By Nse Anthony-Uko
(Sundiata Post) — The executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Thursday in Kano said that the Commission’s target to achieve 30 per cent broadband rollout in the country by end of this year 2018 remains in focus.
This is as MTN Nigeria has paid a total of N110 billion into the coffers of the government out of the N330 billion imposed on it by NCC for not complying with the directive of the government on deactivation of unregistered SIM cards.
Speaking at the zonal sensitisation workshop on the code of corporate governance for the telecommunications industry’ for the North-West Zone, geared towards informing and enlightening the citizenry, he said the regulator is benchmarking its performance standards to international best practices as a means of bolstering sector and international confidence.
“It is our expectation that the sector would align fully to these operational standards to consolidate on the gains already attained and further position the sector for even more robust performance. The regulator through the corporate governance code seeks strategic collaboration and partnership, as a vehicle for building synergy and trust to boost investor confidence through accountability and disclosure policies. Optimal compliance level could ultimately lead to sector players-self-regulation in due course” he said.
The Code of Corporate Governance for the Telecommunications Industry (the Code) was developed through an Industry Working Group and presented to Stakeholders in June, 2014 and was driven on voluntary compliance basis for two years up to June, 2016. During that period painstaking compliance levels evaluation was undertaken and the need to migrate compliance to a mandatory level was duly established.
At an industry consultation held in Lagos in June, 2016 migration of the applicability and compliance levels reporting from voluntary to mandatory was formally announced and adopted by stakeholders. “We are mandating adoption and compliance as no serious corporate entity can claim non-adherence to international best practices or non-adherence to ethical practices. The code only sets a framework to monitor actual compliance,” said Danbatta.
Danbatta also disclosed at the workshop that MTN Nigeria has paid a total of N110 billion into the coffers of the government out of the N330 billion imposed on it by NCC for not complying with the directive of the government on deactivation of unregistered SIM cards.
NCC had in October 2015 imposed a fine of N1.04 trillion on MTN for irregular registration of subscribers. However, after prolonged negotiation with both the regulatory agency and the Federal Government, the company had the fine reduced to N330 billion.
Chairman of the Board of NCC, Senators Olabiyi Durojaie in his opening remarks said basically, Corporate Governance involves the protection and balancing of the interests of the company, its stakeholders such as shareholders, management, investors, suppliers, customers, government and the end users.
“Therefore, the Code is directed to facilitate effective, entrepreneurial and prudent management of the Company resources that can provide for the achievement of strategic objectives of the Company using processes and procedures that are internationally accepted as of best practice.
“In its determination to achieve best practice, the Code emphasizes that Boards of Directors should be responsible for the policy Orientation and Governance of their respective companies with a Governance operating model mechanism to be used by the Board and Management in translating the elements of the governance framework and policies into reality.
“It should be noted that the cardinal targets of our Code include entrenchment of Hard Work, Discipline, Transparency, Accountability, Integrity, Independence, Fairness, Corporate Social Responsibility and building of good reputation. I want to assure you that the Commission will be more emphatic on healthy competition, improved Quality of Service (QOS), consumer satisfaction and investment, stated Durojaiye.