Danbatta calls for more investment in telecom industry

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By Anayo Ezugwu

THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has said that robust telecommunications network is important for economic growth in the country. Prof Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC, said that this could only be achieved through more investments in the sector.

Speaking at the 2019 Telecom Executives and Regulator Forum in Lagos on Thursday, July 11, Danbatta noted that $68 billion investment in Nigeria is huge, but it is by no means adequate for one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world.

He said with the capital intensity of the industry, there was need for service providers to increase their infrastructure deployment to satisfy the ever-increasing demand.

According to him, this will create room to double the size of the investment in the next 10 years. “We have about 40 million Nigerians yet to be reached with basic infrastructure and services. The NCC roadmap for broadband has created new frontiers for investment. The quest for data and social media as well as the increasing value added services created new frontiers for investments.

“Therefore, the desire for investment in the sector will continue to grow as the size of the network increases. The NCC has consistently provided the enabling environment for growth and a level playing field for competition in the industry,” he said.

Danbatta regretted the effect of counterfeit information and communication technology devices in the country. He said counterfeiting is a global challenge that has elicited a common disquiet among stakeholders worldwide, especially in respect of the continued influx of counterfeit and illegal ICT devices in both developed and developing countries.

“Nigeria is not in any way immune to this problem. The challenges posed by this menace are quite devastating, hindering the progress made so far in ICT usage and processes in terms of its economic, social, environmental and security impacts on the country.

“The unchecked import and use of unregistered, cloned, substandard, counterfeit, stolen and or non-compliant devices pose a considerable threat to Quality of Service, QoS and Quality of Experience, QoE, security, amongst others in Nigeria.

“According to Delloitte in its 2018 Nigeria Cyber security Outlook, Cybercrime is estimated to cost the Nigerian economy about US$500 million per annum. Consistent with the Commission’s regulatory mandate, several consultative fora were organized to enlighten stakeholders on the growing menace posed by the influx of cloned and fake ICT devices into the country.

“The stakeholders include the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Security Agencies, Standards Organizations, and Equipment and Solution Vendors. After due consideration of inputs from stakeholders, the solution reached is to deploy an end-to-end technology based solution in combating the influx of cloned and fake ICT devices into the country.

“Consequently, a Mobile Device Management System (MDMS) was conceived. The proposed MDMS will have the capacity to facilitate the mandatory registration of all SIM-based devices in Nigeria, block all stolen, counterfeit, illegal or otherwise substandard SIM-based devices from Operators’ networks and interface with the Customs Service, Tax Authority, Security Agencies, Standards Organizations and other relevant agencies to ensure the full registration, payment of duties and taxes due on those devices and the protection of security and privacy of users in Nigeria,” he said.

– July 11, 2019 @ 15:32 GMT |

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