression and strategic focus in the run up to broadband rollout, creation of more jobs, a bolstering of investors’ confidence in the Nigerian telecom market as reflected in the growing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector and a record contribution of 9.58 per cent of the nation’s GDP by telecom alone.

Juwah has consolidated the progress made in telecoms since 2001 when the GSM operators rolled out services. “If we start from the parameters, we’ve increased teledensity from 63 per cent in 2010 when I came in to more than 100 per cent in 2015. We’ve increased subscriber base from 88 million in 2010 to more than 140 million, this is an improvement of over 60 per cent in five years that I have been here. And you should remember that the 88 million was for 10 years before I came. So we’ve done remarkably well in this area.

“We’ve also done remarkably well in the contribution to the Nigerian economy in terms of contribution to GDP. We’ve increased it from 5 per cent when I came in to 9.58 per cent. And looking at investment in the sector, we increased it from $18 billion in 2010 to more than $32 billion today. The sector has created the most stable jobs and as investments grew in the past five years, more jobs, both direct and indirect, had been created and are still being created,” Juwah said in a media interview.

Under Juwah, Nigeria has made more inroads into the international telecoms circuit. Besides, the NCC has become the benchmark for regulatory excellence among emerging markets. Juwah puts it this way in an earlier media interview: “we’re taking part in all the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) conferences, in fact the whole world know us because we organise what we call Leaders Launch in every ITU World Telecom event where all the big shots in telecoms come and listen to us, and remember that in the recent ones we had, people like Carlos Slim, one of the richest men in the world and a huge investor in telecoms came and we had the opportunity of explaining what we’re doing in Nigeria to him”.Without doubt, telecoms is one sector that Nigeria has out-performed many nations including some Asian and European nations. It has in fact become the chief public relations tool for Nigeria in terms of investor assurance and confidence in the Nigerian economy.

The telecoms sector has grown rapidly in recent years but there are still challenges, one of which is the issue of quality of service. Juwah never shied away from this: “I'm not comfortable with the position of QoS in Nigeria today. It hasn't reached where we want it to be, there are still issues that make it difficult for operators to attain our projected QoS. Principal among them is the issue of capacity; the voice market keeps on increasing; the operators are investing but they're not investing fast enough to meet that increase. And that is why we jab them by fining them. People feel that it is not good to fine them, but if we were not fining them it could have been worse; I can tell you. But apart from the issues from the operator side, there are many other issues that are not from their side; issues of vandalisation of their facilities and one thing you'll notice is that bad service at times is intermittent; for a few days it gets very bad and then it gets better. What that shows is that a key facility has been tampered with and when it is repaired good service recovers. There's also the issue of state government interference; they interfere by imposing all sorts of taxes on the operators and when they don't pay they lock up key facilities shutting off subscribers from getting good service. If you lock up a base station for example it will affect many states, so, we're appealing to state governments to be more reasonable since their actions do affect QoS. But having said all these I want to challenge any Nigerian to show me a service in Nigeria that is more efficient than telecommunications; is it electricity, banking services, airlines etc. There's no service in Nigeria that you expect to get 24 hours, notwithstanding that there're a few hiccups here and there, so I'll implore Nigerians to be patient with us. We're improving maybe not in evolutionary way, but slowly and slowly we'll get there”.

In this interview with The Communicator, NCC Head of Enforcement, Compliance and Monitoring, Efosa Idehen, gives insight into why equipment vendors should submit their products for type-approval by the Commission.

Enforcing Type - Approval of Equipment

On the issue of type-approval we've done a lot, we've been able to bring those who don't want to type approve their devices to come to understand that all ICT devices are supposed to be type-approved. We're looking to collaborate with some government agencies because we found out that sometimes some of them go the Customs and Standards Organisation of Nigeria to get certificates and we've consistently told them that those certificates do not stand for NCC type-approval because any device that you're supposed to connect to the telecommunications or communication network in Nigeria must pass through a type approval test, that guarantees the quality of the network and integrity of the network.

So that is why we're this year looking at collaborating with government agencies that one way or the other impact on our own activities, because we don't clear those equipment from the ports; it is the duty of the Nigerian Customs.

If they know that you must have a type-approval certificate for ICT equipment for sure they'll begin to ask relevant questions. But for most of the non-type approved phones mostly brought in by people who are not actually OEMs; they just go and bring in any kind of phones as long as it is selling.

How Do You Monitor?

What we do is aggressive monitoring of their advertisement space to see any of them that are advertised for sales. For anyone we find that is not in our database, we cross reference them and see if we've type-approved it and if we've not we write to our other unit that is responsible for technical standards and network integrity to give us information on that particular phone and if it's not in their database we normally write to the address that is on the advert to inform them they do not have a type approval certificate.

We do this because ignorance is not an excuse in law and we also do not want to crush a lot of these people, so we just tell them they can't bring in those phones into Nigeria without type approval and most of them have actually come to type approve their devices; so we collaborate with other agencies and being on the watch out to find whichever one is there and sometimes our monitors go round especially when our offices go for their survey and intelligence gathering exercise nationwide. Beyond arrests, what actions are taken?

We do not have prosecutory power, so for every offence you commit against the law that set up NCC or any of our regulations, it is the police or law enforcement agents that are supposed to prosecute for us and we've handed over the people we picked that violated our SIM card regulation over to our police.

At every time we facilitate the prosecution but we cannot push it; it is a crime against the state so it is the police that is supposed to be diligent in their prosecution. We're working in-house to actually see if we can ask for a fiat from the Attorney General to use our legal regulatory services within the commission to see if they can give us the procedural power for us to be able to hire prosecutors to prosecute some of these cases, so that the police will just hold the suspects for us and then we prosecute them. We're working on so many issues to send some deterrent message to those that constantly violate our laws.

How easy is the process?

Type-approval is handled by the technical standards and network integrity team and I don't think they're slow, you know there are processes to follow but I won't speak on their behalf. If they were slow how would they have type-approved all the devices we have on our website. It is just that some people have this penchant of dodging, they see it as another tax for their business activities, so they just want to evade it and take the easiest route.

Tecno today is celebrated but they have NCC to thank for whatever they are within the Nigerian space because when we had a run against them, most of their devices were not type-approved. But since we approved their devices and they started putting ‘NCC type-approved’ on their products, the marked surged. The space is big enough, so what we're saying is that most of them should type-approve their equipment and let them have that opportunity to sell freely instead of bringing it through the back door and not letting the commission know.

Risks and Harassment

These are part of the challenges we face in our job; we receive some strange calls but we've put our cards on the table. We don't unnecessarily want to taunt anybody, it becomes more difficult when you use your position to taunt somebody but our job is to tell people to do the right thing and that is the philosophy - just do the right thing - even when we catch you doing the wrong thing we tell you the benefit of the doing the right thing and the harm in doing the wrong thing and we put the cards before you. It is your choice. If you choose the wrong one we deal with you according to the law and if you decide to do the right thing we encourage you to do the right thing. It's the risk we face every day but we thank God we haven't faced any major issue.

Following a Direction to the telecommunications service providers in the country, the operators, with effect from July 1, 2016, activated the DO NOT DISTURB facility which gives subscribers the freedom to choose what messages to receive from the various networks. With this Direction the operators have been mandated to dedicate a common Short Code (2442) which will enable subscribers take informed decisions.

Mr. Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in a statement, said this action was taken in order to protect subscribers from the nuisance of unsolicited texts, and therefore a direct regulatory response to the yearnings of the subscribers. By this action, he explained, the Commission has invoked a regulatory provision which had hitherto been overlooked by the operators.

Taking cognizance of the broad range of services which include: Banking/Insurance/ Financial Products, Real Estate, Education, Health, Consumer Goods and Automobiles, Communication/ Broadcasting/ Entertainment/ IT, Tourism and leisure, Sports, Religion(Christianity, Islam, others), the Commission directed the operators to give the necessary instructions and clarifications that will enable subscribers subscribe to a particular service/services /none at all. In fact, a Full DND which is SMS “STOP” to 2442 does not allow the subscriber to receive any unsolicited message from the operators at all.

Below are the various options;

  • “SMS 1” for receiving SMS relating to Banking? Insurance/ Financial products to 2442
  • “SMS 2” for receiving |SMS relating to real Estate to 2442
  • “SMS 3” for receiving SMS relating to Education to 2442
  • “SMS 4” for receiving SMS relating to Health to 2442
  • “SMS 5” for receiving SMS relating to Consumer goods and Automobiles to 2442”
  • “SMS 6” for receiving SMS relating to Communication/ Broadcasting Entertainment/IT to 2442
  • “SMS 7” for receiving SMS relating to Tourism and leisure to 2442
  • “SMS 8” for receiving SMS relating to Sports to 2442
  • “SMS 9” for receiving SMS relating to Religion to 2442

Mr. Tony Ojobo highlighted that the decision of the Commission does not affect personal messages or person to person messages which are private communication by individuals. He urged the operators to comply immediately with the Direction issued by the Commission and never again harass subscribers with unwanted messages.


With investments in the fast-growing Nigerian telecommunications sector standing at $68b as at July, 2016, the highest by volume in Africa, Nigeria by the rating of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) must be doing many things right. The catalysts for such phenomenal growth are hinged on regulatory excellence and strict adherence to global best practices.

In recent years, Nigeria has remained on the cutting edge of world telecoms as one of the markets with the highest returns on investments. The fact that out of this figure, $35b comes from Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) fittingly illustrates the global confidence on the market.

Hamadoun Toure, who as keynote speaker at the Nigerian Telecoms Investment Forum at the ITU Telecom World 2016, Bangkok, Thailand said these figures recorded so far in Nigeria point to the fact that “the country is certainly a preferred destination for telecommunications investors in Africa”.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Dr Eugene Juwah, says that Nigeria has achieved a teledensity of 100 percent as at January 2015. Juwah, who was represented by the NCC's Director of Public Relations, Mr Tony Ojobo, announced this in Enugu at a forum during the 26th Enugu International Trade fair.

According to him, teledensity is calculated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to mean active line distribution of one telephone to a hundred of a population. This is a remarkable achievement compared to when we started from 0.4 per cent in 2001. The Nigeria network offers everything that is available in any other part of the world. Some people do not even know that this network is what is enabling other services like internet Banking, ATM services and Point of Sales (POS) that are used in hotels and other locations across the country. Online hotel reservations, flight bookings and flight management that we now enjoy from our homes and offices are delivered by telecommunication. We should remember that all these are made possible in a very harsh environment for the provision of the telecommunication services,'' he said.

The EVC who listed the challenges facing the industry to include poor power supply, said: "We all know how difficult it is to enjoy uninterrupted power supply since telecom operation is a 24 hour service. Service providers cannot afford to lose any minute as a result of power supply.''

Other challenges, Juwah said, were multiple taxation, multiple regulations that hamper deployment of services across the country as well as vandalisation of telecom infrastructure.

He appealed to all subscribers to assist in protecting telecom facilities in their various communities.

Juwah said the commission had introduced some services like mobile number portability which enable subscribers alternate between service providers.

Earlier in his remarks at the forum, Dr Ifeanyi Okoye, the President of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), urged NCC to do more in protecting vulnerable customers.

Okoye, however, commended the commission for its achievements in spite of the numerous challenges being experienced in the country. (NAN)

corporate governance

This industry is growing. The indicators of growth are evident. From the licensing of the digital mobile operators in 2001 at which time we had just 400,000 lines to the recent statistics that indicates that we have 130 million lines, you can see it’s a huge industry. Now the level of growth also goes to suggest the level of investment that has come into this sector; we’re talking about $32billion of Foreign Direct Investment, FDI. That’s huge.

Such is not a sector that we’ll just leave to work in any way or manner. And that’s the initiative of the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, when he came in. He envisioned that there was need for us to have corporate governance and he also being in the private sector and seeing the kind of things that have happened and seeing some failures in some organisations that really today are moribund, but who were active players in this sector before now. Some of the reasons for their failure are directly linked to issues of poor corporate governance. Studies have shown that lack of corporate governance led to some of those failures in some of those industries.

Very critical also, is the fact that we have a sector where the subscribers are also contributors. Now you have some operators that take pre-paid monies from subscribers; people pay in advance. In other words that payment entitles them to having a say in what happens in that organisation that provides that service, because if for instance there’s a failure what happens to the money that has been collected ahead of time, which is an investment? Subscribers are actually investors in these companies.

The issue of corporate governance is about accountability, transparency, integrity and openness in the way businesses are run. It is about people being accountable not just to the shareholders but also to the consumers. This is an industry where any kind of failure will have terrible consequences not just for individuals but for businesses.

In that regard, there’s need to have corporate governance that will determine how the businesses are run. In telecoms, we’re all stakeholders, the regulator is a stakeholder, subscriber and operators are all stakeholders. There’s the need for the network to be accountable to all the stakeholders and that is the reason the code was instituted.

The introduction enjoyed the buy in of all stakeholders and this is because we consulted widely and extensively and received input from every party involved. The commission has had a history of consultative approach; our approach has always been bottom up approach in all our processes. A committee was set up made up of people from the networks, NCC, Lawyers etc. They have been working for two years. What you see that actually came out as the final product had the input of all stakeholders. Most of our processes have that kind of approach, and when you have that kind of approach where everybody is carried along then you’re not likely to have any bickering when the end product is out.

This is exactly what happened in this instance. Both the service providers, the consumers and investors are happy with what we did.

One important thing to note about the code is that for the first year it’s going to be voluntary largely because the networks already have their own codes. But what every regulator aims at is an industry that actually regulates itself; that is the highest form of maturity in terms of industry regulation where it is now self-regulation and self-regulated, where operators hold themselves to account.

So what we have done is that we have shown the way it should be and they were also happy that from the onset it was not compulsory for them to be guided by codes like that. But even though it’s not compulsory, of course ethically we have a template of how people should behave in this market and once you begin to deviate from that people can call you to order. And for us to see how people will key into it, maybe after a year or two as the case may be then it will now become compulsory depending on how the market goes. But the important thing is that we already have guidelines of how to behave in the corporate world especially as it pertains to telecoms. We expect that stakeholders, service providers and all the people that are playing in this industry should be guided by what has been specified in those guidelines.

If all goes well, investment in Nigerian telecom would swell in the coming years with foreign direct investment from Poland. This assurance was given by the Polish Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Andrzej Dycha, when he paid a visit to the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC. He congratulated the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Prof. Umar Danbatta on his appointment and sought collaboration between NCC and the Polish telecom regulator, UKE.

The Ambassador who expressed excited at the steady growth being registered in the Nigerian telecom sector said he would broker a partnership between Nigeria and his country that would see Polish investors staking their interest in the Nigerian market. He said both the Nigerian telecom and Polish telecom share the same success story.

For the benefit of clearer understanding of this presentation, we need to highlight the evolution of IPv6, from the base of IPv4. Just like you may be aware, telephone lines across the world have been designed in such a way that when you make a call, it is received by another phone line. In same way, Internet connectivity is achieved through Internet Protocol (IP) address system, which ensures that one computer connected to the Internet sees the other.

At the early development of the Internet, IPv4 Internet Protocol address space was developed with the capacity to accommodate 4.3 billion addresses. At that period, this was seen as a very huge capacity that was probably not envisaged to be exhausted in several years. The phenomenal growth of Internet is already seeing off IPv4. It is now known that sooner or later, there will be no IP address left on the IPv4 space. This is why the Internet Engineering Task Force, IETF, whose mission is to make the Internet work better, came up with a more efficient IPv6 address. IPv6 space is developed to accommodate 340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000. The idea behind this huge capacity is to ensure that even if the demand for IP addresses doubled every year, IPv6 will not be exhausted in 96 years.

The good news is that the addresses already contained in the IPv4, which is widely in use today, would be able to shake hands with those of IPv6.

digital-graphThe above, in a nutshell, was how participants at the recent Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation (CTO) Broadband forum held in Abuja described the Nigerian broadband market. It was hosted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Nigeria is not only Africa’s largest economy, it is also Africa’s largest market. It is on record that Nigeria was ranked the fastest growing mobile market in the world for five consecutive years, a demonstration of the limitless capacity of its market. The NCC has effectively leveraged on this and has readied the market for the inevitable broadband revolution.

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah who was represented by Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Dr. Okechukwu Itanyi, noted that “the catalytic role and contribution of broadband services to an economy is well documented. Some of these are its positive impact on education delivery, health care provision, energy management, security, and information dissemination. For Nigeria, the lack of a robust fixed network infrastructure and the need to rapidly develop the infrastructure to provide universal broadband services required a coordinated national approach. This led to the crafting of a National Broadband Plan covering the period 2013 to 2018.”

Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, is seeking the support of law enforcement agencies to put out every assault and criminality undermining telecommunications operation in Nigeria. Danbatta, who spoke at the South East Zonal Workshop for Law Enforcement Agencies in Enugu, was represented by Efosa Idehen, Head, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, NCC.

The workshop was attended by Hosea Karma, AIG Zone 9, who represented Ibrahim Idris, Inspector General of Police; Mohammed Danmallam, Police Commissioner, Enugu State; Benito Eze, Commandant NSCDC Abia State; and many personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, Nigeria Customs Service, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC.

by Editor

These are some of the top negative phone habits that we should strive to start breaking from this year. That's right, we're talking about how annoying and rude and antisocial we've all become with our smart phones and tablets.

1. Using the cell phone while driving.

This is a major safety issue for the driver, passengers, and others in the vicinity of the cell phone user. Concentration and vision is taken away from driving, which can be fatal.

Solution: Simply don't use the cell phone while sitting behind the wheel of the car. Quoting Oprah Winfrey, make your car a "No phone zone."


2. Drunk -tweeting, -texting, -Instagramming, etc.

Long gone are the days when the only witnesses to your inebriated ramblings were other bar patrons who also saw you stumble from your bar stool to the ground. Now you can literally embarrass yourself with drunken texting, posting on facebook, etc. Alcohol and mobile devices don't mix.


3. Not placing it on silent mode for specific occasions.

You know you're in a meeting or in church or the movies and yet your phone still remains on a loud mode. In the movies, they even play a quick video before a flick is about to play stressing the need to turn off your phone or place it on silent. In most meetings/forum it is advised that participants turn off their phones. Yet some of us are still so obnoxious and forgetful to adhere to this simple act of corporate decorum. And, believe it or not, no matter how hard you try to hide the glaring white display of your phone in a pitch black theater, you still blind everyone around you.


4. Loud Ring Tones.

Ever been embarrassed when your phone belts out P-Squares's 'Alingo' or Inyannya's 'Kukere' especially in a quiet/serious environment? The quick scramble by the phone owner to find it and switch it off and the funny looks they get from others makes you wonder why they bothered with such ring tones in the first place. If you are in a corporate environment for at least 9 or 10 hours in a day, then please use a corporate ring tone. Interestingly, the culprits are not just corpers of low ranking officers. Some high level workers are also guilty of this. Weird. Please stop.


5. Talking obnoxiously loud while on a conversation.

Can you hear me now? That is the normal question posed by loud phone users. Many of us have to suffer while they chat away on their phones, laugh like excited wind mills. They do this regardless of the environment. Remember that loud irritating solo voice just before a plane takes off, or that 2 hour loud chatter by your colleague while you are working on a serious memo? No we don't need to know what 'auntie', 'uncle' or 'sister' is saying or what they are having for dinner, so why don't you just tone down the volume just a little bit.


6. Speaking on the phone while there is someone in front of you.

rude-phone-001This is one of the worst phone habits. It reeks of rudeness, lack of culture and is totally devoid of basic manners. There are ways to courteously address the person in front of you while talking on the phone.

  • Signal with your hands or cover the phone, while you take a second to tell them that you will soon attend to them and offer them a seat if there is an available one.
  • If it’s a personal call and your colleague is in front of you with official matters, then cut the call and attend to business. You are in the office anyway and not in your living room.
  • If it’s an official call and you know it takes precedent over the person in front of you, ensure that your side of the conversation points this out and if it will be long, then kindly dismiss the person in front of you and tell them that you will call later.


7. Constantly taking calls while talking with a friend.

I was at a friend's house one day, the kids were playing, and my friend and I got to sit down for a drink and chat. Within 10 minutes, she took 7 calls. There was one work-related call, but the others consisted of no emergencies, just friends who wanted something or to say hi, and she answered every call. First, my feelings were a bit hurt (the cell phone won time over me!) and second, I was ticked off (how rude of her to choose the cell phone over a friend sitting at the kitchen table - six times!).

Solution: Be a good, true friend and don't answer calls if you're visiting with someone. If it is school, work or an expected call that warrants some urgency, then by all means take the call. Be respectful.


8. Fooling around on your phone whenever you have a spare moment.

As writer Austin Kleon writes in his alarmingly cute book, "Steal Like an Artist," we need unstructured time for creativity to foster, down time in which we mess around and let our disconnected thoughts gel into cool ideas.

If you turn every spare moment (a red light, a line at the salad station, a ride in the elevator) into an excuse to fiddle with your phone, then you are limiting the use of your brain in thinking and also losing the opportunity to appreciate the world around you. Reminds you of Einstein's quote: "I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots". Was he right?


9. Passive-aggressively whining for the whole world to see through social media pages on your phone.

Look, we all have our personal stock of World Problems, frustrated complaints with the minor injustices committed by a cruel, uncaring world. That's been true since the dawn of time. Now we just have myriad means of expressing them. Nobody cares about your thinly veiled railings against your ex or roommate or employer, OK? Unless you've scribbled it on a notepad, in which case you should share it with the world. So that we can laugh at you.


10. Chewing or eating while using the phone.

It's very irritating talking to someone on the phone and hearing the sounds of their munching food or worse still, chewing gum. The internal loud speaker of the phone magnifies sound and so the annoying chewing and guttural effect is intensified. When you talk on the phone, don't eat, drink, check your e-mail or do anything else that shows you're not giving your best effort to the caller. This is for your benefit as well -- you may miss key information from the caller simply because you're too busy with your chicken pie or instant messaging a friend.


11. Being on the phone during a meal at a restaurant with people.

rude-phone-002Maybe I'm old fashioned, but if I am meeting friends for a lunch or dinner date, I expect to have conversation with them, and I expect the same in return. Taking a call and talking on the cell phone for several minutes of casual conversation is disrespectful since I have made arrangements to spend time with that person.

Solution: When answering a call while on a date, unless it is urgent or an emergency, tell the person calling that they will have their call returned, thank them, and hang up.


12. Turning your friends into enemies with videos of them.

Camcorders have become tiny and discreet and as user-friendly as checking your e-mail. This is potentially bad news for those people you hang out with, as you hold in your hands a recording device that can humiliate them forever.

Set ground rules and roll the camera judiciously, lest you wind up publicly shaming a friend for her foul mouth, caught-on-film fart or unpopular political opinions.


13. Letting your seething anger leach out into the world at large.

Humans have always done stupid things when they're emotionally riled up. Now, those tantrums and rages and outbursts are shared and cached for the world to see. Take a deep breath and put down the Smartphone.


14. Texting while walking.

Rarely does this go well. Whatever's so urgent can probably wait a few minutes. Or you can, you know, actually call the person.


15. Observe the basics.

It's amazing how many people forget the basics, which can really make a big difference. Speak clearly into the mouthpiece. Don't talk to other people in the room when you're on the phone. If you tell someone to hold on, tell them how long you'll be. (You're not going to be "just a second," but probably at least a few minutes.)Say goodbye clearly, and make sure they have responded before you hang up.


While others' discourteous use of cell phones may get under my skin, I am no saint. I'm guilty of some pretty obnoxious behaviors myself, from time to time.

I use my phones as scapegoats, for instance. If I'm stuck in a conversation I don't want to be in, my consciousness will slowly drift away, my eyes glaze over and my phone slowly comes out of its sheath. "Go on, I'm listening," I'll say as I blankly stare at the empty notification shade on my phone and endlessly flick through my home screens, pretending to be busy. I do the same thing to avoid awkward situations. In a crowded elevator with other people? Checking the phone instantly makes it less awkward. Walking by someone who I think might want to stop me and talk? Act busy and check for notifications.

Recently, however, I have made it a point to be more mindful and aware of just how obnoxious I am when both of my cell phones start buzzing every couple seconds. I try not to be rude, even when someone will not stop talking and I'm trying to slip away. And when the notifications at dinner get to a certain point, I silence my phones, ignore the blinking light and enjoy the temporary disconnect. It's actually nice to enjoy the company of people and put the online world on hold on occasion.

Have you noticed your own bad habits with your cell phone? Have you tried to curb them? Or do you continually cut people off and ignore them to respond to the Facebook comment on the mirror self-shot picture you took this morning? Resolve to stop these habits this year.

By Andrea Bartz and Brenna Ehrlich, Special to CNN, October 8, 2012


It is official. The winners for the advertised bid for licensing of Infracos have emerged, with MainOne Cable winning for the Lagos area and IHS grabbing the licence for the North Central. This was disclosed recently in Lagos by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Eugene Juwah at the 4th ICT Industry Stakeholders Forum. Juwah said the NCC is currently working out the details of the issuance and that the winners would get their letters to that effect shortly.

The choice of MainOne and IHS seems to sit well with industry watchers as it was welcomed with an applause from a cross section of the stakeholders. Both are major players in the provision of infrastructure in the nation’s telecom industry.

Licensing of Infracos (telecom companies that would provide infrastructure) is a major precursor to the soon-to-evolve broadband revolution in the country. The commission had initiated a broadband plan which was later adopted as a national broadband roadmap endorsed by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Nigeria has done very well in voice telephony, ranking as one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world. Indeed, Nigeria was at a time adjudged by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as the fastest growing mobile market for five consecutive years. The ubiquitous deployment of broadband will not only crash cost of telecom services, it will improve massively the quality of service for voice, video and data transmission.

In an earlier interview with The Communicator, Juwah had explained his unflinching commitment to broadband thus: “To give effect to the broadband initiative, the NCC adopted the Open Access model for broadband deployment and rollout. According to Juwah, “the model is the leading model in the world, it encompasses the good things about access. It encompasses sharing of infrastructure, sharing of ownership. It encompasses competition because it structures the industry into primarily two layers; the wholesalers and retailers. If you're a wholesaler you cannot do retail. But most importantly it provides open access to everybody at the same conditions, so whether you're the biggest or smallest, you all have access to infrastructure. In Nigeria we've added one more; we said that all this environment is going to be regulated price-wise by the regulator. These make sure that our teeming publics get broadband at value for money.

“Right from the time I came into the communications industry I saw that the trend is changing from voice to data and data in the good form must be broadband. That's why you have good internet, good video service and a plethora of services coming out of broadband. Apart from that, broadband is a development product, a product that is capable of increasing the GDP of Nigeria, it is also capable of taking Nigeria into the knowledge-based economy that the world is pursuing, it is a product that is capable of increasing the efficiency of our younger generation; this is how we see broadband, and we see that it something that we have to do for Nigeria to enter the 21st century properly, and if we don’t do it then we've failed. We've taken the issue of increasing broadband penetration as a priority. To start off that program is not easy; you first of all have to convince the in-house people and the government that this is important and they have to support you. You have to tell the international audience what you want to do so that they'll get interested because you depend on them to bring in investment.

“It took some time for this ground work to be done, but we've started with a publication of our bid for the licensing of Infracos which is actually the major foundation of our broadband intervention. I can tell you that the response is quite interesting; response from inside and outside the country. I can tell you that the International Finance Corporation, IFC has endorsed it, they're supporting us and even helping us source for international investors. What we've done has not been in vain so we're keenly waiting for all these bids to come in and see the result of what we've done”.

The announcement of other winners for the other zones will come very soon, a top NCC source told our correspondent.

The competition just got keener and the prize money even bigger as the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced a total prize money of N17 million with a star prize of N7 million for the team that wins the 2016 NCC Tennis Championship.

The championship now in its second year has revived the sagging passion for tennis among Nigerians. Unveiling details of this year’s event at the prestigious Ikoyi Club, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the Commission was happy with the profile, organisation and impact of the event which has achieved all the objectives it was designed to achieve.

“The Tennis League is introducing 45 weeks of tennis to the Nigerian tennis calendar up from 32 last year and it is taking topflight tennis to more cities across the country.

“The number of participating teams has also risen from eight to ten this year.”  Prof. Umar Danbatta, who was represented by the Director of Special Duties, Mrs Iyabo Sholanke, said.

Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, who took a tour of the Ikoyi Club before the opening ceremony, commended the club for the outstanding facility and their maintenance level and implored the management to play a bigger role in the development of sports in the country.

The Minister lauded the NCC for sponsoring such a major historic tennis event which has the potential of producing top professional tennis players in the near future.

“What I have seen here today has convinced me that the private sector has to lead the sports development process in Nigeria,” Dalung said.

The Minister later participated in the ballot for the placement of the teams into the Blue and White round robin groups.

The Blue Group comprises;

  • Team Tombim – Abuja
  • Team Offikwu – Kaduna
  • Team LeadWay – Lagos
  • Team Anambra – Onitsha
  • Team Goshen – Ilorin

The White Group comprises;

  • Civil Defence – Kaduna
  • Team FCT – Abuja
  • Team Kalotari – Port Harcourt
  • Team Hope – Asaba/Warri
  • Team CBN Futures – Lagos

NCC Tennis League was launched in April last year with Team Tombim of Abuja clinching the highest honour of the maiden edition in a keenly contested final against Civil Defence. Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) President, Sanni Ndanusa at that time described it as “game changer for Nigerian tennis.”

“The tennis league is the first of its kind in Africa and it is now the flagship of Nigerian tennis. We shall do all in our power to support the league and ensure that the NCC continues to get value for the sponsorship”, Ndanusa who was flanked by several members of the NTF said.

The NCC Tennis League is managed by the International Tennis Academy.

The NCC said the essence of the Tennis League was to promote youth development through sports as well as foster national integration and unity.



2013q4-editorials CATCO logoAfrican Telecommunication Regulators and other key industry stakeholders, among them telecommunication consumers, legislators, operators, for the first time met in Lagos, Nigeria on October 17-18 2013 to discuss ways of “Harnessing Regulatory Policies to Protect Telecom Consumers in Africa;” being the Theme of the Conference.

The Conference was held under the auspices of the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) which hosted it.

It drew participants from over 15 African countries including Angola, Niger, Uganda, Sudan, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa, Cameroun, Benin Republic and Nigeria, the host country, and African Telecommunications Union who provided varying and fresh perspectives to issues affecting telecommunication service delivery to consumers across Africa.

The conference noted that:

  • Deregulation of the telecoms industry has dismantled the monopoly structure and its attendant bottlenecks associated with customers’ frustrations and enhanced competitiveness among operators thus increasing value propositions for the customers.
  • Despite the laudable achievements in the telecoms industry across Africa, the challenges faced by consumers include Quality of Service (QoS), billing, adequate education on services, consumer and issues pertaining to seeking redress
  • The scope and complexity of telecom regulatory activities on the continent has not only shifted from licensing to consumer obligations, it has also increased in dimension and quantum.
  • Convergence and emerging technologies have placed new challenges before African regulators, made regulation more complex and has brought about the need for converged regulation
  • Multiple- taxations and multiple-regulations are major challenges in most African countries as they inhibit both operators ability to meet service obligations and full experience of consumers through service affordability and availability
  • In the telecoms space everyone is a stakeholder and the impact of the transformation in the industry has rubbed off in every sphere of lives of the people and also led to increased teledensity such that un-served and underserved areas in the continent are increasingly experiencing service provisioning.
  • The trajectory for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the telecoms industry is upwards, leading to exponential economic growth which has been manifested in direct and indirect jobs creation across the continent.
  • Countries on the continent have experienced general and peculiar challenges based on the culture, values, market principles, business model as well as laws and regulations specific to each regulatory jurisdiction.
  • There is need for a sustainable and veritable platform for regulators on the continent to engage in peer review mechanism that will give them ample opportunity to critically focus on the consumer interests in the different climes.
  • In order to deepen telecommunications services, regulators need to be responsive to the needs of the telecoms environment by being proactive. A number of regulatory initiatives such as the ones undertaken by the Nigerian regulators are germane including:
    1. The need for collaboration among other regulatory bodies in order to harmonise the existing policies in such a way that consumer interest is ultimately protected from multi taxation and multi-regulations.
    2. A strong need to establish compliant resolution mechanism that can effectively address challenges between the service providers and consumers as well as issues arising between operators that could impact on the quality of service delivery to the consumers.
  • Consumer is always King and pivotal to the growth of the telecoms industry, as such must be protected
  • With the frequent changes in the technology space and the need for the stakeholders to catch up with the evolving trends in the technology space, there is strong emphasis on regulators to focus on trainings and developmental plans
  • The regulatory issues concerning land locked states should be given urgent review in order to make such states benefit from the experiences of other African countries.
  • Despite the glut of undersea cable into some African nations, only single points of landing have been prevalent in most countries. There is a need for landing points to be diversified to other states for redundancy sake.
  • African regulators should come up with robust broadband model for national and regional strategies that would ensure strategic deployment and collaboration across the regions
  • Stakeholders across Africa need to work assiduously in collaboration to consummate on roaming agreements that will facilitate lower costs of service delivery to the people on the continent.
  • African regulators are encouraged to come together under a common platform to fine tune the standards, processes and procedures for dealing with regulatory issues on the continent
  • African Telecommunications Union should take over the conference and make it a fully continental affair, thereby rotating it among African countries, based on request by interested countries to host.
  • Universal Service Provision Funds (USPFs) play key roles in driving access to the underserved and the un-served.
  • There is need for comprehensive legislations to cater for the needs of physically challenged and people with special needs as equal stakeholders and consumers of telecom services on the continent
  • The Nigerian regulator, NCC, was commended for its exemplary role in telecommunication regulation in Africa
  • The near death of CDMA operation in some African countries is due to multiple regulation and taxation

The Delegates thus resolved:

  • To advocate for service neutral licensing that will enable an operator provide telephony, Internet and broadcast services on a single license in the converged ecosystem.
  • That telecoms infrastructure should be declared as critical national infrastructure and calls on legislators to pass enabling laws.
  • To canvass for a single regional license that will enable an operator in a particular country to operate in any other country within a region once it has a valid operating license from one of the countries in the region.
  • To push for equitable access to undersea cable by nations in the continent, particularly the land locked nations on the continent who by reasons of geographical location do not have direct access to the undersea cables
  • To encourage regional bodies including national and regional regulators, ATU, African Union Commission, Regional Economic Communities, States Policy Makers to work together to achieve harmonised regulatory document,
  • To continuously collaborate to ensure that regulators give priority to protecting consumers of ICT services; and to work with the ATU so as to provide the framework for regulators and all other stakeholders to advance consumers’ interest
  • That the first Conference of African Telecom Regulators is one good example of the collective efforts by Africans to establish unity, solidarity, collective self-reliance amongst African countries in building on the principle of pan-Africanism within the ICT space for Consumers
  • That effective regulatory framework must have the following key features i.e. independent power of the regulatory authority, decision and rule-making power, accountability, consumer protection, dispute resolution and enforcement powers.
  • That International and Regional Mobile Roaming Services can be best resolved through transnational cooperation between African governments and providers through appropriate bilateral, regional and/or international agreements.
  • To ensure that regulators ceaselessly motivate, sustain and improve competition within their jurisdictions using tools such as MNP and Determination of Dominance in the market-space.
  • That spectrum is universally recognised as a scarce resource and it is evidently being underutilised on the continent, and since spectrum is also borderless, therefore African countries must co-operate in this area to ensure that the dividends of the digital age is available to citizens
  • To encourage balanced regulation in order for citizens to enjoy the benefits of the New Media, and authorities should adopt suitable regulatory tools in response to new trends in the industry and the growing need for consumer protection.
  • As a result of the increasing challenges of cyber security and e-commerce, authorities must come up with regulation that must protect operator systems and information from cyber-attacks and cybercrimes.
  • To enjoin African states to enact legislation to protect minors and other vulnerable people within the society from cybercrimes, pornography and other illicit activities perpetuated over the internet.
  • That regional commitment is critical to liberalization and harmonization of regulatory frameworks; and collaboration across the region will also ensure uniformity of standards which will reduce transaction costs, enhance demand and competition.
  • That technology cannot be regulated, rather regulators should find efficient ways of regulating the services being proferred by technology.
  • The 2nd Conference of African Telecom Regulators on Consumer Affairs will be announced and made known to delegates later.

The Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Tony Ojobo, has advocated for flexible and robust tax regime for operators of the nation’s Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector as a way of boosting growth and profitability.

Mr. Ojobo said this on the sideline at the recently held International Telecoms Union (ITU) Telecom World conference in Budapest, Hungary. He said: “unfriendly tax system is a disincentive to investment and so, if you have a friendly tax regime especially for investment, there will be no anxiety for investors and it will go a long way in creating jobs and also growing businesses.”

He said the commission has been working assiduously with various stakeholders in the country to make them understand the negative implications of multiple taxation on the inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the nation’s telecoms sector.

“We are talking with Governors and other stakeholders to reach a common ground in the way telecoms taxes are imposed so that it does not hurt the government, the investors and the consumers. At the end of the day, we expect a win-win situation for all the stakeholders including the government because if we have more investments coming in, it will translate to more subscribers across all platforms namely voice, data and video and this will in the long run aggregate to more tax paid to government”, he said.

Following complaints by operators of interconnect clearing houses and Value Added Services licensees in the Nigeria telecoms industry over the huge indebtedness in their businesses the Nigerian Communications Commission says it has commenced the process for the introduction of a regulation to guide the activities of the VAS market which will substantially address the issues arising from VAS interconnect debt.

This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta at the Telecoms Executives and Regulators Forum held in Lagos.

NCC mounts road-show to raise public awareness

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has commenced a rally via a road show to mobilize Nigerians to create awareness for the protection of telecommunications infrastructure in the country. Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC seized the opportunity of the "Road Show Against Vandalism of Telecom Infrastructure" in Lagos to appeal to Nigerians to rise and protect the infrastructure considered the core of effective telecommunications services delivery.

Danbatta who was represented by Mr. Tony Ojobo, Director, Public Affairs of NCC, stressed the need for Nigerians to collectively stop vandalism of telecoms infrastructure so as to save the industry from possible collapse. According to him, telecoms infrastructure has democratised the ability of citizens to communicate with one another.

"Most of us now shop online because of the advancement that we have attained with the telecoms industry. Some of us book hotels, buy air tickets and even check traffic situations on our telephones. "We share and exchange information, send photos, videos, text messages to our friends, families and social friends," he said.

"We are all aware that the telecoms industry is one of the biggest dividends of our democracy in Nigeria. The telecoms industry has also provided this nation with the opportunity to sell herself creditably among the committee of nations.

"Today, we are ranked among the fastest growing telecoms countries in the world," Danbatta said, adding that the industry was a major contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and had enhanced economic growth by complimenting government’s efforts towards diversification of the economy from oil.

Danbatta noted that thousands of citizens were directly employed by the telecoms industry and earning income as a result of the level of development in the industry. According to him, the benefits and the useful services being enjoyed from the industry are now threatened by the spate of vandalism of telecoms infrastructure across the country.

The Commission, according to him, was worried that vandalism of the infrastructure was slowing the pace of growth, and contributing to poor quality of services. "Vandalism of infrastructure comes in several ways. Some vandals cut or destroy cables that provide services across geopolitical distances or communities.

"Some engage in destruction of facilities at mobile telephone base stations. Some engage in stealing of generators or diesel which are to power base stations that make services available at all times.

"We have situations where local communities or individuals bar technical staff from the service providers from installing equipment or carrying out repairs on existing systems," Danbatta noted.

"We also have situations where people engage in willful destruction or damage of telecoms infrastructure, in order to extort money from service providers. "The industry has continued to lose huge sums of money as a result of vandalism of telecoms infrastructure, and more importantly, the nation has lost a lot of services as a result of this menace," he said.

Danbatta said that the reason for the campaign was to ensure that Nigeria did not lose her pace of telecoms penetration. He urged citizens to join the war against vandalism by being vigilant and reporting any form of destruction of infrastructure to security agencies. The road show which is aimed at raising awareness among Nigerians is expected to hold in different parts of the country.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has for the umpteenth time appealed to telecom consumers to assist in protecting network infrastructure in their environment from vandalism in order to ensure quality service delivery.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC made the appeal at the Consumers Conversation Forum in Jos which marked the sixth edition organised by the commission in the North-Central Zone.

The President of TELL Communications Limited - publishers of Tell newsmagazine and Broad Street Journal – Mr. Nosa Igiebor, recently led a team of top management staff of the organization on a visit to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to convey the nomination of the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta as the CEO OF THE YEAR 2016.

Mr. Igiebor, MD/CEO OF Tell Communications told Professor Danbatta, that he was greatly pleased to be at the NCC "a public sector organization with an uncommon excellent culture of public service". "There was a massive response when we called for nominations, the choice narrowed down to the CEOs of NCC, BOI and NNPC but ultimately NCC emerged topmost, though the votes were quite close" Mr. Igiebor narrated as his revelation was greeted with a loud applause.

Business Education Examinations Council (BEEC) has congratulated the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the recent platinum rating the regulatory body received from the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPRS).

In a letter signed by its President, Mike Okereke, the Council attributed the success to the leadership style of the commission’s Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta.

Mr. Chidi Ibisi of Broadbased Communication Limited commends NCC for professionalism, makes case for special funds for ICT at ITU Telecom World 2016.

Impression on Nigeria's participation at the ITU

This is my first time of participating in this particular event with the Nigerian delegation. We as an organisation are impressed with the level of professionalism exhibited by the NCC led by the EVC, Professor Umar Danbatta. The staff have conducted themselves in a very professional manner. What we are doing in telecoms makes me very proud to be a Nigerian and the way NCC presented Nigeria to the global community is absolutely heart-warming.