Nigeria: gov’t will not interfere with the NCC’s jurisdiction
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Professor Isa Pantami has rubbished claims the country’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will take over the powers of the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Vanguardngr.com reported that at an event organised by the Ministry of Information, Arts and Culture, Pantami said the legislation that governed the organisations was no longer suited to current market conditions, and the two organisations should work together.
Pantami used to serve as Director-General of the NITDA and added that implication that he is bias by default is unfair.
According to Vangaurdngr.com, the Minister said as of November 2022, Nigeria’s broadband penetration was pegged at 46.2%, with quarterly revenue generated by the ICT industry at N408-billion.
Both the NITDA and the NCC have been active in regulating businesses, processes and developments within ICT and telecommunications.
In June 2022 the NITDA announced the release of a Draft Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/ Intermediaries – a guideline for engagement with the country’s digital ecosystem and a directive that social media platforms must follow to be allowed to continue operating.
The NITDA stated “all platforms whose users are more than one hundred thousand” have to be “incorporated in Nigeria, have a physical contact address in Nigeria” and “appoint a Liaison Officer who shall serve as a communication channel between the government” and the platform.
At the beginning of 2022 the NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman Professor Umar Danbatta emphasised the need for faster and more widespread internet connectivity.
The NCC head said the organisation envisages internet connectivity speed of 10Mbps in rural areas and 25 Mbps in urban areas by 2025, with effective internet connectivity made available for at least 90% of the population.
This, he said, should cost no more than N390 (US$0.95) per gigabyte of data.
In April 2022 MNOs in Nigeria responded to a directive by the NCC to bar outgoing calls from subscribers who had not registered with the National Identity Numbers (NIN) system.
ITWeb Africa reported that according to the NCC, the West African country has over 200 million mobile phone users, with MTN and Airtel being the largest and second largest respectively in an industry that includes competitors Glo and 9Mobile.
About 73 million of Nigeria’s mobile phone users have now been restricted from making outbound calls because they are not registered with identification numbers.