To safeguard investments in telecommunications companies, the Nigerian Communications Commission says it has begun the enforcement of corporate governance among telecommunications companies operating in the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman at NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said this at the 80th edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament in Abuja.
Danbatta, who was represented at the event by Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Mr. Sunday Dare, said the enforcement of the code was part of activities geared towards the protection of consumers’ interests in the telecommunications firms.
He noted that despite the crisis that Etisalat had to face in the last few weeks, the interests of consumers had been guaranteed.
Danbatta said working in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the NCC ensured that not one worker had been sacked from the telecommunications firm.
The NCC boss said, “The commission has taken steps to ensure that the telecommunication sector remains vibrant and has carried out its regulatory functions to ensure that the companies operating in the industry are healthy.
“Where necessary, the NCC has made interventions to prevent disruptions to consumer experience. In addition, to ensure that licensees in the industry continue to operate as viable businesses, we have commenced enforcement of the NCC’s Code of Corporate Governance.”
The Code of Corporate Governance spells out the composition of the board of operators, their responsibilities, qualifications for a person to be appointed into senior management positions, remunerations and other issues that impinge on the health of the operating firms.
On remuneration, for instance, the Code said, “As much as possible, executive remuneration and rewards should be linked to individual as well as corporate performance beyond the short term, and should give executive incentives to perform at the highest level towards the licensee’s strategic objectives. In a similar vein, care should be taken to ensure that severance packages, where they apply, do not reward poor performance.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, has said that the greatest challenge to socio-economic development in Africa is the huge ICT infrastructure deficit across various countries on the continent.
Adebayo, who said this at the Future-Sat Africa Summit 2017 in Abuja, noted that most economies across the globe were becoming knowledge-based with Information and Communication Technology playing a pivotal role.
He said that the huge deficit had greatly impacted on the living conditions and welfare of Africans with various countries initiating policies and programmes to reduce the deficit.
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sonny Echono, emphasised that the cardinal objective for the ICT development in Nigeria was to provide ubiquitous, robust and cost effective ICT infrastructure to support the creation of a digital economy.
Shittu challenged the organisers of the Future-Sat Africa Summit 2017 to pay deliberate attention to issues around technology transfer and capacity development so that Africa would have a fair share of the business opportunities provided by telecommunication infrastructure development.