NCC, diversified West African telecom regulators to standardise regional roaming tariffs


The Nigerian Communications Fee (NCC) and diversified telecoms regulators under the auspices of West African Telecoms Regulators Assembly (WATRA) are build to create technical and regulatory modalities geared in direction of combating rising wave of electronic frauds, and standardising regional roaming tariffs within the sub-predicament.

This used to be the crux of a two-day assembly organised by WATRA in collaboration with the Financial Crew of West Africa States (ECOWAS), which began on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at Rockview Lodge in Abuja.

The assembly, which used to be attended by representatives of telecoms regulators from international locations all the arrangement thru West Africa, supplied a platform for key contributors and stakeholders to deliberate on constructing a unified market in telecommunications products and providers in West Africa, to fight roaming and cyber-linked frauds, and keep the standardisation of roaming tariffs amongst ECOWAS member-states.

Addressing stakeholders at the assembly, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Danbatta, who’s moreover the Chairman of WATRA, underscored the centrality of the assembly by emphasising that, as corporations switch on-line, the fraudsters are moreover going digital.

Mr Danbatta, who used to be represented by NCC’s Director, Technical Requirements and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil, mentioned, in step with this truth and in repeat to give West African electorate and corporations the boldness to totally comprise profit of the gigantic benefits of Files and Communications Expertise (ICT), there used to be a necessity for regulators to tame and outpace the fraudsters.

“About 75 per cent of alternate within ECOWAS is informal, and thus poorly recorded. Therefore, digitising this alternate thru the utilization of many sorts of electronic funds is a indispensable step in direction of formalising, governing and boosting intra-ECOWAS alternate actions. Our ambitions are to formalise informal alternate, in conjunction with agricultural commodities as well to boosting intra-regional alternate and this requires us to crimson meat up collaboration on combating electronic fraud,” Mr Danbatta mentioned.

Mr Danbatta advised the delegates to the forum that electronic fraud is now not correct an African or a West African scenario but a world phenomenon. He cited reviews that published 54 per cent of patrons within the European Union mentioned they are probably to come support upon deceptive/unfounded or unfounded ads or gives on the Web.

On the regional roaming provider, the WATRA Chairman mentioned the Assembly has the imaginative and prescient of a ‘Digital ECOWAS’ the set improved sub-regional roaming regulation can abet to facilitate an financial integration within the predicament.

“Our electorate, traders and corporations will alternate better when they’ll use their telephones to name contacts in diversified ECOWAS international locations and when they’ll use their recordsdata subscriptions at no further set while travelling or doing alternate within the predicament. So, reducing and at final eliminating the rate of roaming will moreover be a in actuality indispensable contribution in direction of boosting alternate within the predicament,” Mr Danbatta mentioned.

The EVC expressed pleasure at the stage of collaboration amongst nationwide regulatory authorities within the sub-predicament on the one hand; and between WATRA and ECOWAS, to attain a general goal, on the diversified hand, describing such synergy as a professional indicator of development and internalisation of finest world practices.

“I am very cheerful to demand the very favorable collaboration and the sharing of workload between the telecommunications physique and personnel within ECOWAS and WATRA. Their roles absorb change into complementary and mutually reinforcing-policies legislative frameworks which absorb been designed at the ECOWAS stage, while WATRA does the notice-up work of recordsdata-sharing, dialogue and studying dispersal amongst regulatory authorities. It is certainly turning into a properly-articulated symphony,” he added.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of WATRA, Aliyu Aboki, emphasised the rate of a trusted digital economy to any nation. He cited a gape by Accenture, which concludes that “a trusted digital economy would stimulate 2.8 per cent further impart for foremost corporations, with the contemporary transactions generated totaling $5.2 trillion of set creation within the economy,” therefore, the institution and operationalisation of nationwide and regional anti-fraud committee.

Mr Aboki commended ECOWAS for “allowing this regional sharing of the gigantic task of constructing Digital ECOWAS to work very properly thru WATRA, which is a regional manifestation of this collaborative structure”. The WATRA Chief restated that WATRA, as a mechanism for regional regulatory collaboration, will work in unison and be sure that its imaginative and prescient is almost at present accomplished by making sure that no nation within the predicament is left within the support of.

Talking at the forum, the Performing Director, Digital Economy and Put up, ECOWAS, Raphael Koffi, basic that while e-fraud within the provision of verbal change products and providers has continuously been a project being collectively tackled, variance in termination rates agreed in commercial roaming agreements has moreover constituted an impediment to harmonization of roaming tariffs which, he mentioned, collaboration between WATRA and ECOWAS is determined to attain.

Individuals at the tournament were up so far on the yelp of the implementation of the Removal of Surcharges on Global Visitors (SIIT) on ECOWAS international locations; institution of a uniform tariff cap for roaming name termination within the ECOWAS predicament, amongst others.

Ikechukwu Adinde

Director Public Affairs


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