Interview with Murzanatu Talatu Suleiman – Research and Development Department, Nigerian Communications Commission, on enabling environments and competition

Dec 28, 2023 | Audio, Interviews


During November 2023,  national regulators from Eswatini, Kenya, Namibia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Zambia took part in a 2.5-week training programme in Stockholm, Sweden, as part of the European phase of the iPRIS training.

Alexandra Högberg from SPIDER Center interviewed Murzanatu Talatu Suleiman – Research and Development Department, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), along the sidelines of the Sweden 2023 phase. In this interview, Murzanatu Talatu Suleiman weighs in on enabling environments and competition.

This interview has been edited for clarity and readability.

Alexandra Högberg: Could you please introduce yourself?

Talatu Suleiman: My name is Murzanatu Talatu Suleiman, representative of the Nigerian Communications Commission and CC. I’m one of the three participants here in Sweden. And my background is in mechanical engineering, presently working the research and development departments of NCC.

AH: How can regulators contribute to the advancement of the ICT sector in Africa?

TS: One of the things I would say, majorly, the regulators can play is giving an enabling environment. Because when you have an enabling environment, you’d have innovations come up, you open up the ecosystem for a lot of activities to happen to that major place where I think the regulator in Africa can play by providing an enabling environment.

AH: Is there any specific highlights from your time here in Sweden from the training phase?

TS: Everything has been a highlight, from the core part of the telecom lectures to the project management plan. For me, the project management plan really helped me to put the perspective to my work. The MEAL concepts, it’s new, but I appreciated it. You know, I’ve been struggling with the resetting of my project plan. So when it came, and I was like, okay, I have to look at the impact, the outcome and all those made the work lighter and more interesting. So yeah, there are a lot of highlights, the visit to Ericsson, that’s a highlight for me. What can I remember? A lot, the facilitators are good people. You listen, and I like people who listen and solve my problem. So yeah, everything was really highlighted.

AH: What are you hoping that the change initiative that you’re working on now, how will it make a change to Nigeria?

TS: So for our change initiative from Nigeria, we’re trying to assess the level of competition. Competition is good, in any sector, regardless of the sector you’re working. For us in telecom sector, where you have an enabling environment, where you have healthy competition, you bring in more innovators, more operators, and your end users will have multiple choices so they can decide which of the operators and providers they want to use. So a change initiative is all about the end users having good options, multiple choices, access, affordability, and for the operators, you have to have their interest at heart. So giving them an enabling environment to thrive, to recoup their investment is also good, Puts operators and end-users in a win-win situation.

AH: Is there anything else you want to add?

TS: One thing that makes me thrive is an enabling environment so you can see Arcia is talking about enabling environment. You the Swedish people give us an enabling environment so I can try. For me that’s a major thing.

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