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Mobile World Congress: Danbatta calls for renewed thinking in telecom policymaking

By Prince Osuagwu

The Executive Vice- Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, wants policymakers, especially in telecommunications sector to wear a new thinking cap.

The regulator, recently, took on global policy makers in Barcelona, Spain during the Mobile World Congress.

He believes that if the new idea he introduced immediately he assumed office as Nigeria’s chief regulator could transform the sector to the extent it has, there was no reason, global handlers of telecom policies would not need a new thinking cap on how to move world telecom forward.

Danbatta on assumption of office two years ago, unveiled a strategic plan he tagged 8-Point Agenda. The plan, according to him, has so far made a significant impact on the growth of telecommunications sector in Nigeria.

Speaking in one of the sessions at the just-concluded 2018 World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Spain, he said: “In Nigeria, we are trying to digitally transform and the process is on-going. Hence we’ve been paying attention to five interdependent elements of the digital transformation processes: enabling policies and institutions, human capital, applied ICT industry, communications infrastructure, ICT applications and institutional change.

“We also decided to look at how we can improve quality of service 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 Quality of Service has improved,” he stated.

He also observed that broadband penetration in the country merely stood at about 8 per cent when he took over at NCC, but has now been confirmed by ITU-UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, as having reached 22 per cent.

He called on global policymakers in the telecommunication industry to ensure not only renewed thinking in the development of policy frameworks but also to promote innovation and investment in the sector.

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