NCC, Israel plan collaboration to curb cyberattacks

ISRAEL has expressed interest in tackling cyberattacks in Nigeria in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.

This was made known when a delegation from Israel made up of its Director Africa Department II, West and Central Africa, Barnea Hassid; the Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Israel, Abuja, Nadav Goren; and the Senior Economic Officer, Embassy of Israel, Florence Osuji, visited the NCC head office in Abuja.

In his remarks, Hassid informed the NCC that they had come to discuss areas of collaboration and interest with the commission.

According to him, some of the areas of interest are cybersecurity and how to address issues of cybercrimes resulting from convergence of Internet devices, hacking of online financial transactions and channels of electronic transactions, online impersonation and terrorism, which utilises Internet to connect members globally.

Hassid further stated that the embassy had met with the Nigeria Governors Forum and discussed matters that required government’s attention and bilateral agreements between the two countries.

The Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, while commending the team for the bilateral relationship between the two nations, stated that the commission would welcome any partnership to mitigate challenges of cybercrimes, security and privacy matters in the app sector.

He further stated that one of the commission’s eight-point agenda was focused on facilitating broadband penetration and ensuring 30 per cent penetration by end of 2018.

Danbatta noted that this would bring unprecedented developments and growth to the telecoms sector, adding that new challenges due to innovative applications requiring expertise and network professionals would emerge. – Punch

– Jul. 24, 2018 @ 11:25 GMT |

NCC, CPC Collaborate to Investigate Call Masking

THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and the Consumer Protection Council, CPC, has held a meeting to investigate call masking in Nigeria on the directive of the National Assembly.

The meeting was also to review the existing Memorandum of Understanding between the two government organizations and discuss how to work together to improve complaints resolution of telecommunications consumers.

Speaking at the meeting, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, EVC, NCC, said masking of calls with another number, especially international calls is a matter that has been trending and the NCC has been directed to address it as it has security implications.

Professor Danbatta said “The office of the National Security Adviser had directed the NCC to put in place, measures that will contain this menace even before the directive from the National Assembly to the NCC and the CPC.

“We have resolved to set up a joint committee to investigate call masking and filing and conclude within a month, and I am very happy with the outcome of the meeting.

“What has happened today is a testimony to an important item on NCC’s 8-point agenda which is strategic collaborations and partnerships with other agencies of government”

Babatunde Irukera, Director General, Consumer Protection Council said the meeting provided an opportunity to discuss consumer protection with respect to the telecommunications industry.

Irukera said: “it was a very productive meeting and few key things we agreed on is that the CPC needs a good number of guidelines, directions, regulations and initiatives of the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the NCC, with respect to addressing consumer issues.

“We are looking to concluding and existing negotiation on an MOU that will define on how our relationship goes going forward, and we will open a mutual investigation into quality of consumer experiences in the telecommunications industry, to address a lot of consumer issues.”

The Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Sunday Dare, stated that NCC’s journey with the CPC started many years back with previous MOU’s.

“We been trying to review the MOU for some months and we’ve come to the final part of it, and what has happened today is to make sure we create the kind of synergy that we need to go forward to protect the consumers”, he said.

He reiterated that the NCC under the leadership of Professor Danbatta prioritizes protecting, informing and educating the 154 million telecoms subscribers in Nigeria through various ways, including the interagency collaboration with other organizations, such as the CPC, that have a mandate to protect consumers across the country.

– Jul. 3, 2018 @ 18:49 GMT |

NCC reveals What is Driving Teledensity Growth in Nigeria

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has revealed that the country’s telecoms sector achieved steady teledensity growth in the last nine months to reach 114.66 percent in April this year. The NCC, in a report posted on its website, said the growth was driven by the rise in telecoms subscribers’ number, which reached 160,524,590 across all networks as at April.

The country had experienced a slide in its teledensity between January and July 2017, before picking up in August 2017 and maintained a steady growth up till April 2018, where it reached its highest peak of 114.66 per cent. Teledensity is the number of active telephone connections per one hundred inhabitants living within an area and is expressed as a percentage figure.

Precisely, the report showed that after a slide in teledensity between January and July 2017, from 110.8 percent to 99.39 percent respectively, it picked up again from 99.39 percent in July 2017, to 99.60 percent in August same year.

Furthermore, it increased to 99.93 percent in September and 100.55 percent in October. It grew again to 101.66 percent in November, 103.61 percent in December same year, 105.21 percent in January 2018, 106 percent in February 2018, 106.64 percent in March 2018, until it reached 114.66 percent in April 2018, which was the highest ever since the inception of GSM network rollout in 2001.

According to the NCC’s figures, the over 160 million subscriber number was a clear indication of a steady growth of subscriber base across networks. The report showed the market share of each operator, revealing that MTN still leads the Nigerian telecoms market with a total of 65.2 million active subscribers on its network, with a market share of 41 percent.

It was closely followed by Globacom, with an active subscriber number of 39.5 million, and a market share of 25 percent. Airtel held on to the third position with total number of 39.2 million active subscribers on its network and a market share of 24 percent.

9mobile, the fourth GSM company to roll out its services on October 23, 2008, which is also undergoing some transformational changes in terms of ownership and re-branding, has a total number of 16.1 million active subscribers on its network, with a market share 10 percent. ntel, the fifth GSM company to roll out its services in 2016, after acquiring NITEL and MTel, is still battling to find its feet in the telecoms sector.

Since its rollout, the telecoms company has been faced with funding challenge that is threatening its speed of network rollout and its ability to compete with other GSM operators. For this reason, its data statistics have not been recorded by the NCC to show its level of performance.

– June 22, 2018 @ 13:11 GMT |

Why Nigeria’s Mobile Money Scheme Penetration is Low

Mobile money operation in Nigeria is still crawling at one percent penetration after being in existence for six years. Why?

 

By Anayo Ezugwu

After six years of operation in Nigeria, mobile money has attracted only one percent penetration in the country. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, lamented that mobile money is crawling at one percent penetration in the country because it is bank-led.

Danbatta in an interactive session with journalists in Lagos, said only about two million of Nigeria’s estimated 198 million populations make use of mobile money, unlike in Ghana and Kenya where penetrations have reached 40 percent and 60 percent, respectively.

The implication of this is that despite the innovation that comes with it, Nigerians are yet to tap from the huge benefit it carries. Nigeria is currently home to about 21 mobile money operators, which comprised 15 non-bank operators and six bank operators that have been carrying out commercial operations.

According to him, other regions, where the scheme is thriving is because it is telecom-led, “as such we need to re-direct our focus and ensure that appropriate model is adopted adequately.”

Danbatta said there should be effective cooperation among all the various stakeholders in the value chain that is the telecommunications operators, agents, CBN and the services providers too. He revealed that discussions are on-going in the industry on how to get telecom operators to become super agents in the scheme of things.

“With the population we have in the country, Nigeria should play big in the mobile money ecosystem in Africa. Only about one per cent that is about two million Nigerians is currently on the scheme. That is rather too poor. All hands must be on deck to revive that sub-sector of the economy. If we are to improve on Nigeria’s digital landscape, we must revive the mobile ecosystem, which includes the mobile money scheme,” he said.

To ensure that mobile money operators are efficient, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, wants to revoke licences of some the operators that have increasingly found it difficult to operate in the country. CBN said it has set a new capital requirement of N2 billion for the licensees and any operator that fails to meet the recapitalisation by July 1, this year, will have its licence revoked.

Isaac Okorafor, acting director, corporate communications, CBN, said with the potential explosion in mobile money and other related activities, the CBN, after very rigorous research and consideration, came up with the new capital requirement to make for a strong mobile money industry.

He said the initial capital requirement was N500 million, stressing that the operators were required to have met N1 billion at the end of December 2017 and to make up N2 billion by July 1.

Mobile money is an aspect of financial transactions where financial values are transferred from one person to another using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, USSD, platform on mobile networks. The electronic fund transfer platform was introduced to complement the entire spectrum of cashless economy policy effectively introduced by the apex bank in January 1, 2012.

Till date, only 21 mobile money licences have been issued by the CBN with only a few of them operating effectively, including United Bank for Africa/ AfriPay (U-Mobile); Zenith Bank (EazyMoney); GTBank (GTMobileMoney); FirstBank/Pridar – (First- Monie); Stanbic IBTC (*909# Mobile Money) and Ecobank (Ecobank Mobile Money) and others.

The mobile money operators not backed by any bank have had their operations crumbled due to what industry pundits refer to as “paucity of funds to run effective operations to compete in the financial services market” and may find it difficult to meet the deadline “without some re-alignment.”

Operators within this precarious fold, as gathered, include Parkway Projects (ReadyCash); eTranzact (PocketMoni); PagaTech (Paga); Fortis MFB (Fortis Mobile Money); Monitize (Monitize mobile money); FETS (My Wallet); Eartholeum (QikQik); Teasy Mobile (Teasy Mobile); Mkudi (Mimo); PayCom (Payment Irrespective of Distance or Obstacles – PIDO); VTNetwork (Virtual Terminal Network – VTN) and Cellulant (CeLLulant) among others.

Despite having 21 mobile money operators licensed by the CBN in circulation, the volume of transaction on the payment platforms is still grossly low, according to data obtained on NIBSS official website.

– Apr. 20, 2018 @ 17:31 GMT

Telecommunications transform Nigeria’s Economy – Danbatta

By Benprince Ezeh

Telecommunications have made significant impacts in transforming the Nigerian economy, according to Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.

Danbatta, who stated this at the NCC’s interactive session with the media in Lagos, on Monday, April 16, quoted figures from the National Bureau of Statistics to butress his statement.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in the 1st Quarter of 2017, the telecommunications sector contributed N1.45 trillion to the GDP.  In the 2nd Quarter, the figure rose to N1.549 trillion.

“This performance at a period of recession is very remarkable. We are keeping dates with the NBS to indentify and track how these trends progress. On the aggregate, the telecoms industry contribution to GDP in Nigeria stands at 10 per cent per annum in the past four years,” the executive vice chairman said.

However, Danbatta said that the figures may not tell the entire story because investments in the sector, in human and material resources have continued to rise.

– Apr. 19, 2018 @ 19:47 GMT

 

Photos: Industrial Training Fund presents Award to Danbatta

 

The Industrial Training Fund at the Nigerian Communications Commission’s, NCC, head office to present Prof. Umar Danbatta executive vice chairman, EVC, with Best Contribution Employer in Human Resource Development in 2017.

– Apr. 19, 2018 @ 16:06 GMT

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NCC gives Telelogy 90 Days to pay $450m for 9Mobile

THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has given Teleology Holdings Limited 90 days to pay $450 million to be able to take over 9mobile Nigeria.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC, told journalist in Abuja, after the NCC management paid a courtesy visit to the Central Bank of Nigeria, that “the information I have for you is that the preferred bidder has emerged and it has been told to pay, starting with a deposit of  $50 million which the preferred bidder has paid, we have information to this effect.

“What remains is for the preferred bidder to pay the balance of $450 million in the next 90 days, or less than 90 days anyway. And upon payment of that amount, 9mobile would be transferred to the preferred bidder, which is Teleology Holdings Limited.

“In the event Teleology fails to pay after the expiration of the deadline of 90 days then the reserved bidder will be considered and the reserved bidder is Smile. That is the position at the moment.”

9mobile, formerly Etisalat, had problems last year when it could not service the loan it took from a consortium of banks in Nigeria a few years ago. This resulted in the parent company Etisalat withdrawing from the company and it subsequently changed its name to 9mobile

– Apr. 11, 2018 @ 11:10 GMT |

NCC, CBN sign MOU on Payment System

THE Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Tuesday in Abuja, signed a memorandum of understanding, MoU, on payment system.

The signing of the MOU is a positive statement that NCC and CBN are making about their content to ensure digital transformation process in the country and all other sectors of the economy and how the organisations can bring this experience to bear in other sector of Nigeria’s economy like education, transportation and other key service sectors including the delivery of good governance to the citizens of the country.

The MoU, which was on mobile money service and financial inclusion followed useful work done by a committee made up of members of the two organisations. The digital transformation process targeted governance and transformation of key services sector of the economy and one of such sector was the financial sector.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC, said the signing of the MoU between NCC and CBN was a landmark in the digital transformation process that the commission was mandated to do courtesy of the Act establishing it.

According to him, “NCC is committed to this transformation process which we are daily thinking of what to do to ensure we reach the desired destination by making sure our people participate in the digital economy. In a way and manner that they will be empowered to leverage on information and Communication Technology, ICT, to conduct their daily businesses.”

On his part, Godwin Emiefele, governor of CBN, said the intention of the MoU between both organisations was to see how they could work together toward driving the payment system in the country.

Emiefele said the MoU was geared toward reducing cash transaction and enhancing cashless operations in the country.

He said the signing of the MoU would also help to facilitate financial inclusion and drive a more robust payment system in the country.

“I am very delighted because with this signing, we are now very sure and certain that we will very easily improve the level of financial inclusion from the level it is today which is about 48 per cent.

“And we will set a target for ourselves that by 2020, which is in three years or below that the level of financial inclusion should increase to 80 per cent.

“ I can assure that this signing provides framework for licensing of payment service provider,‘’ he said.

Emiefele said the MoU was also a framework that would guide the working of those who were stakeholders both in the banking industry as well as the telecommunication industry.

He added that this was not just for mobile payment but also the payment system in the country.

“We look forward to many more years of close collaboration between the CBN and banking system on one hand and the NCC, telecommunication industry on another hand.

 

– Apr. 10, 2018 @ 6:27 GMT |

NCC bars 750,000 Lines over Call Masking, withdraws Operators Licences

THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has sanctioned some operators in the telecommunications industry for masking international calls.

Tony Ojobo, director public affairs, NCC, in statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday  also announced that it had begun the second phase of investigation on the involvement of digital mobile operators in masking activities.

The statement reads: “The NCC has recently been inundated with complaints from service providers and consumers regarding the high incidence of call masking, call refiling and SIM boxing. Generally, the practice complained of involves disguising international calls as local calls in order to profit from price differentials between international and local calls.

“Apart from the resultant loss of revenue by service providers, the practice also has some negative security implications. Following a painstaking investigation process, which included collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Department of State Services, the commission has imposed a range of sanctions on licensees involved in the fraudulent practice.”

The sanctions include suspension of the interconnect clearing house licence issued to Medallion Communications Limited for a period of 90 days, in the first instance, and issuance of a strong warning to Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria Limited.

Others are disconnection of Information Connectivity Solutions Limited and Solid Interconnectivity Services Limited from all networks until they regularise their operations, and issuance of letters to Exchange Telecoms Limited, NiconnX Limited and Breeze Micro Limited, cautioning them against engaging in the fraudulent practice.

Ojobo said the sanctioned entities were found to be directly and indirectly complicit in several infractions, including covertly allowing organisations with expired licences to transit calls and failure to undertake due diligence on parties seeking to interconnect.

Other infractions include deliberately turning a blind eye to masking infractions by interconnect partners and using a licence issued to other organisation to bring in and terminate international calls, which were masked as local calls to other operators.

Ojobo said over 750,000 individual numbers across the nation, made up of about 31 number ranges had been barred.

The licensees whose numbers were barred are Vezeti Communications Services Limited, Voix Networks Limited, Mobitel Limited, Peace Global Satellite Communications Limited, ABG Communications Limited and Vodacom Business Africa (Nigeria) Limited.

Others are Swift Telephone Networks Limited, QVODA Telecoms Limited, Wireless Telecoms Limited and Emcatel Networks Limited.

The commission found that some of these firms were terminating millions of minutes, whereas they only had very few active customers, Ojobo added.

The NCC spokesperson stated, “The commission is pleased to note that the incidence of call masking has significantly reduced since it commenced a multi-faceted approach to address the menace.

“The commission hereby informs all stakeholders that the actions so far taken are just the first stage of the exercise. The second stage, which has now commenced, will focus on the Mobile Network Operators and other persons involved in SIM boxing.

“The aim of the commission is to completely stamp out the fraudulent practice in the overall interest of all Nigerians. Accordingly, every service provider that has been sanctioned still has an opportunity to correct the identified anomalies and satisfy the commission that it should be allowed to continue to operate in Nigeria.”

He added that the NCC reserved the right to revoke the licences of such service providers where they failed to take the necessary corrective measures.

– Feb. 28, 2018 @ 6:22 GMT /

NCC organises National Workshop on Electronic Fraud

 

FOLLOWING the dynamics in both the sophistication of production and tempo of usage of digital products and the attendant susceptibility of consumers to fraud in electronic transactions, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, organised a workshop at the Digital Bridge Institute, Kano Campus to address the challenges of electronic fraud such as hacking and associated intrusions in e-commerce and other interactions in the cyberspace.

The team of resource persons from NCC led by Ubale Maska, executive commissioner technical services, and comprising Alhassan Haru, Director New Media and Information Security; and Bako Wakil, Deputy Director Technical Services among others, highlighted the costs of electronic fraud to the nation’s economy and individuals; and discussed in their presentations steps taken by NCC in collaboration with other relevant agencies and stakeholders to check activities of fraudsters and other threats in order to reduce vulnerabilities in the cyber space.

They also discussed the global nature of the phenomenon as well as its dynamics which makes it very challenging to tackle the occurrences with a single solution. Other participants also shared different perspectives on challenges of fraudulent practices in the cyberspace. Oluwasaye Oyelowo of the Regulatory Affairs division of MTN Nigeria also made a presentation on strategies deployed by MTN to ensure that the risk of e-fraud is reduced.

Among these is the company’s practice of sending individuals SMS at the point of SIM swap request to alert a subscriber that his or her SIM is about to be swapped. The National Coordinator of WASPAN also made a presentation on “Balancing the Rewards of the Mobile Financial Ecosystems” in which he advised banks and other financial systems as well as individuals who use telecom infrastructure to be more proactive in securing the integrity of their financial operating systems.

The workshop which enjoyed a fruitful and lively discourse ended with a question and answer session where key and tangential issues connected to the topic of the workshop were perceptively discussed.

 

– Oct 30, 2017 @ 10:17 GMT |

Telcos challenge NCC to lead Mobile Money, Cashless Initiative

 

OPERATORS of telecommunication companies, Telcos, have called on the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, to take urgent steps to lead the mobile money and cashless initiative in Nigeria. The operators who had earlier kicked against the idea of banks leading the cashless initiative, when it was introduced in 2012 by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had argued that such noble initiative should be telcos-led, since it would ride on the infrastructure of telecommunications operators.

But the CBN objected to it and insisted it must be bank-led because of the risk involved in managing public funds. The CBN had insisted that the banks were in better position to manage financial transactions and public funds. However, dissatisfied with the position of the CBN, the telcos had argued that the initiative would have been best managed by telcos, while citing M-Pesa, a mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service launched in 2007 in Kenya and Tanzania.

According to the operators, mobile money is fast growing in Kenya, through the M-pesa initiative that is telcos-led. But in spite of the agitation from telcos, the CBN still went ahead to empower the banks to lead cashless and mobile money initiative in Nigeria.

But recently, the telcos agitation to lead the mobile money and cashless initiative in Nigeria, resurfaced, with the telcos blaming CBN and the banks for the slow take-off of mobile money across Nigeria. The telcos, who spoke at a breakfast forum organised by the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, NBCC, in Lagos, challenged the NCC to meet with CBN and discuss the possible takeover of the management of mobile money and cashless initiative, arguing that Nigerians are not getting the desired results of a financially inclusive Nigeria, which mobile money and cashless initiative seek to achieve just because it is bank-led.

Giving reasons why the telcos should lead the mobile money initiative, they explained that over 75 percent of financial transactions were carried out on the telcos network and supported by telcos’ infrastructure. They also argued that the number of subscribers across telecoms networks, far outnumbered that of bank customers across the country, and that the telcos are in better position to connect the majority of the unbanked through mobile phone connectivity. According to them, since the telcos currently have over 150 million subscribers who have mobile phone devices, mobile money transfer could be fast enhanced through the mobile phone devises.

Although the issue of who regulates the mobile money and cashless initiative was raised at the forum, the telcos were of the view that both the NCC and the CBN would become the new regulators, should CBN reverses the bank-led initiative to telcos-led initiative. The CBN had in 2012, introduced cashless initiative, which included mobile money transaction, designed to reduce the volume of physical cash in circulation.

In order to achieve its goal, CBN licenced mobile money operators and commenced the pilot phase of cashless initiative with Lagos. After one year, CBN extended the initiative to five additional states to include Ogun, Kano, Anambra, Abia and Rivers, before it further extended it to all the states of the federation in February 2017.

 

– Oct 20, 2017 @ 12:06 GMT |

 

 

NCC to launch Automated Numbering System

 

IN a bid to strengthen the online payment systems and other telecom services, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has said it will soon dump the paper numbering system for the automated numbering system.

The Commission disclosed this at a consultative forum, held in Lagos with a broad spectrum of stakeholders as part of the process planned towards the introduction of an automated numbering system in Nigeria.

“The NCC would soon launch the automated numbering system. Numbers are a scarce resource and one of the core functions of the Commission is to ensure that this scarce resource is effectively and efficiently managed”, Ubale Maska, executive commissioner, Technical Services, who represented Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, EVC, of NCC, informed the participants to nudge their understanding and to restate the reason for the forum.

Maska said the consultative forum is consistent with its distinctive tradition of broad spectrum consultation prior to taking regulatory decisions.

Rolling out the benefits of the automated numbering system, Paul Dinwoke, chief executive officer, CEO, Molcon Multiconcepts Limited, consultants to NCC on the project, told the participants that some of the benefits of the automated system include convenience, transparency, efficiency, easy tracking, ability to choose number options, and strengthening of online payment systems.

The Forum was attended by many stakeholders, including licensees of the Commission and staff, including Bako Wakil, deputy director Technical Standards and Network Integrity who told the audience that the deployment of the automatic numbering management system is part of the NCC’s efforts to automate her business processes within and outside the Commission.

 

–  Oct 18, 2017 @ 16:30 GMT

Telcos give NCC Condition for Compliance with Data Rollover

 

TELECOMMUNICATION operators in Nigeria have resolved to comply fully with the recent directive given them by the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, on data rollover but on one condition. The telcos said they have agreed to fully comply with the regulatory directive on data rollover on the condition that NCC must revisit the suspended data price floor, which seeks to increase data tariff.

Data price floor in technical parlance is one of the regulatory safeguards normally put in place by the telecommunications regulator to check anti-competitive practices particularly by the dominant operators. It is a minimum price on data services as stipulated by government or the regulator. The NCC had recently directed all telecoms operators to henceforth give 14-day window to subscribers after the expiration of their monthly data subscription to enable them exhaust their unused data bundle before rolling over.

The directive is sequel to the myriad of complaints received by NCC from telecoms subscribers that their respective service providers do not give them enough time to exhaust their monthly data subscription plan before they were either disconnected or forced to roll over the excess data bundle to the next month after purchasing another monthly data plan. The decision by NCC to address subscribers’ complaints may not be unconnected with its resolve to always protect the interest of telecoms consumers after declaring 2017 as the year of telecoms consumers.

Although the directive may likely affect the revenue stream of telecoms operators, especially the smaller operators, but the operators said they would comply rather than flex muscles with the regulator, since it is a regulatory directive. Looking at the implication of the directive on data rollover and the 14-day window, Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, said the telecoms service providers have to comply with the directive, since it is a regulatory directive. He, however, raised the issue of the suspended data floor price, which in his views, must be addressed by the NCC in order to protect the operators from running at a loss in their telecoms business, just the same way the NCC is protecting telecoms consumers.

Directive of this nature will underscore the importance of the data floor price that was suspended by NCC, following complaints from the same telecoms subscribers that the NCC is protecting. In protecting the telecoms consumers, NCC must also balance the situation by revisiting the suspended data floor price, which seeks to fix a new price cap for data services across networks.”

Adebayo said if NCC must enforce the 14-day window on data rollover, it must also consider the reintroduction of the suspended data floor price in order to cushion the effect of the loss of revenue that operators would face based on the directive.

 

Oct 12, 2017 @ 11:12 GMT /

 

NCC, SMEs shine at ITU Telecom World 2017

 

THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, was the toast of the global telecommunications umbrella body, the International Telecommunications Union, ITU, at the just concluded ITU Telecom World 2017, Busan, South Korea.

NCC was named the most Valuable Partner by the ITU for its commitment and participation in ITU Telecom World events over the years.  The NCC was also awarded a certificate of Appreciation for the ITU Telecom World 2017 National Pavilion and thematic Pavilion as well as Loyal Participation and supporters of the yearly ITU Telecom World in a number of years.

Nigeria also won the ITU Telecom World Government Award for being the Government with the most innovative Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) included in the nation’s pavilion.

Five Nigerian SMEs and start-ups qualified for the ITU Telecom World 2017 pitch for the Global SMEs Awards. Three of the SMEs, Temitope Awosika (Medsaf), Valentine Ubalua (Ubenwa) and  Chizaram Ucheaga (Mavis Computel) joined the ITU Global SME honours lists.

Medsaf for instance leverages technology to make the process of buying and selling, and managing medication easy and efficient, connecting hospitals, pharmacies and clinics to safe quality medication from leading local and foreign drug manufacturers.  Ubenwa’s recognition is for leveraging the most innovative use of ICTs category for pioneering a cry-based diagnostic mobile app for birth asphyxia. In addition, Mavis computel’s recognition of Excellence certificate, as the best and most innovative individual exhibitor in the Nigerian pavilion at ITU Telecom World 2017 completed the circle of recognitions in this global event. The certificates were presented to those recognized and won by ITU Secretary General, Mr. Houlin Zhao.

Zhao said he was very encouraged by Nigeria’s participation and told other nations present at the award ceremony to emulate the Nigerian example personified by the NCC; for putting together quality participation every year and bringing to ITU Telecom World 2017 SMEs with innovative ICT digital solutions that have social impact.

Mustapha Babagana of Nigeria’s Ministry of Communications, received the award on behalf of Nigeria while, Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, LOC, Nigeria and director, Spectrum Administration, NCC, Austin Nwaulune received the NCC awards on behalf of executive vice chairman, EVC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta.

 

– Oct.  4, 2017 @ 09:59 GMT |

 

 

Spirit of Cooperation and Consultation Very High at ITU Telecom World Events – Prof. Danbatta

 

Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC,  in his remarks at the ongoing ITU meetings praises the spirit of cooperation among the world telecom body. Below is the full speech he made at the official opening of Nigeria Pavilion at the ITU Telecom World 2017 – Busan, South Korea, Tuesday, September 26 

 

I WELCOME you warmly to the Nigeria Pavilion in the ITU Telecom World 2017, Busan. I want to thank all of you especially the management of ITU led by its Secretary General, His Excellency Houlin Zhao, the People and Government of South Korea, the host city, Busan and all the industry players from Nigeria and other nations here present.

Our country, Nigeria is proud to be a part of the ITU in whose activities we always actively participate.

We come to the ITU Telecom World every year to tell our story, share our experiences and borrow a leaf from global best practices to address our concerns, engage and collaborate with the global community to strengthen the growth and impact of the Nigerian Telecoms Industry.

We therefore come to enlist the support of other players, governments, regulators and the global community from whom there is always a basket of ideas to take back home to Nigeria.  The implementation of these ideas will ensure a better regulatory environment, even though ours has been seen as a very robust and consultative regulatory agency right from 2001 when the Digital Mobile Licences (DML) were issued.

The spirit of cooperation and consultation is very high at ITU Telecom World events.

While it is true that different people come with different notions to ITU Telecom World, the end result is to better serve our people, deploy resources to address access gaps in underserved and unserved communities in our various jurisdictions.

Our engagement with the global community during this event will include creating awareness of the investment opportunities in Africa’s biggest Telecom market, as well as guarantee of adequate Returns on Investments (RoIs).

In this connection, we are here to tell the ICT community that Nigeria with a population of about 170 million is a preferred investment destination in Africa.

With over 150 million active subscribers, in the voice segment, over 102 percent teledensity and a little over 92 million internet connections, Nigeria is indeed a place to invest.

The ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for sustainable development recently said Nigeria now has about 21% broadband penetration and conscious of the reality that broadband fuels faster data transmission speed and capacity, our focus now is on how we can attract the right investments to grow this critical area of the sector through broadband coverage expansion.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as a foremost regulator, has put in place measures and guidelines to licence wholesale broadband service providers consistent with the Open Access Model for broadband deployment.  Of the seven infrastructure companies (Infracos) earmarked for licensing, only two have so far been licensed for Lagos which is commercial hub of Nigeria, and Abuja including the North Central zone of the country leaving five more licences for the South West, South East, South South, North East and North West zones of the country. The process of licensing of infracos for these five remaining zones is about to be concluded.

In our firm resolve to strengthen institutions of corporate governance for telcos, woo investors and guarantee returns on their investments, the NCC, in consultation with industry stakeholders introduced a mandatory Code of Corporate Governance as guide to managers and boards of telecommunications companies.  The code outlines minimum global best practices covering processes, procedures and general corporate behaviour for telecommunications industry players.

When we rolled out the 8-point agenda in 2016, it was predicated on the change mantra of the new democratic government in Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. It is premised on facilitating broadband penetration, improving quality of service, optimizing usage and benefits of spectrum, promoting ICT investment and innovation, facilitating strategic partnership, promoting fair and inclusive growth and ensuring regulatory excellence and operational efficiency.  Because we recognize the importance of ICT to national development that is why growing this sector has been top on our agenda.  Hence, ladies and gentlemen, permit me to say that despite our modest achievements, Nigeria ICT sector is work in progress.

I invite you later this afternoon to the Nigerian Investment Forum with Broadband Nigeria as the theme, where experts and knowledgeable people about the Nigerian investment environment will talk some more on the investment opportunities in Africa’s largest economy.

Remember, ladies and gentlemen, that we are already in the era of Internet of Things (IoTs) where every sector of our economy will depend on telecoms infrastructure to maximally operate.

Remember too that all sectors of every national economy have become dependent on the telecommunications sector and failure on the sector would have far reaching negative ramifications to other sectors hence the need to build capacity in the sector.

Members of the Nigerian delegation will be on ground here in our Pavilion and investment forum to network and give you firsthand information about Nigeria.

In 16 years since the Digital Mobile Licences (DML) were issued, investment in the sector has hit about $70Billion from a mere $50million in 2001. Most of these investments are Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).

Although, we have made very modest progress in the sector, we still need to deepen investments to make broadband pervasive in the country.

We are at 21 percent now and our target is to hit 30 percent by 2018, consistent with the National Broadband Plan.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention.

 

Sept. 27, 2017 @ 13:45 GMT /