Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stable policy, regulatory space to attract investors - Ndukwe

Ndukwe with  some national assembly members at the event

The immediate-past Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) Dr. Ernest Ndukwe has urged the federal government to maintain stability in the policy and regulatory space of the telecommunications sector.

He said that the stability in policy, regulatory space would engender good business environment and would further encourage investment in the country and telecommunications sector precisely.

Ndukwe in a keynote address on ‘A Decade of Telecom Revolution’ at the 8th anniversary of the Telecoms Consumer Parliament in commemoration of the decade of Telecom Revolution in Nigeria, organized by NCC in Lagos, Wednesday, said that its critical for government to continue to maintain stability in the policy and regulatory space.

According to Ndukwe, who is currently the chairman of OpenMedia Communications Limited, the high level of investments recorded so far in the telecommunications sector was largely because of the stability in policy and regulatory regime that the industry enjoyed since 2000.

“This must therefore be maintained,” he declared, noting that it’s equally important to maintain the political and financial independence of the regulatory institution.

Regulators, he said, need to be able to regulate the market fairly and earn the confidence of investors, consumers and other stakeholders.

Nigeria, he said, must strive to maintain an operating environment that is conducive to attracting investment by avoiding actions that could constitute a disincentive for investment.

He pointed out that telecoms sector is very capital intensive and therefore, to continue to encourage timely network expansion, improve quality of service and ensure national coverage in the country, emphasis must be on ensuring an attractive operating environment.

Further, Ndukwe said that efficient management of national spectrum resources, including timely sale of available frequencies to support new technologies.

“Spectrum is the oxygen that sustains the wireless ecosystem,” Ndukwe said.

He emphasized the fact that Nigeria needs to grow her teledensity figure from the current level of about 66 per cent to over 100 per cent to achieve the Vision 2020-20 targets for national development.

He cited an instance with the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), saying that the Fund has critical roles to play in extending services to the rural communities.

“We must reach all parts of the country with both voice and data carrying infrastructure,” he said.

In his opening remarks earlier, the EVC, Dr. Eugene Juwah commended the Federal Government’s bold step of 2001, which paved the way for the telecommunication revolution to berth through liberalization of the industry.

“This bold step of the Federal Government climaxed in August 2001 when the first set of GSM operators rolled out services after a very successful auction of Digital Mobile Licenses (DML) …,” he said.

He outlined some of the fall out of the transparency auction of DML to include the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) of about $18 billion; increase in the revenue to the Federation Account; Mass direct employment of Nigerians by service providers; engagement of millions of Nigerians in the downstream sector of the industry.

“… Including the umbrella phone booths which the ITU has hailed as a unique Nigerian feature,” he said.

Additionally, Juwah noted that the transparency and progress recorded in the past 10 years have earned some international respect for the country, even as it has boosted business transaction between Nigeria and other countries of the world.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D


Jane Seacrest said...

Stable policy is the best way to attract investors. Investing in a country that has solid rules and regulations and policy is the wisest to do by investors.

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Stanley said...

I agree with Jane. Having an investor-friendly policy will certainly attract more businesses and investments.

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