Regulator Pledges to Stimulate Local Investment in Telecoms Sector

Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta

By Emma Okonji

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has re-affirmed the Commission’s commitment to always promote any initiative capable of stimulating local and foreign investment in the Nigerian telecommunications sector.

Danbatta stated this when he played host to the executive members of the Association of Mobile Phone and Accessories Traders (AMPAT) in Kano, who visited to discuss how to harness investment opportunities in the Nigerian communications sector. AMPAT members were led by their Chairman, Musa Mmza, who disclosed that AMPAT currently has over five million members across the six geo-political zones in the country. He said the members had over the years, diversified their business approaches in the telecoms industry with some now venturing into investing in local production of phone accessories such as phone chargers, power banks, hand-free cables and other telecoms devices.

Mmza acknowledged the role played by the NCC in the formation of the association, saying the guidance received from the Commission resulted in the formal establishment of AMPAT and regularisation of its membership.

He further stated that AMPAT, “has plans to initiate and set up a mobile phone manufacturing and assembly plant in Nigeria as a way of keying into the federal government’s vision of boosting local investment and stimulating local content generation and development in Nigeria.”

While commending the executive members of AMPAT, Danbatta commended their efforts and plans for growing the communications industry in Nigeria, which, he said, is in line with the mandate of the NCC, as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003 and in accordance with its 8-Point Agenda, which seeks to promote Information and Communication Technology (ICT) innovation and investment opportunities in the sector.

“The Commission is always in support of any investor, be it local or foreign, who wants to invest in the Nigerian telecoms market. We do give them necessary support within the ambit of the NCC Act. Nigeria is a huge market of over 200 million population. So, the Commission is always ready to support any initiative aimed at serving this huge population better,” he said.

While stating that the Federal Government has been creating the enabling environment for businesses across various sector to thrive through policy around ease of doing business, reduction of entry barriers, among others, Danbatta, however, advised AMPAT executive members, “to visit the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), which is statutorily established to properly guide potential investors be it local or foreign on their investment plans in the country.”