NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
The Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria to facilitate the achievement of national policy goals for universal access and universal service to information and communication technologies (ICTs) in rural, un-served and under-served areas in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) No 19 of 2003, Part IV detail the Universal Service Provision (USP) in Nigeria. Section 115 of the Act established the Universal Service Provision Board with the mandate to supervise and provide broad policy directions for the management of the USP Fund.
Section 118 of the Act established the USP Secretariat and states that it shall reside in the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and shall be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Universal Service Provision.
The Universal Service Provision Secretariat is structured into nine (9) departments namely;
- Office of the Secretary
- Information Technology Projects
- Infrastructure Projects
- Internal Audit
- Strategy , Corporate Performance Monitoring
- Legal and Secretarial Services
- Funding & Subsidy
- Corporate Services
9th Floor, Nigerian Communication Commission
Plot 423 Aguiyi Ironsi Street,
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT
Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF)
Mr. Ayuba Shuaibu
To facilitate the achievement of universal access to ICT and universal service, through market-based investment, which stimulate development in rural, un-served and under-served communities.
Equitable ICT Access for All
USPF STRATEGIC GOALS
The USPF identified three (3) strategic goals to drive the achievement of its mandate for the next five years i.e. from 2013 to 2017. In articulating its strategic goals, the USPF recognized the need to place priority on building the organizational capacity of the USP Secretariat and ensuring the possession of relevant, up-to-date information on the ICT industry to guide the design and implementation of USP projects, while the other two (2) strategic goals are geared towards what the USPF aims to achieve with respect to its vision. The strategic goals of the USPF are outlined below
Goal 1: Facilitate an enabling environment for ICT
- Identify the market efficiency and access gaps and design incentives that would promote the rollout of sustainable ICT services in rural, un-served and underserved areas.
Goal 2: Promote universal access and universal service that facilitate connectivity for development
- Facilitate the availability of transmission infrastructure and connection to the national backbone in all LGAs.
- Drive increasing access to community-based data and voice services on a shared basis and provide a platform for universal service.
Goal 3: Institutional Development
- Strengthen the capability of the USP institution to effectively deliver on its mandate
- To ensure that ICT is available in rural, un-served and under-served areas/groups in Nigeria.
- To ensure that the project implementers deliver cost effective, quality and innovative ICT services in the USPF project sites.
- Keeping stakeholders abreast of the development in the telecom sector.
- Meeting up with governmental and constitutional requirements on the implementation of the USPF’s Projects.
In discharging the above services the Secretariat promptly attends to customers/stakeholders and staff needs and enquiries
The Secretariat ensures at all times that services are discharged in consonance with the USPF’s core values of Integrity, Collaboration, Team Spirit, Transparency, Innovation, Professionalism and Service Excellence (ICT TIPS)
MONITORING AND PUBLISHING
The Secretariat periodically monitors customer’s perceptions of its services by conducting stakeholder’s consultation forums. Feedbacks via the USPF website are evaluated and all observed lapses treated immediately.
DETAILS OF STAKEHOLDERS
- The Presidency
- National Assembly
- Federal Ministry of Communication
- ICT Operators
- Project Implementers
- ICT un-served and under-served people, groups or institutions in Nigeria
- Government Agencies
- Technical Auditors
- ICT Industry Experts
- International Organization (International Telecommunications Union, Commonwealth
- Telecommunications Organization etc.)
- Nigerian Telecom and ICT Organizations
- General Public
EXPECTATION AND OBLIGATIONS OF CUSTOMERS, STAFF AND MANAGEMENT
- Customer is expected to work with the Secretariat to establish clear expectations for the program/project and a clearly defined and timely approval process for documents.
- Customer is expected to maintain a constant flow of open, honest communication with the Secretariat to address opportunities and problems, as well as successes and concerns.
- Customers can expect to get documents and information that meet their needs from the Secretariat that they can trust.
- Customers’ interests will be at the heart of how the Secretariat does business.
- Meeting customers’ fair and reasonable expectations will be the responsibility of the Secretariat.
STAFF AND MANAGEMENT
- Management and Staff as a basic requirement are bound to discharge their responsibilities completely and competently by keeping themselves abreast of the affairs of the Secretariat, Commission and the industry as well as the laws and regulations.
- Management and staff are bound to focus all energy on building an organization that will be deemed a good corporate citizen.
- Management and staff are bound to crafts communications policies and oversee the development of all statements and news releases for the Secretariat.
- Management and staff are bound to provide communications that must be clear, concise and relevant to the audience.
GRIEVANCE REDRESS MECHANISM
Stakeholders are enjoined to seek redress by calling or preferably writing to the official whose details are listed below:
Saeeda Farooq Musa
Corporate Services Department, Room 913
Universal Service Provision Secretariat
Nigerian Communication Commission
Plot 432 Aguiyi Ironsi Street
Tel: 09 -4617468 or 09-4617000
The Secretariat will acknowledge all complaints / issues within 48hours of receipt and have them treated on or before 5 working days, depending on the type of complaints /issues.
STAKEHOLDERS PARTICIPATION IN SERVICE PROVISION
To help the department discharge its duties, customers are expected to:
- Be fully informed of the department’s Servicom Charter.
- Follow the laid down procedures/channels for obtaining required services and information.
- Request/apply in good time to ensure necessary processing.
- Participate in stakeholders’ forum for briefing of activities of the Secretariat in order to provide/get feedback.
SPECIAL NEEDS PROVISION
Industry Consumer Advisory Forum -The Forum’s Objective
The Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) acting in an advisory capacity, will make recommendations to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) regarding the interests and concerns of consumers of ICT products and services including persons with Special Needs and the Elderly; to advice on protection from unfair practices as well as submit memoranda on and facilitate the review of the Consumer Code of Practice Regulations.
NCC through its periodic program tagged “ICTs and Accessibility for Persons with Special Needs and the Elderly” facilitates connectivity to all Nigerians and particularly persons with Special Needs.
As the Secretariat receives feedback and possible consultations with all stakeholders, this Charter will be reviewed from time to time to ensure its continuous relevance and validity.
The Secretariat is poised to work with its stakeholders towards the growth and development of the Nigerian ICT sector however, the following challenges/limitations impede service provision as embedded in the USPF’s SMP goals:
- Poor Infrastructural Facilities: Lack of suitable buildings in some selected schools to house network infrastructures and the non-availability of adequate public infrastructure such as accessible roads in rural areas has been an impediment for successful project delivery over the years.
- Non-availability and Inadequate Public Power Supply: Incessant power outages in most locations have exerted pressure on the generator and solar power solutions provided in some sites which has led to the breakdown of the power source and ultimately power cut to the ICT tools. This has led to the facilities in some locations not being optimally utilized.
- Security Concerns: Security of lives of personnel of operating companies and network equipment is a concern that hampers the extension of telecommunication and ICT services to some parts of the country. Civil unrest and bombings in some parts of the country are great hurdles preventing implementers and USP staff from carrying out their activities. This has led to implementation delays and project overrun in those locations. Another major concern is theft and wanton destruction of ICT equipment in some sites leading to total collapse of the project and unusable to beneficiaries.
- High cost of Bandwidth: High cost of providing bandwidth for SKC, TIKC, IRC and other bandwidth dependent projects of the USPF has contributed to a drastic reduction in the number of ICT projects embarked upon by the Fund.
- Right of way, Certificate of Ownership for land: Issues affecting the effective execution of some projects such as BTRAIN, UnICC, and BTS include: Right of Way, Certificate of Ownership for land acquisition by operators, multiple regulations regarding erection of towers (LGA, State Governments, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency) etc.
- Other Challenges: One of the implementers is presently under receivership which has consequently affected the delivery of six RUBI.