The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reported that the ban on the importation of whole-body SIM cards has generated over N55 billion in revenue for local manufacturers. This announcement was made by Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) of NCC, during the second edition of the Nigerian Telecommunications Indigenous Content Expo (NTICE) in Lagos.

Danbatta, represented by Ubale Maska, the Commission’s Executive Commissioner (Technical Service), emphasized NCC’s commitment to supporting the federal government’s efforts to establish a sustainable economy through various policies. As part of this commitment, NCC established the Nigeria Office for Development of Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS) to facilitate these goals.

He highlighted NTICE as an achievement of NCC through NODITS, contributing to the promotion of pillar number five (strategic partnering) of the strategic management plan SMP 2020-2024. Danbatta also reaffirmed NCC’s dedication to supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and innovators, offering assistance such as angel investments, research and development support, exposure to investors, and sponsorship for local and international tech events.

Danbatta underlined the ban on importing whole-body SIM cards as another noteworthy accomplishment. He noted that this ban not only reduced the demand for foreign exchange but also generated business opportunities exceeding N55 billion for local SIM card manufacturers in Nigeria, leading to the creation of both direct and indirect jobs.

Danbatta emphasized that promoting indigenous content can significantly boost economic growth and called on the government to grant autonomy to the telecommunications industry to ensure its continued success.

In response, Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), urged the federal government to grant autonomy to the industry regulator, NCC. He highlighted the industry’s success in recent years, attributing it to its independence. Adebayo requested that the autonomy and independence of the regulator be guaranteed, allowing the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy to focus on policy while NCC handles regulation.

Furthermore, Adebayo pointed out that the current pricing regime in the industry is not sustainable, as services are being sold below cost. He urged the government to intervene to ensure the industry’s profitability and suggested allowing market forces to determine service prices.


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