Nigeria: NCC Conducts Public Inquiry on Regulatory Instruments for Telecommunications Industry

National Communications Commission NCC
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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has commenced a three-day public inquiry to review six critical regulatory instruments aimed at addressing quality of services and satellite usage challenges in the telecommunications industry.

Prof Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, emphasized that the public inquiry is not only a constitutional requirement but also a strategic effort to advance the industry in the face of dynamic technological changes and disruptions.

The regulatory instruments under consideration during this Public Inquiry are essential for ensuring that the communications sector meets the demands of the ever-evolving digital age, Danbatta stated.

One of the key instruments being reviewed is the Quality of Service Regulations, which has been amended to align with current realities and ensure service standards are maintained. Additionally, Business Rules for Quality of Services have been introduced to enable easy adaptation to changing technology trends and deployment approaches in the sector.

Other regulatory instruments include the draft Guidelines on Corporate Governance for the communications sector, the Commercial Satellite Guidelines (now intended to be Regulations), the numbering regulations, the competition practices regulations, and the draft data protection regulations.

Danbatta highlighted that these regulations aim to enhance transparency, accountability, and quality of services while promoting competition and creating a level playing field for all stakeholders.

Regarding the Commercial Satellite Guidelines, which are now proposed as Regulations, the amendments address the increasing demand for satellite services, satellite licensing, and orbital slots to support the government’s broadband penetration targets.

The Numbering Regulations are also under review to ensure they remain adaptable to the sector’s evolving needs and provide comprehensive analysis to identify possible gaps.

The public inquiry provides an opportunity for stakeholders to critically examine and provide insights on the draft instruments. Their expertise and perspectives will help shape the final regulations, determining their impact on the communications sector and society in the years to come.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Helen Obi, the Director of Legal and Regulatory Services of NCC, highlighted that the proposed amendments aim to strengthen checks against anti-competitive behavior, enhance consumer welfare, and encourage innovation among operators.

The NCC is committed to upholding the highest standards of service and ensuring that the industry continues to evolve and thrive, guided by the proposed amendments to regulatory instruments as prescribed by the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003. The proposed amendments to the Quality of Service Regulations seek to introduce stricter performance standards, robust monitoring mechanisms, and transparent reporting systems to improve the overall customer experience.

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