June 1, 2023

NCC commences review of existing licenses


By Emmnauel Elebeke

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Thursday said it is currently reviewing the scope and structure of its existing licenses to make them more robust and to accommodate some of the identified new industry trends.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta disclosed this in his key note speech presented at a two day stakeholders forum holding in Yenogoa, Bayelsa State,  entitled, ‘‘Talk to the Regulator’’.

The move he said was part of the interventions and responses of the Commission to enhance quality of service delivery and to improve on regulation of the industry.

Danbatta said the Commission also introduced the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Licence recently to bridge the gap between unserved and underserved areas.

And to keep up to date with developments in the industry, the Commission he said has equally taken measures to improve regulations to accommodate the rapid and continuous development.

The NCC boss listed some other interventions and responses of the Commission to include: facilitating the Roll-Out of 5G Service provision and providing industry leadership to facilitate the achievement of 90% Broadband penetration by year 2025, and well above 50% at the end of 2023 in line with the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020 – 2025).

According to him, over a one hundred and fifty (I50) million Nigerians have access to internet, while over eighty (80) million can access high speed internet.

On the event, he said the Commission has created the forum and  other opportunities to interact with its licensees on industry issues and new trends via stakeholder fora in keeping with its mandate, with a view to gathering relevant information that would further advance the development of the industry, while improving regulations and service delivery to telecom consumers.

The TTTR Forum in Yenagoa which was originally scheduled to hold in 2022 but was postponed due to the dreadful flood disaster that hit Bayelsa and some other states in the year.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Zonal Controller, Nigeriam Communications Commission, Port Harcourt Zonal Office, Venny Eze said  the event is expected  to provide a veritable platform for interaction between the regulator and the licensees, on one hand, and other industry stakeholders, on the other hand.

According to her, the  occasion would enable the Commission to identify the challenges confronting  the industry from the pragmatic point of view of the industry players.

‘’This event, is coming at the heels of the licensing of the 5G network, and the effort by stakeholders to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of telecommunications services to all Nigerians. In other words, licensees are expected to engage the regulator, through robust discussions, with a view to identifying the various challenges affecting their operations, while making suggestions, requiring regulatory interventions, within the mandate of the NCC.

 ‘‘As it were, this forum, would afford the Licensees, an opportunity to be educated on topical issues of concern, which would help them comply to the licensing terms and conditions, in the various license categories,’’ she said.

Eze however, enjoined participants to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the forum, to engage in robust discussions, while proffering solutions to certain topical issues of concern that would be raised, in the course of this engagement.

The ‘Talk-To-The Regulator` Forum is a common platform for non-discriminatory interaction on a one-on-one basis, between the Licensees and the Regulator on several industry issues, pertinent to the Licensees and of national interest.

 The 2-Day Session, is expected to discuss and identify the measures necessary to improve investment and service delivery.