ATCON calls for merger of NCC, NBC
The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria ( ATCON ) has called for the merging of the Nigerian Communications Commission ( NCC) and the National Broadcasting Commission ( NBC).
The President of ATCON, Engr Lanre Ajayi, made the call during the 7th West Africa Convergence Conference ( WACC) in Lagos.
The conference theme is “Addressing Infrastructural Challenges in a Converged Market ”.
Ajayi said that technically, the Information and Communication Technology ( ICT ) industry had converged as with the phone a person could make calls , watch videos and send message among others.
He said that since the industry operators had converged in the services they offered , there was the need for the two regulatory bodies to come together.
According to him, the new Minister of Communication Technology , Mr Adebayo Shittu, should ensure that the telecommunications umpire and the broadcast regulator merged .
He said that if NBC and NCC do not merge , then the telecoms and broadcast industries would continue to experience challenges to true convergence .
“There must be a policy for the regulatory bodies to converge and Nigeria already has the ICT policy which says the regulators have to merge. “The next issue now is to amend the Communications Act and the Broadcast Act that established these bodies , so the convergence can take place .
“People should rise above personal interest and consider national interest because convergence is for national interest , ” the Information Technology ( IT ) expert said .
Mr Ikechukwu Nnamani, the President of Medallion Communications Ltd. , an Interconnect House, said that for convergence to happen there is need for a super infrastructure network .
Nnamani said that there was need to address the technical, the business model /culture and the regulatory challenges of convergence.
“Operators have to look at business from a cooperative perspective instead of competition perspective.
“The regulator should ensure that if an operator is issued a spectrum, such spectrum is actually used for what it was meant for, ” he said .
The promoter of WACC, Mr Segun Oruame, said that ICT convergence had become part of people’s daily lives as it had impact on everything.
Oruame said that there were no longer separate fields on how technology was being used at home or in the workplace , in a fixed location or on the go as the lines had thinned out .
“Now, you cannot tell if the mobile phone can best be called a standard TV screen.
“Telecoms operators and broadcast regulators must engage each other because the traditional broadcast media has long lost viewers to the new audience in converged media,” he said .