Nurturing local talents to handle digital economy is necessary– NCC

LAGOS- The Nigerian Communication Commission  (NCC) says it is necessary to nurture a generation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) specialists equipped to handle the complexities of digital economy. Mr Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, said this during the 2nd edition of the West African Telecoms Infrastructure Summit and Exhibition on Friday in Lagos. Maida, represented by Mr Victor Adoga, Head, Next Generation Technology and Standards, NCC, said developing local talents was crucial to adapting to emerging technology trends. On emerging trends, he said the rollout of 5G networks was a transformative trend in telecoms infrastructure. According to him, 5G promises higher speeds, lower latency and greater capacity, facilitating new applications such as Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, smart cities and advanced augmented reality. “The future beyond 5G, looking towards 6G, suggests further enhancements in network capabilities and the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to manage network operations and service delivery. “It requires substantial investments in both hardware and spectrum allocation. “With Internet of Things (IoT), everyday objects are connected to the internet, gathering and sharing data,” he …

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Telecomms sector reform: CSO lauds NCC Maida for providing level playing field

By Chris Udochukwu ABUJA – The Citizens Watch Africa (CWA) has lauded Dr Aminu Maida for his efforts towards improving the telecommunications sector since his appointment as the EVC/ CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). At a press conference on Tuesday, the group said Maida has introduced commendable reforms that have boosted the confidence of stakeholders in the sector, leading to more investments in critical telecoms infrastructure. During his address, the convener of the group, Hon. Pastor Dave Ogbole, stated that the conclusion was reached after an extensive scrutiny of the operations of the NCC in the last six months. Ogbole further noted that there has been a renewed commitment towards promoting transparency and accountability by the NCC leadership, under the guidance of Maida. “This has consequently led to an improvement in the organization’s governance processes. The takeaway from this new drive is the disposition by the leadership of the NCC to ensure a level playing ground for all players in the sector,” he added. “Citizens Watch Africa states that the new drive at the NCC has indeed re-positioned …

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Copyright Infringement: NCC hailed over criminal charges against MTN

ABUJA- A legal practitioner, Rockson Igelige, has commended the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) for filing criminal charges against MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd. over alleged copyright infringement. In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Igelige said the charge was a welcomed development and a plus for the creative industry. The NCC filed a criminal case against MTN Nigeria, its CEO, Karl Toriola and two others, alleging that the defendants infringed on the musical works of an artiste, Maleke Idowu Moye. The lawyer commended the commission for exhibiting zero tolerance for intellectual property theft in the country. “No doubt, infringers have sent many copyright owners to an early grave and pauperised uncountable numbers. They are also responsible for striping many of our musicians of their entitlement. The whole essence of intellectual property laws is to protect the works of the creators so that they can be rewarded financially. “The financial remuneration now acts as an incentive to invoke the creative muse for more works. This is a signal that there is no more hiding place for copyright infringers in Nigeria. No more sacred …

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Undersea cable cuts disrupt data, voice services along African West coast– NCC

ABUJA- The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says a combination of cable cuts, resulting in equipment faults on the major undersea cables along the West African Coast, have negatively impacted data and fixed telecom services in several countries of West Africa. A statement in Abuja on Friday by NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr Reuben Muoka, said the countries included Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cote de Ivoire, among others. Muoka said that the cuts occurred somewhere in Cote de’Ivoire and Senegal, with an attendant disruption in Portugal. “Cable companies – West African Cable System (WACS) and African Coast to Europe (ACE) in the West Coast route from Europe have experienced faults while SAT3 and MainOne have downtime. “Similar undersea cables providing traffic from Europe to the East Coast of Africa, like Seacom, Europe India Gateway (EIG), Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE1), are said to have been cut at some point around the Red Sea, resulting in degradation of services across on these routes. “In Nigeria and other West African countries, Internet access and speed have experienced disruptions in the networks of service …

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We are not owing MTN interconnect charges- Globacom

LAGOS- Globacom Ltd, a Nigerian Telecommunications Company on Tuesday denied reports making the rounds that it was owing MTN interconnect charges. A reliable source in Globacom told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the amount due for payment was N1.6 billion and it had been paid without controversy. NAN reports that a public pre-disconnection notice signed by the Nigerian Communication Commission’s (NCC) Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka, had been posted on the commission’s Twitter page on Monday, Jan. 8. The notice stated that Glo failed to settle its outstanding debts despite repeated attempts at resolution. It stated that after reviewing the application and the circumstances relating to the indebtedness, Globacom lacked the significant or justifiable reasons for failing to pay the interconnect charges. Part of the public notice read: “All subscribers are requested to take notice that the commission has approved the partial disconnection of Globacom to MTN. “This is in accordance with Section 100 of the Nigerian Communications Act (2003) and paragraph nine of the Guidelines on Procedure for Granting Approval to Disconnect Telecommunications Operators …

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NCC Gives 14-day Enforcement Notice To All Unlicensed Operators Over Unauthorised 5.4GHZ Frequency Band

By Chris Udochukwu The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given a 14-day enforcement notice to all unlicensed telecommunication service operators to discontinue the transmission of signals or use of equipment in any form on the 5.4 GHz frequency band without aFrequency license obtained from the Commission. The NCC reminded operators,private/public organizations and the public that the 5.4 GHz frequency band spanning5.430 – 5.725 GHz range is a licensed frequency in Nigeria and that it is a criminaloffence to operate in any frequency not duly assigned by the Commission. Adding that theconsequences of such act may lead to imprisonment, sanction and confiscation ofequipment used in operating the illegal services. This was contained in a statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs Department, Reuben Muoka released via the X account (formerly twitter) of the Commission. The statement reads in full: The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) hereby informs operators,private/public organizations and the public that the 5.4 GHz frequency band spanning5.430 – 5.725 GHz range is a licensed frequency in Nigeria. Therefore, the transmission of signals or use of equipment in any form on …

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Reps Reject Revenues by Govt Owned Enterprises as Under-declaration

….Summon Finance Minister, FIRS, NUPRC, NCC, Customs, NNPC Others By Ogechi Okorie The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations chaired by Rep. Abubakar Bichi on Monday resumed interactive session with GOE’s over the 2024 declaration of revenue target insisting projected revenues is not enough for the country . He attributed rising inflation to a major problem hence the need for GOE’s to appear before the committee for further interaction. Bichi noted that reducing the burden of Nigeria’s debt profile, sectoral budgetary allocations, and the dynamics of budget releases, economic diversification strategies, revenue generation forecasts is needed to facilitate the enactment of the bill and effective implementation of the Appropriations Act, 2024. To this end the Committee chairman summoned Government Owned enterprises to include the minister of Finance, FIRS, NUPRC, NCC, CG Customs, NNPC, NPA, NIMASA, Minister of State for Petroleum, the CBN Governor among others to appear in person on Monday 10am prompt The committee had turned back representatives of CBN, Customs, FIRS, and demanded their heads to appear. The interactive session was to discuss further areas where the country …

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Reps ask ITF to account for N12bn, demands explanation on N39bn Prepaid Meter

ABUJA- The House of Representatives has ordered the Industrial Training Fund ( ITF), to account for over N12 billion difference recorded in their accrued budget actuals as at Dec. 31st, 2022. Rep. James Falake, Chairman, House committee on Finance gave the order when the management of ITF appeared before it for the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper interactive session in Abuja. He expressed grave concern over the failure of the management of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to embark on revenue generation from over 128,000 private and public quoted companies operating in Nigeria. After scrutinizing various financial statements submitted to the Committee, Hon. Faleke queried the disparity with the audited report submitted by ITF, revealing a deficit of over N12 billion Faleke observed that the difference was noticed in the accrued budget actuals as recorded in the Auditor General’s report for the same period. He queried the operating expenditure of N39.8 billion in 2022 with a total revenue of N45.1 billion by the ITF, with only 2,691 staff nationwide. He warned that if ITF failed to …

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Nigerians spent N3.33tn on calls, data in 2022 — NCC

Nigerians and other telecommunication consumers within Nigeria spent N3.33tn on calls, data, SMS, and other telecom services in 2022, the Nigerian Communications Commission has said. This is as telcos made N3.33tn in total revenue for the year. The NCC disclosed this in its newly released ‘2022 Subscriber/Network Data Annual Report.’ According to the commission, the total number of active subscribers increased from 195,463,898 subscriptions in 2021 to 222,571,568 active voice subscriptions as of December 2022, a 13.86 percent year-on-year increase. Commenting on the increase, it said, “The increase in the Operators’ subscriber base was attributed to a number of reasons which includes subscriber loyalty, promos, seasonal effects, aggressive consumer acquisition drive, and competitive product offerings across all the networks.” It noted that the growth in active subscriptions impacted positively on other derived telecom indicators such as teledensity, Internet penetration as well as broadband penetration. Data usage also continued its surge in 2022. It increased by 46.77 percent to 518,381.78TB as of the end of the year. The NCC stated, “There was an increase in the volume of data consumed at the year-end …

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Lamido of Adamawa Commends NCC’s Consumer Protection Initiatives

By Chris Udochukwu The Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Muhammadu Mustapha, has commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on a range of its telecom consumer protection initiatives, including the recent Village Square Dialogue (VSD), which held at the weekend in Yola, Adamawa State. This was contained in a statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka. According to the statement, the Kakakin Adamawa, Prof. Abubakar Tahir, who represented Lamido Adamawa at the Consumer Conversation programme of the Commission with the theme: “Know Your Rights as Telecom Consumers” in Yola, said the event marked a privilege for individual telecom consumers and businesses in the state to ask questions and get face-to-face response from the regulator on telecom-related issues. “We must commend the NCC for the great work it has been doing in the area of consumer education and enlightenment. Aside from being the regulator of the sector, the NCC leadership has taken the issue of consumer information very central; and we thank you for bringing this laudable initiative to the good people of Adamawa,” he said. The royal father advised the …

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Telecoms investments hit $76bn, 5G subscriptions now 60,000 ­­— NCC

Total investments into the telecommunication sector rose to $75.6bn as of the end of 2021, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, has disclosed. According to him, this comprises foreign direct investment and local investment as of 2021. He stated this at an interactive session with stakeholders in the communications media ecosystem, in Lagos on Wednesday. He also revealed that 5G subscriptions have grown to over 60,000 subscriptions in many cities across 12 states of the federation. He explained that in 2018, investment profile in the sector stood at $68bn, then increased to $70.5bn in 2019, and $72bn in 2020. He noted that at the end of 2021, the figure rose to $75.56bn. he noted that investment in the telecoms sector is computed from two sources: the Central Bank of Nigeria, and the financial data obtained from service providers by the commission. Danbatta said the sector’s investment profile has recorded tremendous growth from its initial investment profile of $500m as of 2001. Commenting on the sector’s contribution to GDP in 2022 and 2023, he said, …

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NCC boss, Danbatta receives APPON Award, assures of broadband support for e-Procurement

The Association of Public Procurement Practitioners of Nigeria, APPON, has conferred the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, with the “Excellent Service Delivery and Accountability Award”. The award was in recognition of Danbatta’s outstanding performance and contribution to the canons of the public procurement profession in Nigeria by ensuring that the NCC complies strictly with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007. Director, Public Affairs of the Commission, Reuben Muoka made this known in Abuja He said Danbatta received the award at the 3rd Annual National Conference and Awards Ceremony organized by the APPON in Lagos recently. Danbatta was adjudged to have led an NCC that is transparent, open and compliant with the provisions of public procurement as enshrined in applicable laws of the land. In his remark, APPON National President, Akparawa Kanico, congratulated the EVC for his remarkable leadership and ability to inspire everyone around him towards ensuring an effective procurement process in the Commission. He stated that the leadership finesse and administrative prowess of Danbatta have …

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Nigerians ‘ll Forever Remember You For Providing Digital Identity – Danbatta Tells Pantami

…As Pantami Unveil 4,366 Projects Implemented in the Digital Economy Sector in 4 Years By Chris Udochukwu The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta has commended the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami for his giant stride achievements recorded in the sector, saying that Nigerians will forever remember him for providing digital identity for the citizens. The EVC who was represented by the Executive Commissioner (Stakeholders Management) of the NCC, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, stated that one of the achievements of the Minister was the repositioning of the ministry to become part of the global economy. He stated this during the virtual unveiling and virtual commissioning of 4,366 digital economy projects implemented under the supervision of prof Pantami held on Thursday at the Communications and Digital Economy Complex, Mbora, Abuja. Outlining some of the numerous achievements of the digital Minister, Mr Adeleke said “upon resumption of office, Pantami quickly came up with various policies; most critical being national digital economy policy and strategy. You brought determination, resoluteness and implement asiduously these policies. “He …

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Group Says Planned Auctioning Of More 5G Spectrum Licenses Dubious

….Urges Buhari, National Assembly to halt shady move By Chris Udochukwu Group under the auspices of Network for Best Practice and Integrity in Leadership (NEBPRIL),  has described the planned move by some top government functionaries to hurriedly license more 5G telecommunications services in the twilight of the current administration as self-serving, dubious, unethical and a brazen act of economic sabotage. NEBPRIL therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly, to halt such a surreptitious move. It said that rather, the government should encourage more competition in the thriving telecommunications industry by urging the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), to introduce and license additional Mobile Virtual  Network Operation ( MVNO) services, which has the potential of stimulating increased activity in the sector, especially given it’s potentials in creating more employment opportunities and wealth in the nation. According to NEBPRIL, this call became necessary because engaging in such an end-of-tenure bonanza, with a national economic resources in a critical sector such as telecommunications, at a time that the nation is toiling to chart new pathways in non oil revenue, is self-serving, dubious, unethical and …

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NCC deploys 84 IT projects to assist persons with disabilities

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has deployed 84 assistive Information Technology projects at different locations in Nigeria to support people with special needs while supporting policies that enable disadvantaged members of the society to live a more qualitative life. “The E-Accessibility project seeks to meet the ICT needs of persons living with disabilities in Nigeria by providing ICT tools, assistive technologies, training, and Internet provision in the identified locations. Between 2012 to 2020, the NCC has deployed the E-Accessibility Projects in, at least, 84 locations nationwide.” The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this during a courtesy visit by a delegation from National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) to the NCC over the weekend in Abuja, where the EVC also restated NCC’s commitment to continually support people with special needs across the country. Danbatta, while receiving the NCPWD team led by its Executive Secretary, James Lalu, said the telecom regulator has always implemented initiatives aimed at ensuring digital inclusivity for all Nigerians regardless of their circumstances. Represented by the Director, Human Capital and Administration at …

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NCC fixes new rate for international calls termination

The Nigerian Communications Commission has set $0.10 as the new fixed International Termination Rate for voice services paid by overseas telecom carriers for ending international calls on local networks in Nigeria. The ITR pertains to the cost of bringing call traffic into Nigeria, and it was increased from the $0.045 initially presented in December last year as a floor price. The Commission said the new rate, which would take effect September 1, 2022, was the fixed rate for ITR services. It added that international operators were mandated to pay local operations in dollars. This is according to a document on the Determination of Mobile (Voice) International Termination Rate (As Amended) as of August 25, 2022, which is available on the NCC website. On the reason for backtracking on the floor price to a fixed price, the NCC noted, “While the Determination had set a floor price at $0.045 and gives the MNOs room to negotiate on commercial terms with carriers, there were related indications that MNOs took advantage of this latitude to engage in discriminatory pricing that favours their related …

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