The Nigerian Communications has emphasized the need for all licensed Telecom operators in the country to comply with all the rules and regulations of the industry.
The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, represented by the Executive Commissioner Consumer Affairs, Mr. Sunday Dare, stated this in Abuja during the “Meet the Regulator Forum’’ with the Theme “Promoting Regulatory Compliance Through Dialogue.
Professor Danbatta also urged telecoms operators to familiarize themselves with NCC’s regulations and guidelines to ensure 100% compliance with applicable regulatory instruments so as to avoid sanctions.
Danbatta explained that stakeholders form an integral part of the telecoms industry therefore there is need for a healthy “Operator-regulator relationship” to sustain the successful operations of the industry.
“The NCC has developed a strategic vision of being” a responsive, world-class communications regulatory organization.
It is true that our effort in this direction has been globally acclaimed. But we have no doubts that we can only continue to pursue this vision by effectively meeting the aspirations of our key stakeholders.
“It is generally agreed to that Nigeria’s telecoms industry has attained its enviable heights through the combination of stable regulation and private sector commitment ( supported of course by an enabling environment provided by government),” he said.
According to him, emerging Economies like Nigeria are placing even higher degrees of reliance on telecoms infrastructure to drive socio-economic growth.
“We are looking at the pervasive use of ICT in education, health, and social services; the increasing digitalization of manufacturing and the processes; the widespread use of IT and other technologies, as well as the early roll out of 5G network to drive these game-chargers.
“More importantly, the industry landscape is changing. Traditionally enabled competing service models which work outside the scope of regulators and organizations are being challenged to be “innovative or die,” Danbatta noted
The EVC added that NCC has a clear role to facilitate the successful operation of licensees in the country.
“We are clear that the operator-regulator relation is a symbiotic one which requires us to enable our licensees to succeed. We are prepared to facilitate the speedier and more efficient availability of regulatory resources like spectrum, numbering, approval among other things. We are working on streamlining our processes to address your concerns about turnaround speed. We shall also continue to impartially perform the responsibilities imposed on us by our role as independent regulators of the telecoms industry,” Professor Danbatta explained
The Director Legal NCC Yetunde Akinloye, while responding to questions from Journalists on the aim of the “Meet the Regulator Forum” said, “It is, an avenue for NCC to meet with stakeholders in the telecoms industry where each stakeholder can get to meet with the Commission to ask them questions on how it runs its processes. We ensure we have a good relationship with all the entities we regulate.”
Mrs Akinloye explained that most regulated entities do not comply with the rules and regulations, terms and conditions of their licenses .
In view of this, she noted that the Commission developed a Carrot and Stick Strategy
“The carrot strategy is when you try to persuade, explain and make them understand, the impact and punishment when not complied with. While the Stick strategy is when you sanction an operator for infractions when the Carrot strategy has failed,” Akinloye said.
Adding that “the commission only applies the stick strategy when the carrot strategy fails depending on the circumstances, because the commission keep persuading but when the infractions could lead to damage of lives and properties we apply the Stick Strategy.
On his part, the Technical Manager of Solid Interconnectivity Limited, Mr Adeshola said one of the challenges faced by Licensees is administrative neck on the part of the regulator, but this forum gives an opportunity for the NCC to explained the impact and procedures of d regulations to the benefits of the operators.
He therefore urged the Commission to create a level playing group for all in the telecoms industry.