Says it undermines the National Communications Act, 2003

Omeife Omeife, the President of the Leadership and Role Model Foundation, an advocacy group, on Tuesday advised the National Assembly to step down the proposed bill on the establishment of the National Communications Satellite Corporation.

Omeife, at a news conference in Lagos, said that the bill undermined the existing regulations guiding the operations of telecommunications services and facilities. 

The proposed law is titled “A Bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Communications Satellite Corporation”, and according to him, it contradicts the National Communications Act, 2003.

“It is a misplacement of national priorities and a major contradiction to the existing laws, industry needs, intentions and industry expectations,” Omeife said, urging the Minister of Communication and Technology, Omobola Johnson, to apply to the National Assembly to stand down “the retrogressive bill”.

According to him, any issue arising in the telecommunications sector should be addressed within the existing laws and where such laws are inadequate, “the parliament has liberty to amend them for efficiency”.

Omeife said the bill, if passed, would empower the government’s satellite company (NIGCOMSAT) to become a telecommunications regulator and a service provider in competition with those it issued licences.

“Recently, we read on the pages of newspapers that the House of Representatives has passed a bill setting up the National Communications Satellite Corporation Bill into law,” he said, adding that the group also learnt that the same bill had scaled through its second reading at the Senate.

The organisation condemned what it described as “an attempt by some group of persons to foist another monopoly carrier on the Nigerian telecommunications industry through the National Assembly”. 

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