The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has restated its commitment to continue to strengthen collaboration with judicial institutions in Nigeria in a bid to further protect telecom infrastructure in the country.
The NCC executive vice chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, gave the assurance when he received a high-powered delegation of the Kano State Judiciary who paid him a courtesy visit at the NCC Kano Zonal Office, in Kano, at the weekend.
Addressing the judicial delegation, he said, while the commission was doing everything within its regulatory mandate to enforce compliance among licensees as well as collaborating with stakeholders to protect telecom infrastructure, some individuals were engaged in willful damage of telecom infrastructure, vandalism, telecoms facility theft, and fibre cuts, among other crimes.
He said these criminal acts conspire to degrade the quality of service (QoS) in the country, and since the NCC has no prosecutorial power, the need to strengthen collaboration with the judicial arm of the government at all levels had become expedient.
“NCC does not have prosecutorial power in criminal acts committed by the citizens and licensees which are inimical to the progress of the sector; and we appreciate the ways and manners such criminal cases are being dispensed by the judiciary. This is a testimony to the kind cooperation NCC has been enjoying from the judiciary,” he observed.
Danbatta said the commission would never fold its arms while unscrupulous citizens cause havoc on telecommunication infrastructure as that affects the quality-of-service innocent citizens enjoy.
“Therein lies the importance of the judiciary in the work that we have been assigned by the government to do. We very much appreciate this cooperation with the judiciary and we are committed to ensure that the cooperation grows stronger and stronger going forward,” he said.
According to him, the recently-concluded NCC judges workshop held in Abuja, was a very important initiative of the commission to continuously collaborate with members of the judicial arm of government through updating them with the trends and regulatory dynamism of the sector with a view to improving their knowledge for effective dispensation of justice.
Earlier in his address, the chief registrar of Kano State High Court of Justice, Abdullahi Bayero, who led the delegation, commended the efforts of Danbatta and NCC in fast-tracking digital transformation of governance and other sectors of the economy, saying the judiciary, as a whole, had recognised the necessity and inevitability of digital justice system as well as full integration of ICT-based court system in the administration of justice.
A statement by the NCC director, public affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, quoted Bayero as saying the position was well entrenched in the National Judiciary Information Technology Policy (NJITP), 2021 and was consistent with the NCC’s objective and strategic intervention to advance ICT knowledge and training for various public institutions in Nigeria.
“It is in line with the above that the Kano State judiciary is determined to explore all necessary avenues and opportunities to integrate ICT-based court systems as well as digitised justice delivery systems for efficient and effective administration of justice in the state and we request NCC’s intervention in this regard,” he said.