The Nigerian Communications Commission, or NCC, stated that it is not prepared to raise rates in response to the elimination of subsidies, claiming that such a decision must be made by the entire industry and needs more time.
NCC recently made this information public when Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Commission, and Mr. Rueben Mouka, the Commission’s Head of Public Affairs, were presented with Titans of Tech, or ToT, awards in Lagos.
Danbatta won Pan African Telecoms Operator of the Year, while Mouka won Digital Public Relations Communicator of the Year. Danbatta was represented at the event by Mr. Yomi Arowosafe, the Lagos Zonal Controller of the NCC.
Asked whether the Commission has plans to increase the tariff due to subsidy removal, Arowosafe said NCC does not just increase tariff without due consultations.
He said: “In NCC, we don’t just increase rates, we do a lot of industry consultation and that is left for the industry to determine.
“We run a participative system of engagement in NCC. We can’t even talk about increase now; it has to be a lot of engagements which takes time.”
Also speaking on the awards, he said; “For me, I’m elated that this has happened and this has shown that the industry is really doing well under the leadership of EVC. We thank Titans of Tech award for counting the EVC and NCC worthy of this awards.’
Meanwhile, earlier in his welcome address, former deputy governor of Lagos, Mr Femi Pedro, who commended the organisers of the awards for promoting and encouraging innovators in the country called for promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, STEM from primary to tertiary institutions.
Pedro said: “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, is what we need to be promoting in Nigeria particularly in our schools, we cannot be a technologically advanced nation unless we adopt STEM right from the primary, secondary schools and university.
“Our university education must have focused on STEM. We cannot compete in today’s world if we don’t adopt technology, it is in fact, a panacea for economic development and that is why I commend the organisers of this event.
“We must begin to encourage our entrepreneurs and young people to be innovative and creative. I believe that the fastest way to create wealth today is by the use of technology, many young people who have left school and are complaining that there are no jobs, need to sit down and use their creative power to come up with ideas that can be used to create wealth.
”On the part of the government, technology is not a government thing, it is a private sector enterprise, anybody can acquire it.
“Foreign investors are willing to bring capital to Nigeria because we have a huge population, mostly of young people who are ready and willing to use tech to drive wealth.