NCC begins review of telecoms license structure

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has commenced a review of the existing licensing structure for telecoms operators.

The Commission said the development was in response to global trends and the dynamics in the information and communication technology ecosystem.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has raised a Standing Committee to carry out the task.

A statement by the Director of Public Affairs of the NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said the review became necessary given that the current license structure is 20 years old.

The statement quoted Danbatta as saying that the review was necessary to address a “wide range of technological advances, a convergence of technologies and services which have characterized the global telecoms space over the years”.

He added the impact of such advancement is increasingly being experienced in Nigeria.

Danbatta said: “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 the 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.”

While noting the work of the Standing Committee will be carried out in phases, Danbatta said effective delivery of the Committee’s task will help the Commission 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 fees, 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.

The Director, Licensing and Authorisation, NCC, and Chairman of the Committee, Mohammad Babajika, promised that the Committee would deliver on the terms of their assignment.