Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has told telecommunication operators to review their practices to conform with the code of corporate governance in the industry.
The executive commissioner, stakeholders management of the commission, Mr. Sunday Dare gave the charge at the annual stakeholders’ consultative forum on selected licence categories held in Lagos.
Represented by the director, licensing and authorisation, NCC, Ms Funlola Akiode, he called attention to existing service level agreements and codes of conduct in the telecommunications industry.
He said the service level agreements and codes of conduct, when appropriately implemented, would guarantee conducive operating environment.
According to him, such conducive operating environment will significantly reduce the need for regulatory intervention.
“I wish to particularly mention the code of corporate governance for the telecoms industry. We are concerned that much of the problems bedeviling the industry can, arguably, be traced to lax governance standards.
“We expect all licensees – including those on whom the code is not yet mandatory – to review their governance practices to better conform with the code,’’ he said.
Dare explained that the commission had taken steps to ensure that the industry continually adapts to the evolution in the telecommunications sector.
He said NCC-licensed infrastructure companies (InfraCos) would roll out shared access broadband infrastructure across the country, on an output-based incentive system, with a view to speeding up broadband penetration.
According to him, the commission has also recently concluded the licensing of value added services (VAS) aggregators to improve the service delivery framework and consumer satisfaction on value-added services.
“The framework will, therefore, ensure that telecommunication’s subscribers truly get added value when they sign up for such services. It will ensure that all stakeholders along the value chain are treated equitably so that the industry can grow.
“Our expectation is that licensees will compliment interventions like these from the commission by instituting best practices in the running of their activities,’’ he said.
The executive commissioner said NCC was not disregarding the impact of the disruptive changes brought about by advancements in technology, changing values and growing efficiency.
He said a consequence of the mix was that businesses were having to grapple with staying alive as their turnovers take successive hits.
He gave an example of the impact of Over-The-Top (OTT) services which according to him are eating into traditional revenue at a pace that barely allows legacy companies the wiggle room to respond to the changes taking place.
Also speaking the director, licensing and authorisation, NCC, Ms Funlola Akiode, who was represented by the head, post licensing unit, NCC, Mr. Chukwuma Azikiwe, said the forum was aimed at fostering harmonious relationship with licensees and identifying their challenges.
She said the forum was to re-emphasis the role of licensees in ensuring good quality of service.
She told the participants that the telecommunications industry had continued to make giant strides, which was evidenced in the progressive growth of mobile telephony and internet penetration/data usage.