By Martin Ekpeke
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta has declared that competitive markets are the cornerstone of a vibrant telecommunications industry.
The telecom regulator made the declaration yesterday at the Digital Bridge Institute in Lagos, as part of his opening speech at the Stakeholders’ Forum on the Study on the Level of Competition in the Telecommunications Industry in Nigeria.
In the speech, which was read by Ms. Josphine Amuwa, Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis, Danbatta noted that competition encourages innovations and fosters efficiency, adding that is the more reason the Commission periodically conducts studies to assess the level of competition in the industry in line with its mandate of creating an enabling environment for competition amongst operators, as well as ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout the country.
“We consider of critical importance competition to the well-being and growth of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. It is an established fact that competitive markets are the cornerstone of a vibrant telecommunications industry,” he stressed.
The Nigerian Communications Commission, in the exercise of its regulatory functions as provided for under the Nigerian Communication Act (NCA), 2003, engaged the consulting firm KPMG Professional Services to conduct a Study on the Assessment of the Level of Competition in the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry in 2013.
The outcome of that assessment, according to NCC resulted in the definition of relevant market segments and a determination of dominance in some of those market segments.
Also, using the 2013 baseline year, the Commission engaged the services of Messer’s CT Worx. Limited to conduct another study on the Level of Competition in the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry.
The overall objective of the study is to provide current insight into the level of competition in the telecommunications market and articulate strategies/ recommendations to enhance opportunities in the market and to ensure the deepening of competition resulting in the provision of innovative services to consumers.
Specifically, the study will enable the telecom regulator to evaluate the current level of competition within the various market segments of the Nigerian telecommunications industry; identify the factors determining the degree of competition in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, with a focus on the degree of rivalry in the sector.
Others are evaluate the Commission’s interventions towards deepening Competition and identify areas that require improvements and benchmark these practices against international standards and good practices; identify indicators for evaluating the level of competition in the various Telecommunications market segments identified and identify any existing/plausible agreements, arrangements and practices amongst different licensees which constitute anti-competitive conduct, anti-competitive patterns and propose effective measure to address them.