The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has said that it is working assiduously with various stakeholders to see how more businesses can embrace digital platforms in delivering their services.
The Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive of the commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated this in his remarks during the ‘NCC Day’ at the ongoing 43rd edition of the Kaduna International Trade Fair.
He said the telecoms sector has been a strategic driver of the digital economy agenda of the federal government, as it continues to provide the needed digital sinews that support the economy, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant restriction period.
Danbata, who was represented by a director in the commission, said
Information Communications Technology (ICT) is not only one of the fastest growing industries directly creating millions of jobs, but also an important enabler of innovation and development.
He said: “In Nigeria, the number of active mobile subscriptions reached 195.4 million in December 2021 with Internet subscribers exceeding 141 million and a broadband penetration of 40.88 per cent. In this new environment, the competitiveness of Nigeria, for instance, depends on the ability to leverage new technologies.
“Hence, areas where NCC’s regulatory efforts in deepening access to digital services will benefit Nigeria and make it competitive comparable to other economy include direct job creation; contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth; emergence of new services and industries; workforce transformation; and business innovation.
“It is in our response to ensuring that Nigeria is competitive in all these areas that the commission continuously puts a number of regulatory measures in place to ensure seamless access by Nigerians to telecommunications services in order to deepen competitiveness of the Nigerian economy.”
He assured his audience that the NCC will continue to create a conducive environment that stimulates deployment of robust telecoms/broadband infrastructure for improving the quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) for telecoms consumers, be it individuals or corporates.
“Without any doubt, we need robust telecoms infrastructure that will help our Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and even big business entities hitherto running a ‘brick and mortal’ operational approach to seamlessly transit to becoming Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-driven if we hope to be competitive on the global stage,” he said.
According to him, “As a regulator, the commission will ensure consumers are constantly informed on how to be protected to prevent cases of online fraud or eschew consumer falling victims of cybercrime antics while in their legitimate use of the Internet.
“Strategising the Nigerian economy is strongly connected to telecommunications giving the power it has to positively disrupt traditional business models.
“The growing demand for connectivity is pressuring companies to upgrade their telecommunications infrastructure. Network transformation has become far more imperative for innovative businesses, allowing them to address changing customer expectations.
“Suffice it to say that telecoms services also have direct and indirect benefits for your business such as improved cross-team collaboration, increase employee productivity and satisfaction, as well as provide leverage to reach more customers and business partners for greater value creation.”
He said with high-speed internet, mobile apps, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), social media networking sites and other means of digital communication, the staff of a company can exchange information in real time and reach out to prospective clients and technologies support branding efforts and customer service strategy.
Danbata stated that for SMEs in this era of COVID-19 pandemic, they can leverage ICT platforms to run their operations, thereby reducing operational costs, saving office space, increasing productivity across and ultimately increasing bottom-lines.
“As you may be aware, the NCC is on the verge of deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) network in Nigeria. Already, spectrum licences for the companies that will roll out service have been issued.
“Though, the deployment will start from the state capital and gradually extends to other areas across the state, it is important to state that unlike 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G, the 5G network will bring substantial network improvements, including higher connection speed, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities to communications services in Nigeria.
“More importantly, it is also our commitment at NCC to continue to provide a level-playing field for operators to thrive, promote investment and delivery of innovative services to individual consumers, SMEs and big business owners by ensuring enhanced consumer quality of experience,” he said
Culled from THISDAY