FOR THE RECORD: Danbatta’s speech at launch of compendium, NCC plan, podcast

Danbatta pivots Nigeria’s socio-economic development on ICT adoption

Being speech delivered by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, during the launch of the commission’s Strategic Vision Plan 2021-2025, Podcast and the compendium of his speeches.

It is with a profound sense of honour and privilege that I welcome you all to this very important occasion.

This significant occasion affords us the opportunity of showcasing some of our strides in the Nigerian Communications Commission and our relentless endeavours to execute our mandate as an important agency of the Federal Government with the responsibility of regulating the telecom sector.

Since my assumption of office, we have focused on strategic objectives which are in tandem with the policy objectives of the Federal Government, under the leadership of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.

Our strategic objectives, the result of a careful assessment of some existing policy frameworks, offered us the opportunity to chart a course of action for the sector in a Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan (SVP) 2015-2020, which items are as follows:

  1. Facilitate Broadband Penetration;
  2. Improve Quality of Service;
  3. Optimize Usage and Benefits of Spectrum;
  4. Promote ICT Investment and Innovation;
  5. Protect and Empower Consumers;
  6. Promote Fair Competition and Inclusive Growth;
  7. Facilitate Strategic Collaboration and Partnerships; and
  8. Ensure Regulatory Excellence and Operational Efficiency

In developing the SVP (2015-2020), we had leveraged various policy documents, which included the Nigeria’s National Broadband Plan (2013-2018) that had set a target of five-fold increase in broadband penetration, from 6% in 2013 to 30% penetration by the end of 2018. The NCC recorded a broadband penetration of 31.48% in December 2018.

Perhaps more auspicious is the unveiling of my official book. It is not an academic or a fiction book.

We also took cognizance of the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2014–2018 which defined clear strategic results in terms of themes such as facilitating market development, regulatory excellence, ICT penetration, and Strategic Partnering.

Indeed, as an important stakeholder, even to the international community, we had, in the development of the SVP (2015-2020), also aligned with the global focus of the International Telecommunications Union, (ITU). Expectedly, we leveraged on the Vision Plan (2013-2018) of the ITU which had sustainability, inclusiveness and growth as the primary thrusts in defining our implementation items of the Plan.

Today, here in this Complex, we are at the cusp of yet another history as we launch a new Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan (SVP) 2021-2025, which will define our strategic thrusts for the next five years. But that is not the only reason for this gathering.

Perhaps more auspicious is the unveiling of my official book. It is not an academic or a fiction book. It is an official compendium that represents a collection of my various speeches and presentations over the period of my first tenure in office as Executive Vice Chairman. The book has been mindfully captioned, “Catalysing Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Transformation through Broadband Infrastructure” to underscore the centrality of broadband in our journey to a modern digital economy.

The third and final reason we are here, and by no means the least, is the unveiling of the Commission’s new media channel – NCC Global Connect.

Therefore, today’s event not only encapsulates the vision, mission and drive of the NCC, it highlights our continuous quest to re-invent and re-invigorate ourselves in order to surpass the achievements of the past years.

The New SVP 2021-2025

As I stated earlier, the need to re-invigorate the Commission and take it to greater heights has informed the development of a new Strategic Vision Plan. Today, we will be unveiling the new SVP (2021–2025), which will be the successor to the SVP (2015-2020).

We have taken cognizance of the several notable advancements in the Nigerian telecommunications industry within the last five (5) years, as well as the current global realities such as International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Strategic Plan (2020 – 2023), the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 for a digital Nigeria, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government. Thus, the new plan has been guided by and aligned to the NNBP (2020-2025), the NDEPS (2020-2030), the SMP (2020-2024), the ITU Strategic Plan and the ERGP of the Federal Government.

The new SVP 2021-2025 has five items namely:

  1. Organizational Renewal for Operational Efficiency and Regulatory Excellence;
  2. Facilitating the Provision of Infrastructure for a Digital Economy which fosters National Development;
  3. Promoting Fair Competition, Inclusive Growth, Increased investment and Innovative Services;
  4. Improve Quality of Service (QoS) for Enhanced Consumer Quality of Experience (QoE); and
  5. Facilitating Strategic Collaboration and Partnership.

To ensure strong commitment to its implementation, the new SVP also has inbuilt initiatives, key performance indicators developed from inception and activities tied to an implementation responsibility matrix.

It also incorporates timelines and a robust monitoring and evaluation mechanism. It is equally outcome-based and recommendation-driven with follow-up actions to guide the Commission in operationalising the plan and assessing its performance over time.

The new SVP, no doubt, embodies several innovative elements deliberately designed to re-invent and transform the telecom ecosystem within the context of regulation. This takes me to the next innovative project, the Compendium of EVC’s Speeches and Presentations.

The Compendium of EVC’s Speeches and Presentations

As the chief regulator of this very dynamic telecom sector, I have had the opportunity to deliver several speeches and make presentations both locally and internationally. In order to preserve these speeches for historical reference, we have carefully selected some of the speeches which capture the successes and challenges of the Nigerian communications sector from my perspective. The book titled: “Catalysing Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Transformation through Broadband Infrastructure” is sure to give readers the historical background and authoritative context to the growth that is now being enjoyed by the industry.

Apart from being the first of its kind, this book is unique because it is a bold statement in accountability. In it, I seized the opportunity to present to the public a documentation of my discharge of the public trust emplaced on me. Through this Compendium, it is hoped that the reader would easily see how the NCC’s Strategic Vision (SVP) for 2016-2020 has been formed and how it has been implemented over five years. It will also enable the reader to appreciate the industry’s position, impacts and challenges over the five years covered by the Compendium.

The Commission is standing on the threshold of history, as Nigeria marks 20 years of a liberalized telecommunications industry and this has further repositioned the Commission on a solid path to push towards greater success in the next decade.

We will continue to do our best in the discharge of the Commission’s mandate, especially in facilitating broadband deployment which is central to diversifying the Nigerian economy and for national development in line with the National Digital Economy agenda.

Certainly, broadband infrastructure has become the most critical development infrastructure in a modern economy.  It is our belief that the communications industry, under the leadership of our current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, will experience more quantum leap and retain its current leadership role in delivering the much needed development for the people of Nigeria.

In all, the Commission has positioned itself to participate fully and actively in the digital transformation of Nigeria consistent with the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 for a digital Nigeria and the Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024 of the Commission as well as other Government and ITU extant policy and regulatory documents respectively.

NCC Podcast Channel

Our embrace of innovation at the Commission is not an event. It is a continuous experience embedded in our corporate culture as an organisation. Over the years, we have deployed various well-established conventional and social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter (banned for now) – for our media and public relations activities. But we are not relenting in expanding our media frontiers. We want to reach more and more of our stakeholders with our rich content to empower them and improve our visibility locally and internationally.

So, like a book, our Podacast opens a new vista in our social media communication. The Podcast is portable, timeless, boundless and global.

Due to advancements in digital technologies, Podcasts have become increasingly popular as a medium of stakeholder engagement as they help increase these engagements in an organic and conversational way. In keeping with these advancements, we have created the Commission’s podcast channel “NCC Global Connect” to be launched today as an additional social media channel of the Commission.

Establishing the podcast channel is in line with our strategic initiatives to boost the corporate image and visibility of the Commission via the adoption of innovative channels of communication by developing audio and video contents to reach our stakeholders within and outside the country as well as using it to attract the attention of prospective investors into the Nigerian telecommunications market.

It is our belief that the NCC Podcast will complement our existing online media platforms in supporting the array of our communications activities and collaborations by offering additional innovative ways and tools to engage with our stakeholders. The audio content of our Podcast can be seamlessly accessed on various channels including Podcast Addict, Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, Google Music, iHeartRadio, Deezer and much more.

On NCC Global Connect, you can watch and listen to the most authoritative and current policy statements, regulations, guidelines, determinations and a host of other important policy pronouncements on the telecom sector by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, and regulatory pronouncements from the Board and Management of the NCC as well as other industry leaders in this dynamic sector.

So, like a book, our Podacast opens a new vista in our social media communication. The Podcast is portable, timeless, boundless and global. You can tune in to it anywhere, any time. You can listen to it hands-free on your Bluetooth earpiece while commuting. I hope you enjoy the novel and exciting platform by making the most use of it.

I sincerely extend the appreciation of the Board, Management and Staff of the NCC to all of you for your support and for honoring us with your kind presence at this event.

Thank you!

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta FNSE, FAEng, FRAES, FNIEEE

Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer