CEM Report, Lagos
The Nigerian Communication Commission launches 2020-2024 Strategic Management Plan today Tuesday, the third in the series after the first one from 2003-2007 and second from 2014 – 2018.
In a press statement that announced the inauguration, NCC stated that the development of the plan is in line with the objective of creating a seamless strategy to augment its effective management and regulation of the telecommunications sector.
The 2020-2024 MSP leverages the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) as well as the new National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020 – 2025 Roadmaps. It covers the guiding principles and act as the operations manual for the Commission towards actualizing the digital economy agenda of the Federal Government in the next five years.
According to NCC, the Strategic Management Plan is a visioning document of the Commission for planning, monitoring, analyzing and assessment of the Commissions goals and objectives in the next five (5) years. It will be resident in the Corporate Planning, Strategy and Risk Management Department which will ensure that the contents of the document become the guiding principles for the Commission in the next five years.
Though the Communication Industry has performed fairly in its contribution to the nation’s GDP, there are still major issues with regard to efficient service provision and regulatory stability and consistency. These according to NCC needs a cohesive internal management process to invigorate the commission’s operation and overall performance.
After a critical assessment of internal and external environments of the Commission, using an adapted PESTEL (political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal /regulatory) model, the following key issues were identified to require more strategic planning and actions.
- Geographic penetration of network is still limited. Even though increasing broadband penetration was achieved, it is still driven by mobile. Therefore, geographic penetration is skewed with concentration in urban areas in major cities, thus leaving out a large segment of the population in the rural areas.
- Rural penetration is still reliant on 2G technology; digital inclusion still remains a major challenge
- In the absence of ubiquitous fixed-line network, modular phones (as opposed to smart phones) represent means of broadband access for those down the income pyramid
- There is still infrastructure (and consequently Service Quality) limitations
- Telecoms mobile network operators (MNOs) diversification – venture into other verticals e.g. financial services (emergence of Payment Service Banks) and implications for regulation
- How to promote digital economy and digital industrialization
- Regulating in a 5G environment
On how the Nigerian communication industry has actually fared in the past 20 years, on a general note, the commission gave a brief;
As at January 2020, active mobile subscribers were 186 million, industry mobile tele-density, 97.4%, broadband subscription stood at 73.5 million and broadband penetration, 38.5%. However, 4G adoption in Nigeria was only 12.2% of total connections within the same period. Mobile broadband download speed is still very low with Nigeria ranked at 104th in the world as at July 2019.
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However, the telecom industry has consistently continued to be a leading contributor to the national economy. The contribution of the industry to Nigerian GDP in the second quarter of 2019 amounted to 11.39% compared to 10.11% in the preceding quarter but the contribution dipped to 10.39% in the last quarter of the year due to the general lull in the economy.
The contribution of the industry to the nation’s economy directly emphasize its relevance in the government digital economy drive.
The vision of Nigeria’s digital economy strategy is: “To digitally transform the economy of Nigeria into a leading global economy providing quality life and digital opportunities for all her citizens.”
The commission noted in order to deliver on Governments’ 2030 aspirations of greater access to the digital economy and meet the bold objective of creating 100 million jobs in Nigeria, the country needs to increase investment in infrastructure, create an enabling regulatory environment for the digital economy to grow.
In addition, the Government should pursue radical reforms that bring about improved skills and a more competitive digital job market, support public-private partnerships to stimulate and sustain demand for the use of digital platforms, and improve the current business climate to boost more investment opportunities.
As was the case for the SMP (2014 – 2018), the Commission’s new strategic plan uses the Balanced Scorecard framework, i.e. the Nine Steps to Success™ framework for building and implementing balanced scorecard developed by the Balanced Scorecard Institute (“BSI”).