NCC to commence review of existing telecoms licensing structure

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that it has started the process of reviewing the existing telecoms licensing structure in Nigeria, in a bid to upgrade the current licensing structure, which is 20 years old, to global standards.

This was disclosed in a statement by Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC public affairs director, quoting the NCC Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) Prof. Umar Danbatta who said he has inaugurated an in-house Standing Committee to carry out the task, in a bid to bring licensing terms to modern standards.

The NCC boss added that the review of the licensing standards is necessitated by a wide range of technological advances and the convergence of technologies and services being felt in Nigeria, citing that the current licensing structure is almost 20 years old and the commission sees a need for a review to reflect modern licensing trends and global standards.

“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,” Dr Adinde said.

The NCC boss added that the committee would be rolled out in different phases to ensure efficient service delivery and enable the NCC to execute a process that would lead to the review of the terms and conditions of the various license categories.

He disclosed that the processes 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.

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Meanwhile, the Committee has a seven-point deliverable agenda set by the NCC which includes a comprehensive review of existing licenses; report and recommendations on consultative fora; a report on recommended new license undertakings; a report on recommended amendment to license fees and durations; a report on benchmarking of licenses with similar jurisdictions, and a report on the impact of certain licenses on other license holders.

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Nairametrics recently reported that the NCC has concluded plans to roll out a new Mobile International Termination Rate (ITR), following the finalization of the process for determining the cost-based price of ITR to ensure healthy competition on traffic handling for voice services between local and international operators in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, in Q1 2021, Nigeria’s telecommunications sector recorded a GDP growth rate of 7.69%, the slowest since the first quarter of 2018 when it grew at just 1.88%. Nigeria’s telecoms sector constitutes about 11.66% of real GDP, thus one of the largest sectors in the economy. In the third and last quarter of 2020, the sector grew at 17.36% and 17.65% respectively.

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