Wednesday, October 22, 2008

NCC, Gambia partner on regulation

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Gambian Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) in charge of communications in the Gambia, recently signed an agreement on technical cooperation on telecom regulation.

The deal signed at the Communications House, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja by the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, and Director General of PURA, Mr. Alagi Basiru Gaye, the two regulatory agencies decided to cooperate on such areas as quality of service frameworks, interconnection, economic regulation, management of scarce resource such as frequencies and numbers, pricing, and universal access.

Other areas specified in the agreement document include licensing, type approval, consumer protection, stakeholder and international relationship management.

Additionally it consummates several meetings and consultations between the two organizations which first began with the ITU and other development agencies recommending Nigeria to the Gambia for a study in telecom regulation, with the Gambian authorities also sending several officials to Nigeria.

ITRealms Online, recalls that about three months ago, Secretary of State (Minister) for Communications of the Gambia, Hon. Fatim Badjie-Janneh, paid a visit to the NCC headquarters during which she commended Nigeria’s success in telecom regulation and the desires of her government to emulate this success.

A fortnight ago, the Department of State Communication, Information and Information Technology of the Gambia, and PURA, invited Dr. Ndukwe and his team at NCC to a workshop for the review and validation of a new bill modeled around the Nigerian telecom regulatory laws, which is expected to be passed into law within the next three months.

Dr. Ndukwe was said to have advised the Gambian authorities to encourage private sector participation in fashioning out a robust regulated telecom and ICT sector in the country.

According to the Head, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Dave Imoko, in a press statement, said, the signing of the agreement in Abuja for the cooperation is seen by observers as a necessary outcome of the relationship developed by the two regulatory institutions which would benefit PURA in its effort to implement a fully regulated telecom and ICT environment.

The agreement, he said, was predicated on the need to facilitate and deepen cooperation, namely in the field of the regulation of the communications, and frequent and regular exchanges, within the framework of a joint programme of action.

In addition, the partnership provides for the parties to organize joint training seminars for staff and to exchange executives and experts through organization of technical missions, and short and medium duration training sessions.

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