By Martin Ekpeke
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has highlighted what he described as Nigeria’s interdependent elements of the digital transformation processes.
We have been paying attention to 5 interdependent elements of the digital transformation processes: enabling policies and institutions, human capital, applied ICT industry, communications infrastructure ICT applications and institutional change
The Nigeria’s telecom regulator boss, who spoke at a panel session of the just concluded 2018 World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Spain, named the processes as enabling policies and institutions, human capital, applied ICT industry, communications infrastructure ICT applications and institutional change.
“In Nigeria, we are trying to digitally transform and the process is on-going as I am talking to you. Hence we’ve been paying attention to 5 interdependent elements of the digital transformation processes: enabling policies and institutions, human capital, applied ICT industry, communications infrastructure ICT applications and institutional change,” he stated.
Calling for a renewed thinking in policy framework development, Danbatta said the processes are the Commission’s strategic vision plan, which have positively impacted the telecom industry since he assumed office few years ago.
The experience of consumers through their accounts also indicate significant improvement in Quality of Service. This is based on the information we are getting from the consumers and the network operators
He noted that the strategic vision plan he unveiled two years ago in form of 8-Point Agenda has so far made a significant impact on the growth of the telecommunications sector in Nigeria, adding that there is a need to promote innovation and investment in the sector.
The former University lecturer, noted that broadband penetration in the country merely stood at about 8 percent when he took over the mantle of the leadership of the industry, but it is now 22 per cent, according to the ITU-UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.
“We also decided to look at how we can improve Quality of Service consistent with key performance indicators that characterize the quality of service. The information we are getting from the consumers as well what we source from network operators is that Quality of Service has improved. The experience of consumers through their accounts also indicate significant improvement,” he noted.
Other initiatives, which have transformed the industry, according to Danbatta is the successful auctioning of the spectrum, 2.6 GHZ band, which he said has already been assigned. He believes the 2.6GHZ band will contribute to broadband penetration in the country.
To empower the consumers of the industry in the country, the EVC noted that, the year 2017 was dedicated as the year of the consumer. “When we started the campaign, we were inundated with a deluge of complaints, especially with unsolicited text messages sent to consumers, and in many cases, they were surcharged. We have put behind this menace in Nigeria through the campaign.
“As I am talking to you we have a Do- Not- Disturb- facility, which is very easy to use by consumers. More than 9million users have activated this facility. Again, close to that number have gained access to our 622 toll-free line which is provided to consumers to lodge their complaints on the quality of service provided by the telecommunication firms,” he explained.
Other notable industry giants who participated in the panel discussion include, Ajit Varadaraj Pai, the Chief Regulator of the United States Federal Communications Commission, Ram Sewak Sharma, the Chief Regulator of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, and German Dario Arias Pimienta of Communications Regulatory, Colombia.