Nigeria: NCC promises continuous promotion of local investment in digital infrastructure
The leadership of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has assured continuous promotion of local investment in digital infrastructure in the country.
NCC has promised to ensure competition in the provision of accessible high speed broadband infrastructure in the interest of the Nigerian subscribers.
Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this at the maiden edition of Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (POAFo) on the National Policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigeria Telecommunications, a virtual event organised by Business Metric, said Commission is wholly committed to realizing the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari in promoting indigenous content in the telecommunications sector.
The Federal Government recently reinforced the local content agenda by putting in place Executive Order 003 of 2017 and Executive Order 005 of 2018 titled Support for Local Content in Public Procurement by the Federal Government and Development of Local Content in Science, Engineering and Technology respectively.
Prof. Danbatta explained that the Commission has instituted several measures and strategies towards ensuring compliance by the industry to the aforement of the Executive Orders, “these include building local capacity through various initiatives and innovations which are aimed at encouraging digital skills and entrepreneurship as well as building local infrastructure.”
He said, 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, adding that the Commission will continue to ensure full utilization of spectrum for deployment of services through Re-farming, Re-planning and Auctioning.
On the commissions Roadmap for implementation of the Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecom Sector, he said the Commission has established the Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS).
“This Office is saddled with the responsibility of implementation of the NPPIC as well as the Executive Orders 003 and 005. Relevant portions of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 as well as the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) are also under the purview of this new office called NODITS.
“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.”
In his welcome address, Chairman, organizing committee of PIAFo, Mr Omobayo Azeez said 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.
According to him, Nigerian archive is replete with good policies across the various sectors of the economy. But poor implementation has always characterized the system.
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 said.