The Federal Government on Tuesday assured private sector investors in telecoms industry of its continuous support as Nigeria tries to develop a digital economy.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami said this at the launch of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Strategic Vision (Implementation Plan) 2021 – 2025 as well as a compendium of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta’s speeches and Global Connect, a podcast for the Commission.
Pantami, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, assured the private sector of government’s immense support.
According to him, the accolades which he got from President Buhari for his performance in making the digital economy sector a major earner for the entire economy should go to all industry players.
Pantami said he was passionate about the success of the private sector stressed that all laws governing the sector must be targeted at ensuring sustained growth of the sector.
The minister also urged the NCC not to compromise the implementation of the strategic-vision plan.
The Minister said, the book: “Catalysing Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Transformation through Broadband Infrastructure” was in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025 unveiled by President Buhari.
In his remarks, Nigeria’s Senate Majority Leader Senator Yahaya Abubakar Abdullahi, said NCC was futuristic in its approach to digital economy regulations.
He described the occasion as ‘very important’, as it showed visible efforts of the executive arm of government via institutions like the NCC in pursuit of futuristic approach to governance.
“That is where value is. Modern economies are moving to digital and we must have implementable visions like what NCC has envisaged in its Strategic Plan 2020-2025”, Abdullahi said.
Also the Chairman House of Representative committee on Communications, Hon. Akeem Adeyemi stated that legislature was ready to work with NCC on the amendments to the Communications Act.
Adeyemi described the Strategic Plan as “second phase of the achievements of the diligent implementation the NCC Strategic Plan”,which provided the roadmap for NCC’s regulatory activities and response to the technological dynamics of the country.
“There is no doubt that the telecommunications sector has been the major contributor to the nation’s GDP in the last few years of which the handlers of the sector and the entire stakeholders must be commended.
“As we celebrate the achievements of the commission, efforts should be focused on continuous SIM registration/audit to provide security, to curtail incidences of kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery”, Adeyemi stated.
He said that members of the ninth House of Representatives remained committed to its core responsibility of providing a legislative framework to empower agencies of government to carry out their mandate, adding that NCC should come up with amendments to present Communications Act to improve its regulatory functions.
The Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, NCC, Prof Adeolu Akande said NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umar Danbatta has made the commission.
Akande said the members’ presence at the event was a clear indication that the EVC has been in good relationship with the board.
He said that the NCC management led by Danbatta have been on top of their game with innovative regulatory efforts towards deepening the digital economy agenda.
Speaking on behalf of heads of agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Muhammad Abubakar, Managing Director/CEO Galaxy Backbone Limited, congratulated the EVC for the “giant effort and dynamic speeches that formed the compendium.
He added that the contributions from Danbatta’s speeches were laudable and always thought-provoking.
“All this became possible because of the support we (as heads of agencies under the Ministry) enjoy from the Minister, Prof. Pantami. I believe that this kind of exposition we are witnessing in NCC is the same when you visit NITDA, NIMC, NigComSAT, NIPOST and of course Galaxy Backbone Limited.
“NCC is a reflection of parastatals under FMoCDE” Abubakar said.
In his speech, Danbatta said since his assumption of office, the commission has focused on strategic objectives which are in tandem with the policy objectives of the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him: “Our strategic objectives, the result of a careful assessment of some existing policy frameworks, offered us the opportunity to chart a course of action for the sector in a Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan (SVP) 2015-2020, which items are as follows:
Facilitate Broadband Penetration;
Improve Quality of Service;
Optimize Usage and Benefits of Spectrum;
Promote ICT Investment and Innovation;
Protect and Empower Consumers;
Promote Fair Competition and Inclusive Growth;
Facilitate Strategic Collaboration and Partnerships; and
Ensure Regulatory Excellence and Operational Efficiency.”
He further said that in developing the NCC Strategic Plan 2020-2025, the Commission had leveraged various policy documents, which included the Nigeria’s National Broadband Plan (2013-201.8) that had set a target of five-fold increase in broadband penetration, from six per cent in 2013 to 30 per cent penetration by the end of 2018.
Continuing, he said: “We also took cognizance of the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2014-2018 which defined clear strategic results in terms of themes such as facilitating market development, regulatory excellence, ICT penetration, and Strategic Partnering.
“Indeed, as an important stakeholder, even to the international community, we had, in the development of the MT (2015-2020), also aligned with the global focus of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Expectedly, we leveraged on the Vision Plan (2013-2018) of the ITU which had sustainability, inclusiveness and growth a s the primary thrusts in defining our implementation items of the Plan.
“We have taken cognizance of the several notable advancements in the Nigerian telecommunications industry within the last five (5) years, as well as the current global realities such as International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Strategic Plan (2020 — 2023), the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 for a digital Nigeria, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government.
“Thus, the new plan has been guided by and aligned to the NNBP (2020-2025), the NDEPS (2020-2030), the SMP (2020-2024), the ITU Strategic Plan and the ERGP of the Federal Government”.
The new SVP 2021-2025, he said, has five items namely:
1. Organizational Renewal for Operational Efficiency and Regulatory Excellence;
2. Facilitating the Provision of Infrastructure for a Digital Economy which fosters National Development;
3. Promoting Fair Competition, Inclusive Growth, increased investment and Innovative Services;
4. Improve Quality of Service (QoS) for Enhanced Consumer Quality of Experience (QoE); and
5. Facilitating Strategic Collaboration and Partnership
“The Compendium of EVC’s Speeches and Presentations As the chief regulator of this very dynamic telecom sector, I have had the opportunity to deliver several speeches and make presentations both locally and internationally. In order to preserve these speeches for historical reference, we have carefully selected some of the speeches which capture the successes and challenges of the Nigerian communications sector from my perspective. The book titled: “Catalysing Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Transformation through Broadband Infrastructure” is sure to give readers the historical background and authoritative context to the growth that is now being enjoyed by the industry.
“Apart from being the first of its kind, this book is unique because it is a bold statement in accountability. In it, I seized the opportunity to present to the public a documentation of my discharge of the public trust emplaced on me. Through this Compendium, it is hoped that the reader would easily see how the NCC’s Strategic Vision (SVP) for 2016-2020 has been formed and how it has been implemented over five years. It will also enable the reader to appreciate the industry’s position, impacts and challenges over the five years covered by the Compendium.
“The Commission is standing on the threshold of history, as Nigeria marks 20 years of a liberalized telecommunications industry and this has further repositioned the Commission on a solid path to push towards greater success in the next decade. We will continue to do our best in the discharge of the Commission’s mandate, especially in facilitating broadband deployment which is central to diversifying the Nigerian economy and for national development in line with the National Digital Economy agenda.
“Certainly, broadband infrastructure has become the most critical development infrastructure in a modern economy. It is our belief that the communications industry, under the leadership of our current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, will experience more quantum leap and retain its current leadership role in delivering the much needed development for the people of Nigeria.
“In all, the Commission has positioned itself to participate fully and actively in the digital transformation of Nigeria consistent with the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 for a digital Nigeria and the Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024 of the Commission as well as other Government and ITU extant policy and regulatory documents respectively. NCC Podcast Channel.
“Our embrace of innovation at the Commission is not an event. It is a continuous experience embedded in our corporate culture as an organisation. Over the years, we have deployed various well-established conventional and social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, YouTube, and Twitter (banned for now) – for our media and public relations activities. But we are not relenting in expanding our media frontiers. We want to reach more and more of our stakeholders with our rich content to empower them and improve our visibility locally and internationally.
“Due to advancements in digital technologies, Podcasts have become increasingly popular as a medium of stakeholder engagement as they help increase these engagements in an organic and conversational way. In keeping with these advancements, we have created the Commission’s podcast channel “NCC Global Connect” to be launched today as an additional social media channel of the Commission. Establishing the podcast channel is in line with our strategic initiatives to boost the corporate image and visibility of the Commission via the adoption of innovative channels of communication by developing audio and video contents to reach our stakeholders within and outside the country as well as using it to attract the attention of prospective investors into the Nigerian telecommunications market.
“It is our belief that the NCC Podcast will complement our existing online media platforms in supporting the array of our communications activities and collaborations by offering additional innovative ways and tools to engage with our stakeholders. The audio content of our Podcast can be seamlessly accessed on various channels including Podcast Addict, Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, Google Music, iHeartRadio, Deezer and much more.
“On NCC Global Connect, you can watch and listen to the most authoritative and current policy statements, regulations, guidelines, determinations and a host of other important policy pronouncements on the telecom sector by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, and regulatory pronouncements from the Board and Management of the NCC as well as other industry leaders in this dynamic sector.
“So, like a book, our Podacast opens a new vista in our social media communication. The Podcast is portable, timeless, boundless and global. You can tune in to it anywhere, any time. You can listen to it hands-free on your Bluetooth earpiece while commuting. I hope you enjoy the novel and exciting platform by making the most use of it.
In his address,the Book reviewer, Professor Chidi Emmanuel Akujor, said that the 531 page-book with 8 sections contains Danbatta’s landmark speeches and presentations from 2015 till date and codified in a concise collection, as a compendium, providing useful information that will significantly add value to the existing body of knowledge in the telecoms sector, and by extension, the entire Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry.
He said that Danbatta, a Professor of telecommunications engineering, accomplished academic, and seasoned administrator has made extensive speeches and presentations on a wide-range of subjects in telecoms and ICT at important national, regional and international events since leaving the ivory tower to become the EVC of NCC in 2015.
He however regretted that Alh. Ahmed Joda, former Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, who wrote the foreword to the book could not live to see the public presentation.
Akujor however took solace in the fact that the book will serve as a useful reference material not only for existing and prospective investors in the sector but also for researchers in the academia as well as policy analysts, particularly those interested in any aspects of the telecom industry and regulation.
He strongly recommended the book for school libraries, embassies, government offices/libraries, and to players in the industry as well as general public.
The book titled: “Catalysing Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Transformation through Broadband Infrastructure,” is a compilation of carefully-selected, seminal speeches and presentations of Prof. Danbatta, touching on all strategic areas of the nation’s telecoms industry development and the entire digital economy ecosystem, since his assumption of office as the EVC/CEO of NCC in August, 2015.
Also present at the event were; Senator Yakubu Oseni, chairman, Senate Committee on ICT; Hon. Abubakar Lado Suleija, chairman, House Committee on ICT; Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, representative of the SGF, President of ATCON and ALTON among others.