By Ndubuisi Michaels
The Nigeria communication Commission (NCC) on Friday rationalised its relationship with the Guild of Online Publishers (GOCOP), saying the latter remains its critical stakeholder in disseminating NCC’s activities.
Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the NCC made the disclosure at the third annual conference of the GOCOP at Sheraton Hotels, Lagos.
He said: “We at the NCC are always delighted to be part of the Annual Conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP). That is why we have joined you for today’s event holding here at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
“GOCOP has, over the years, remained a segment of the Commission’s broad media stakeholders, who have continually supported in disseminating our activities – policies, programmes and decisions – to its various stakeholders.
“We are, indeed, grateful for the professional manner with which you cover our activities from time to time.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the theme of this event: “Economy, Security and National Development: The Way Forward in Nigeria” is very apt and timely, as it speaks to the fundamental issues that underpin our development outlook as a nation.
“I have no doubt that today’s Guest Speaker, the highly respected Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Nigeria, is more than qualified to handle a contemporary and national discourse of this nature. “We look forward to having a good time with him on how we can better improve our economy, address our security challenges and ultimately advance national development in our country.
“Having said this, permit me to quickly take you through a few things that the NCC, as the country’s independent telecom regulatory authority, has been doing towards engendering security of lives and property for economic development in our country.
“This will be discussed under the sub-theme: ‘NCC, SIM Registration, Security and National Development.”
“As you may be aware, the Nigerian telecoms industry, in the past 18 years, has recorded tremendous growth.
“Today, the number of active telephone lines in the country is about 175 million, representing a teledensity of 91.65 per cent. Today, the number of Internet users is 122.6 million while broadband penetration currently stands at 35 percent. The cumulative investment profile in the sector is over $70 billion.
“At 11.39 percent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the telecom subsector remains a major actor in the national economy.
“Indeed, as at the second quarter of 2019, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector’s contribution to the GDP was 13.88 per cent.
“Today, the positive impacts of telecoms sector – either voice or data resonate in other sectors of the economy and in all the aspects of our daily interactions.
“With respect to SIM Registration and its connection with national security, I will like to remind us that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) established under the NIMC 2007 Act has released the National Identification Number Regulations 2017. That regulation provides that a person must provide his/her National Identity Number (NIN) in order to register a telephone SIM card.
“Consequently, the NCC in collaboration with all stakeholders has set in motion mechanisms for compliance. It may interest you to know that the NCC engages in continuous verification exercise of the SIM data collected by the MNOs and their SIM registration agents across the country to deliver on its mandate. This is part of the Commission’s consistent regulatory interventions to ensure that we have credible subscriber data.
“I, therefore, would like to use this opportunity to encourage Nigerians – you and I – who want to acquire new SIM cards, for one reason or the other, to ensure that they obtain a National Identity Number first.
“Ladies and gentlemen, let me conclude this short remark by assuring Nigerians that the NCC, in its renowned effective regulatory character, remains consistent in its commitment to using telecoms to support the current tripartite agenda of the Federal Government, which are to improve the economy, enhance security of lives and property and to fight corruption in our society.
“On this note, I thank Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) for inviting the Nigerian Communications Commission to attend this conference and to make some remarks. I wish you a very fruitful deliberations.
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