Nigerian ICT industry validates findings of CTO’s OTT study
As part of a stakeholder consultation session organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the 30 May, the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) presented the findings of its study on over-the-top (OTT) services to the Nigerian ICT industry to provide them with an opportunity to discuss and validate the findings. The session involved over 60 stakeholders from all segments of the country’s industry, including the Ministry of Communications Technology, the NCC, mobile network operators and Internet service providers and broadcasters.
The session’s opening statement was delivered by Shola Taylor, secretary-general of the CTO, who highlighted the challenges and impacts of OTTs and underlined the need for regulatory responses to OTT services that are tailored to the context of each Commonwealth country.
“Following the widespread use of OTTs and ICTs, and the emergence of data security issues, some of which are not limited by physical jurisdictions and cross national borders, it is vital that Nigeria establishes legislation on data protection and privacy which ensures the protection of personal data in Nigeria,” said Mr Taylor.
Participants discussed the findings of the study, underlining specific issues and recommendations which are relevant to the Nigerian context. For instance, participants underlined the challenges in implementing licensing frameworks for OTTs, the new and emerging trend of Nigerians using OTTs to roll out businesses and deliver services, the security issues associated with OTT encryption and lawful interception of data, the challenge of creating a level playing field where all stakeholders including OTTs, traditional service providers, governments and consumers all benefit, etc.
“It is obvious that consumers in Nigeria have benefitted from the innovation and services provided by OTT service providers. It is also undeniable that these innovations and services and the ensuing consumer behaviour have run ahead of the current regulatory approaches in Nigeria,” said Sunday Dare, executive commissioner for stakeholder management at NCC.
“It has now become vital for Nigeria to come up with regulatory approaches that not only address the peculiarities of the Nigerian “OTT” context but also ensure positive outcomes for consumers, traditional service providers, OTTs, and the Federal Government. The CTO’s OTT report is an excellent start to doing just that,” added Mr Dare.
The CTO’s report will be published on 19 June 2018 and will present key issues and recommendations on OTT services.