NCC, Web Jurist Award and the Phillips Project

We are not trying to claim ownership of the second part of that caption, the Phillips Project but the truth remains that over a decade ago Phillip’s Consulting started a project that looks very insignificant and nearly unrecognisable but which indeed is a great foresight that forms the building blocks of modern societies.

The foregoing expression  is not motivated by the NCC’s recent feat at the Web Jurist Award organised yearly by Phillips Consulting where it won three awards but to affirm that when you know that somebody is watching over your shoulders, things do indeed change. Something very important here is the need for people and organisations to take interest in what is happening in the society in order to bring about positive change.

Here is the story told by Phillip’s Consulring on their website
The Web-Jurist ratings were conceived by e-business experts at Phillips Consulting. The ratings commenced in May 2001 with version 1.0. Its primary objective was to critically and objectively evaluate the effectiveness of websites in Nigeria, focusing initially on the financial services industry and taking into account what the customer wants. Phillips Consulting sought to establish a barometer for assessing e-business activities and for identifying best practices. This exercise evaluated a total of 46 Banks’ websites at the time. The impact and effect of this initial evaluation exercise has been far reaching: Web Jurist 1.0 served as a wake up call for banks. For the first time, websites got executive attention which resulted in a deluge of internet activity by the banks. Several websites have been extensively revamped, some even abandoned their existing sites at the time and developed brand new websites, many websites are still in the process of evolving.

One can testify that Phillips Consulting is not exaggerating the reactions to its web project. When the awards were announced last year, the NCC could not understand why an organisation regulating mainstream technology would not be the one leading the pack. Between the relevant departments some situation meetings were held to reappraise the situation. We all admitted failure for not receiving honourable mention in an award that was independently done, where those involved did not even know that they were being judged. We also agreed to retool the various web platforms to ensure the Commission doesn’t fall short another time.

This is what makes this year’s awards very exciting for an organisation that wasn’t even in the radar a year ago to suddenly get very reasonable mention in three categories, which include: Winner – Web Content, Parastatal Category; Second Place, Best Overall, Parastatal Category; and Third Place, Use of Social Media (Twitter ) Parastatal Category.
The Web-Jurist evaluation tool used for the ratings, according to Phillips Consulting, was developed using intelligent algorithms and the process entails a step-by-step web analysis using detailed criteria developed specifically to evaluate the effectiveness and performance of web sites. These criteria are:

  • Aesthetics
    Examines adherence to key design principles such as legibility of text, functionality of graphics and appropriate use of colors.
  • Technical Aspects
    Examines the functionality of the site based on the ease of navigation as well as the security features implemented on the site.
  • Site Content
    Evaluates the accuracy and freshness of information presented on the site as well as the presentation of the web content.
  • Web Transaction Processing
    Evaluates the ease with which a customer is able to actually transact business effectively on the website.
  • Consumer Experience
    Evaluates the extent to which a customer or potential investor’s needs are satisfied.
  • Performance
    This criteria evaluates the overall performance of the site by measuring such critical metrics as the extent to which web pages have been optimised and the speed with which web pages are displayed.

This kind of process developed by Phillips Consulting does not recognise faces, tribe, state or nationality. It recognises quality, excellence and the ability to remain on top. For a Commission that bases its regulatory activities on the platform of being fair,  firm and forthright, the Commission does not only validate the Phillips Project but will strive to lead the pack going forward. There are still some grounds to cover and the present management led by Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) will not leave anything to chance by way of achieving its overall target of being a reference point among parastatals.

For the NCC, the preceding year wasn’t a bad one after all. Investment in the telecommunications sector has hit an all-time  high of about $68bn, contribution to GDP was  bullish in the first three quarters, telephone subscriber base is well over 153 million with over 93million connected to the Internet. And here is the big clincher. Whereas the country’s National Broadband target is 30 per cent by 2018, recent research by the the ITU UNESCO Broadband Commission For Sustainable Development says Nigeria already has 20.95 per cent Broadband penetration as at 2016, making it very likely that Nigeria can easily surpass that target.

With that encouraging information and based on the 8-Point Agenda of the current administration at the NCC with Facilitation of Broadband Penetration being a cardinal arm of the agenda, plus a carefully coordinated spectrum licensing regime put in place,  Danbatta is excited and is assuring that the sector has the capacity to do much more than what is stated in the Broadband plan.

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