The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued directives to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Nigeria, instructing them to comply with regulatory frameworks implemented by the Commission. These frameworks are aimed at ensuring the security and safety of their networks for telecom consumers.
During the recent Nigeria DigitalSense Forum, focused on Internet Governance for Development, held in Lagos, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Commission, emphasized the importance of regulatory compliance.
He highlighted one such framework, the Internet Code of Practice (ICP) for the telecom industry, which safeguards the rights of internet users to an open internet while noting that the ICP also provides clear guidelines to Internet Access Service Providers regarding traffic management practices.
Furthermore, the Internet Code outlines the responsibilities of Internet Access Service Providers concerning the protection of consumers’ personal data. It also addresses the handling of offensive and potentially harmful content, as well as the safeguarding of minors and vulnerable individuals online.
Danbatta stressed that by upholding the principles of the Internet Governance Code and collaborating with other stakeholders, the Commission can create safer networks and protect telecom consumers online.
The event’s theme, “5G: Data Governance, Safety, and Security in Nigeria,” prompted Danbatta to emphasize the importance of establishing robust legal and regulatory frameworks for effective data governance in Nigeria. He stated that the Internet Code of Practice serves as a framework in this regard.
The EVC emphasized the need for strict adherence to industry frameworks by telecom licensees, especially MNOs and ISPs, to ensure effective governance in the delivery of internet services. Dr. Chidi Diugwu, the NCC’s Head of New Media and Information Security, represented the EVC and emphasized that with the deployment of new technologies like 5G in Nigeria, there is a greater need to prioritize privacy, data integrity, and online trust across telecom networks.
“As we embrace the transformative potential of newer technologies such as 5G, we must prioritize safety concerns because the amount and speed of data generated using 5G technology is unprecedented. As such, we need to always prioritise consumer privacy, transparency, and ethical data use; and this can be achieved by cultivating trust and handling data responsibly, and by doing so, we can unlock the full potential of 5G technology and promote innovation in Nigeria,” he said.
Danbatta highlighted that the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) of 2003 mandates the licensees of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to take necessary measures to prevent their network facilities or services from being utilized for the commission of any unlawful acts as defined by Nigerian laws.
He emphasized that licensees have a responsibility to work in collaboration with the Commission, ensuring compliance with their legal and regulatory obligations to promote effective Internet governance in Nigeria.