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National Committee on the preparation of a Communications Policy for Nigeria

  1. Background: The National Telecommunications Policy was reviewed in the year 2000 in order to promote the policy goals of total liberalization, competition, and the development of a private sector led growth of the communications industry.
    • A 22 member Telecommunications Sector Reform Implementation Committee (TSRIC) was inaugurated on the 1st of February, 2000 under the chairmanship of the then Minister of Communications, Alhaji Mohammed Arzika.

    • Following a thorough job, which included an inclusive consultative process with all stakeholders in the sector, including Organized Labour, Consumer Protection, Regulatory Agencies and other relevant groups, in September 2000, the new National Telecommunications Policy was developed and presented to the Nigerian Public and to the industry.

    • This Policy document contained inter alia, the telecommunications policy objectives of the Federal Government which included:
      • Promoting the deployment and utilization of the telecommunications infrastructure and services
      • Accelerating the socio-economic and political development of the nation
      • Enhancing the quality of the life of the Nigerian citizenry.

    • Various global initiatives like convergence and other current global and national telecommunications market realities have necessitated the need for the review of current NTP.

    • Furthermore, the NTP objectives were Short and Medium Term Objectives which were meant to be achieved within 5 years, and as a result, many of the goals have been met and new goals should be developed which will aid the continued growth and spread of ICT across Nigeria.

    • Based on the above synopsis, the Minister of State of Information and Communications has decided to constitute a committee to review the current National Development policy.

  2. Project Objective: The main objective is to develop a Communications Policy

    • that is in line with global realities, emerging issues and global trends;

    • with clearly defined strategies for monitoring its implementation and management, its impact and feedback, and for analyzing future prognosis;

    • that will further guide liberalization, attract more local and foreign investments, and lead to the rapid rollout of universal service to all Nigerians;

    •  with implementable strategies that will lead to the empowerment of every Nigerian and the development of improved socio-economic standard as for the nation;

    • that takes into account some benchmarking against best practice and other emerging markets.

  3. Scope of Work: The assignment will include the following tasks:
    • Review the current Policy in the light of the current Nigerian communications market realities and global trends;
    • Propose strategies for the continued reform, deregulation and attraction of the private sector in the development of the communications industry;
    • Recommend improvement to policies that help promote competition, economic regulation and clearly defined regulatory powers of the Regulator;
    • Propose strategies which ensure improved quality and affordability of telephone services, as well as the increased geographical spread of communications service in Nigeria;
    • Review the spectrum management framework for better efficiency;
    • Review current licensing procedure for communication services (service and network licensing etc) in n Nigeria;
       • Propose strategies for transition from analogue to digital broadcasting in Nigeria, including the establishment of a Broadcasting Signal Distribution,strategies for manufacturing, distribution and incentives for Set-Top-Boxes(STB).
    • In line with International Standards, suggest necessary policy changes that will impact upon convergence, protection of new entrants, management of interconnection and mandatory collection;
    • Propose policies to incentive Operators to work towards universal service provision in Nigeria;
    • Propose strategies for wide spread internet and broadband penetration;
    • Propose strategies for improved human capacity development including mandatory introduction of degree level training in the communications sector at Universities, through the National University Commission and National Board for Technical Education (NBTE);
    • Propose national policies concerning cyber crime, identity theft and other communications related crimes;
    • Propose policies that encourage the use of electronic transactions;
    • Propose policies that enforce the mandatory use of a local internet gateway for the local traffic;
    • Propose improved strategies for the development of local hardware/software manufacturing industries;
    • Propose improved policies on satellite use;
    • Propose strategies for the harmonization of regional integration and initiatives;
    • Update the historical information and current statistics of the industry;
    • Propose a body of other policy formulations that are capable of addressing current and future developmental needs and challenges of the communications industry in Nigeria;
    • Identify changes required in the existing legislation;
    • Carry out other functions as may be determined by the Committee as relevant to the assignment.
  4.  Deliverable & Timeframe: The Committee is expected to commence and complete all works within a period of twelve (12) weeks. The committee will be expected to carry out its work on a part time basis.
  5. Administrative Matters: The Committee will be assisted by a consultant to assist in its work. The Committee may decide to break into sub committees and may co-opt members as necessary to carry out their job assignment.