The official launch of the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC), Strategic Vision Plan 2021-2025, Podcast and Book was a significant occasion to further showcase some of the strides in the NCC with the relentless endeavours to execute its mandate as an important agency of the Federal Government with the responsibility of regulating the telecom sector.
According to the Director-General of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, in his speech during the launch, said since his assumption of office, the Commission has focused on strategic objectives which are in tandem with the policy objectives of the Federal Government, under the leadership of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.
These strategic objectives which are a result of careful assessment of some existing policy frameworks have offered the Commission the opportunity to chart a course of action for the sector in a Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan (SVP) 2015-2020.
The items in the plan include, the facilitation of broadband penetration, improve the quality of service, optimize the usage and benefits of the spectrum, promote ICT investment and innovation, protect and empower consumers, promote fair competition and inclusive growth, facilitation of strategic collaboration and partnerships and finally, ensure regulatory excellence and operational efficiency.
In developing the SVP (2015-2020), the Commission had to leverage various policy documents, which included Nigeria’s National Broadband Plan (2013-2018) that had set a target of a five-fold increase in broadband penetration, from 6% in 2013 to 30% penetration by the end of 2018. The NCC recorded a broadband penetration of 31.48% in December 2018.
More so, it is important that cognizance of the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2014–2018 which defined clear strategic results in terms of themes such as facilitating market development, regulatory excellence, ICT penetration, and strategic partnering, be taken.
As an important stakeholder, even to the international community, the Communications Commission, in the development of the SVP (2015-2020), also aligned with the global focus of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Expectedly, the Vision Plan (2013-2018) of the ITU which had sustainability, inclusiveness and growth as the primary thrusts in defining the implementation items of the Plan was highly leveraged.
More auspicious at the launch was the unveiling of the NCC EVC’s official book. Not an academic or fiction book but an official compendium that represents a collection of his various speeches and presentations over his first tenure in office as Executive Vice Chairman.
The book was mindfully captioned, “Catalysing Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Transformation through Broadband Infrastructure” to underscore the centrality of broadband in our journey to a modern digital economy.
The third, final reason and by no means the least activity at the launch was the unveiling of the Commission’s new media channel, ‘NCC Global Connect’.
Therefore, today’s event not only encapsulates the vision, mission and drive of the NCC, but it also highlights our continuous quest to re-invent and re-invigorate ourselves to surpass the achievements of the past years.
The development of a new Strategic Vision Plan, SVP (2021-2025), is all in the bid to re-invigorate the Commission and take it to greater heights.
Meanwhile, the previous SVP brought about several notable advancements in the Nigerian telecommunications industry within the last five (5) years, as well as the current global realities such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Strategic Plan (2020 – 2023), the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 for a digital Nigeria, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government.
Thus, the new plan has been guided by and aligned to the NNBP (2020-2025), the NDEPS (2020-2030), the SMP (2020-2024), the ITU Strategic Plan and the ERGP of the Federal Government.
The new SVP 2021-2025 has five items namely; organizational renewal for operational efficiency and regulatory excellence, facilitating the provision of infrastructure for a digital economy which fosters national development, promoting fair competition, inclusive growth, increased investment and innovative services, improve quality of service (QoS) for enhanced consumer quality of experience (QoE) and facilitating strategic collaboration and partnership.
To ensure a strong commitment to its implementation, the new SVP also has inbuilt initiatives, key performance indicators developed from inception and activities tied to an implementation responsibility matrix.
It further incorporates timelines and a robust monitoring and evaluation mechanism. It is equally outcome-based and recommendation-driven with follow-up actions to guide the Commission in operationalizing the plan and assessing its performance over time.
The new SVP, no doubt, embodies several innovative elements deliberately designed to re-invent and transform the telecom ecosystem within the context of regulation.
In order to preserve the several speeches and presentations made both locally and internationally by the EVC for historical reference, the Commission carefully selected some of the speeches which capture the successes and challenges of the Nigerian communications sector from the NCC boss’s perspective, hence, the book, that contains the Compendium of EVC’s Speeches and Presentations.
The book titled, “Catalysing Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Transformation through Broadband Infrastructure” is sure to give readers the historical background and authoritative context to the growth that is now being enjoyed by the industry.
Apart from being the first of its kind, this book is unique because it is a bold statement in accountability. In it, Danbatta seized the opportunity to present to the public documentation of his discharge of the public trust emplaced on him.
Through this Compendium, it is hoped that the readers would easily see how the NCC’s Strategic Vision (SVP) for 2016-2020 was formed and how it has been implemented over five years. It will also enable the readers to appreciate the industry’s position, impacts and challenges over the five years covered by the Compendium.
Danbatta also noted that the Commission is standing on the threshold of history, as Nigeria marks 20 years of a liberalized telecommunications industry and this has further repositioned the Commission on a solid path to push towards greater success in the next decade.
He added that the Commission will continue to do their best in the discharge of the Commission’s mandate, especially in facilitating broadband deployment which is central to diversifying the Nigerian economy and for national development in line with the National Digital Economy agenda.
Certainly, broadband infrastructure has become the most critical development infrastructure in a modern economy. The Chairman also mentioned that it is a general belief that the communications industry, under the leadership of our current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, will experience more quantum leap and retain its current leadership role in delivering the much-needed development for the people of Nigeria.
In all, the Commission has positioned itself to participate fully and actively in the digital transformation of Nigeria consistent with the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 for a digital Nigeria and the Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024 of the Commission as well as other Government and ITU extant policy and regulatory documents respectively.
Talking about another innovative project, the NCC Podcast, the EVC said the embrace of innovation at the Commission is not an event. It is a continuous experience embedded in the corporate culture as an organization.
Over the years, the Commission has deployed various well-established conventional and social media platforms ranging from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter (banned for now) for their media and public relations activities.
However, they are not relenting in expanding their media frontiers as it is a necessity to reach more stakeholders with rich content to empower them and improve visibility locally and internationally.
Due to advancements in digital technologies, Podcasts have become increasingly popular as a medium of stakeholder engagement as they help increase these engagements organically and conversationally.
In keeping with these advancements, the NCC has created the Commission’s podcast channel called ‘NCC Global Connect’ that was recently launched as an additional social media channel of the Commission.
Establishing the podcast channel is in line with the strategic initiatives to boost the corporate image and visibility of the Commission via the adoption of innovative channels of communication by developing audio and video content to reach stakeholders within and outside the country as well as using it to attract the attention of prospective investors into the Nigerian telecommunications market.
It is believed that the NCC Podcast will complement the existing online media platforms in supporting the array of communications activities and collaborations by offering additional innovative ways and tools to engage with all stakeholders.
The audio content of the Podcast can be seamlessly accessed on various channels including Podcast Addict, Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, Google Music, iHeartRadio, Deezer and much more.
On NCC Global Connect, you can watch and listen to the most authoritative and current policy statements, regulations, guidelines, determinations and a host of other important policy pronouncements on the telecom sector by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, and regulatory pronouncements from the Board and Management of the NCC as well as other industry leaders in this dynamic sector.
Like the book, the Podcast has opened a new vista in the social media communication of the Commission. The Podcast is portable, timeless, boundless and global. Listeners can tune in to it anywhere, any time. It can listen hands-free on a Bluetooth earpiece while commuting.
Present at the launch were, the Secretary, Government of the Federation, Governor of Kaduna State, Governor of Kano State, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, Senators and Honourable Members of the National Assembly, Director-Generals/Chief Executives of Government Agencies, Traditional Rulers, Stakeholders in Nigeria’s ICT Industry, Board, Management and Staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Members of the Press and a host of other.
Danbatta concluded his speech by appreciating the Board, Management, Staff of the NCC and everyone present at the launch.