Themed: Facilitating Policy Implementation to Deliver Value in the Nigerian Telecoms Sector
“… we want Nigerians to play a major role in the design and manufacture of devices, in meeting the manpower requirements and in becoming an active part of the telecommunications ecosystem of the country.” – Danbatta
The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has expressed its extreme commitment at promoting indigenous content in the telecommunications sector.
The Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Umar Danbatta while delivering a keynote address at the Virtual Maiden Edition of Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (Piafo-001) on National Policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector. Prof. Umar Danbatta, said this will enable the Commission to deliver on the stipulated targets in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025.
Danbatta said, the Commission has developed a licensing framework to enable infrastructure companies (INFRACOs) roll out optical fibre cables for communications in the 774 Local Government Areas that make-up the Federation. The Commission also ensures full utilization of spectrum for deployment of services through Re-farming, Re-planning and Auctioning. “As we are all aware, the Federal Government has put in place very robust policy and legal framework for local content within the oil and gas sector. Similarly, the advent of local content in the Nigerian Telecoms sector is probably as old as the Nigerian telecoms revolution itself. The National Telecommunications Policy posited that the domestic production of telecommunications hardware and software is desirable for national development. It further states that, Government shall encourage domestic production of telecommunications equipment, components and software to meet local and export demands.”
“With the constitution of the NODITS, the industry should expect new Guidelines and Regulations bothering on indigenous content, local manufacturing of telecom equipment, outsourcing of services, construction and lease of telecoms ducts, succession planning in the telecoms sector, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, etc. as the need arises”, said Prof Danbatta, who was ably represented by the Team Lead, NODITS, Engr. Babagana Digima.
The EVC added that the Commission has already constituted a standing licensing review committee that is currently examining all its licenses. He said this is being done not only to reflect the current realities of technology and development but also to consolidate, bundle or un-bundle individual licenses or even create new licenses.
His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, recently presented the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecom Sector. The Policy (a.k.a NPPIC) seeks to accelerate the pace of indigenous digital capacity development and thereby enhance national competitiveness and prosperity for indigenous/local players in Nigeria.
He said other Departments within the Commission are equally saddled with responsibilities that help to inculcate indigenous participation in the telecom sector.
“Efforts being made by the Research & Development and Licensing Departments are worthy of mention in that regard. Under the auspices of the Research & Development Department, the Commission has sponsored research efforts in several universities across the country.
“Notable areas of research conducted include Development of All Weather Solar Systems For Energy Optimization in a Mobile Communications Base Stations (at Ekiti State University of Technology); Design and Fabrication of Meta-material Inspired UWB/MIMO Antenna for the 5G-Sub 6GHz Application (at Taraba State University); and “Intelligent Autonomous Multi-UAVs (Multiple Drones) Swarm Monitoring for Effective Surveillance and Situation Awareness in the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry (at Gombe State University),” he disclosed.
“… we want Nigerians to play a major role in the design and manufacture of devices, in meeting the manpower requirements and in becoming an active part of the telecommunications ecosystem of the country.”
The EVC noted that by these activities the Commission was seeking to identify with and harness local resources in Nigerian institutions of learning for the benefit of the industry. The NCC is vigorously promoting local investment in digital infrastructure and competition in the provision of accessible high speed broadband infrastructure. This will in turn enable the Commission to deliver on the stipulated targets in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025. Towards achieving the mandate, the Commission has developed a licensing framework to enable infrastructure companies (INFRACOs) roll out optical fibre cables for communications in the 774 Local Government Areas that make-up the Federation. The Commission also ensures full utilization of spectrum for deployment of services through Re-farming, Re-planning and Auctioning.
The Chairman Organising Committee of PIAFo, Mr. Omobayo Azeez, in his welcome address, stated that the forum was designed by the Business Metrics Nigeria Team to take the promises of the indigenous content policy in the telecoms sector beyond verbal commitment. “We believe we can only achieve objectives of the policy by creating active dialogue around it to ensure that individual stakeholders understand how they fit into the bigger picture and what role is expected of them to attain these objectives for the greater good of our economy,” he said.
“Our desire is to change this order of poetic policy pronouncement and prosaic execution by creating a midpoint interface between the government and private sector players, where policies can be dissected, digested and driven to effective implementation, and later appraised using measurable metrics to assess their success over time,” he added.
“This policy was launched on May 6, 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari, and according to the President, the policy is in line with the current administration’s commitment to ensure that Nigerians become active participants in the sectors of the economy. This commitment had earlier been expressed in the Presidential Order 005 on “Planning of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology” and the Presidential Order 003 on “Support for Local Content Procurements by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria”.
“The journey for the Policy Implementation Assisted Forum has just started today with its focus on the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunication Sector, going forward, the forum shall address various other policies across telecoms sector, banking, oil & gas, aviation, agriculture, mining, MSME sectors, among others.”
Chairman Organising Committee of PIAFo, Mr. Omobayo Azeez, while concluding appreciate Honourable Minister Pantami Isa Ali Ibrahim; Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, EVC of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, leaders, members of ATCON, ALTON, ISPON and Partners. He said “In this progressive journey they have not only endorse the ideology of the forum, but also threw their weight behind it by giving moral and material supports.”
“More importantly, we express our deep gratitude for the support enjoyed from MTN Communications Nigeria PLC, Skymax Technologies Limited, Rack Centre, AVM Consults Limited, Fiam Wi-Fi, Broadbase Communications Limited, Cedarview Communications Limited, ipNX Nigeria Limited, Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), Swift Telephone Network and EnextGen Wireless, Azeez concluded.