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Nigeria’s telecom reforms showing progressing

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By Usman Oladimeji

Telecom industry plays a pivotal role in stimulating the nation's economy.

In Nigeria, where the economy is being severely impacted by economic challenges and a cost-of-living crisis, the telecommunications sector has managed to shine with hope for the country’s success. Despite the difficulties faced by other sectors, this industry stands strong, showcasing Nigeria’s potential to conquer these obstacles. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has built upon a strong foundation established by past industry regulators, and under the current leadership, they have showcased their ability to adapt and innovate in order to tackle modern obstacles and ensure the industry’s long-term viability.

Dr. Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, epitomizes exceptional leadership. His appointment in October 2023 not only signifies a continuation of the ongoing commitment to professional excellence but also ensures that the telecommunications industry in Nigeria remains aligned with global best practices. Since taking on the role of chief regulator, Maida has successfully embraced and emphasized a new approach in the liberal markets worldwide. Instead of adopting an autocratic stance, he has fostered collaboration between regulators and market participants, which has become increasingly popular.

NCC has extended network coverage to underserved areas.

Implemented telecom reforms have resulted in significant advancements in connectivity and accessibility to mobile and internet services. With a daunting challenge of reaching a mammoth population exceeding 200 million, scattered over various geographical regions, the NCC has triumphed in extending network coverage to areas that were once underserved. In effect, this has narrowed the gap in digital accessibility, offering countless Nigerians the valuable tools of communication and information. Such accomplishments have been made possible through the implementation of astute policies and well-executed initiatives.

The NCC’s successful approach to licensing and managing spectrum has incentivized the development of infrastructure, resulting in the introduction of state-of-the-art technologies like 4G and 5G networks. With the implementation of strong regulatory measures, the NCC has prioritized protecting consumer rights, fostering fair competition, and ensuring the long-term viability of the telecommunications industry. The regulatory landscape in the sector is characterized by transparency, accountability, and fairness, thereby fostering an environment that promotes investment and business expansion.

Education landscape is being revolutionized by e-learning platforms.

Furthermore, Nigeria’s telecommunications reforms have nurtured a flourishing environment for creativity and entrepreneurial endeavours, unlocking the infinite imagination and potential of the younger generation. The expansion of mobile technology has acted as a catalyst for the rise of inventive ideas across diverse industries such as finance, healthcare, agriculture, and education. Also, the introduction of mobile payment systems has transformed the landscape of financial services, granting millions of Nigerians the ability to access banking facilities and convenient payment methods.

Likewise, the education landscape is being revolutionized by e-learning platforms. These platforms grant students entry to first-rate educational resources and open up avenues for enhancing their skill sets. Maida envisions a revolutionary strategy for implementing the National Broadband Plan (NBP), which promises to dramatically enhance broadband penetration throughout the nation. Acknowledging the crucial impact that broadband has on propelling socio-economic progress, the NCC has relentlessly collaborated with various parties to enhance the availability and affordability of broadband services.

Related Link: An overview of telecoms future in Nigeria

With the notable rise in internet usage, Nigeria has successfully promoted inclusivity in the digital realm, empowering its people to engage in the worldwide digital economy. Moving forward, the country is poised to experience enhanced connectivity on a larger scale. The transformation of the industry has played a pivotal role in stimulating the nation’s economy and generating employment opportunities, thereby making a substantial contribution to both its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and overall job market. Notably, this sector has emerged as a fundamental catalyst for economic expansion, luring foreign investments and nurturing a dynamic network of service providers, vendors, and technology collaborators.

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