NCC pushes for net-zero emission in telecom sector

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) yesterday said it plans to introduce policies that would encourage the telecoms sector to adopt clean and sustainable energy sources, to reduce its carbon footprint in the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who spoke in Lagos yesterday in Lagos during a roundtable with academia, industry and other stakeholders, said the Commission was determined to realize the goal of disclosure.

Also speaking on the sideline of the forum, mobile network operators (MNOs) said there was no going back on end user tariff hike of telecom services. The MNOs which spoke through its group, Association of Licensed Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), said they were engaging with relevant stakeholders to make the hike happen.

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Prof Danbatta, represented by Executive Commissioner, Technical Services at NCC, Mr Ubale Maska, said the policy would serve as a framework for telecom service providers to contribute to a greener future.

The theme of the event was: “Refocusing Academic Research towards Alternative Clean Energy: Panacea to Paucity of Energy in the Telecom Sector.”

Prof Dambatta said: “We believe that this policy will not only benefit the environment but also drive innovation and create new business opportunities within the industry. However, achieving our objectives requires collaboration and partnership with the academia and other stakeholders.”

According to him, academia plays a crucial role in advancing research and innovation that transform industries.



He noted that the academia’s expertise, knowledge and insights would guide in developing feasible alternative sources of clean energy that the telecommunications industry could leverage for a sustainable energy supply.

He said the Commission’s main goals were aimed at refocusing the future academic research towards feasible alternative sources of clean energy that could be harnessed by the telecom industry.

According to him, it is essential to identify and explore new technologies, such as solar, wind, and biomass, that can power our communication infrastructure efficiently and sustainably.

“We need the research of the academia to help us understand the potential of these alternative energy sources, address their challenges, and develop strategies for their implementation in the telecom sector.

“Secondly, we seek to promote research in academia that leverages digital technology to improve the livelihoods of Nigerians,” Prof Dabatta said.

He explained that the telecom sector was at the forefront of digital transformation, noting that it was necessary to harness its potential to enhance the lives of citizens.

According to Danbatta, the telecom sector, like many other industries, has a significant role to play in transitioning to a sustainable energy future.

He said that it was NCC’s responsibility to ensure that the growth of the telecom sector was achieved in a manner that was environmentally friendly and in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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He said the commission recognised the importance of clean energy usage in the industry and was committed to promoting regulatory initiatives that would encourage the adoption of renewable and ethical energy sources.

Danbatta said studies had shown that renewables and energy efficiency, coupled with electrification, could provide over 90 per cent of the necessary reductions in energy-related carbon emissions .

“This presents a significant opportunity for the telecommunications sector to contribute to the world’s energy transformation.

“Let us leverage the power of collective intelligence to develop actionable strategies that will shape the future of the telecom industry in Nigeria.

“We believe that by aligning research efforts towards alternative clean energy sources and leveraging digital technology, we can revolutionise the telecom sector in Nigeria, “Danbatta said.

Maska, in his remarks as Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, said in the face of global energy challenges and critical need for sustainable practices, it was incumbent for NCC to explore innovative solutions to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

He said the telecoms sector, being an essential pillar of modern society, must take the lead in adopting cleaner, greener energy sources to mitigate the paucity of energy and contribute to a sustainable future.

ALTON’s Executive Secretary, Gbolahan Awonuga, said the reality on ground has made tariff hike inevitable if the business is going to self-sustaining.

He said the usual cots-based analysis that precedes tariff hike had been concluded, saying the review will be done sooner than later.

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