Lagos – The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Sunday said that its five-point strategic agenda was essential in its recognition as the foremost telecoms regulator in Africa.
The Public Affairs Director of NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo, said in Lagos that the agenda had yielded many results.
Ojobo said that the commission had a focused leadership and staff who were ensuring that the regulatory body was moving to enviable heights in Nigeria and Africa.
He said that the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr Eugene Juwah, came up with a five-point agenda which included broadband deployment, capacity building and strengthening of international relationship.
According to him, the agenda also includes compliance monitoring and enforcement as well as consolidation.
”All of these have been the drive that have taken the commission to where it is today as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognised NCC as the foremost regulator in Africa.
”We have people from other regulatory agencies in Africa coming to NCC to understudy what we have been doing that have enabled us to remain at the forefront of telecoms regulation,” he said.
Ojobo said that the agenda was geared toward ensuring that the global community always recognises Nigeria as a destination country for telecoms investment.
He noted that the Juwah-led five point agenda had made it possible for the cost of Short Messaging Service (SMS) to be reduced from N15 to N4 per message.
Ojobo said that the commission had also reduced interconnect rates, resulting in reduction in call rates and other services offered by the operators.
”In the area of compliance monitoring and enforcement, within this time, we have had the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) gazetted; that has given us the force to actually bite.
”Breaches in the KPIs have led to sanctioning of the service providers. Sanctions are always very huge; they are usually not pleasant for the operators to pay.
”So to some degree, the KPIs have brought some kind of sanity to the industry.
“It has brought some discipline in the industry and made operators more accountable and responsive to consumers’ complaints,” he said.
The telecoms umpire was on Saturday recognised by the Beacon of Information and Communications Technology (BoICT) as the “ Regulator of the Year.’’ (NAN)