NCC promises effective satellite communications market

 Na’ankwat Dariem

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NCC hearing in Abuja

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC says it would provide an effective and organised satellite communications market in the country in order to create an enabling environment for innovators and guarantee public safety.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, stated this during the Public Inquiry on the draft Amended Consumer Code Practice and Commercial Satellite Communications Guideline in Abuja, Nigeria

Prof Danbatta, who was represented by the Director of Spectrum Administration in the Agency, Mr Austin Nwaulune, said the public inquiry was to consult widely with stakeholders to ensure that the documents meet global standards.

“The draft Commercial Satellites Communications Guidelines are aimed at creating a legal frame work to regulate the provision and use of satellite communications services and networks, in whole or in part within Nigeria or on a ship or aircraft registered in Nigeria.

The intention behind the development is to ensure well-developed and organised satellite communications market in Nigeria with an appropriate legal framework that meets international best practices to encourage innovation and guarantee public safety,” he explained.

On the issue of Consumer Protection, Mr. Nwaulune explained that the Code of Practice Regulations when finalized, would ensure that consumers are protected and informed.

“The draft Consumer Code of Practice Regulations which is an amendment of the previous Regulation amendment made in 2007, when finalized, will provide a more robust framework for effective and efficient processes/procedures to be followed by Licencees in developing their individual consumer practices code to govern the provision of services and other related consumer practices.

 In view of this, consumers’ rights would be protected against unjust practices and they will be better educated on the kind of services being offered by operators.

Also at the forum, some of the participants urged the agency to review and amend the documents in line with Nigerian Communications Act 2003, expand the scope to meet special needs and make the document flexible to service providers.

In a related development, The Director, Government Relations, Market Access and Licensing a UK based agency, Ms Ann Vandenbroucke commended the NCC for organising the forum and coming up with a detailed draft.

“When I go back to my country I can say in Nigeria, things are better on many levels particularly in Transparency. Nigeria is a major satellite nation. When you read the regulation there is a lot of technical excellence. It shows that it was thoroughly thought through and widely consulted.

It demonstrates the level of understanding about how the value chain of the satellite communications works. This is an appropriate and very robust document,” she noted.

The Agency advised stakeholders to make and send contributions within 14 days.