IT News Nigeria:
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stated that through effective regulations, driven by various legal instruments, telecom sector has, over the years, become a major contributor to the national economy.
Principal Manager, Legal and Regulatory Services at NCC, Ibe Ngwoke said this during the ‘Meet the Regulator Forum’ organised by the Commission for lawyers and law school students at the Nigerian Law School (NLS), Abuja Campus recently.
Ngwoke noted that, in the last quarter of 2019, the digital economy fetched Nigeria 13.1 percent (about N2.6 trillion) of the country’s GDP, as against oil and gas, which contributed 11.32 percent in the same period.
“With the recently unveiled National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) in November 2019 by the Federal Government, and giving other extant necessary legal instruments, the contribution from the entire ICT industry is going to improve significantly,” he said.
The regulator said the legal sensitisation programme designed for lawyers will hold in all geopolitical zones to create more awareness about the legal environment of telecommunication regulations.
Also speaking, Yetunde Akinloye, Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC, said the Nigerian telecoms industry is principally governed by the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, which empowers the Commission, as an independent telecoms regulatory authority, to, among others, regulate stakeholders in the sector and implement government’s policy on communications.
Akinloye said the Commission has also been using the Act to protect and promote consumer interests and grant licences to operators, and she also stated that the Act empowers NCC to manage scarce resources such as spectrum and numbering plan, to investigate and resolve disputes in the industry, and to develop and enforce regulations and guidelines in the general interest of the consumers.
She averred that the exercise of the Commission’s powers as enshrined in the Act has helped the NCC to bring about digital transformation in the country with impressive contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and to trigger positive multipliers effects on all other sectors of the economy.
According to the NCC Director of Legal and Regulatory Services, “we have recognised the role of lawyers in telecoms regulations and laws. This is why we have put in place this forum to create a meeting point between NCC as a regulator and legal practitioners. We are here to sensitise you to NCC’s activities from legal perspective, knowing full well that you have a role to play in further development of the sector.”
“More legal practitioners are needed in the country with specialisation in telecoms-related laws in our quest to continue to boost our regulatory frameworks for the continued growth of the telecommunications sector,” she said.
In his presentation, Jerry Ugwu, Deputy Director, Legal & Regulatory Services at NCC, also amplified Akinloye’s position. He stated that the sector needed more telecommunications lawyers with a broad perspective on the NCC Act 2003.