NCC, ACCI collaborate to boost trade in telecoms

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The Nigeria Communications Commission(NCC) on Friday revealed its partnership with Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), to boost trade, businesses within the telecommunications industry.

This was disclosed by Executive Vice Chairman NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta at the “NCC Special Day” held in Abuja Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s (ACCI’s) 2021 International Trade Fair and Exhibition.

The EVC represented by NCC’s Director Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said the trade fair which is organised annually to promote trade, commerce and other innovation across the economy serves as a platform for the Commission to endorse the ACCI as an important platform for the country’s ICT Industrial Development especially with regards to AfCTA.

He said, “It is critical that we are part of it because as Africa opens up to the world, we see increase in trade and acceleration of bialeteral trade within Africa. We also trying to see how we can mainstream a lot of innovation within Africa. We see a lot of existing opportunity in the ICT Sector across Africa and one way this can happen is by leveraging on the opportunity afforded by AfCTA.

“Our being here today is to show that NCC is an important partner with ACCI in its effort to promote trade in Africa and ensure Nigerian that economy gets stronger even as we mainstream the digital economy.”

Also Danbatta said, “this year’s edition of the trade fair, provides yet another golden opportunity for us, as the regulator of the Nigeria’s telecommunications sector, to engage face-to-face with telecoms consumers, who occupy a very strategic segment among our telecoms stakeholders.”

Earlier in his speech, the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Nigerians Communications Commission, Mr Efosa Idehen reiterated NCC’s commitment to ensuring fair competition and level-playing ground for all stakeholders in the communications industry, particularly in safeguarding the interest of consumers from abuse of their rights and privilege; and against unfair practices in the telecom service value chain.

According to him, this commitment is demonstrated in the Commission’s continuous effort to establish seamless programmes that will Protect, Inform and Educate (PIE Mandate) telecom consumers through various consumer-centric initiatives.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is an initiative of the African Union (AU) primarily to create a single continental-wide market for goods and services and to facilitate free movement of investment and people across the entire African Continent. It is expected that it will boost intra-African trade by providing a comprehensive and mutually-beneficial trade agreement among the member states, covering trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights and competition policy.

Nigeria joined the list of African countries committed to this initiative when President Muhammadu Buhari signed the AfCFTA Agreement on 7th July, 2019 at the African Union Summit in Niamey, Republic of Niger.

With the removal of tariffs and trade restrictions, increase in the volume of trade, employment opportunities, prosperity of citizens and economic development, AfCFTA holds huge potentials for transforming the continent and the telecom sector will certainly play a major role in driving this initiative.