The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has commenced the process for the review of the 20-years old licensing structure in the Nigerian telecommunications industry.
The telecoms regulator, in a statement on Wednesday, said the review is response to global trends and the dynamics in the Information and Communications Technology ecosystem.
The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said he inaugurated an in-house Standing Committee on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 to carry out the task.
Danbatta, while inaugurating the committee, said the need for the review of the existing license structure was due to the wide range of technological advances, convergence of technologies and services in the global telecoms space over the years, and which impact is increasingly being experienced in Nigeria.
According to him, the current license structure is almost 20 years old, hence the need for an urgent review of the existing license pattern to reflect new licensing trends in line with international standards while providing opportunities for improved revenue for government.
“Therefore, it is evidently clear that this Standing Committee, drawn up from competent hands in various departments of the Commission, is perfectly suited and capable of addressing the enormous task of reviewing the existing license structure of telecom licensees in Nigeria,” he said.
While noting that the work of the Standing Committee will be carried out in phases, Danbatta said effective delivery of the committee’s task will help the NCC to institute a process, which will culminate in the review of the terms and conditions of the various license categories.
These, he said, will include licensing fee, as well as identification of the limitations of the various license categories, with a view to clearly determining licenses that should be phased out or amended.
Also speaking during the inauguration of the Committee, the Director, Licensing and Authorisation, NCC and Chairman of the Committee, Mohammad Babajika, assured the NCC management of the committee’s resolve to deliver on the terms of their assignment.
The Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, confirmed that at the end of the Committee’s assignment, and following due consultations with industry stakeholders, the Commission envisages a new draft framework for new and amended licenses.