My 8-Point Agenda for Telecommunications: 2015-2020

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An excerpt from the presentation of the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta,  during his interaction with the media in Lagos. 

EVC of NCC

  1. Introduction

Over the years NCC has earned a reputation as a foremost Telecom regulatory agency in Africa. The Commission hopes to catalyze the use of ICT’s for enabling different aspect of national development. The Commission has initiated several programs such as State Accelerated Broadband Initiative (SABI) and Wire Nigeria Project (WIN) to help stimulate demand and accelerate the uptake of ICT tools and services necessary for the enthronement of a knowledge society in Nigeria.

 

In order to achieve its mandate, the Commission has put in place various strategies that will enable it become a responsive, world-class communications regulatory organization that promotes a market driven communications industry that fosters universal access to Information and Communications Technology for all Nigerians.

 

  1. Why We Are Here

It is a great privilege for me to introduce the NCC Strategic Vision for the fiscal years 2015 to 2020.The process for the development of this five-year Strategic Vision has taken a lot of effort and time, and I am confident that this final output is a good roadmap to guide our operations in the Commission for the next five years.

 

We now present our new vision, alongside the overarching Change Mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR:“To promote innovation, investment, competition, and consumer empowerment in and on top of the 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 rollout of broadband services that will hold out opportunities and higher network quality of service for all Nigerians”.

 

As a regulator of the telecommunications sector, we recognize the importance of providing an enabling environment for ICT development, enhancing and modernizing our institutional capacity, facilitating sector infrastructure, efficient and qualitative service provision and promoting sector market development. However, all these can only be achieved if there is a renewed and increased coordination for the common good of nation building. As an organization we are committed to refocus our energy and resources towards this common good and we also call upon other stakeholders to join hands with us in this patriotic duty.

 

  1. Global and Local ICT Opportunities

The global and indeed local ICT market is growing exponentially and creating whole brand new and exciting opportunities. Nigeria’s economy is strengthening, and the world is taking notice!

We would like to make these opportunities real for all Nigerians, especially the young people who are already shaping the future through innovation. We believe that Nigeria has the potential to gain a global competitive edge in innovation. What we need is to work together to gain the extra momentum that is necessary and invaluable for the successful realization of our Vision as an industry.

 

This Strategic Vision hinges on eight (8) Pillars premised on three ‘A’s, which are the hallmarks of universal access and service and they include Availability of service, Accessibility of Service, and Affordability of service vis-à-vis the Change Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, which revolves around an ideological shift in creation of structures for social benefits and inclusiveness for national development. The commission will always act responsibly, impartially, transparently and independently in the discharge of our statutory functions and for the common good of all Nigerians.

 

These pillars will dictate at all times what we do, and I am sure they will also serve as fundamental dictating parameters of our core targets of broadband provision and improvement in the network quality of service.

 

  1. Our Staff

Our goal is to maintain the hard working spirit of our staff and apply our deliberately acquired talent, through continuous professional development, to achieve a performance-driven organization. As with any Vision, we are fully aware of the fact that challenges will arise. However, I am confident that with this solid Strategic Vision Framework, we shall effectively confront any challenge that comes our way and make a visible contribution to actively facilitate the development of a knowledge-driven, inclusive, globally’ competitive and prosperous Nigeria.

 

  1. Connect 2020 and The 8-Point Agenda

Connect 2020 is a global framework for action in the ICT sector set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to foster sustainable change in the ICT sector by year 2020. It is hinged on three key goals that are part of the proposed 2016-2019 ITU Strategic Plan which sets high-level impact representing the change in the ICT sector that we all – as a Union, want to see in the world.

 

The proposed vision, “an information society, empowered by the interconnected world, where telecommunication/ICTs enable and accelerate social, economic and environmentally sustainable growth and development for everyone”, branded as “Connect 2020”, is a framework based around the following four complementary goals and related targets to be achieved by 2020:

 

Growth – enable and foster access to and increased use of telecommunications/ICTs;

Inclusiveness –bridge the digital divide and provide broadband for all;

 

Sustainability – manage challenges resulting from telecommunication/ICT development Innovation and partnership – lead, improve and adapt to the changing telecommunication/ICT environment.

 

This Strategic Vision 2015-2020 is premised on eight pillars, referred to as the 8-Point Agenda, and guided by the Change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, thus:

 

  1. Facilitate Broadband Penetration

Vision: Provide and optimize access to and use of affordable fixed and mobile broadband everywhere in Nigeria.

Strategy: Facilitate and support availability of broadband services by promoting deployment of universally available, fast and reliable network infrastructure that will stimulate seamless broadband penetration to drive technology innovations and overall productivity of the economy.

 

  1. Improve Quality of Service

Vision: Promote the availability of reliable, interoperable, rapidly restorable critical information and communications technology infrastructure that are supportive of all required services.

Strategy: Strengthen measures for Quality of Service (QoS) regulation, through improved oversight/internal controls and facilitation of active infrastructure sharing amongst telecoms operators in ways that will encourage seamless adoption of next generation technologies and remove all barriers to smooth operations.

 

  1. Optimize Usage and Benefits of Spectrum

Vision: Maximize the availability of spectrum in order to provide diverse and affordable ICT services and ensure spectrum acquisition does not distort market competition.

Strategy: Develop and implement flexible, market-oriented spectrum regulation policies that promote highly efficient use of spectrum in ways that stimulate innovation, investment, and job creation and increased consumer benefits.

 

  1. Promote ICT Innovation and Investment Opportunities

Vision: Promote ICT innovation in ways that improve the nation’s ability to compete in the global economy, through increased investment in youth and promotion of SMEs for the delivery of new business breakthrough.

Strategy: Facilitate and support the deployment and use of broadband networks as a platform for economic growth, innovation, job-creation, and global competitiveness by fostering increased strategic support for technology startups and SMEs.

 

  1. Facilitate Strategic Collaboration and Partnership

Vision: Develop effective partnership with relevant stakeholders to foster ICT for sustainable economic development and social advancement.

Strategy: Foster avenue for synergy with government MDAs, Communities and relevant local and international non-state actors to advance the use of ICT for Development (ICT4Dev) by facilitating and supporting the development, adoption and usage of technology innovations for improvement in Agriculture, Healthcare, Education and Security.

 

  1. Protect and Empower Consumers

Vision: Protect consumers from unfair practices through availability of information and education required to make informed choices in the use of ICT services.

Strategy: Strengthen initiatives to educate and inform consumers in their use of communications services and act swiftly and consistently whenever necessary in the use of enforcement to protect telecom service consumers’ rights and privileges.

 

  1. Promote Fair Competition and Inclusive growth

Vision: Ensure a competitive market for communications services that fosters fair inclusion of all actors, in innovative ways that facilitate new investment, job creation and consumer satisfaction.

Strategy: Foster the assurance of fair competition through regulations that ensure strict compliance with the obligations imposed on dominant operators in ways that stimulate the growth and sustainability of smaller players in the Mainstream, Value Added Services and Ancillary services sectors of the telecom service provision ecosystem.

 

  1. Ensure Regulatory Excellence and Operational Efficiency

Vision: Ensure an effective regulatory framework, efficient processes, strict compliance monitoring and enforcement, efficient management of internal resources and structure, and maintain a commitment to transparency.

Strategy: Strengthen regulatory and operational systems and processes in ways that make them more result-oriented by further internalizing the Commission’s rules, culture and values, and integrating technology where necessary to improve efficiency, effectiveness and stakeholder satisfaction.

 

Conclusion

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.

 

The policy goals of the NCC recognize the immense socio-economic importance of ICTs to national development and therefore seek 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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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