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Telecoms operators explain slow expansion drive in Nigeria

By Adeyemi Adepetun
23 February 2022   |   4:20 am
Telecommunications operators have beckoned on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to find lasting solutions to challenges plaguing the sector.

Telecom

• Commission promises intervention, commends NIN-SIM exercise efforts

Telecommunications operators have beckoned on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to find lasting solutions to challenges plaguing the sector.
  
According to them, these challenges have slowed both the combined and individual expansion drive in the country.
The service providers listed the challenges to include, willful and inadvertent fibre cuts; theft of telecoms equipment, non-availability and inadequacy of, as well as, unstable power supply, multiple taxation and regulations across all the three tiers of government; damages to undersea cables by marine transportation systems, scarcity and difficulty in accessing foreign exchange, as well as insecurity which has impeded network rollout, especially in some parts of the country.
  
The operators made this known when the delegation of NCC visited the headquarters of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to inspect their technical infrastructure and other facilities.

  
The delegation, led by the Executive Commission, Stakeholder Management (ECSM) at NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, was in Lagos for a week-long exercise, essentially, to get first-hand information about MNOs’ operations as well as verify challenges the MNOs may be dealing with in order to make recommendations to appropriate stakeholders towards addressing the challenges.
  
The inspection was part of the Commission’s efforts to ensure operational efficiency and improvement in the regulatory framework in achieving the objectives of the national digital economy and other policy initiatives of the Federal Government.
    
The operators commended the Commission for ensuring effective telecoms regulatory regime towards addressing challenges confronting their operations. The operators also beseeched the NCC delegation to continue to develop initiatives aimed at reducing the impact of their major operational challenges on the service delivery and their revenues.
  
The MNOs called for speedy interventions in areas of challenge to ensure that the sector remains relevant and continues to contribute significantly to the country’s economy.
  
Commenting during the visits, the NCC’s ECSM, Adewolu, commended the operators for their cooperation on the implementation of NIN-SIM integration directive.
  
Adewolu stated that the telecoms sector has played a significant role in ensuring the delivery of the mandate of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) through collaboration facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
  
Adewolu, particularly implored the operators to ensure compliance with all regulatory guidelines, directives and to ensure prompt and efficient delivery on their licensing conditions as good corporate citizens. He promised that NCC will continue to take proactive measures that would improve their operations and will equally forge necessary collaborations to ensure sustainability of the sector and its contribution to the growth of the nation’s economy.
 
He stated that the tour of operators’ facilities was in line with NCC’s effort to ensure effective stakeholders interface necessary for the achievement of the objectives detailed in the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024 and the Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan (SVIP) 2021-2025.
  
“The main purpose of this inspection tour of MNOs’ head offices and key facilities is to measure impact of regulatory efforts and operational effectiveness of the initiatives in the telecom ecosystem. The tour is also to assist in deepening understanding of the issues that are negatively affecting the ability of licensees to operate optimally; and it certainly offered an opportunity for interacting and networking with executive management of MNOs in order to enhance operator-regulatory purposeful interface,” Adewolu said.