The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that the only way to prevent an increase in telecom tariffs is for Nigerians to start creating indigenous content that will add value to the telecom service and reduce importation.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, who stated this during the second edition of the Nigerian Telecommunications Indigenous Content Expo (NTICE 2023), noted that despite the rising costs and the forex instability, telecom tariffs have remained stable in Nigeria.
He, however, noted that an increase would be inevitable if all components of the telecom services were still being imported.
Sustaining improved QoS
While noting that the quality of service and quality of experience in telecom service has improved over the years, the EVC said:
- “It is 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, an increase in telecoms tariff will be inevitable.”
Danbatta reiterated the commitment of the Commission to the drive of the Federal Government to place the Nigerian Economy on a sustainable pedestal through all the necessary policies put in place.
He said this was why the NCC 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 NCC boss said the NODITS was given four areas of focus which include Manufacturing, Human Capacity, Research and development (R&D), and Software and 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 a 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 through Angel Investments, R&D support, exposure to Investors, and sponsorship to local and international tech events.
- “Another key achievement of our policies is the ban on the importation of whole-body SIM cards which was announced at the maiden NTICE event last year.
- “This ban has not only eased the burden on our demand for foreign exchange but has also created a business in excess of N55 billion for the local SIM card manufacturers in Nigeria which in turn has created direct and indirect jobs,” he said.
Due to the increasing costs, telecom operators in Nigeria have since last year been clamouring for an increase in tariffs. The telecom regulator has, however, prevented them f