Nigeria: Regulator calls for rejection of NigComSat legislation
Nigeria’s regulator has called on the country’s Senate to reject a bill aimed at privatizing NigComSat. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said that it has told the Senate not to approve the move, saying that with poor customer service across the country, it is not wise to add more players onto the private market.
Executive Commissioner for Stakeholder Management at the NCC Okechukwu Itanyi told a joint public hearing by the Senate Committee on Communications and Science and Technology that “the regulator opposes in its entirety the bill passed by the National Assembly.”
Itanyi said the bill “serves to add nothing positive to the current state of the industry, but will destabilize and distort the achievements which the industry has recorded in terms of regulatory certainty, investor encouragement and healthy competition.”
The NCC said in a separate statement on Tuesday that “it is tantamount to the National Assembly issuing telecom licenses to government agencies, against the provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, and the bill is also opposed by the Communications Technology Ministry, which supervises NigComSat, as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology.”
Itanyi, during his testimony, also listed several sections of the bill that are “contrary to existing legislation and said it also conflicts with government policies on space development and ICT growth.”