NCC Moves To Address Industry Risks Says Reduction‘ll Boost Investors’ Confidence

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NCCThe Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC says it is keen on addressing all the risks plaguing the industry to ensure that services are not disrupted and consumers obtain the best and latest services that are globally available.

This it said is the only way the Commission can continue to increase its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Nigerian Economy and ensure that investors have a higher Return on Investment.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta stated this on Monday while declaring open the virtual session of the Telecoms Industry Risk Management conference titled: Managing the Emerging Risks and Embracing Risk Opportunities, held in Abuja.

He said the Commission in a bid to ensure that operators in the industry enjoy a conducive operating environment had sought government interventions and collaborated with other agencies of government in addressing major risks like Cybersecurity and Online Fraud;  Regulatory burden Double Taxation; Vandalism of Telecommunication Infrastructures; Right of Way challenges; Access to Foreign Exchange and Inter-Industry Debt.

Prof. Danbatta, who was represented by the director of the Policy Competition and Economic Analysis Department at the Commission, Mrs. Yetunde Akiloye said the conference, among other benefits, is designed to expose participants to some of the approaches needed to properly manage the risk exposures, alongside harnessing the opportunities available from such risks.

‘‘It is pertinent to note the importance of this Conference in focusing attention on risks that impact all stakeholders, Operators, Consumers and therefore the Commission’s responsibilities in driving the Digital Economy agenda of the Federal Government.

‘‘The focus of the two-day Conference is to bring to the fore the ever-rising uncertainties in the global economy and the regulatory/operational risks in the areas of increased data security regulations, new partnerships and transforming business models, a fast-changing mix of mounting CAPEX burdens, shifting market structures, newly emerging disruption scenarios, regulatory and policy challenges amongst others,’’ he said, adding that the Commission, as the regulator of the Telecoms Industry, has been in the forefront of ensuring that the telecoms industry is not adversely impacted by these uncertainties/risks.

“One of our Strategic Visions is to ensure a competitive market for the communications services that foster fair inclusion of all players, promote local content and Innovative services in ways that facilitate new investment, job creation and consumer satisfaction.

‘‘We can all acknowledge our highly innovative people and the thriving digital economy, which is creating employment opportunities for Nigeria’s teeming population and enabling wealth creation for Nigerians, irrespective of where they live and work.

‘‘In addition, we equally note improvements in the Broadband penetration, which is 45.09% as of the end of September 2m and the development of Digital Industrial Parks (DIP) which will ensure digital skills acquisition, promote innovations, provide jobs and support the overall digital economy agenda of the Federal Government.

‘‘While risk management has been critical in our regulatory service delivery, we acknowledge that all stakeholders must be concerned about the varied uncertainties that the Industry is confronting.  The Information and Communication Technologies are inherently filled with several business and technology risks,’’ he said.

Notwithstanding these daunting challenges, the EVC expressed hope that the Commission will not relent until these risk elements are properly identified and adequate mitigation strategies are communicated to all stakeholders.

‘‘We will constructively collaborate with all stakeholders in sustaining a conducive environment that will continuously attract both local and foreign investors.

The conference is expected to position the industry to deal with the above-mentioned issues which will be of immense benefit to the telecoms industry and to individual operations, among other benefits.

‘‘It is equally designed to expose participants to some of the approaches needed to properly manage the risk exposures, alongside harnessing the opportunities available from such risks,’’ he added.

The NCC boss, however, implored participants in the conference to take seriously the theme and sub-themes, carefully chosen to meet the industry’s risk management needs.

He also charged the stakeholders to put their best foot forward and examine the myriad of issues that the Country is confronting in the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy 2020 – 2030.

This, he said is necessary for enhancing the development of a sustainable ICT sector in Nigeria. Representatives of key players and stakeholders of the Industry are participating in the event.

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