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Over-regulation on the agenda in Nigeria

The Nigerian government’s interest in regulating telecoms services and the ‘agitation’ of telecoms service providers against excessive regulation, are conflicting to the detriment of subscribers, writes Emma Okonji in This Day. The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), for instance, has sealed up base stations of telecoms operators in an attempt to regulate the environment in which telecoms service providers operate, while different states have empowered different agencies to regulate telecoms operations in their states. At the local government level, agencies have also sprung up, empowered by local government councils to regulate telecoms in local government areas where there are telecoms masts and base stations. “In the process of regulation, agencies have designed several methods of collecting fees and levies from the operators. And the operators are saying that the action of government amounts to over-regulation of the sector.” The head of Nigeria’s national regulator, NCC, has though said: “We do agree that some sister agencies tend to be over-zealous in trying to help us do our job and in the process, create unnecessary difficulties for our telecoms operators. However, this is being addressed at the various levels of government and I can promise that the story will be much better very soon.”
He added: “One of our focus areas is to facilitate broadband penetration and be able to meet the nation’s 30% broadband rollout target by 2018. This can only happen in a harmonious environment where the operators are encouraged to roll out, and where the regulator and other important relevant stakeholders are not encumbered with unnecessary distractions.” Read more

  • Thursday, 03 November 2016

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