By Paul Ukpabio
FOR telecommunications sector, the year 2020 was an eventful year with a lot of landmark regulatory initiatives by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
According to the NCC, the year came with a lot of challenges, which included an economic recession and headwinds occasioned by the global outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant lockdowns, especially in Nigeria.
But NCC recorded many gains and victories occasioned by the diligent policies, programmes and activities of the commission which have further positively impacted the upward trajectory of the digital ecosystem in the year 2020.
A review of the NCC activities for the year, which was made available to Realnews by the Public Affairs Department of the commission, showed that “The Nigerian telecommunications sector continued to record significant growth, and this impressive performance and growth, were made possible through effective regulatory initiatives emplaced by the telecoms regulator, under the leadership Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, EVC, despite the apparent economic recession and headwinds occasioned by the global outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant lockdowns, especially in Nigeria.”
The NCC recorded a growth of 14.30 percent as at second Quarter of 2020 as against 10.60 percent in December 2019. The difference which translates to N2.272 trillion in second quarter 2020.
According to the document, “The effective and future-proof regulatory regime by the NCC, coincidentally prepared the telecoms sector to be able to provide the needed digital valves that helped to keep the Nigerian economy afloat through seamless communication by individuals, businesses and government institutions in terms of voice and data services provided by telecoms operators, at a time when all other sectors of the economy were comatose.”
It noted that reappointment of Prof. Danbatta for another five years term as the EVC of NCC, a presidential action, was a major development in the industry in 2020, which was resoundingly lauded by industry stakeholders.
Describing Danbatta “as a round peg in a round hole”, it stated that the confirmation of his appointment by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the third quarter of 2020 also helped to ensure industry sustainability and policy consistency, preparing it for increased growth.
Realnews recalls that Danbatta came into office as EVC of NCC in August 2015, for a five- year period in the first instance. The first term ended in August 2020 after which he was reappointed by the President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Danbatta, who is not new in the industry, has also been noted for his sustainability and consistency in the leadership of the commission and his policy initiatives allowed the NCC to uninterruptedly carry on with a number of regulatory activities towards ensuring increased access to telecoms services, ensuring increased consumer education and protection, boosting security of life and property, sanitising the industry while also supporting other initiatives that aimed at boosting innovation in the telecoms sector and continuously galvanizing the country’s overall economic growth.
– Jan. 12, 2020 @ 13:20 GMT |