The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has detailed a number of legislative and regulatory steps it is pursuing in order to reaffirm its commitment to the continued development of the startup sector of Nigeria’s telecommunications ecosystem.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, the commission’s executive vice chairman and chief executive officer (EVC/CEO), announced the plans during a two-day regional Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Innovation Forum held in Enugu recently.
Representatives from the Commission’s strategic partners, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), tech hubs, innovators and tech entrepreneurs, as well as venture capitalists, attended the annual event, which had the theme “Digital Societies and Emerging Technologies: Leveraging ICTs to Build Information and Knowledge Societies for Achieving the Nation’s Digital Economy.”
Danbatta, who was represented by Kelechi Nwankwo, the NCC’s head of research and development, said the current momentum in Nigeria’s tech space is no doubt due to the Commission’s regulatory approach, stating that the NCC is committed to effective regulation of the telecoms sector in ways that do not inhibit competition but rather foster innovation, industry growth, and socioeconomic development.
According to him, the NCC, as a key driver in the ICT industry and a responsive organization, has put in place intentional policies and activities to help Nigerian entrepreneurs grow and scale up for greater global impact and value generation.
These initiatives, according to the EVC, include the aggressive and ongoing implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, which aims to increase broadband penetration to 70% by 2025; driving the implementation of the National Digital Economy and Policy Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030; and implementing the NCC’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024, all of which are streamlined in the Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) 2021-2025 to ensure regulatory compliance.
The ICT Hubs Support and Engagement Programmes, the annual ICT Innovation Competition and Exhibition, the Annual Hackathon, and the ongoing development of ICT parks across the country, according to Danbatta, are other similar initiatives put in place by the NCC to facilitate the development and sustainability of the tech startup ecosystem.