By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), is taking steps to address the challenges of the dynamic and ever evolving Communications Industry.
.The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof Garba Danbatta disclosed this on Tuesday in his address at the day one of the 3-day public inquiry on five (5) regulatory instruments held at the conference hall, NCC Headquarters, Abuja.
Sundiata Post recalls that these five regulatory instruments are existing instruments but are being amended to reflect current realities.
The EVC noted that the Public Inquiry is an avenue that allows the Commission to incorporate the comments and suggestions of industry stakeholders, in the development of its regulatory instruments. This process ensures that the regulatory instruments issued by the Commission are in line with the current realities in the industry.
Danbatta said the instruments to be amended are: 1. The Type Approval Regulations which provide a framework for the approval of communications equipment for connection to communications networks in Nigeria, pursuant to sections 130 to 134 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003. 2. Guidelines on Short Code Operation in Nigeria, is intended to prescribe a standard of practice for providers of short code services and to provide a revised framework for the provision of these services and for the protection against misuse.3. Guidelines on Technical Specifications for the Deployment of Communications Infrastructure which provides standards to be adhered to by Communications services providers/operators, designers, fabricators and installers of Communications towers and laying of fibre optic cables towards ensuring environmental safety and sound engineering practices. 4. Guidelines on Advertisements and Promotions, which provides minimum requirements and standards for promotional advertisements by licensed telecommunications operators in Nigeria. 5. Consumer Code of Practice Regulations, amongst other things which sets rules for consumer protection and prescribes the procedures to be followed by a Licensee in preparing approved consumer codes of practice, in accordance with section 106 of the Act.
The EVC noted that the expectation is such that this review will improve the standards and procedures for Type Approvals, Operation of Short Codes and Advertisement and Promotions, ensure a more robust framework for the deployment of Communications Infrastructure and guarantee that the procedures to be followed by a Licensee in preparing approved consumer codes of practice are in tandem with current realities.
He Therefore enjoined participants to contribute freely to the discussions and highlight issues that will enhance the quality of the various regulatory instruments and by extension contribute to the development of the communications industry.
Earlier in her opening remarks, the Head, Telecoms Laws and Regulations Unit, Ms Helen Obi reiterated that the Public Inquiry is an avenue that allows the Commission to incorporate the comments and suggestions of industry stakeholders, in the development of its regulatory instruments. She reminded that In the last year, the Commission held Public Inquiries on the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations, the SIM Replacement Guidelines, Frequency Spectrum (Fees & Pricing, Etc.) Regulations, Annual Operating Levy Regulations, Guidelines on National Roaming, Guidelines on Colocation and Infrastructure Sharing and the Spectrum Trading Guidelines.
Sundiata Post recalls that other Senior Management officers of the Commission who were present at the event are : the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Engr. Ubale Maska, the Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, other Directors, Deputy and Assistant Directors.