The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has set up an annual operating regulatory levy to ensure that all players in the industry are properly and equitably assessed to meet statutory and regulatory expectations.
Equally important, the NCC has confirmed that it has commenced the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) technology in Nigeria; adding that this depends largely on the appropriate frequency spectrum.
The foregoing was disclosed by Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of the commission. Danbatta spoke during the Public Inquiry on two regulatory instruments draft held on Thursday in Abuja. He explained that the two key regulatory instruments were tailored to meet the challenges; while further strengthening the market structure of the industry.
The instruments are: Annual Operating Regulations and the Frequency Spectrum Regulations, which fees and pricing fall under.
“The first instrument will bring the regulations in line with current realities and sustain the enviable contributions of the communications sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“The second instrument is a vehicle that enables the commission to meet its role and exclusive mandate in Section 121 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 by assigning this scarce national resource in an equitable manner. The regulations also ensure that frequency spectrum are assigned and managed in a way that ensures fair pricing and efficient deployment of attendant services.
“The public inquiry is precursor to the commission’s current drive to ensure efficiency in spectrum management; while unveiling next generation services through varied enablers.”
With the explosion in technologies, Danbatta said there was also an attendant secondary reliance on different approaches to maximise frequency spectrum.
He said this led to the need for designation of several bands of frequency spectrum for communications services; noting that a key illustration was the recent identification of some spectrum frequencies for 5G deployment. Further, the NCC EVC said the Commission was conscious of the expectations; as well as the need to ensure that the required regulatory frameworks were in place to meet those challenges.
He noted that this had made the reviews, which the Commission was conducting, an important milestone; as the public inquiry was pushing the country to the front queue of the global efforts.
“We must be prepared on both ends of the industry to push the country forward for these remarkable changes; while the licencees continue to invest in deployment.
“The Commission will sustain its drive by ensuring regulatory efficiency and excellence,” he said.
Additionally, he expressed optimism that the review would ensure effective and efficient utilisation of frequency spectrum; while also encouraging fair approach to management of finance in the industry in the near future.
He urged participants to make their contributions freely; even as he urged them to raise issues that would assist the Commission in developing and issuing regulatory instruments that would continually contribute to the development of the industry and sustain its positive contributions to the nation’s economy.