NCC wants governors to respect MoU on ICT operations

By Editor on 18/05/2016

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El-Rufai and Dambatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), is complaining that some state governors are not playing their own roles in enhancing the smooth operation of Nigeria’s telecommunication industry.

The commission raised the issue during a visit to Kaduna State Governor, Malam El-Rufai, saying this has led to a lot of problems in the industry, urging the governor to intervene through the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).

The commission’s concern was raised by the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Dambatta, during the visit, where he complained about sundry issues, ranging from multiple taxation, theft of installations and vandalism of facilities, which he said had constituted a clog in the provision of enhanced services.

“Just before I assumed duties on August 4, 2015, I used to read about the series of problems plaguing the telecom sector in general and operators in particular. There have been recurring cases of multiple taxation especially at state levels which operators have to bear.

“There have also been cases of Right of Way (RoW) whereby operators have to deal with this at different levels – from local council to the state level. Besides these, there have been incessant vandalism of telecom equipment and theft of optic fibre cables in various states of the federation.


“Base stations have not been spared as many operators have had their base stations shut down by some state government agencies for one debt or the other.

“These are real issues that require pragmatic solutions if quality of services are to improve beyond where it is today. Certain agencies in some states have also threatened to shut down operators’ facilities in these states,” he said.


He particularly wants the governor to intervene in the situation, where he regretted that despite the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the former Communications Minister with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to address these challenges, the covenant was not respected. 

“Your Excellency, we have come to enlist your support by prevailing on your brother Governors to have an understanding with the situation.


“We do this because of our firm belief in you as a technocrat with a very good grasp of the importance of ICT in national development and how this will crystalise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our dear nation, Nigeria. If you do this for us, your Excellency, posterity will remember you and Nigerians will celebrate you,” he added.



The NCC boss, who said the visit was to share with the governor information of the progress recorded in the sector, so far and the vision for better Information and Communications Technology (ICT) environment, added that since 2001, when the revolution began, the Commission had lived up to its mandate of connecting the country and serving the underserved and unserved areas of Nigeria.

He added: “We are more than prepared to take the revolution further by the initiatives we have put in place in our 8-point agenda that will guide us in the next five years.

“Although so much has been said about the 8-point agenda elsewhere, let me say again for the purpose of emphasis, that, the agenda has as its flagship the promotion of broadband internet connectivity so much that by the year 2018, broadband penetration will increase from its current 10 percent to 30 percent or more. The process for this has begun.  Early in 2014, we licensed Bitflux Consortium for the 2.3GHz frequency.  A few days ago, they began to offer commercial services.

“Early in 2015, we licensed two Infrastructure Companies (Infracos) for Lagos and North Central. And there are five more of such licenses for North West, North East, South West, South East and South South waiting to be grabbed by bidders.  We are also in the process of concluding the auction of 2.6GHz Spectrum where 14 slots are up for auction.

“Once these are completed and operators roll out services, the slow speed internet connection experiences now will be a thing of the past.”



Posted on May, 18 2016

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