From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) reviewed Act is soon to be made public for media, critical members of the industry as well as other Nigerians who subscribe to telecommunications services to have their say as the Commission meets up with the modern challenges of the sector.
This was made known by the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof Umar Garba Dambatta in Kano on Monday while addressing newsmen at a workshop for Judges on legal issues on telecommunications.
At the event with the theme, “The Adjudication Path in A Digital Era” he stated that the current Act that was put in place in 2003 is anachronistic and needs to meet up with current challenges.
“We have the Nigerian Communications Act, which established the NCC in 2003, more than 20 years ago.
“A one time Chief Justice of the Federation said this act is anachronistic, meaning it is old and therefore needs to be reviewed.
“I assured members of the judiciary that this review process is going on as we speak.
“At an appropriate time members of the media will be invited to witness the presentation of the reviewed NCC Act during an engagement forum to critical members of the Industry as well as other Nigerians who subscribe to telecommunications services, they will have a say during the presentation of the reviewed Act to the public,” he stated.
Speaking on the need for the workshop, the EVC explained that the general idea is to bring members of the judiciary up to speed with the development in the telecommunications sector so that when there are cases adjudication, “they can be able to do this with knowledge about the telecommunications industry in their finger tips.
“Therefore the adjudication becomes easy and dispensation of justice will be done quickly and with fairness.
“As I mentioned in the course of my opening remarks, the entire world is transforming to a network trend society.
“This means that, telecommunications has become the order of the day, and services are daily being hosted on the networks and on the infrastructure and every year there is need to ensure there is no erosion of privacy that data privacy laws are respected and cyber crimes are kept away.
“In the event where these three things happen; erosion of security and privacy, data crimes on the networks and other forms of crimes, are committed, then they are referred to the NCC, then the NCC has the power for mediation and arbitration but does not have prosecutorial powers. Only competent courts of jurisdiction have such powers.
“It is important when you refer such cases of adjudication that the distinguished members of the judiciary are conversant with the cases.
“The essence behind this workshop is to equip them with development in the sector such that they can be able to dispense with cases arising from disputes within the telecommunications sector with full knowledge of what is happening in the sector,” he added.