The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has said that the country’s telecom industry is currently exposed to many risks, which all stakeholders must join hands to eliminate.
According to him, the risks facing the industry include cybersecurity and online fraud, regulatory burden, multiple taxation, vandalism of telecommunication infrastructure, right-of-way challenges, access to foreign exchange, and inter-industry indebtedness, among others.
Speaking at a stakeholder forum in Abuja, Danbatta, who was represented by the Director of Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis, Yetunde Akinloye, said the essence of the forum was to examine myriads of issues that challenge the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 and to enhance the development of a sustainable ICT sector in Nigeria.
Managing the risks: Calling for collaboration between the regulator and other stakeholders in the industry, to achieve multi-stakeholder strategies aimed at identifying and addressing emerging risks in the telecommunications sector to ensure sustainable and impacting growth, Danbatta said:
“While risk management has been critical in our regulatory service delivery, we acknowledge that all stakeholders must be concerned about the varied uncertainties that confront the Industry. There is no gainsaying the fact that the Information and Communication Technologies Sector is inherently filled with several business and technology risks.
“It is, therefore, important that regulatory risks be minimised to ensure that services are not disrupted, and consumers obtain the best and latest services that are globally available. The Commission in a bid to ensure that operators in the industry enjoy a conducive operating environment has had cause to seek government interventions and collaborate with other Agencies of Government in addressing major sectoral risks,” he added.
‘X-raying Telecommunications Risk Radar: Eniola Olugboyega, a facilitator at the event who spoke to issues of concern to operators, said that risk-taking can have a positive or negative impact on businesses. He also stated that the most common losses from improper management of risk in the sector include customer dissatisfaction, fines and litigation, product failure, and loss of business opportunities, among others.
According to him, effective risk management aids effective decision-making prevents financial and reputational loss and addresses potential threats. Thus, he said telecommunication risk from the operators’ perspective includes regulatory risk, insecurity, data breach risk, foreign exchange risk, rising CAPEX risk, human resource risk, and the inability to take advantage of new business models.
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