The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), yesterday met with industry stakeholders to brainstorm on ways frequency spectrum would be assigned and managed to ensure fair pricing and efficient deployment of attendant services.
Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta said, the Public Inquiry was a precursor to the Commission’s current drive to ensure efficiency in spectrum management and the unveiling of next generation services through varied enablers.
Prof. Danbatta spoke during the public inquiry on draft frequency spectrum (fees and pricing, etc) and annual operating levy regulations held at the NCC’s headquarters, Abuja.
He said, the Commission has commenced the process for deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) technology in Nigeria and is driving the provision of such ubiquitous services on making frequency spectrum available to its licensees.
He said, its efficacy and reliability would be hinged on proper market valuation of the frequency spectrum and fair assessment of levies.
The EVC said, the regulations were vital to ensuring fair and competitive market.
“The regulations being reviewed today are vital to ensuring a fair and competitive market and they also have an impact on balancing the fluid communications market in Nigeria”, he said.
NCC boss said, “the first instrument, the Annual Operating Levy Regulations, ensures that all licensees are properly and equitably assessed for the annual levy as well as meeting both statutory and regulatory expectations.
“Therefore this review will bring the Regulations in line with current realities and sustain the enviable contributions of the communications sector to the Country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“The second instrument, the Frequency Spectrum (Fees and Pricing etc) Regulations, is a vehicle that enables the Commission meets its sole and exclusive mandate in Section 121 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 by assigning this scarce national resource in an equitable manner”, he said.
Danbatta expressed hope that the review would ensure effective and efficient utilisation of frequency spectrum and also ensure fair approach to management of finances in the Industry in the near future.
According to him, the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, has motivated the Commission’s regulatory efforts through policy support and deployment of an unwavering political will to make the Industry a vital artery of the national economy, therefore, enjoined all participants to make their contributions freely and raise issues that would assist the Commission in developing and issuing regulatory instruments that would continually contribute to the development of the industry and sustain its positive contributions to the Nation’s economy.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Director Legal & Regulatory Services, NCC, Ms. Josephine Amuwa said, the objective of the Public Inquiry was to secure the buy-in of all Stakeholders and ensure the efficacy of the regulatory instruments when implemented.
He said, the Commission welcomes deliberations and comments that would further enrich the output of the regulatory instruments.
“This Inquiry is a critical part of the rule-making and consultation process of the Commission”, she said.
The Director noted that the Commission, through the Legal and Regulatory Services (LRS) Department, would continue to review legislations and ensure they align with changing realities and further ensure that the Industry was rooted in strong regulations and policies.