The Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, has appealed to the Nigerian Communications Commission to seek innovative ways of helping to boost the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Shittu made the appeal at the presentation of the NCC Board of Commissioners to the telecoms industry operators on Tuesday night in Abuja.
According to him, telecommunications has great potentials to contribute up to 10 per cent of the nation’s GDP.
The minister added that no government could afford to toy with a sector which had contributed more than 60 billion dollars to its economy in less than 17 years.
“The telecommunications industry, with its dynamic growth, has potentials to attract huge investments, create wealth, create employment opportunities and enable e-governance at all levels of government.
“The board of the commission is equipped to ensuring stability in the industry and create an enabling environment that is fertile to grow these expectations.
“As an industry regulator that is consumer focused, the commission must work hard to meet the aspirations of the consumers, who want to enjoy seamless services devoid of interruptions and value for their money,’’ Shittu said.
According to him, consumers of telecommunications services in Nigeria expect to be happy in terms of quality of service and the use of latest technology at affordable costs.
He said that government was in support of measures initiated by the commission to remove all bottlenecks that had impeded the growth and progress of the industry.
“We hope the board will support the management of the commission to drive the current efforts of sensitising governments at all levels so as to support measures that will improve stress-free deployment of telecommunications infrastructure,’’ Shittu said.
Also speaking, Sen. Olabiyi Durojaiye, Chairman of the Governing Board of NCC, said the concern of the commission should be to ensure that the best telecoms services are provided to Nigerians.
Durojaiye said both the telecoms industry regulators and the operators should be part of the “change mantra’’ of the present administration.
He said the board would welcome healthy competition, the type that led to the introduction of “per second billing’’ over 10 years ago.
“We will frown at any monopolistic tendencies among network service providers.
“I implore all service providers to continue to do their best to improve quality of service, which has worsened over the last few months,’’ Durojaiye said.
According to him, subscribers are still frequently bothered by drop calls and network seizures.
“They are in the dark regarding the “Do-Not-Disturb’’ (DND) 2442 platform on how to stop unsolicited messages.
“We solicit your cooperation in this regard by sensitising and simplifying the activation code, so that a larger number of subscribers can take advantage of this initiative.
“This will enable them check what has become a menace and sore point in the provision of telecoms service in the country,’’ Durojaiye said.
Earlier, Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, said that the event was for the board of commissioners, which was inaugurated in January, to interact with industry operators.
He said the event was borne out of the desire to maintain a healthy dialogue between the regulators and various stakeholders.
“One of the key virtues of the commission is to consult with its industry and this has made us to share our regulatory ideas, preparatory to implementations to make our decision predictable.
“We have embraced the international best practice in carrying out our regulatory functions as assigned by the Act establishing the commission.
“This has helped the telecommunication industry to have an idea of where the regulator is heading, in terms of planning and guidelines for the rollout of services,’’ Danbatta said.
Newsverge reports that members of the new board are Durojaiye (Chairman), Danbatta (Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer) and Mr Ubale Maska (Technical Services).
Others are Mr Sunday Dare (Stakeholder Management) as well as Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume and Mr Clement Baiye as Commissioners.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and other top government officials attended the ceremony.