Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated its commitment to collaborate with telecommunications companies to maximise the opportunities that are available within the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which effectively took off in January 2021.
The executive vice-chairman (EVC) of the commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, stated this at the weekend while delivering his speech at the ‘NCC Special Day’, held at the ongoing Abuja International Trade Fair tagged “Exploring the Opportunities of Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).’’
The EVC, who was represented by the director of public affairs Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said that the theme of this year’s international trade fair was very central to pan-Africanism philosophy and speaks to how countries in the African continent seek to work together to promote their common economic agenda.
“Nigeria joined the list of African countries that had signed up to the trade agreement since July 2019 and the NCC has demonstrated its commitment to AfCFTA initiative by organising a stakeholder sensitisation workshop for telecoms industry stakeholders to explore opportunities the trade agreement offers for the government, investors and the consumers within the telecoms sector,” he said.
The commission noted that in line with the federal government’s objectives, it will ensure that the telecommunications sector continues to strengthen its contribution to GDP and a larger extent the Nigerian economy.
AfCTA provides opportunities for an economic boost and competitive advantage for the over $70 billion Nigerian telecommunications sector in the continental free trade area, which experts said will extend Nigeria’s access to communications services to 1.2 billion people across the African continent.
Danbatta also said the Trade Fair provides a level-playing ground for operators to thrive, promote investment and delivery of innovative services to consumers, and ensure enhanced consumer quality of experience in the country.
“This year’s edition of the trade fair provides yet another golden opportunity for us, as the regulator of Nigeria’s telecommunications sector, to engage face-to-face with telecoms consumers, who occupy a very strategic segment among our telecoms stakeholders.
“In addition to developing strategies for market entry and market exploitation for Nigeria-based telecom investors for ensuring improved service delivery to telecoms consumers, the Commission has been able to identify areas of comparative advantage for the Nigerian telecoms stakeholders.
“The consumer is King and this philosophy has consistently guided the Commission’s regulatory stance.”