Assesment of the Implementation of Nigeria's telecommunications policy
The study appraised the level of implementation of Nigeria’s National Telecommunications Policy (NNTP) and investigated factors influencing the implementation. It also developed a framework that can enhance a more effective implementation of the policy with a view to improving the service delivery in the Nigerian Telecommunications industry. The samples for the study were selected from Lagos and Abuja (FCT) where most of the telecommunications key players were concentrated. The study utilized questionnaire to elicit information on the objectives. Three sets of questionnaire were used to collect information from different institutions/organizations and telecommunications service subscribers. A total of 250 questionnaires were administered on Ministry of Communications Technology, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), thirteen telecommunications service providers, and telecommunications services subscribers. The questionnaire elicited information on the level of implementation of the NNTP and factors affecting the policy implementation. A total of 219 (87.6%) questionnaires were retrieved. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results showed that, on a five point Likert rating scale, the policy have engendered the availability of the following telecommunications services: mobile cellular network (4.67), microwave network (4.00), international gateway (4.22), data communications (4.28) and computer networking (4.06), respectively. The findings also showed that there was no significant difference (F=9.83; p>0.05) in the effectiveness of policy regulations such as method of license approvals (3.88), telecommunications service provision (3.29), and frequency spectrum management (3.44) used by the regulators. In addition, the study showed that there was low level of knowledge of the policy (F=7.20; p<0.05) in Lagos (1.84) and Abuja (1.52). Likewise, the study also showed that there was no significant difference (F=15.04; p<0.05) in the mean rank of the impact of the policy on employment generation (4.22), attraction of international investment (4.28), creation of competitive services (3.83) and promotion of better regulatory environment (3.33), respectively. Furthermore, the result revealed that there was no significant difference (F=6.72; P<0.05) in the mean rank of the factors influencing the implementation of the policy with population density distribution (3.87), funding/investment (2.75), indigenous capacity development (2.86), national tax regime (3.37), national security (3.62), government policies (3.47), socio-economic problems (3.21), regulatory interventions (3.00), and availability of scarce resources (3.14). The study proposed a framework based on multi-regulatory approach that will involve the merger of NCC, NBC, NITDA and other relevant stakeholders into one body to better address the emerging convergence of technologies within the telecommunications sector. The study concluded that the NNTP implementation was yet to translate to high services satisfaction although it has engendered wide spread access to telecommunications services and that there will be a better policy implementation if a multi-regulatory approach to policy implementation is considered.