… NCC counts gains of ban on SIM Cards importation
Professor Umar Danbatta, the executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has enumerated key achievements made in the Nigeria’s telecommunications industry since the first edition of the Nigerian Telecommunication Indigenous Content Expo (NTICE).
He highlighted that the policy that places ban on importation of whole- body SIM cards which was announced at the maiden NTICE event last year, has led to economic gains.
This ban, Danbatta said, has not only eased the burden on the country’s demand for foreign exchange but has also created business in excess of N55bn for the local SIM card manufacturers.
The EVC, speaking at the ongoing NTICE 2023 though Engineer Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services at NCC, said that ban on importation of whole-body SIM cards, in turn, has created direct and indirect jobs.
“Nigeria with its rich history of innovation, resilience, and creativity as well as our diverse culture, talents, and perspectives has birthed solutions that uniquely cater for our challenges and aspirations”, he said.
He said that without any doubt, the Nigerian Telecoms Sector is amongst the biggest contributors to socio-economic growth of the country, as evidenced by the numerous achievements of the sector.
“It is not out of place to mention that the sector’s performance was instrumental to lifting Nigeria out of recession with 12.45% contribution to the GDP in Q4 2020. This figure increased to 14.13% as at Q1 2023.
“The Sector is also home to two (2) of the most valuable listed companies in Nigeria with a collective market capitalization in excess of N10.45 trillion,” Danbatta said.
Recall also that the Commission in 2021 and 2022, generated revenue in excess of USD$820m from the auction and grant of 3.5GHz Spectrum band licences to three operators to boost the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) services in Nigeria. This placed Nigeria on the global 5G map ahead of many countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
“It is also important to note that while Quality of Service and Quality of Experience in telecommunications services in Nigeria have continued to improve, tariffs have remained stable notwithstanding the increase in cost-of-service provision to the telecom operators. In order to sustain and further improve Quality of Service and Quality of Experience in telecommunications services in Nigeria, we must embrace indigenous content and value creation within the telecoms value chain, otherwise, increase in telecoms tariff will be inevitable.
“The Commission is fully committed to the drive of the Federal Government to place the Nigerian Economy on a sustainable pedestal through all the necessary policies put in place.
“When we created the Nigeria Office for Development of Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS) as a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Commission to drive the National Policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector in July 2021, the Office was given four areas of focus: Manufacturing, Human Capacity, Research & Development (R&D) and Software & Services development for the telecoms sector.
“Today, I am happy to inform you that NTICE is one of the achievements of NCC through NODITS because it has served not only to promote Pillar number 5 (Strategic Partnering) of the Strategic Management Plan SMP 2020- 2024 of the Commission but has also become the flagship indigenous content event for the industry.
“The Commission has also incentivized the manufacturing of Corrugated Optical Duct (COD) that will be used to protect our fibre infrastructure from the incessant cuts experienced by our service providers.
“The Commission is equally committed to continuously supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Innovators to promote our talented young persons and ventures though Angel Investments, R&D support, exposure to Investors and sponsorship to local and international tech events.
He further stressed that the NTICE 2023 platform is a celebration of these achievements, a testament to the Nigerian spirit of ingenuity.