The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has assured that it has no plans to regulate tech giants such as Facebook and Google, contrary to the European Union’s stance.
The regulatory agency noted that those companies are vital to the bottom line of the telecommunications sector in the country.
The Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, gave these assurances while receiving a delegation from the US Airbase War College at the NCC Head Office on Monday.
The US delegation, led by Col. Vanessa Moye and other officials from the Airbase War College, Montgomery, Alabama, visited the NCC for an interactive session.
Responding to issues raised by a member of the delegation on the recent regulation of tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter by the European Union, Ojobo noted that although there are concerns about some of the contents on these platforms, the nation currently has no plans to regulate them.
He said it is a “delicate” matter, adding that: “as time goes nations will start coming up with home-grown regulations, but such will depend on the peculiarity of these countries.”
On cooperation, he stated that Nigeria and the US have collaborated extensively, especially in combating cyber threats.
He said: “We have collaborated extensively with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [on] different platforms, where we exchange ideas and also cooperate. Quite a number of our staff have benefited from training programs in the US. Probably the new media department could be exposed to the new techniques in terms of tracking cyber threats that could affect banks and other institutions, and also sharing innovations.”
Also speaking on some of the mechanisms already in place to combat cyber threats, the Director of New Media, Haru Alhassan, noted that the NCC, in collaboration with international partners, already established two separate centres for protecting cyber space.
He said: “The NCC is embarking on two major projects on the protection of cyber space. The first is the Africa Regional Cyber Security Centre, which is a collaboration between NCC and the International Telecommunications Union, which will be monitoring the West African cyber space [and] working with other international cyber agencies. …There is also the sectorial Computer Incidence Response Team which will be protecting the nation’s cyber space, the initiative is in line with the National Cyber Security Plan.”
Speaking to the press after the meeting, Col. Moye expressed satisfaction with the NCC as she described the commission as “impressive and futuristic.”