NCC Role In The New Nigeria Economy

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“The role of innovation for growth is strengthened by advances in new technologies, and a greater focus on knowledge creation”

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta stated this in his keynote address on Digital Nigeria: The Path to Sustainable Economic Growth’ some years back in Lagos



The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission highlights that the importance of the media in the socio-economic development of any nation cannot be over emphasized, from awareness to engagement and from civilization to Socio- Economic development.


Prof. Danbatta noted that Digital Nigeria is when the country will be able to utilize electronic devices online and offline and in which case most transactions/activities will be in digital format. According to him our world is becoming ever more connected and billions of intelligent devices and machines generate massive amounts of data, creating a bridge between real and virtual worlds. He added that turning these vast amounts of data into value is a key success factor.

The importance of Digital Communications has been linked to the advent of information and communications technologies (ICT) in technological changes, innovation and knowledge management. In fact, he stressed that technological innovation has continued to enhance human capabilities – (such as a healthy life, knowledge, creativity, and participation in the social, economic, and political life of a community) and impacts on economic growth through productivity gains. The preponderance of digital platforms has eased service delivery and other electronic exchanges has created possibilities for industry to work with Governments to enhance socio-economic well-being of the human society, he added.

Prof said ICTs have been known as catalysts or enablers of economic development. Digitization has emerged as a key driver and enabler of socio-economic benefits, he said.  “The role of innovation for growth is strengthened by advances in new technologies, and a greater focus on knowledge creation. Indeed, the more advanced a country becomes in terms of digitization, the greater the benefits — increased digitization yields improved returns.

“We must define and understand certain concepts that will transit us to Digital Nigeria. These concepts are: Digitization, Digitalization, and Digital Transformation. The three concepts often intertwined or used interchangeably, but with distinct definitions.

“Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.


Whereas, digitization is the process of converting information into a digitalformat. In this format, he stressed information is organized into discrete units of data that can be separately addressed. Digitalization is therefore transforming relevant digital information into business and economic activities that drives national growth and development, he added.

He explained that digital transformation is the profound and accelerating transformation of business activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way.  Furthermore, Digital transformation requires a much broader adoption of digital technology and cultural change. Digital transformation is more about people than it is about digital technology, he added. According to him It requires organizational changes that are customer-centric, backed by leadership, driven by radical challenges to corporate culture, and the leveraging of technologies that empower and enable employees

“Available information through the process of digitization is converted into a digital format and in this format, information is organized into discrete units of data that can be separately addressed. Through Digitalization therefore, this relevant digital information transformed into business and economic activities that drive national growth and development.


EVC who turned the audience to students started lecture by defined the Telecommunication as the transmission of signals, messages, writings, images and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems which culminates in the exchange of information (voice, data and video) transmission over significant distances within a nano-second.


Prof cited Telecommunication acts as an enabler to drive socio-economic growth, developments and modernization across all sectors of the economy.


The NCC as the telecommunications regulatory body facilitates universal access to ICT services by providing enabling regulatory interventions to stimulate competition among the industry players:

  • Implementation of the National Broadband Plan Initiatives.


  • Pervasive infrastructure support: As part of the goal of the Commission to build a pervasive infrastructure support for the industry, through its national broadband plan initiatives, it introduced authorization for infrastructure companies (Open Access Model) for the entire six geopolitical zones of the nation and Lagos which is targeted at delivering affordable internet services to last mile end users, especially those at the rural areas.


  • Granting of more Spectrum Resource Licenses for the delivery of broadband wireless access service at the wholesale level, to ISP’s and other Retail Telecoms Service Providers for the provision of retail high speed internet access services.


  • Facilitate the Participation of Young Entrepreneurs in ITU Global ICT Competitions for SMEs, Business Start-Ups and Innovators


  • USPS Initiatives That Impact on Economic Growth:

The Universal Service Provision Secretariat (USPS) is secretariat of the universal service provision fund (USPF) in the Commission that set aside funding for projects and initiatives that impacts directly on economic growth in the provision of universal access to telecommunications services in underserved and unserved rural areas of the country.

  • Industry Capacity Building and Promotion of Innovations – DBI, New Media & Information Security.


  • Collaboration of Other Government Agencies – CBN, Health, Agriculture, Works, etc.


“The NCC continues to promote and facilitate universal access to ICTs to ensure implementation of the following areas identified for economic diversifications needed for the Nigerian economy:

  • E- government: an overall cost reduction in governance through paperless electronic communications links within the government ministries, departments and Agencies. Example, TSA, e-Payroll (PPIS), etc.


  • E-education: telecom enables access to education in remote areas through internet, mobile education, content enrichment, access to wide range of education resources in the cloud, online and distance e-learning from the comfort of our homes.


  • E-agriculture: Agricultural developments at all levels of government occasioned by modern technology is required to drive mechanized and organic farming that would boost production, generate exports and increase youth employment rates.


  • Industrialization: Technological innovations and emerging ICTs have enabled efficient production processes and optimal output.


  • Entrepreneurship, Youth Empowerment and SMES


  • E-Taxation to boost Revenues: Electronic filing of tax returns, and online assessment and payments of tax obligations by the tax payers would boost tax revenue collection of government.


  • E-Commerce: the expansion of broadband and backbone infrastructures to drive financial inclusion and massive uptake of mobile money across the nation
  • E-health: most clinical patients now have access to online information on the nature of their illnesses which assist the doctors to provide quick health care support. Again, telemedicine has enabled expanse of knowledge base in the care of both patients and the Doctors.


The Nigerian Communications Commission will continue to promote and facilitate, through appropriate regulatory interventions, the expansion of pervasive broadband infrastructure that will stimulate the provision of e-products and e-services across Nigeria, EVC said. According to him, the NCC will encourage the digitalization of information to be transformed into business and economic activities that drive national growth and development.


“The economic diversification of the Nigerian economy will give impetus for increase mobilization of all resources and increase revenues accruable to government. This will cause an exponential increase in productive activities in industry, manufacturing, infrastructure development, health, and agriculture to stimulate growth and development of the Nigerian economy. The NCC shall continue to provide the conducive regulatory environment for increased private sector investment and expansion of economic activities, he reassured stakeholders.

READ ALSO THIS: NCC Lists 8 Pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy

In his words: “The interventions of the NCC play a vital role in supporting the evolution of digital processes and appreciation in various sectors of the economy. From Setting up Public Access Points and ICT Training Centres, the Digital Awareness Programme (DAP), the Advanced Digital Awareness programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI), the School Knowledge Centre (SKC), all of which have benefitted over 500 schools across the country, the educational sector in Nigeria has definitely felt the digital wand of the NCC.


Danbatta said the NCC continues to promote and facilitate universal access to ICT to ensure implementation of e-taxation, ecommerce and e-government financial sector areas, which were identified as the economic enhancement needed for sustainability of the Nigerian economy. Improving user (traveler) experience such as online ticketing, boarding, and check in processes; and Vehicle tracking and navigations through mobile and Internet services, are also some key examples of how Telecommunications is enhancing Nigeria’s digital profile.


“The deployment of Optic Fibre transmission network has been adopted in the “Open Access Model” to bridge the current digital gap and deliver fast and reliable broadband services to households and businesses and the success of this model is evident in the tremendous growth witnessed in the provision of broadband services by all major players in the industry through one technology or the other. Presently, Nigeria has achieved 33.72% Broadband penetration, thus over 64 million Nigerians are presently connected to broadband internet services. This is an encouraging leap from the 8.5% penetration in 2015.


He further explained that Six Infraco licensees are to cover Lagos, South-West, South-South, South-East, North-West and North-East regions while the process leading to the licensing of an Infraco for North-Central is on-going adding that the Infraco licensees are to provide IP fiber Optic capacity, to all the 774 LGAs of the federation on an open access, price regulated basis, with a 10 Gbps Point of Access (PoA) capacity in each local government of the federation. The project is for a four- year period with the negotiated subsidies to be paid to the Infraco licensees at the attainment of agreed and verified milestones, he concluded.


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