Telecommunications Regulation in Nigeria

Telecommunications Regulation in Nigeria

Pereware Aghwotu Tiemo
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-847-0.ch044
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This chapter presents the historical development of telecommunication in Nigeria, ranging from the colonial era to the present democratic dispensation and the position of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as the telecommunication regulatory body, are highlighted. It goes further to x-ray the current trends and benefits of deregulation of telecommunication in the county. Despite the effort being made to ensure access to telecommunication system in the country, there are still some problems that militate against it effectiveness such as poor quality of services, inadequate telecommunication infrastructure and irregular electricity supply. It also looks at the future trends of telecommunication and among the recommendations are constant supplies of electricity, conducive environment and friendly policy that will sustain the growth of telecommunication in Nigeria.
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The rapid development of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure has made it possible for a good number of people to have access to communication facilities globally. ICT has become the life wire of human existence. Oketunji (2001) stated that everybody needs to communicate; daily ICT has made significant changes such as promoting efficiency and productivity, reducing the whole world into a global hamlet by breaking the barriers of distance and time. Developing countries now see the urgent need to integrate ICTs in all sectors of their economy in order to bridge the digital gap and to be participants in the global information systems. A major accept of ICT is the telecommunications. Its plays a vital role in the development of any society. According to the Nigeria National Telecommunications Policy (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2000) telecommunication is a vital engine of any economy; it is an essential infrastructure that promotes the development of other sectors such as agriculture, education, industry, health, banking, defence, transportation and tourism. The National Telecommunications Policy further stated that global telecommunications provides the opportunity for a country to share in the wave of science and technology developments and the general economy in the positive ways. There is no doubt that governments in developed and developing countries world - wide have recognized the crucial role that can be played in facilitating and accelerating development in their countries. As a result of this, Nigerians have begun to appreciate the power of telecommunications technology as a way of life. Students, civil servants, businessmen, tourists, farmers, corporate bodies, lecturers and visitors in Nigeria have become part of the global community through access to telecommunications. The Encyclopædia Britannica. (2009) defined telecommunications as the science and practice of transmitting information by electromagnetic means, through which a wide variety of information can be transferred by a telecommunications system, including voice and music, still-frame and full-motion pictures, computer files and applications, and telegraphic data. Telecommunication is the technique of transmitting a message, from one point or place to another with the typical additional attribute of being bi-directional. In practice it also recognizes that something may be lost in the process; hence the term ‘telecommunication’ covers all forms of distance communications, including radio, telegraphy, television, telephony, data communication and computer networking. Telecommunication can be point-to-point, point-to-multipoint or broadcasting, which is a particular form of point-to-multipoint that goes only from the transmitter to the receivers. (Knowledge rush .com, 2003)

From the definitions given on telecommunications, it could be deduced that telecommunications are the facilities provided to enable people communicate from various locations through the use of electronic means such as mobile phone, computers, internet, radio, television, telegram, fax and other information based systems offering services for storing, retrieving, and transmitting data and information. The chapter is intended to present the historical development of telecommunication in Nigeria, x-ray the trends in the deregulation of telecommunications in the county, examine the factors militating against telecommunications and regulation, look at the future trend of telecommunications, and to make adequate recommendations for improvement of the sector.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Telecommunication Operators: Individual or group of individuals involve in the telecommunication business.

Deregulation: To make open publicly a business both local and international investors to participate in it.

Interconnect: For various similar things such as telecommunication network to be connected to each other.

Communication: The process of transmitting and receiving ideas, information and messages.

Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC): The regulatory authority for telecoms industry in Nigeria.

Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM): Mobile communication services such as hand set.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT): These are modern technology facilities that enable communications such as the internet, computers, radio, television and telephone.

Regulation: Official rules led down by government guiding telecommunication in order to control it services.

Telecommunication: Electronic communication facilities that are used for communications such as the telegram, telephone, fax machine and the internet.

Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL): Government owned telecommunication services.

Act: An edit or enactment. It is also a formal written statement for people to obey.

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