NCC launches 5-yr Strategic Vision Plan to grow telecoms sector

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has launched a Strategic Vision Plan (SVP), 2021-2025, designed to boost the country’s telecommunications sector.

Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta at the occasion

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami who performed the launch  on behave of President, Muhammadu Buhari  in Abuja, Tuesday, assured the private sector of government’s support.

The Minister further urged the NCC not to compromise on the implementation of the strategic vision plan, noting that the NCC Strategic Plan 2020-2025, is in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025 both unveiled by President Buhari.

Remarking, Senate Majority Leader, Senator Yahaya Abubakar Abdullahi, described the occasion as ‘very important’, as it shows visible effort of the executive arm via institutions like the NCC in pursuit of futuristic approach to governance.

“That is where value is. Modern economies are moving to digital and we must have implementable visions like what NCC has envisaged in its Strategic Plan 2020-2025”, Senator Abdullahi said.

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Communications, Hakeem Adeyemi, said  that “There is no doubt that the telecommunications sector has been the major contributor to the nation’s GDP in the last few years of which the handlers of the sector and the entire stakeholders must be commended.”

He also applauded the achievements of the Commission, he however stressed that efforts should be focused on continuous SIM registration and audit to enhance security so as curb incidences of kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery.

Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, NCC, Professor Adeolu Akande, noted that the members’ presence at the event was a clear indication that the EVC has been in good relationship with the board.

He said that the management led by Danbatta has been on top of their game with innovative regulatory efforts towards deepening the digital economy agenda.

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 “It is our hope that today’s launch of the three policy initiatives will provide the needed impetus for the various policy directions of the Federal Government, through our Ministry, all aimed at making Nigeria one of the key players in the global digital economy”.

Speaking on behalf of heads of agencies under the ministry, the Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Limited, Professor Muhammad Abubakar, congratulated the NCC Boss for the “giant effort and dynamic speeches that formed this collection. The contributions from his speech are laudable and are always thought-provoking.”

In his speech the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta noted that since his assumption of office, the commission has focused on strategic objectives which are in line with the policy objectives of the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Professor Danbatta said: “Our strategic objectives, the result of a careful assessment of some existing policy frameworks, offered us the opportunity to chart a course of action for the sector in a Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan (SVP) 2015-2020.

He explained that in developing the NCC Strategic Plan 2020-2025, the Commission had leveraged various policy documents, which included Nigeria’s National Broadband Plan (2013-2018) that had set a target of five-fold increase in broadband penetration, from 6% in 2013 to 30% penetration by the end of 2018.

“We also took cognizance of the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2014-2018 which defined clear strategic results in terms of themes such as facilitating market development, regulatory excellence, ICT penetration, and Strategic Partnering.”

He further explained that; “We have taken cognizance of the several notable advancements in the Nigerian telecommunications industry within the last five (5) years, as well as the current global realities such as International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Strategic Plan (2020 — 2023), the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 for a digital Nigeria, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government.

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 “Thus, the new plan has been guided by and aligned to the NNBP (2020-2025), the NDEPS (2020-2030), the SMP (2020-2024), the ITU Strategic Plan and the ERGP of the Federal Government.”

The new SVP 2021-2025, he said, has five items, namely; Operational Efficiency and Regulatory Excellence; Facilitating the Provision of Infrastructure for a Digital Economy which fosters National Development; Promoting Fair Competition, Inclusive Growth, increased investment and Innovative Services; Improve Quality of Service (QoS) for Enhanced Consumer Quality of Experience (QoE); and Facilitating Strategic Collaboration and Partnership.

Also launched at the occasion were a ‘Compendium of Professor Umar Danbatta’s Speeches and Presentations,’ as well as, a podcast ‘NCC Global Connect’ for the commission.

On the Compendium of EVC’s Speeches and Presentations the NCC Boss stated that  the book titled: “Catalysing Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Transformation through Broadband Infrastructure,” will give readers the historical background and authoritative context to the growth that is now being enjoyed by the industry.”

“We will continue to do our best in the discharge of the Commission’s mandate, especially in facilitating broadband deployment which is central to diversifying the Nigerian economy and for national development in line with the National Digital Economy agenda.

“Certainly, broadband infrastructure has become the most critical development infrastructure in a modern economy. It is our belief that the communications industry, under the leadership of our current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, will experience more quantum leaps and retain its current leadership role in delivering the much needed development for the people of Nigeria,” he said.

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The book titled: “Catalysing Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Transformation through Broadband Infrastructure,” the book is a compilation of carefully-selected, seminar speeches and presentations of Prof. Danbatta, touching on all strategic areas of the nation’s telecoms industry development and the entire digital economy ecosystem, since his assumption of office as the EVC/CEO of NCC in August, 2015.

The book reviewer, Professor Chidi Emmanuel Akujor, said that the 531-page book with 8 sections contains Danbatta’s landmark speeches and presentations from 2015 till date and codified in a concise collection, as a compendium, providing useful information that will significantly add value to the existing body of knowledge in the telecoms sector, and by extension, the entire Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry.

He said that Danbatta, a Professor of telecommunications engineering, accomplished academic, and seasoned administrator has made extensive speeches and presentations on a wide-range of subjects in telecoms and ICT at important national, regional and international events since leaving the ivory tower to become the EVC of NCC in 2015.

Akujor assured that the book will serve as a useful reference material not only for existing and prospective investors in the sector but also for researchers in the academia as well as policy analysts, particularly those interested in any aspects of the telecom industry and regulation.

He also recommended the book for school libraries, embassies, government offices, libraries, and stakeholders in the sector as well as general public.

Also present at the event were; Senator Yakubu Oseni, chairman, Senate Committee on ICT; Abubakar Lado Suleija, Chairman, House Committee on ICT; Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu representative of the SGF, President of ATCON and ALTON among others.

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