Danbatta advocates repositioning of Telecom sector to address escalating uncertainty, emerging disruption scenarios
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta has stressed the need to reposition the Telecommunications Industry to deal with the ever-rising uncertainties in the global economy and the regulatory/operational risks in the areas of increased data security regulations, emerging disruption scenarios, regulatory and policy challenges amongst others.
Speaking at the Telecommunications Industry Risk Management Conference with the theme “Nigerian Telecommunications Industry: Managing the Emerging Risks and Embracing Risk Opportunities.” Danbatta observed that the Information and Communication Technologies Sector is inherently filled with several business and technology risks adding that it is important that regulatory risks be minimised to ensure that services are not disrupted and consumers obtain the best and latest services that are globally available.
Danbatta noted that the Commission in a bid to ensure that Operators in the industry enjoy a conducive operating environment has had cause to seek government interventions and collaborate with other Agencies of Government in addressing major risks like cybersecurity and Online Fraud, regulatory burden, Double Taxation
Vandalism of Telecommunication Infrastructures.
Right of Way challenges, access to Foreign Exchange and inter Industry Debt.
He said, “While risk management has been critical in our regulatory service delivery, we acknowledge that all stakeholders must be concerned about the varied uncertainties that the Industry is confronting”. This conference should be able to position the industry to deal with the above-mentioned issues which will be of immense benefit to the telecoms industry and to our individual operations”.
Represented by the Director of Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis, Ms Yetunde Akinloye, the Executive Vice Chairman noted that NCC as the regulator of the Telecoms Industry has been at the forefront of ensuring that the telecoms industry is not adversely impacted by these uncertainties/risks and one of our Strategic Visions is to ensure a competitive market for the communications services that foster fair inclusion of all players, promotes local content and Innovative services in ways that facilitate new investment, job creation and consumer satisfaction.
“I am confident that as stakeholders, we would endeavour to put our best foot forward and examine the myriad of issues that the Country is confronting in the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy 2020 – 2030. This is necessary for enhancing the development of a sustainable ICT sector in Nigeria.
According to him, “The NDEPS is the guiding document for the Federal Government’s activities to maximise the immense opportunities that are inherent in digital technologies so as to diversify our economy and attain the key national objectives of improving security, reducing corruption, and expanding the economy”.
We can all acknowledge our highly innovative people and the thriving digital economy, which is creating employment opportunities for Nigeria’s teeming population and enabling wealth creation for Nigerians, irrespective of where they live and work. In addition, we equally note improvements in the Broadband penetration, which is 45.09% as of the end of September 2022 and the development of Digital Industrial Parks (DIP) which will ensure digital skills acquisition, promote innovations, provide jobs and support the overall digital economy agenda of the Federal Government.
Danbatta stated that notwithstanding these daunting challenges, the Commission will not relent until these risk elements are properly identified and adequate mitigation strategies are communicated to all stakeholders.
‘We will constructively collaborate with all stakeholders in sustaining a conducive environment that will continuously attract both local and foreign investors. This is the only way we can continue to increase our contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Nigerian Economy and ensure that investors have a higher Return on Investment (ROI).
He implored the participants to take seriously the theme and sub-themes, carefully chosen to meet the industry’s risk management needs, stressing that the conference is designed to expose participants to some of the approaches needed to properly manage the risk exposures, alongside harnessing the opportunities available from such risks.