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Monday, November 24, 2008

Consultation crucial to telecom regulations – Ndukwe

Chief executive officer, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, has said that wide consultations among the key stakeholders in the industry, are critical success factors in the Nigeria’s telecom industry.

Receiving the newly constituted Committee on Communications of the House of Representatives, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office, Ndukwe said, that after such a consultation, the regulator is expected to follow with positive, bold and timely decisions which are critical to the industry where time is of essence.

He also informed the committee members led by its chairman, Hon. Dave Salako that it was such decisive resolution that led to the liberalization and encouragement of new entrants as it is the disease of incumbents everywhere in the world to stand against new entrants, but that the commission was firm in allowing other entrants into the sector for the benefit of the consumer.

Ndukwe said the national telecom policy gave confidence to the private participation in the sector, while one of the key functions of the Commission is to facilitate private sector investment.

He further said one of such decisions was taken in the transition from exclusivity period for four mobile operators, to the unified licensing regime where a single authorization allows operators to deliver multiple services under one license.

He noted that Nigeria is now rated in Africa as number one in terms of number of active connected lines while the Commission is rated as one of the foremost telecom regulatory agency because of some innovative actions and programmes like the telecom consumer parliament, among others resulting in various multilateral agencies recommending Nigeria to some nations as a model regulatory agency to understudy.

Ndukwe also noted that the Commission’s success today, resulted in latest figure of 57 million active subscribers in the country and private sector investment to the tune of about US$12 billion as against US$50 million as at 2000, are also attributable to the support of the executive and legislative arm of government in the course of the commission’s regulatory activities.

Chairman of the House Committee on Communications, Hon. Salako, earlier in his remarks, said that the Committee will focus on how to collaborate with the Commission to further achieve more of its objectives.

He said the Committee is not interested in probing or witch hunting anybody. He commended the Commission for its bold and remarkable achievements.

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