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NCC tasks licensees on efficient operation

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The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) on Thursday said it was making moves to ensure that licensees operate at optimal strength.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umaru Danbatta, made this known during a two-day ‘Talk to the Regulator’ Consultative Forum’ organised by the commission in Lagos.

Danbatta, who was represented by Mr Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management of NCC, said that the industry could only achieve the national interest objectives set out in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) and other policy instruments if licensees operated at optimal strength.

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“We are very much aware that not all our licensees are doing well.

“Several licensees are struggling to pay their staff, many are unable to comply with basic licence obligations, while some are defaulting in the payment of their Annual Operating Levies (AOL).

“Also, the level of interconnect and other inter-licensee indebtedness is still unacceptably high,” Danbatta said.

He said the commission would continue to roll-out forward-looking and all-inclusive regulatory initiatives to provide market opportunities for all its licensees.

Danbatta said NCC was also committed to the constant review of it licensing framework as well as key regulatory instruments to ensure better service delivery for consumers and efficient attainment of other national interest objectives.

In his remarks, Mr Mohammed Babajika, Director, Licensing and Authorisation Department of NCC, said that the forum was organised to identify the challenges of licensees in the course of doing business with a view to providing regulatory interventions.

Babajika said the forum was also a unique opportunity for the commission to extensively interact with Licensees as well as foster a harmonious relationship with them.

He noted that although the commission was fully aware of its duties of providing a conducive telecommunication environment, it could only achieve it with the cooperation and support of licensees with respect to compliance of extant laws.

“The Commission, therefore, recognises the importance of various service providers, hence, the need to constantly engage them, with a view to identifying challenges and collectively proffering solutions to them,” Babajika said.

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