The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has flagged off its first Talk To The Regulator Forum (TTTRF) in Yenagoa Bayelsa State. The event spans Thursday 1 and Friday 2 June, 2023.
In his keynote speech, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, said the Commission, in keeping with its mandate, creates opportunities to interact with its licensees on industry issues and new trends via stakeholder fora. He explained that the initiative is 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.
Danbatta stated that the TTTR Forum in Yenagoa 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. “The Commission, therefore, seize this opportunity to commiserate with the people of Bayelsa State and the entire nation on the worst flood disaster recorded in the history of the nation. We pray that such natural disaster shall not plaque our dear nation again, and equally believe that the state has made adequate preparations for any future occurrences,” the NCC Executive Chairman remarked..
According to him, the telecom industry has witnessed milestones in more ways than one, including the rapid growth in technology, which is redefining service delivery, and creating wide and high expectations from all stakeholders. To keep up to date with developments in the industry, Danbatta said the Commission has equally taken measures to improve regulations to accommodate the rapid and continuous development.
He listed some of the interventions and responses of the Commission to include the following:
- Facilitating the Roll-Out of 5G Service provision.
- Introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Licence to bridge the gap between unserved and underserved areas.
- The Commission 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.
- In line with the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020 – 2025), the NCC is providing industry leadership to facilitate the achievement of 90% Broadband penetration by year 2025, and well above 50% at the end of 2023. Currently, overa One Hundred and Fifty (I50) million Nigerians have access to internet, while over eighty (80) million can access high speed internet.
Danbatta pointed out that 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.
“I am pleased to welcome our licensees to this event and hopeful that during the 2-day session, we would discuss and identify the measures necessary to improve investment and service delivery,” he emphasised. He enjoined the licensees to feel free to ask questions, provide feedback and proffer possible solutions that would address the concerns that might be raised during the interactive sessions.
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