Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, said the strategic vision plan he unveiled two years ago in form of eight-point agenda had so far made a significant impact on the growth of telecommunication’s sector in Nigeria.
Mr Danbatta, who stated this at the just concluded 2018 World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Spain, said broadband penetration in the country merely stood at about eight percent when he took over the mantle of the leadership in the commission.
“But it is now 22 percent, according to the ITU-UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.
“We also decided to look at how we can improve Quality of Service (QoS) consistent with key performances indicators that characterise the quality of service.
“The information we are getting from the consumers as well what we source from network operators is that QoS has improved.
“The experiences by consumers through their accounts also indicate significant improvement.”
The NCC boss therefore called for renewed thinking by global policymakers and regulatory framework in the telecommunication industry.
Mr Danbatta said global policymakers in the telecom industry should ensure not only renewed thinking in the development of policy frameworks but also promote innovation and investment in the sector.
He said the regulators should promote innovation, investment and better quality of service as well as putting in place mechanisms that would limit unfair pricing and exploitation of consumers.
“In Nigeria, we are trying to digitally transform and the process is ongoing as I am talking to you.
“Hence, we have been paying attention to five interdependent elements of the digital transformation processes which include enabling policies and institutions, human capital, applied ICT industry, communications infrastructure, ICT applications and institutional change.”
Danbatta told the gathering about the successful auctioning of the spectrum 2.6 GHz band, which had already been assigned and contributed to broadband penetration in Nigeria.
The NCC boss said to empower the consumers of the industry’s product in Nigeria, the year 2017 was dedicated as the year of the consumer.
He said when NCC started the campaign; the commission was flooded with a lot of complaints, especially on unsolicited text messages sent to consumers.
“Consumers in many cases are surcharged, NCC has put behind this menace in Nigeria through the campaign.
“As I am talking to you, we have a Do- Not- Disturb facility, which is very easy to use by consumers as more than nine million users have activated this facility.
“Again, close to that number have gained access to our 622 toll-free line, which is provided to consumers to lodge their complaints on the quality of service provided by the telecommunication firms.”
NCC listed other notable industry giants who participated in the panel discussion to include Ajit Pai, the Chief Regulator of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
Other participants are Ram Sharma, the Chief Regulator of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India; and German Pimienta of Communications Regulatory, Colombia.