A combination of a new Strategy Management Plan (SMP) and continuous driving of Information and Communications Technology innovations for growth can be said to be some of the activities that defined the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) regulatory prowess last year.
While the telecom regulator unveiled the new Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024 as a pedestal to drive the implementation of the Federal Government’s digital economy vision, the year 2020 saw a consistent commitment to investing millions of Naira to drive Information and Communications Technology (ICT) innovations in the academia, while also supporting innovative ideas among young Nigerian tech innovators.
From all indications, the launch of the SMP demonstrated the Commission’s serious improvement in the performance matrix and its efforts in accelerating the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) and the National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020 – 2025 of the Federal Government.
According to the Commission, the SMP is the fulcrum that will aid the NCC in driving its telecom regulatory mandate in the fast-evolving telecoms industry, in the next five years.
“The Strategic Management Plan will serve as a roadmap for the future of the Nigerian telecoms sector, taking into consideration the current and emerging trends in the industry and the numerous expectations of the diverse stakeholders,” said the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta in a document, which reviewed NCC’s regulatory activities in 2020.
The SMP 2020 – 2024 is the visioning document of the Commission for planning, monitoring, analysing and assessing the Commission to meet its goals and set objectives. It has five pillars, which include regulatory excellence, universal broadband, promote the development of digital economy, market development; and strategic partnering and 25 intended outcomes. Five critical success factors identified for the implementation of the Strategy include ownership and commitment, effective communication, human resource capacity, development of and adherence to a strategy development manual; and implementation discipline.
Meanwhile, apart from several ICT innovation challenges and Hackathon programmes such as the Covid-19 Virtual Hackathon initiated and implemented by the Commission, the Nigerian Communications Commission instituted and endowed two additional Professorial Chairs to the tune of N40 million in two more Nigerian universities.
The two universities – the premier University of Ibadan, Oyo State and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi State, are endowed with N20 million each over the next two years to embark on massive research to promote innovation to drive socio-economic development in the country. This brings to four the number of tertiary institutions of learning that have benefitted from the NCC’s innovation-driving initiative, having endowed professorial chairs in Bayero University Kano (BUK) and the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) in May 2019.