At the 80th edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament that took place at Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta has revealed the plans of the NCC to begin the enforcement of corporate governance among telecommunications companies operating in the country.
Prof. Umar Dambata was represented by Sunday Dare, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders’ Management.
This will involve balancing the interests of a company management, stakeholders, government and the community. In retrospect, by mandating corporate governance implies that the system of rules and practices will be directed and controlled.
This decision comes as a result of the crises that Etisalat faced in the past weeks. In light of this, the code enforcement is part of the activities to oversee the protection of consumers’ interest in the telecommunications industries.
In collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the NCC ensured that no worker was sacked after the recent Etisalat saga. He said further at the event:
“The commission has taken steps to ensure that the telecommunication sector remains vibrant and has carried out its regulatory functions to ensure that the companies operating in the industry are healthy. Where necessary, the NCC has made interventions to prevent disruptions to consumer experience. In addition, to ensure that licenses in the industry continue to operate as viable businesses, we have commenced enforcement of the NCC’s Code of Corporate Governance.”
These obligations bother on issues that concern the board of operators, their responsibilities, and qualifications for a person to be appointed into senior management positions, compensation plan and other issues that negatively affect the health of the operating firms.
On the compensation plan for example, the code stated:
“As much as possible, executive remuneration and rewards should be linked to individuals as well as corporate performance beyond the short term, and should give executive incentives to perform at the highest level towards the licensee’s strategic objectives. In a similar vein, care should be taken to ensure that severance packages where they apply do not reward poor performance.”
However, the greatest challenge to socio- economic development in Africa remains her deficiency in ICT infrastructure across various countries. The Minister of Communications revealed this at the Future- Sat Africa Summit 2017 in Abuja.
He said further that in a bid to reduce the deficiency on ICT in Africa, many countries have initiated policies and programmes to boost ICT development. In a similar fashion, the objective of the ICT development in Nigeria is to provide a robust and cost effective ICT infrastructure to support the creation of a digital economy.
While Shittu has requested for the organizers of the Future-Sat Africa Summit 2017 to pay keen attention to technology matters in Africa, I hope that the mandated corporate governance will create a transparent set of rules in which shareholders, management and consumers will have aligned incentives.