NCC’s milestones since 2015(9): Boosting Quality of Service, Investors’ Confidence and Operational Efficiency
In keeping with its continuous commitment towards ensuring that telecoms operators deliver consistently improved QoS to their over 179 million subscribers, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), in the last four years, embarked on a series of initiatives that have relatively helped in boosting the quality of service delivery across mobile networks. Through continuous monitoring of operators’ compliance with the Key Performance Indicator (KPS) on Quality of service (QOS) on a state-by-state level, as against measuring operators’ compliance on a national average basis, the regulator helped to boost QoS delivery in this regards. Today, complaints associated with call drops and related have reduced remarkably.
The Commission also stepped up stakeholder engagement and collaboration both within the private and public sectors of the economy to address salient and trendy issues affecting the industry, as it continues to make remarkable inroads in this direction.
The Commission’s timely interventions in Ogun, Kano and Kogi states among others to resolve cases of indiscriminate shutdown of telecoms sites by state agencies over disputed taxes and levies are worthy of highlighting. In Kogi State, for instance, more than 70 base stations were sealed by the Kogi Inland Revenue Service (KIRS) in 2018. Going by the nature of telecommunications service, which relies on 24/7 availability, each time a base station is shut down or sealed by a state agency, it automatically affects several services depending on such telecoms platform for proper functioning, exerting adverse effect on the economy of the affected area as a whole. It is instructive to note that a similar intervention by the Commission, in collaboration with the CBN, helped to rescue Etisalat Nigeria (now 9mobile) from the brink of collapse following a financial crisis involving a $1.2 billion syndicated loan obtained by the telco from a consortium of 13 banks. The landmark intervention gave the hitherto troubled telco a new lease of life as it has now regained its growth momentum.
Assuring investors of the regulator’s determination with regards to their safety of their investment in Nigeria, Danbatta had said at a forum that, “The NCC is working to address challenges facing the industry and most importantly, in the area of achieving a more friendly and enabling operating environment for faster telecoms infrastructure deployment. Only through this can we have improved Quality of Service (QoS) that will automatically translate to an improved Quality of Experience (QoE) for the over 172 million telecoms consumers in the country as well as sustain the confidence of investors in the telecom industry.”
He added further that, “the industry, having achieved over $70 billion investment, requires even greater infrastructure investment to achieve better digital transformation for our nation. To this end, all hands must be on deck. We need to understand the critical role access to telecoms services play in all the facets of our economy and we must work together to support the industry’s sustainability through improved quality of service and quality of experience for the consumers.”
The NCC, from time to time, engages consulting firms to carry out studies that aid its regulatory decision towards engendering healthy competition in the industry. For instance, the Commission engaged KPMG Professional Services to conduct a Study on the Assessment of the Level of Competition in the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry. Today, competition has led to optimal performance from the different service providers because there is always that pressure from the insatiable consumers.
It is important to state that all the successes so far recorded in the Nigerian telecom sector in the last four years have been as a result of its enthronement of regulatory excellence and operational efficiency. Today, its role as telecom industry watchdog has been able to stamp out monopoly through engendering healthy competition and protecting the interests of both the service providers cum investors as well as the subscribers. Local and international awards have come the way of the Commission in droves in recognition of its efforts in this regards.
Consistent with its commitment to engender operational efficiency, the Commission in inaugurated the use of a five-storey building constructed by Commission, in 2019, essentially meant to complement its Maitama Headquarters Building. Located at 1253 Cadastral Zone, Mbora District, Abuja, the project had been abandoned for a long period for lack of funds to complete the massive structure. Besides providing nearly a hundred-room office accommodation, the new building is equipped with facilities such as swimming pool, lawn tennis courts, underground car parks and a 600-seater auditorium for conferences and seminars.
Currently, no fewer than five departments of the Commission have since moved into the new building now called ‘NCC Head Office Annex’, using the world-class facilities and this has improved their operational efficiency. The move has also helped to significantly decongest the Head Office Building of the Commission located at Maitama District, Abuja for effective regulatory operations. More importantly, the continuous hosting of most of the Commission’s activities inside the 600-seater auditorium architecturally situated within the new building is said to have been resulting in appreciable cost-saving for the Commission. This move, thus, gives concrete expression to the Commission’s compliance with the cost-cutting measures of the Federal Government as directed by the supervising ministry.