Given the global shift to digital services, just as financial services and payments are now powered by mobile phones, providing access to new data, embracing technological innovations, and changing mindsets of users, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, has said it will regulate Nigeria’s digital space.

NCC, however, said it would be mindful of protecting the consumers and meeting the needs of the robust operating environment that the digital economy has created, while considering regulation.

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta made this known on Wednesday, during the NCC’s Day at the ongoing Nigerian Fintech Week in Lagos, with the theme: ‘Navigating the Next Normal-Sustainable Impacts in FinTech, e-Government and Emerging Technologies.’

Danbatta who was represented by the Director, Digital Economy at NCC, Mr. Austin Nwaulune, said the backbone of the FinTech and any emerging technology, remained hyper connectivity, which means growing interconnectedness of people, organisations, and machines that result from the internet, mobile technology and the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to Danbatta, “It is therefore imperative to note that NCC, being the regulator of the communications sector, is responsible for ensuring that regulation is innovative, technology neutral, competitively neutral, protects the consumers and meets the needs of the robust operating environment that the digital economy has created.

“The digital economy is taking shape and changing conventional notions about how businesses are designed; how firms network; and how consumers obtain services, information, and goods. It is in recognition of the impacts of the digital economy that Nigeria developed its guiding Policy and Strategy document known as the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) and the NCC has positioned itself to ensure full implementation of its responsibilities as communicated in the NDEPS.”

During the panel session, discussants who are technology experts, also stressed need for regulation of Decentralised Financial services (DeFi), According to them, regulation, especially from the consumer point of view, is one key area that will make DeFi more inclusive.