May 1, 2016 | General News
NCC rules out plans to ban VAS
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that it had no plan to ban mobile advertisements which are sent as Value Added Services (VAS) to subscribers through the network of mobile telephone operators. Executive vice chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who made this known at a Consultative Forum on the Draft Regulatory Framework for the provision of Value Added Services, in the country, said also that the NCC did not intend to cripple the businesses of the VAS providers even as the Commission was concerned about subscribers' complaints over unsolicited text messages from the operators. He said that the decision to regulate the VAS providers' borders on the need to consolidate the gains of the telecoms sector, and that the VAS segment is overdue for regulation as envisaged in the eight-point agenda of the Commission, particularly on the need to promote ICT innovation and investment opportunities. 'Except we determined to develop and encourage quality local contents in Nigeria by rewarding content developers who as the major players in the VAS segment of the industry, our vision will be obstructed', he said. According to him, the NCC stands at the threshold of history as the regulatory authority of telecommunications in Nigeria to create a level playing field for all stakeholders and to ensure that each stakeholders gets commensurate value for the roles they play in the industry. He pointed out that the task of regulating the industry remained a collective one, which is a moral duty of stakeholders stressing that value addition in the sector is essentially on the shoulders of the small and medium scales enterprises, SMEs. Danbatta pointed out that it was the SMEs' with innovative ideas that had the potential to create jobs and contribute to the economic growth and development of the country saying that the draft regulatory framework is a product of multiply effort and reflections. He explained that the document's principal focus was to encourage critical players participate in the VAS subsector by defining the roles and responsibilities of each player in a manner that is transparent, healthy and jointly beneficial. Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman of the Association License Telecommunications Companies of Nigerian (ALTON), said that the association was mindful of the concern of the raised by the NCC concerning the complains of subscribers saying that operators in the industry they have also received personal complains. He noted that ALTON was aware that whatever affects the subscriber also affects the operators noting that trust if lost will never be regain, and that as such the Commission should count on the support of the association.