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NCC unveils SMP, plans to boost Nigeria's $25b telecoms sector

By The Citizen

A five-year Strategic Master Plan (SMP) that will improve and increase the level of investments in Nigeria's $25 billion telecommunications sector was at the weekend unveiled by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Specifically, the five-year plan, which is from 2013 to 2017, would also see the NCC improve on its regulatory functions.

The formal unveiling of the plan by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah in Abuja, was the culmination of over 12 months of industry consultations in a process managed by PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PWC), with the cross section of the industry stakeholders and staff of the commission making inputs at various stages of its articulation.

Juwah, who presided over the presentation of the details of the plan by PWC to the senior management of the commission, before handing over to Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Okechukwu Itanyi, said the formal unveiling of the new SMP will serve as a roadmap for the future, taking into consideration the current and emerging trends in the industry and the numerous expectations of the diverse stakeholders.

He said the SMP document is a living document, which must be consulted regularly to ensure that the Commission is on track towards achieving the objectives, which have been collectively articulated.

'A robust SMP like ours has many purposes such as ensuring the alignment of day-to-day work to the Commission's strategy; prioritizing programmes and projects to achieve NCC's goals and objectives; ensuring optimal use of NCC's recourses; providing objective basis for performance monitoring and management, and meeting the Commission's vision and mission', he said.

The Commission also announced a retune of its mission which now says is to 'support a market driven communications industry and promote universal access' while the vision now reads, 'to be a responsive world class communications regulatory organization'.

Director of Public Affairs of NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo who expatiated on the new vision and mission, said both are predicated on the dynamic nature of the industry today.

He recapped that the idea of the new mission designed to support market driven communications industry and promote universal access is because of the new direction the industry is taking, especially in the area of convergence and frontiers of broadband Internet services which are all aimed at providing quality access to all.

On the new vision, which is to be a responsive communications industry regulator, he said this is to put the Commission in a position to be able to quickly respond to the dynamics of the industry for optimum delivery to all the industry stakeholders, especially the consumers.

He said the overarching principle behind the new mission and vision is 'to promote an information rich environment that can compete globally through the provision of quality communications service'.

The Director of Corporate Planning and Strategy, Ms. Funlola Akiode, said the journey to produce the SMP was arduous but worth the while, stressing that it will add value to the telecommunications sector in the country.