Four years of Danbatta’s landmarks at NCC- The Journey so far

On August 4, 2015, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the country’s telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The astute professor of telecoms engineering and philanthropist clocked four years in office as the Chief Regulator of the Nigeria’s telecommunications industry. Interestingly, Danbatta, who has been described by industry stakeholders as “round peg in a round hole’ has recorded a lot of achievements and seminal giant strides in the last four years of his five-year tenure as the EVC of NCC. The TOP 10 Magazine, in this incisive report, chronicle the key successes and outstanding achievements that have been recorded by Danbatta as there are wonderful stories to tell about his regulatory finesse.

Precisely on August 4, 2015, Danbatta was appointed by the President and subsequently confirmed by the Senate on November 25, 2015 in line with the provision of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003, following thorough and rigorous screening by the Senator Gilbert Nnaji-led Communications Committee of the Senate.

Danbatta’s job as the umpire of the telecoms industry was affirmed for the five-year tenue in the first instance. It is instructive, therefore, that as his appointment clocks four years, Danbatta has left nobody in doubt that he is a competent regulator per excellence who has continued to show proficiency in his leadership style.

On assumption of office, four years ago, the former University lecturer came with the promise to effectively confront many challenges bedevilling the industry with a visible contribution to actively facilitate the development of a knowledge-driven, inclusive, globally-competitive and prosperous Nigeria through telecommunications.

Thus, he hit the ground running by unveiling his 8-Point agenda, which was expected to provide a focus for the Commission and the industry as a whole over the next five years (2015- 2020).  Focal issues on the agenda include facilitating broadband penetration, improving quality service, optimizing usage and benefits of spectrum, promoting ICT innovation and investment opportunities, facilitating strategic collaboration and partnership, protecting and empowering consumers, promoting fair competition and inclusive growth as well as ensuring regulatory excellence and operational efficiency.

Today, the agenda has gained a lot of traction. In the area of broadband penetration, which tops the agenda, Nigeria presently has 63,593,329 broadband subscribers, representing a 33.31 percent penetration as of end of June, 2019. Though, this figure, put side-by-side with the estimated population of Nigeria put at 190 million by the National Population Commission (NPC). This is a giant leap from about six per cent when Danbatta came on board in 2015.

The passion for aggressive drive for pervasive broadband penetration by the Danbatta-led administration at NCC is made manifest going by the fact that the need to facilitate broadband penetration tops the 8-Point Agenda. Also, Danbatta made it clear that, “Nigerians need a robust and pervasive broadband connectivity more than ever before in today’s world, where people can easily interact with an Automated Teller Machine (ATM), carry out activities around e-commerce, e-government, tele-medicine, among others on a daily basis.”

Nigeria’s thirst for data has grown in significantly, largely to the generational change of telecommunications from the use of voice-dominated technologies (1G and 2G) to today’s data dominated technologies of 3G, 4G and even the much-talked-about 5G. Without a doubt, more virtualised engagements are happening online and will continue to be as it does appear the citizens have an insatiable need for data.

 

Eyes on rural connectivity

Further to the strategic implementation of its 8-Point Agenda, the Commission recently partnered with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and other industry stakeholders to discuss the introduction of Television White Space (TVWS) in order to develop a framework for effective utilisation of unused TV spectrum to take services to the unserved and under-served communities in the country.

TVWS is the unused broadcast spectrum which can be deployed in the telecommunications sector to provide cost-effective broadband services to people in the rural, underserved and unserved areas of the country towards achieving universal access and universal service in line with the country’s digital agenda.

The collaboration with the NBC was in line with the fifth pillar of the NCC’s 8-Poing Agenda focusing on facilitating strategic collaboration and partnership with necessary government agencies and stakeholders.

The initiative for the use of TVWS in Nigeria mid-wifed by the Ministry of Communications, following approval by the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) will further help the Commission to deliver its mandate of ensuring universal access to telecoms services in the rural, unserved and underserved areas.

Danbatta recently noted that, “We are continuously in a quest to achieving rural connectivity goal and this quest has led us, as a Commission, into embarking on several initiatives to actualise this pervasive connectivity objective in Nigeria.”

 

Driving pervasive broadband across 774 LGAs

Also, closely linked to the effort of Danbatta-led team towards deepening broadband penetration is the Commission’s consistent pursuit of its Open Access Model (OAM) project aimed at extending access to digital services across the 774 local government areas in the country, through the InfraCo licensing. More remarkably pertinent to the digital transformation march, the Commission was able to increase the number of InfraCo licences to six in 2018.

In its quest to bridge the digital divide, the Commission put in place this initiative to fast-track broadband access and take services to several unserved and underserved areas of Nigeria with the implementation of its Open Access Model. The six InfraCos so far licensed to drive the deployment of broadband infrastructure across the nation’s six geo-political zones and Lagos, include Raeana Nigeria Limited for the South-South Zone; O’dua Infraco Resources Limited for South-West Zone; Fleek Networks Limited for North-West Zone; Brinks Integrated Solutions for North-East Zone; MainOne Limited for Lagos Zone and Zinox Technologies Limited for the South-East Zone. The remaining licence for North Central Zone is being processed, according to the Commission.

As a stimulus to encourage investors of InfraCo to roll out, NCC made provisions in the 2017 and 2018 budgets for subsidies to the InfraCo licensees and “subsidy negotiations with the licensees have reached an advanced stage and will soon be concluded,” according to the Commission.

During the recent visit by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja, Danbatta said the Commission had concluded the process leading to the disbursement of subsidies to the six licensed InfraCos in line with its digital transformation agenda of the Federal Government. The subsidy will augment the InfraCos’ capital expenditure (CAPEX).

Danbatta further stressed that the InfraCo scheme has a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement and that the subsidy component is meant to fast-track deployment in the respective zones of the licensees.

 

Driving Innovations in telecoms industry

In line with its commitment to promoting innovation to drive digital transformation, the Danbatta-led leadership created a Research and Development (R&D) Department for the Commission in 2016, with the purpose of synchronizing the various ongoing research activities and other development projects being carried out by the Commission. This decision, which was in line with the provisions of the National Telecommunications Policy 2000 and the Nigerian National ICT Policy 2012, is helping the Commission to stimulate and sustain innovations in the ICT industry.

From 2013 to date, the Commission has disbursed millions of Naira, in grants, to sponsor innovation-oriented research projects in tertiary institutions and other research institutes. In May this year, the NCC announced N40 million endowment fund for Bayero University, Kano and the Federal University of Technology, Owerri. The fund will be utilized by the institutions for innovation, research and development in the digital space with an ongoing commitment to expand the list of benefiting institutions.

Also, in June this year, the Commission again demonstrated its determination to facilitate research and innovation in the telecom industry in Nigeria by presenting the sum of N65 million to eleven (11) universities in Nigeria for innovation, research and development to deliver research result and prototypes that are implementable, commercially-viable and capable of engendering innovation in different sectors of the economy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another area where NCC has been playing a pivotal role is in promoting investment opportunities and innovation within the digital ecosystem for economic growth, exposing young Small and Medium Enterprisers (SME) owners in the ICT industry to global investment opportunities. This is done annually through sponsoring young Nigerian innovators to such global forum as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Telecoms World principally to provide them with the platform to exhibit relevant, home-grown technology innovations and solutions to the global investment community. As you may be aware, this year’s edition of the ITU forum has been scheduled to hold in Budapest, Hungary in September and in the same manner, the NCC is sponsoring a number of young technology innovators to the conference for the same purpose.

 

Spectrum auctions and another initiatives

In last four years of Danbatta leadership, the Commission, apart from achieving and surpassing the 30 per cent broadband penetration, had also achieved some broadband successes in the area of spectrum auctions. These include auction of six slots of 2×5 megahertz (MHz) in the 2.6 gigahertz (GHz) Band, re-planning of the 800 MHz band for Long Term Evolution (LTE), licensing of two slots of 10 MHz each in the 700 MHz band, as well as the opening up of the e-band spectrum 70/80 GHz band for both last-mile and backhaul services.  Other regulatory instruments by the Commission in this regards include the Spectrum Trading Framework, among other

 

According to Danbatta, “We will develop and implement flexible, market-oriented spectrum regulatory policies that promote highly efficient use of spectrum in ways that promote innovation, investment, and job creation and increased consumer benefits.”

 

Preparing Nigeria for emerging technologies

It is worthy of note that in the fourth quarter of 2018 and in consonance with the 3rd and 5th items of its 8-Point Agenda focusing on optimising usage and benefits of spectrum and facilitating strategic collaboration and partnerships, the NCC, in collaboration with the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) in the fourth quarter of 2018, held a workshop to discuss the prospects and challenges of Next-Generation Networks (NGN) such as the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, among others, in the nation’s telecoms industry.

Danbatta during the workshop said the workshop was “to provide an avenue for regulators, operators, investors as well as other stakeholders to examine and constructively exchange ideas on the main demand areas for next generation of services, spectrum licensing reforms and the requirements for 5G and other emerging technologies that are to revolutionise the telecom system and users.” The workshop, thus, formed the precursor to the country’s preparedness of the Commission for the impending deployment of 5G services due to commence globally by 2020.

 

 

 

Telecom Investment

Four years ago, the investment profile of the sector was around $38 billion. But today, it has grown to over $70billion. Despite this, the telecom regulator has admitted the present investment in the sector is inadequate and will continue to pursue policies that would encourage more investment, stressing that Nigeria is one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world.

“The volume of telecom investment in Nigeria is very impressive and indicative of a very fast-growing and resilient sector of the economy. But, we will continue to advocate for more investment, giving that the industry was very capital intensive, with the competition for Foreign Direct Investments becoming fiercer among different nations,” Danbatta said in Lagos during the maiden edition of Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit (NTLS) 2019 last month.

It is estimated that about 40 million Nigerians, especially those in the rural and semi-urban areas are yet to be reached with basic infrastructure and services, making the over $68 billion investment in the telecom industry inadequate and therefore committed to attracting more investment in the industry.

Stressing this during the NTLS, Danbatta stated: “The argument for more investments becomes more compelling, given that this industry is very capital intensive, with the competition for Foreign Direct Investments, FDls, becoming fiercer among different nations. In our consultative regulatory process, we consider shared experiences, and shared vision as the best approach to equip us with the tools to continuously reposition towards the course of effective regulation.

“In this age, broadband is of critical importance with its potential to improve the economy of many nations. We may all be aware of the empirical study by the World Bank, which suggests that for every 10 per cent growth in Broadband penetration results in 1.34 per cent in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in developing countries. This is one of the reasons why we have developed the regulatory and licensing framework to accelerate broadband availability, accessibility and affordability.

“It is therefore by no accident that we have made the facilitation of broadband penetration the flagship of the 8-Point Agenda of our administration. We have put a lot of effort in this direction, including auctions of frequency spectrum in some bands, and re-farming to optimize some. The licensing of InfraCos under the Open Access Model has taken shape.”

 

VAS market

Under the watch of the erudite scholar, the Commission has also witnessed a recalibration and repositioning of the sector’s Value–Added Services (VAS) segment, a move that has helped to sanitised the industry. The sub-sector’s current value is estimated at $200 million with potential to grow to over $500 million in the next few years. The tenacity and a sense of regulatory excellence that have practically become the hallmarks of the Commission’s  activities have, thus far, resulted in impressive statistics coming out of the industry as at the end of December, 2018.

The industry has also recorded other impressive growth under Danbatta. Apart from broadband, mobile Internet subscribers have also reached over 122.2 million.

In the last four years of Danbatta, mobile voice subscriptions grew from 151 million in August, 2015 to over 174 million by June 2019, with teledensity, which is the number of telephone lines per 100 persons in an area, standing today at 91.17 per cent from 107 per cent as at August, 2015. Today, telecoms contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about 10.11 per cent in June, 2019 up from eight per cent four years ago with over 500,000 direct and indirect jobs created by the sector.

 

Consumer protection, empowerment

Perhaps, more profound in the agenda of the Commission is its posture as a consumer-centric organisation. The Commission has intensified efforts at protecting and empowering the consumer by developing new and sustaining existing initiatives in this direction. Some of these initiatives include, the introduction of mobile number portability to cushion subscribers’ anxiety of changing networks by purchasing Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card indiscriminately and the declaration of 2017 as Year of the Consumer. Ironically, the Commission has extended its Year of Consumer initiative to persist in 2018 and this is expected to continue into the future. In other words, efforts at implementing the consumer-centric initiatives  embarked upon by the Commission have never waned, as it continues to underscore the importance it attaches to the consumer, as critical stakeholder in the telecoms value chain.

It needs to be emphasized that the Commission has, over the years, sustained periodic consumer engagement, on a continuous basis, through its various outreaches such as the Telecoms Consumer Parliament (TCP), the Consumer Outreach Programme (COP), the Consumer Town Hall Meeting (CTM) as well as the Consumer Conversation, among others.

The Commission has also demonstrated unflinching commitment to consumer in terms of consumer complaints resolutions. According to NCC report, between January 2017 and December 2018, the Commission received a total of 118,784 complaints from consumers, of which 92,757, representing 78 per cent of total complaints received during the two years period were successfully resolved to the satisfaction of telecom consumers.

The development and introduction of the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 Short Code has also helped the consumers to control unsolicited text messages, as over 12 million telecoms consumers have activated the DND Short Code either partially of fully. The creation of the Toll-Free Number, 622, as a second-level consumer complaints escalation mechanism has also received accolades from stakeholders in the industry.

Further to its consumer centric regulatory approach, the Commission issued two major regulatory directions in 2018: the direction on data roll-over, which enables consumers to roll over unused data for period of time, ranging from one day to seven days, depending on their data plan; and the direction on forceful subscription of data services and Value Added Services (VAS) which directs service providers to desist from forceful/automatic renewal of data services without prior consent of subscribers.

 

Nipping in the bud the menace of call masking

In the wake of 2017, the menace of call masking/call refiling and SIM boxing reared their ugly heads and pronto, the Commission took drastic actions towards addressing the issue. Basically, call masking is when inbound international calls terminate in Nigeria as local number. This raises security concerns, competition issue and portends negative economic implications.  In fact, it is estimated that Nigeria loses $60 billion annually to call masking

But according to Prof. Danbatta, the Commission has taken a number of actions towards curbing the menace of call masking:  These include strict compliance monitoring and enforcement by the Commission; imposition of appropriate sanctions by the Commission on licensees involved in call refiling and masking activities; and suspension of numbering plans of some perpetrators and withdrawal of all their inactive numbering plans.

According to Prof Danbatta, other measures taken in this regard include the continuous sensitisation of consumers and other industry stakeholders on the dangers of call masking, which is still ongoing; the development and institution of new reporting requirements on interconnecting licensees that makes it easy and seamless to quickly identify perpetrators of call masking and the  Proof of Concept (PoC) commenced in July 2018 with the deployment of technology solutions to monitor, report, apprehend and block SIMs being used for SIM boxing activities and prevent SIM lines from being used for call masking activities.

These interventions have generated profound results for the industry. First, call masking (otherwise called call line identity (CLI) spoofing) has since dropped to more than 40 per cent compared to how prevalent it was in January 2018. Also, SIM boxing traffic has been down by about 25 per cent as at September 11, 2 018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A boost for Quality of Service, investors’ confidence

Under Prof. Danbatta’s watch, the Commission has stepped up stakeholder engagement and collaboration both within the private and public sectors of the economy to address salient issues affecting the industry and it continues to make remarkable inroads in this direction.

The Commission’s timely interventions in Ogun, Kano and Kogi states among others to resolve cases of indiscriminate shutdown of telecoms sites by state agencies over disputed taxes and levies are worthy of highlighting. In Kogi State, for instance, more than 70 base stations were sealed by the Kogi Inland Revenue Service (KIRS) in 2018. Going by the nature of telecommunications service, which relies on 24/7 availability, each time base stations are shut or sealed by state agencies, site maintenance becomes difficult resulting in poor service experience by the telecoms consumers.

It is instructive to note that a similar intervention by the Commission, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), helped to save 9mobile from the brink of collapse following a financial crisis involving a $1.2 billion syndicated loan obtained by the telco from a consortium of 13 banks. The landmark intervention has given the hitherto troubled telco a new lease of life and, as confirmed by Mr. Stephane Beuvelet, Ag. Managing Director of 9mobile during a recent visit of the board and management of the telecoms company to the Commission in Abuja, the telco has regained its growth momentum.

According to the Danbatta, “As a Commission, we will continue to seek the understanding of the state governments and their agencies; and dialogue with necessary stakeholders to make our industry more attractive to investors. We are working to address challenges facing the industry and most importantly in the area of achieving a more friendly and enabling operating environment for faster telecoms infrastructure deployment. Only through this can we have improved Quality of Service (QoS) that will automatically translate to an improved Quality of Experience (QoE) for the over 172 million telecoms consumers in the country as well as sustain the confidence of investors in the telecom industry.”

He added further that, “the industry, having achieved over $72 billion investment, requires even greater infrastructure investment to achieve better digital transformation for our nation. To this end, all hands must be on deck. We need to understand the critical role access to telecoms services play in all the facets of our economy and we must work together to support the industry’s sustainability through improved quality of service and quality of experience for the consumers.”

 

Heightening competition in the industry

Under Danbatta, the Commission has demonstrated its awareness that competition is a global trend, and conscious of this fact, it has entrenched competition in the system. One of the initiatives include the engagement of KPMG Professional Services to conduct a Study on the Assessment of the Level of Competition in the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry. Today, competition has led to optimal performance from the different service providers because there is always that pressure from the insatiable consumers.

 

Ensuring regulatory Excellence

This is one of the NCC’s mandates you cannot take away from them. They have so far done well with Danbatta piloting the ship. All the successes recorded so far in the Nigerian telecom sector can be attributed to the regulatory prowess of the Commission. Today, its role as telecom industry watchdog has been able to stamp out monopoly through healthy competition and protection of interests of both service providers cum investors and subscribers simultaneously.

No wonder, local and international awards have come the way of the Commission in droves. In one of his interactions with journalists, Danbatta had said: “It is our commitment to leverage on the best regulatory approaches to optimise the development of the Nigeria’s telecom sector, having known how critical the sector is to other sectors of the economy.”

 

Deepening stakeholder engagement

No week passes without the NCC, under Danbatta leadership, engaging with one group or the other across the country. This, the Commission considered important because of the daunting tasks and challenges in the industry and has had consultations with stakeholders as critical success factor in its regulatory mandate. The approach of consultations with stakeholders had yielded enormous positive results.

For instance, apart from the monthly Telecom Consumers Parliament, the Commission has always engaged the Governors forum, collectively and individually, to address some of the challenges, in the areas of multiple taxation, regulations and Right of Way. These engagements, no doubts, have seen to the development of effective partnerships with relevant stakeholders, thereby fostering ICT for sustainable economic development and social advancement.

 

Telcos’ listing on NSE

The credit for the listing of MTN Nigeria on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) this year also goes to the Danbatta-led Commission. The listing was one of the positive results of an outstanding and effective regulatory effort of the Commission. The listing of MTN has, thus, served as tonic to other telcos to follow in the same direction such as the listing of Airtel.

As the country’s independent telecoms regulatory authority, the NCC essentially facilitated the landmark listing of the country’s largest telecommunications operator on NSE in line with its regulatory activities as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (2003) and other subsidiary regulations to promote investment, create a level-playing field for all licensees, ensure compliance to existing telecoms laws and facilitate delivery of top-notch quality of services (QoS) to the consumers.

Suffice to say that through this smart regulation and intervention by the NCC, leading to the listing of MTN on the NSE, the Commission has opened another chapter in the history of telecommunication industry by empowering Nigerians to control, own and manage one of dominant telecommunications companies in the country by owning shares in MTN Nigeria.

 

“The MTN listing has helped to translate into action, an important objective of the Commission, which is to promote local investment and ownership in the telecom sector. Also, with MTN shares available in the capital market, it is expected that Nigerians will buy shares and by purchasing the shares of MTN, they will be financially empowered and be socially transformed,” The EVC said at a forum.

Speaking further, Danbatta said “It is instructive to state here that one of the greatest advantages of the MTN listing, facilitated by the NCC, is the implication it has on opening up the telecommunications industry for greater investment profile it gives Nigerians the opportunities to invest in publicly-quoted companies like MTN, which is the leader in the telecommunications industry in the country and easily one of the continental leaders.

“In addition to benefits to the consumers, we all know that telecoms is a capital-intensive industry and of late, we found out that the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the sector has not been as much as it used to be and there is so much for the telcos to still do in terms of expansion and this expansion requires capital. Industry issue bordering on poor quality of service is being partly traced to lack of sufficient infrastructure covering the entire country.

“One of the benefits of MTN listing and those of other operators to follow, therefore, is that the telco would be able to raise capital for expansion which, in turn, will bring about an improvement in the quality of service and quality of experience for the consumers of telecoms services, which is also a cardinal function of the Commission.”

 

Driving advanced technology deployment

Meanwhile, Danbatta has, among others, projected greater prospects ahead for the industry, especially in the area of broadband penetration to accelerate the transformation of Nigeria into a truly knowledge and digital economy.

According to Prof. Danbatta, the Commission has profound determination to see that all new sites to be built by the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are LTE-compatible; the implementation of the harmonised RoW charges on state and federal government highways at the cost of N145 per linear meter; elimination of multiple taxation and regulations; spread of 3G coverage to, at least, 80 per cent of the Nigerian population over the current 56.4 per cent of the population covered with 3G networks.

Other projections by the EVC of NCC include the upgrade of 2G base transceiver stations to 3G; spread of Fifth Generation (5G) to, at least, five per cent of the population; spread of 4G/LTE services to 100 per cent of the population with a minimum broadband speed of 1.5 megabit  per second (Mbps); among others.

Following the ongoing implementation of various initiatives and projects designed by the Commission and in spite of industry challenges raging from the problem of Right of Way (RoW), multiple taxation and regulations, vandalism, paucity of forex, poor electricity, among others, the Danbatta-led Commission has apparently remained committed to ensuring that broadband continues to completely transform all the sectors of the Nigerian economy for greater projects.

ITU positive rating of Nigeria for regulatory exploits

As a testament to NCC’s commitment to employing cross-sectoral approach and stakeholder collaboration in its regulatory finesse, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recently rated Nigeria high for continuously exhibiting responsiveness, progress and dynamism in the regulation of its over $70 billion telecommunications industry.

 

In its ‘2018 ICT Regulatory Tracker’ launched in July, this year, the United Nation’s telecoms regulatory organisation stated that Nigeria scored 78.33 out of 100 marks benchmark for last year, putting Nigeria 12th among  48 African countries and standing ahead of 36 other. The achievement is coming barely two years after the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the independent telecoms regulatory authority in Nigeria, was acknowledged by ITU as one of the ‘foremost telecoms regulators in Africa.’

 

In the report, ITU calculates the overall scores from four clusters, namely: Cluster 1- Regulatory Authority (20 marks); Cluster 2-Regulatory Mandate (22 marks); Cluster-3 Regulatory Regime (30 marks); and Cluster 4-Competition Framework.

 

In each of these four parameters, Nigeria’s regulatory ecosystem scored 17, 20, 20, 21.33, respectively, totaling 78.33, which is above what about 36 countries out of the 48 African countries and a number of countries from other continent recorded, thereby putting Nigeria’s telecoms regulator in a positive rating.

 

The rating is, however, not surprising because the NCC has continued to regularly hold stakeholder consultations on several regulatory matters; collaborate with national, regional and global telecommunications bodies; sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with other regulatory agencies such as the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (formerly Consumer Protection Council), the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), the GSM Association (GSMA), among others.

 

Also, regarding ensuring operational efficiency and regulatory excellence, Danbatta said the NCC has continued to carry out a lot of regulatory interventions in delivering on this mandate. For instance, the NCC has intensified compliance monitoring exercises on the licensees, successfully resolved N1.03 trillion fine against MTN which has led to the listing of MTN and Airtel on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

 

The Commission, under Danbatta, has also promoted corporate governance in the industry, developed a framework for participation in ITU working Groups while we continue to ensure continuous capacity building for our staff for them to understand the dynamics of and trends in telecoms regulations and engage in excellent recruitment processes to get the best expertise for the regulations of industry.

 

Conclusion

Suffice it to say that since becoming the EVC/CEO of the Commission in August 4, 2015, the Professor of Telecommunications Engineering at the helms of affairs of steering the nation’s telecommunications regulatory agency, despite daunting challenges in the industry, has brought forth his sound experience in piloting the affairs of the industry with such a finesse, ingenuity, regulatory excellence and passion.

To this end, Danbatta has remarkably consolidated on the growth recorded by his predecessors through effective development and driving of initiatives, needed to leapfrog the nation into a fully digital economy and there are high expectations that he is committed to do more with his formidable team of experts at NCC in the coming years.