Executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Umar Danbatta, says the agency was not “dangerously” regulating the telecommunications sector.
Danbatta said this on Friday at a programme which the Nigerian Information Technology Reporters’ Association, NITRA, hosted in Lagos.
Represented by Tony Ojobo, NCC’s spokesman, Danbatta said the programme provided a “haunting” concern for the regulators and industry operators.
“You have said the Nigerian Communications Commission should look at the regulatory perspective of this subject of discourse,” Danbatta said.
“We are encouraged by your concern, because we can see that apart from the primary stakeholders of the industry there are so many people that are concerned with the health of the sector.
“Your fears are genuine as anything contrary to the good figures coming out of the industry will spell doom for a very promising sector.
“The operating word in your theme, over-regulation, connotes something dangerous and harmful to the telecommunications industry.
“It’s either we are too strict with what we are doing at the Commission to the extent that we are impacting negatively on the industry we are created to protect, or there are other bodies whose incursion into the Commission’s terrain is creating too much discomfort for those operating in the sector.”
He went on to say “we are serious with our job at the NCC. But we also know the reason for our existence; to create and nurture an industry that serves the needs of our people.
“That thought is uppermost in our minds as we strive to create accessible and affordable telecommunication services across the country.
“Point number two: we do also agree that some sister agencies tend to be over zealous in trying to help us do our job and in the process create unnecessary difficulties for our operators. However, this is being addressed at the various levels of government and I can promise that the story will be much better very soon.”
Danbatta said “in spite of a seeming convolution of activities which affect the health of the industry, we stand here to acknowledge that there is always a good story to tell about the sector.
“As experienced reporters of the industry before being organisers of this event, you are the ones who help tell most of the stories.
“The telecommunications sector of the Nigerian economy contributed N1.580 trillion to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2016, or 9.8 per cent, which represents an increase of 1.0 point relative to the previous quarter.
“According to a new data just released by National Bureau of Statistics, this is the largest contribution to GDP made from this sector in the rebased period, which emphasises that growth in telecommunications has remained robust when compared to total GDP.”

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