NCC Act 2003 should be deepened to protect small operators ― Ayoola Oke

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Special Adviser to the former Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Ernest Ndukwe, Ayoola Oke has advised that the Nigerian Communications Commission Act 2003 should be deepened to protect small operators.

Ayoola, who is also a legal luminary and Principal Partner, Ayoola Babatunde Oke & Co, noted that this is the reason why small operators are experiencing untimely death without making any tangible impact on the country’s economy.

NCC Act 2003 should be deepened to protect small operators ― Ayoola Oke

He said this while discussing Developing Telecommunications Law: Jurisprudence and Judicial precedents, an X-ray of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, with newsmen recently in Lagos.

The Lawyer explained that big operators always end up with legacy issues; hence, the need to review sections 91 and 92 of the Act which focuses on competition regulation.

“The Nigerian Communications Commission Act 2003 should be deepened to protect the local or small operators.

Ayoola Oke – Digital Africa Group

“In telecommunications and Information Communications and Technology, it is almost as if the regulator holds down the big operators and this gives reasons to why the small operators are dying without meaningful impact on the country’s economy.

“Why it is important to protect the small telecommunication companies is that big operators always end up with legacy issues.

“They would have invested money into big projects. So, when technology changes, they would be able to adapt because of their financial wherewithal but the local operators won’t be able to.

“Section 91, 92 which talks about how NCC should regulate competition. I think there is a need to add some principle especially when it comes protecting the small and upcoming operators,” He said

While distinguishing between the Act of 1992 and that of 2003, Oke said that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is yet to fully implement the 2003 Act and such affecting the effectiveness of the regulatory framework.

The Industry expert noted that the Act established not just a board of NCC but a professional board and governing board but the regulator has not been following the professionalism of the board.



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