The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) successfully hosted its two-day Talk-to-the-Regulator Stakeholders Consultative Forum in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The event brought together industry leaders, licensees, and representatives from telecommunication companies to engage in robust discussions and address the challenges facing Nigeria’s rapidly evolving telecom sector.
The forum commenced with an insightful welcome address delivered by Venny Eze, the Zonal Controller of the Port Harcourt Zonal Office.
Eze expressed gratitude to the attendees and emphasized the importance of the forum in creating a platform for dialogue between the NCC, licensees, and other industry stakeholders.
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She highlighted the event’s theme, “Enhancing Stakeholders’ Satisfaction,” and encouraged active participation and the sharing of ideas.
Eze stated, “This forum provides a rare occasion that would enable the Commission to identify the challenges confronting the industry from the pragmatic point of view of the industry players. 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.”
The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, delivered a keynote speech, acknowledging the pivotal role of the communications sector in Nigeria’s economic growth.
Prof. Danbatta highlighted the recent licensing of 5G network services and the NCC’s commitment to ensuring affordable and accessible telecommunications services for all Nigerians.
Prof. Danbatta emphasized, “We believe that the deployment of 5G Technology Services will ensure that Nigeria maximizes the benefit of the 4th Industrial Revolution while being sufficiently prepared for any attendant risk that may occur. The Commission has played an effective role in placing the nation at a vantage position in order to reap these benefits.”
Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, the Executive Commissioner for Stakeholder Management, spoke about the importance of understanding regulatory obligations and addressing misconceptions.
He stated, “Constant engagement with the Regulator is the path towards regulatory efficiency as it preserves the integrity of the regulatory instruments issued by the Regulator whilst securing the buy-in of all stakeholders.”
Mr. Mohammed Babajika, the Director of the Licensing and Authorization Department, shed light on the NCC’s ongoing efforts to accommodate emerging trends.
He stated, “The Commission recognizes that technological advancements such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Network as a Service, and the Internet of Things are redefining service delivery. We are currently reviewing our license categories to align with global trends and ensure the industry’s growth.”
Babajika further explained, “The licensing of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) will improve the telecommunication output of the country, enable the expansion and availability of quality mobile coverage, and close the gap for the unserved and underserved population in Nigeria.”
As the two-day forum progressed, participants actively raised issues, shared experiences, and proposed viable solutions to the challenges faced by the industry.
The NCC welcomed the feedback and assured participants that their views would be considered in decision-making processes and regulatory policy formulation.
The stakeholders acknowledged the importance of continuous engagement between the regulator and the industry, recognizing it as a catalyst for innovation, growth, and improved service delivery.