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Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, FNSE, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission, has recently been engaging a cross section of local and international media, as well as stakeholders in the telecommunications sector, on the Strategic Vision of the Nigerian Communications Commission. He captured the Strategic Vision thus:

‘To promote innovation, investment, competition and consumer empowerment in and on top of the communications platforms of today and the future – maximizing the power of information and communications technology to grow our economy, create jobs and enhance national competitiveness through deployment of broadband infrastructure to facilitate the rollout of broadband services that will hold out opportunities and higher network quality of service for all Nigerians”.

The engagement was an opportunity for the EVC to reaffirm that the strategies for achieving the vision, referred to as the ‘8-Point Agenda’, have been carefully articulated as a roadmap to guide the operations of the Commission for the five-year period 2015 – 2020.

The 8-Point Agenda

             1.Facilitate Broadband Penetration

Vision: Provide and optimize access to and use of affordable fixed and mobile broadband everywhere in Nigeria

Strategy: Facilitate and support availability of broadband services by promoting deployment of universally available, fast and reliable network infrastructure that will stimulate seamless broadband penetration to drive technology innovations and overall productivity of the economy.

            2.Improve Quality of Service

Vision: Promote the availability of reliable, interoperable, rapidly restorable critical information and communications technology infrastructure that are supportive of all required services.

Strategy: Strengthen measures for Quality of Service (QoS) regulation, through improved oversight/internal controls and facilitation of active infrastructure sharing amongst telecoms operators in ways that will encourage seamless adoption of next generation technologies and remove all barriers to smooth operations.

            3.Optimize Usage and Benefits of Spectrum

Vision: Maximise the availability of spectrum in order to provide diverse and affordable ICT services and ensure spectrum acquisition does not distort market competition.

Strategy: Develop and implement flexible, market-oriented spectrum regulation policies that promote highly efficient use of spectrum in ways that stimulate innovation, investment, and job creation and increased consumer benefits.

            4.Promote ICT Innovation and Investment Opportunities

Vision: Promote ICT innovation in ways that improve the nation’s ability to compete in the global economy, through increased investment in youth and promotion of SMEs for the delivery of new business breakthrough.

Strategy: Facilitate and support the deployment and use of broadband networks as a platform for economic growth, innovation, job creation, and global competitiveness by fostering increased strategic support for technology startups and SMEs.

            5.Facilitate Strategic Collaboration and Partnership

Vision: Develop effective partnership with relevant stakeholders to foster ICT for sustainable economic development and social advancement.

Strategy: Foster avenue for synergy with government MDAs, communities and relevant local and international non-state actors to advance the use of ICT for Development (ICT4D) by facilitating and supporting the development, adoption and usage of technology innovations for improvement in Agriculture, Healthcare, Education and Security.

            6.Protect and Empower Consumers

Vision: Protect consumers from unfair practices through availability of information and education required to make informed choices in the use of ICT services.

Strategy: Strengthen initiatives, to educate and inform consumers in their use of communications services and act swiftly and consistently whenever necessary in the use of enforcement to protect telecom services consumers’ rights and privileges.

            7.Promote Fair Competition and Inclusive Growth

Vision: Ensure a competitive market for communications services that fosters fair inclusion of all actors, in innovative ways that facilitate new investment, job creation and consumer satisfaction.

Strategy: Foster the assurance of fair competition through regulations that ensure strict compliance to obligations imposed on dominant operators in ways that stimulate the growth and sustainability of smaller players in the Mainstream, Value Added Services and Ancillary services sectors of the telecom service provision ecosystem.

             8.Ensure Regulatory Excellence and Operational Efficiency

Vision: Ensure an effective regulatory framework, efficient processes, strict compliance monitoring and enforcement, efficient management of internal resources and structure, and maintain a commitment to transparency.

Strategy: Strengthen regulatory and operational systems and processes in ways that make them more result-oriented by further internalizing the Commission’s rules, culture and values, and integrating technology where necessary to improve efficiency, effectiveness and stakeholder satisfaction.

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