The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it has achieved major milestones halfway into the implementation of its 2nd phase Strategic Vision Plan 2 (SVP2) which was unveiled on September 7, 2021, and billed to run until 2025.
The SVP 2021-2025, which rode on a 5-Point Agenda, was developed to complement its predecessor 8-Point Agenda, the SPV 2015-2020.
While the earlier roadmap by the Commission, dubbed the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) was geared at advancing the country’s broadband spread from 6% to a projected 30%, the SPV was meant to align all resources to better achieve all of the Commission’s mandates.
Addressing a broad media parley in Lagos recently, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta noted that since the launch of the SPV2, the Commission has systematically followed up on the 5 Pillars that set out its objectives.
These Pillars include:
- Organisational renewal for operational efficiency and regulatory excellence
- Facilitating the provisions of infrastructure for a digital economy which fosters national development
- Promoting fair competition, inclusive growth, increased investment and innovative services
- Improving Quality of Service (QoS)for enhanced consumer Quality of Experience (QoE)
- Facilitating strategic collaboration and partnership
According to Danbatta, premised on theses Visions, the Commission has made several milestones, and will still foster collaborations to achieve more before the expiration of the SVP 2 IN 2025.
Under its first pillar, which stipulates operational efficiency and regulatory excellence, the Commission generated US$820.8 million during the 5G licence auction and further launched the Revenue Assurance Solution (RAS). While also increasing telecom contribution to the GDP to 14.13% (N2.508 trillion) in q1 2023, the Commission was also able to align regulatory initiatives with the National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030. During this period, the NCC drove its way into leadership positions in international telecom bodies, including the ITU, CTO, ATU and WATRA.
Under the provision of infrastructure pillar, the Commission constructed and activated 27 functional Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) with a view to adding 4 more before the end of July, while also providing 219 tertiary institutions with Wireless Cloud Infrastructure and supporting the deployment of 38,000 km fibre optic cable under the InfraCo Initiative.
The commission has also been able to reduce the Right of Way (RoW) charges in some states, and is in collaboration with the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) to further drag the cost lower.
Other key milestones are increasing the investment profile in the industry from US$38 billion from 2015, to US$75 billion; the closing of access gap from 115 to 97; building of digital parks across the six geo-political zones; addressing issues of multiple taxation/regulation in the industry; licencing of MVNOs to address issues of unserved and underserved areas; and the implementation of the DND service for telecom consumers.
Prof Danbatta however noted that in spite of the ongoing implementation of the 5-Point Agenda and other policy documents, critical challenges that boarder on QoS, power supply, vandalism, insecurity, damage of telecommunications infrastructure during road construction, among others, still persist, prompting collaboration among stakeholders to address them.
The EVC surmised: “The telecom environment requires a regulatory climate that is predictable, innovative, dynamic, and visionary, to be able to meet, and even surpass the demands of the current economic, social, and environmental demands of all stakeholders, especially with regards to availability, accessibility and affordability.”
He assured that the Commission is still committed to strengthening collaboration with the media as an important stakeholder towards achieving the digital economy targets of the federal government.