NCC’s Strategic Plan will Drive Digital Economy, Says Pantami

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Isa-Ibrahim-Pantami

Emma Okonji

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami has explained that the newly launched Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024 by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), will be a pedestal to drive the implementation of the Federal Government’s digital economy vision.

Pantami stated this during the virtual launch of the NCC’s five-year strategy plan in Abuja on Tuesday, which was attended by few invited officials from the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the NCC, other sister parastatals under the ministry, as well as critical stakeholders in the telecoms sector, who joined the launch virtually in compliance with the federal government’s directives on social distancing.

According to a statement from NCC, “The Strategic Management Plan (SMP) is a five-year plan with the objective to create a seamless strategy to augment its effective management and regulation of the telecommunications sector.”

The SMP is expected to leverage the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) as well as the new National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020 – 2025 Roadmaps, to achieve the country’s digital economy drive.

It will cover the guiding principles and act as the operations manual for the Commission towards actualising the digital economy agenda of the Federal Government in the next five years.

NCC said the SMP would be a vision document of the Commission for planning, monitoring, analyzing and assessment of the Commissions goals and objectives in the next five years.

According to the Minister, the launch of the SMP demonstrated the Commission’s serious improvement in performance matrix and its efforts in accelerating the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) and the National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020 – 2025 of the Federal Government.

“I feel very excited for the fact that there is a serious improvement in the performance of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The launch of this SMP 2020 – 2024 is a clear indication of that. When a parastatal is performing, it will create an innovative idea on how to be more successful. When a parastatal is not performing, you will not hear anything on how to implement policies and come up with different strategies and plans,” Pantami said.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the SMP remained the fulcrum that would aid the NCC in driving its telecoms regulatory mandate in the fast evolving telecoms industry, in the next five years. He said it would serve as a roadmap for the future of the Nigerian telecoms sector, taking into consideration the current and emerging trends in the industry and the numerous expectations of the diverse stakeholders.

The Chairman Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who was represented by Senator Obinna Agbo, praised the Commission for its exemplary performance and averred that the new SMP 2020 – 2024 would ensure the Commission is on course to deliver on the mandate of the federal government for a digital economy.

Deputy Director, Corporate Planning, Strategy and Risk Management, Ms Helen Obi, said the development of the new SMP for the next five years was initiated with the lapse of the previous one and it would help the Commission to effectively harness its internal resources to deliver on expectations of its external stakeholders and the industry as whole.

In their goodwill messages to the Commission, the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo; President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Olusola Teniola and President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, who joined the launch virtually, congratulated the Commission and expressed their view that the SMP 2020 – 2024 would add the needed impetus to the implementation of national digital economy policy of the government.

According to Ogunbanjo, “The NCC’s 2013 – 2018 Strategic Management Plan was meant to achieve 30 per cent broadband penetration. The Dambatta led administration has achieved and surpassed this goal to reach 43 per cent penetration, with a new plan to attain 70 per cent penetration by 2025.”

According to Obi; “Our primary goal in organising the launch, therefore, is to present the finished work to our esteemed stakeholders and solicit your buy-in and support in ensuring that our shared vision and mission of providing best-in-class regulatory services towards achieving a digitised economy is sustainably accomplished.”