DOT-COM Activity: Nigerian Communications Commission Universal/Rural Access Initiative and Community Telecommunication
Short Description: This pilot activity assists the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in adopting internationally recognized best practices, transparency and accountability into policy formulation and execution.
Phase/Type of Activity: Pilot Status: Completed
Start date: February 15, 2002 End Date: December 31, 2003
Person(s) to contact
Sarah Tisch, Ph.D. , Chief-of-Party
dot-GOV , Internews Network
Tel: 202 833-5740 x 203
Full Description: This pilot activity to the National Telecommunication Cooperatives Association (NCTA) assisted the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in adopting internationally recognized best practices, transparency and accountability into policy formulation and execution for the Universal Service Obligation. The project assisted with the development of the new Communications Bill which was signed into law in mid-2003. This law gave the NCC legal status, and made policy declarations that support expedited deployment of telecommunications infrastructure and services, universal service, quality of service standards for telecom operators and consumer protection. The Law provided statutory authorization, an institutional framework, and financing mechanisms for a universal service fund and agency. The project filmed a video presentation about basic principles of universal access and the provisions of the new act for a series of public workshops highlighting the universal access provisions of the new Communications Law. Finally, a workshop was held to increase stakeholder and public awareness of the universal service provisions of the 2003 law was held July 28, 2004 at the newly inaugurated Digital Bridge Institute, Utako, Abuja.
Among the 40+ attendees were stakeholders from the private sector, NGO representatives, and officials of the FGN. The workshop was fully documented on video so that curriculum materials presented can be utilized in future educational events. NTCA is trying to make the official (executed and gazetted) version of the act available in digital format. As a follow-on to the DOT-GOV activities, inter-governmental discussions to implement universal service provisions of the 2003 Communications Law continue, involving the Minister of Communications, the Chair, NCC, Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC and other stakeholders. Achievements include agreement among major stakeholders on civil society nominees to serve on the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Universal Service Provision Fund authorized by Section 114 of the Communications Bill of 2003. This agreement represented a major political accomplishment, due to the considerable amount of principal funds to be managed by the Board. In addition, empanelment of the Board (expected to occur in calendar Q1 of 2005) will represent a major precedent in favor of transparency and accountability in governance of public sector funds in Nigeria.
Update: Completed 2004.
Links and Files:
- NCC Final Report
Final Report for USAID/Nigeria