The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has began inquiry on Six Regulatory Instruments to improve the communications sector.
The regulatory instruments being considered for amendments include: the Quality of Service (QoS) Regulations, 2013; the Commercial Satellite Guidelines and the introduction of Corporate Governance Guidelines for the Communications Industry.
Others are: the amendment of the Competition Practice Regulations, 2007; Numbering Plan Regulations as well as the introduction of Data Protection Regulations for the communications industry.
NCC Executive Vice Chairman/ CEO, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, while speaking at the opening of the three days event with stakeholders in Abuja, said the regulatory instruments being considered during the course of the Public Inquiry were vital to ensuring that the communications sector met the demands of the ever-evolving digital age.
According to Danbatta, with the laudable advancements in the sector comes great responsibility on the part of the government to ensure that there exists an enabling environment for the industry to thrive, through the introduction and amendment of key regulatory instruments.
“The Communications sector is at the forefront of innovation and advancements in technology geared towards driving economic growth and societal development.” He stated.
He urged all the participants to engage in meaningful and constructive discussions and elicit issues that will explore the potential strengths and weaknesses of the draft regulatory instruments, identify areas for improvement and propose innovative solutions to address the challenges ahead.
Also speaking, the NCC Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, Helen Obi explained that the amendment of the Quality of Service (QoS) Regulations, 2013 was vital to maintaining and enhancing the standards of service that consumers receive.
She said the proposed amendment to the QoS Regulations intended to introduce stricter performance standards, more robust monitoring mechanisms and more transparent reporting systems that will improve the overall customer experience.
“More importantly, these changes will also drive operators to enhance their networks and services through efficient deployment and network optimization processes. Clearly, these expectations will ultimately foster a culture of continual improvement which is essential for the competitiveness and vitality of our industry.” Obi said.
She further noted that the amendment of the Commercial Satellite Guidelines would provide clearer procedures for licensing and operation of satellite communications services, promote the use of satellite technology for deepening broadband penetration for national development and ensure compliance with international obligations.
“In addition, we are introducing Corporate Governance Guidelines for the Communications Industry. These Guidelines will set a clear framework for operators, ensuring that their operations are transparent, accountable, and adhere to international standards of corporate governance.” The NCC legal head stated.
She said the Commission was also introducing Data Protection Regulations for the Communications Industry. In order to establish a robust framework for data privacy, ensuring that operators respect the rights of individuals while also leveraging on data for innovation and growth.
“Subsequently, we look to the amendment of the Competition Practice Regulations, 2007. This instrument has been at the heart of ensuring a level playing field for all operators in our industry. Yet, as the industry changes, so must our Regulations. The proposed amendments aim to strengthen our anti-competitive behavior checks, enhance consumer welfare and encourage innovation among operators.
“Finally, we look to the amendment of the Numbering Plan Regulations. These Regulations will ensure the orderly assignment and use of numbers that are central to the operation of any communications system. The proposed changes will allow for more efficient use of number resources, support the introduction of new services and better align our numbering plan with international best practices.” Obi added .