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5G’ll offer great potential for Nigeria’s socio-economic development–NCC

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Nasiru Yusuf

Nigeria will derive huge socio-economic benefits from commercial deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) Networks, which will come with great potentials that will bolster Nigeria’s socio economic ecosystem for quantifiable growth.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) stated this during a discussion with a broad spectrum of participants mostly made up of Nigerians at a special panel session sponsored and hosted by the Commission on Thursday as part of the programmes of the ongoing Social Media Week Lagos (SMWLagos2020).

L-R: Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, Head Online Media & Special Publications; Engr. Bako Wakil, Director, Technical Standards & Network Integrity; Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of Commissioners and Engr. Kenneth Uzoekwe, Assistant Director, Spectrum Administration, all of NCC at the NCC-sponsored Special Panel Session on 5G at the Social Media Week Lagos 2020.

The weeklong conference is taking place at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

At the NCC panel discussion which focused on, “5G Networks: Socioeconomic Benefits and Challenges”, which was also attended by the Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande, participants had a lively conversation as they asked rational and piercing questions from the discussants.

Bako Wakil, Director, Technical Standards & Network Integrity at NCC, and Kenneth Uzoekwe, an Assistant Director in the Spectrum Administration Department of the Commission, responded to questions at the session moderated by Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, Head, Online Media & Special Publications at the Commission.

The first question asked, which centred on what constitutes 5G, was so eloquently and perceptively answered by the panelists to earn applause from the audience.

Wakil explained that all communication possibilities within the framework of ITU’s IMT-2020 that enhance extremely accurate and near-instantaneous transfer of large quantities of data are well within the contemplation of 5G. Such technologies will also make for better experience of virtual realities, driverless cars, drone operations and a spectra of possibilities popularly called the Internet of Things (IoT).

Newest generation technology

Wakil explained that 5G is the newest generation of technology which “will bring about transformation in the country in the area of smart city, smart transportation, efficiency in medicine, a lot of automation, and 5G will control a lot of appliances and devices with respect to Internet of Things (IoT).”

In other words, “the difference between all other existing generations of technologies such as 2G, 3G and 4G lies in speed and data capacity. The 5G deployment, however, offers even faster speed, high latency and high capacity that will transform consumers and business experiences” Wakil emphasised.

A litany of follow up questions on many aspects of 5G, the key differences between 4G and 5G, and on the implications of 5G for security, speed, capacity and data consumption were also well treated by the discussants.

What about radiation?

Responding to questions on radiation level of a 5G network, Wakil allayed the fears of the participants:

“Generally, there is every reason for people to be apprehensive with respect to the radiation of a new technology such as 5G. However, the radiation from 5G is non-ionising. Non-ionising radiation cannot cause adverse health effects in humans. So, radiation in 5G is going to me minimal and not harmful,” he clarified.

Wakil identified the two major challenges to 5G network deployment as energy and infrastructure.

He noted that while the Federal Ministry  of Communications and Digital Economy is coordinating the NCC, the National Frequency Management Council, and the National Broadband Plan to address broadband infrastructure deficits, the poor state of electricity supply in the country needs to be addressed by other sectors of the economy because that matter is outside the purview of the NCC.

Still on broadband infrastructure, Wakil explained that the NCC, having adopted the Open Access Model for enhanced broadband infrastructure deployment, has licensed six out of seven proposed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) to deploy fibre access in all the 774 local government areas (LGAs) of Nigeria.

Speaking about NCC’s preparedness for commercial 5G, Uzoekwe said there is enough spectrum bands that have been identified and can be used for the deployment of 5G.

“Six spectrum bands have been identified, so, I can say we have enough spectrum bands. All we need now is to finalise the re-planing and re-farming, so that those occupying certain spectra can be relocated to other bands,” Uzoekwe said.

Bridging access gaps for 35 million Nigerians

Uzoekwe told the excited audience that the InfraCo Project will help to bridge the 200 access gaps involving some 35 million Nigerians, who have no access to telecom services, as already identified by the Commission.

It will be recalled that in November 2019, the NCC facilitated the first non-commercial Proof of Concept (PoC) trail of 5G network in Nigeria, which was undertaken by MTN, a Mobile Network Operator in Nigeria. That trial was done to demonstrate the possibilities of 5G operations in Nigeria, preparatory to the commercial launch of the service by telecoms operators.

Therefore, the NCC panel session at the #SMWLagos2020, provided an additional opportunity for the Commission to educate Nigerians on its plan about 5G network deployment in the country.

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Police trains PPROs on strategic communication

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The Nigeria Police, in partnership with the Nigeria-German Development Cooperation (GIZ), has commenced a three-day capacity building workshop for police public relations officers.

KANO FOCUS reports that the workshop was declared open by the Inspector General of Police Usman Baba Alkali on Wednesday in Kano.

Mr Alkali who was represented by Assistant Inspector General of Police zone 1 Sadiq Abubakar said the workshop was taking place at a time the Force is implementing a new manpower development policy.

He added that the program also focuses on improving capacity of police personnel across all ranks, in line with new policing standards and best practices.

According to him, the course seeks to equip the participants with skills necessary for effective descriptive, analytical and strategic communication with emphasis on criminal investigations and procedure.

He expressed the hope that the workshop would empower police spokespersons in the areas of strategic communication and crime scene management.

“Participants of this course must be reminded that to succeed as police image makers, they must be versatile and have deep theoretical and practical knowledge of all aspects of policing, covering administration, operations, investigations, forensics, amongst others.

“I encourage participants to take advantage of the opportunities the workshop presents, to interact, cross-fertilize and broaden their skills, especially in responding to crime incidents and to fit-in to the ever demanding, dynamic but necessary task of information management and public engagement for the Force,” he said.

The Police IG reaffirmed the commitment of the Force under his leadership to well-thought-out and goal-driven partnership and collaborations, “with progressive and positive-minded organizations such as the GIZ, targeted at enhancing professional, structural and operational capacity of the Force.”

In his remark the Kano State Commisioner of Police Shuaib Isma’ila Dikko sai the workshop is timely and unique in many ways.

He added that it is the contextual theme of the workshop which seeks to develop robust forensic awareness and knowledge for police Spokespersons.

This in itself flows from contemporary public relations practice which identifies Police spokespersons across the world as one of the first responders to crime scenes.

These roles are germane to the pursuit of professional criminal investigations and the dispensation of justice to both the victims and defendants

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NCC set to combat e-fraud, standardise regional roaming tariffs

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other telecoms regulators under the auspices of West African Telecoms Regulators Assembly (WATRA) are set to develop technical and regulatory modalities aimed at combating rising wave of electronic frauds, and standardising regional roaming tariffs in the sub-region.

KANO FOCUS reports that this was the crux of a two-day meeting organised by WATRA in collaboration with the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), which started on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at Rockview Hotel in Abuja.

The meeting, which was attended by representatives of telecoms regulators from countries across West Africa, provided a platform for key participants and stakeholders to deliberate on building a unified market in telecommunications services in West Africa, to combat roaming and cyber-related frauds, and achieve the standardisation of roaming tariffs among ECOWAS member-states.

Addressing stakeholders at the meeting, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta, who is also the Chairman of WATRA, underscored the centrality of the meeting by emphasising that, as businesses move online, the fraudsters are also going digital.

Danbatta, who was represented by NCC’s Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil, said, based on this fact and in order to give West African citizens and businesses the confidence to fully take advantage of the enormous benefits of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), there was a need for regulators to tame and outpace the fraudsters.

“About 75 per cent of trade within ECOWAS is informal, and thus poorly recorded. Therefore, digitising this trade through employing many forms of electronic payments is a significant step towards formalising, governing and boosting intra-ECOWAS trade activities.

“Our ambitions are to formalise informal trade, including agricultural commodities as well as boosting intra-regional trade and this requires us to improve collaboration on combating electronic fraud,” Danbatta said.

Danbatta informed the delegates to the forum that electronic fraud is not just an African or a West African issue but a global phenomenon. He cited studies that revealed 54 per cent of consumers in the European Union said they are most likely to come across misleading/deceptive or fraudulent advertisements or offers on the Internet.

On the regional roaming service, the WATRA Chairman said the Assembly has the vision of a ‘Digital ECOWAS’ where improved sub-regional roaming regulation can help to facilitate an economic integration in the region.

“Our citizens, traders and companies will trade better when they can use their telephones to call contacts in other ECOWAS countries and when they can use their data subscriptions at no extra cost while travelling or doing business within the region. So, reducing and eventually eliminating the cost of roaming will also be a very significant contribution towards boosting trade within the region,” Danbatta said.

The EVC expressed satisfaction at the level of collaboration among national regulatory authorities in the sub-region on the one hand; and between WATRA and ECOWAS, to achieve a common goal, on the other hand, describing such synergy as a great indicator of progress and internalisation of best global practices.

“I am very pleased to see the excellent collaboration and the sharing of workload between the telecommunications body and personnel within ECOWAS and WATRA. Their roles have become complementary and mutually reinforcing-policies legislative frameworks that have been designed at the ECOWAS level, while WATRA does the follow-up work of information-sharing, dialogue and learning dispersal amongst regulatory authorities. It is indeed becoming a well-articulated symphony,” he added.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of WATRA, Aliyu Aboki, emphasised the value of a trusted digital economy to any nation. He cited a study by Accenture, which concludes that “a trusted digital economy would stimulate 2.8 per cent additional growth for major firms, with the new transactions generated totaling $5.2 trillion of value creation in the economy,” hence, the establishment and operationalisation of national and regional anti-fraud committee.

Aboki commended ECOWAS for “allowing this regional sharing of the enormous task of building Digital ECOWAS to work very well through WATRA, which is a regional manifestation of this collaborative structure”. The WATRA Chief restated that WATRA, as a mechanism for regional regulatory collaboration, will work in unison and ensure its vision is speedily executed by making sure that no nation in the region is left behind.

Speaking at the forum, the Acting Director, Digital Economy and Post, ECOWAS, Raphael Koffi, noted that while e-fraud in the provision of communication services has always been an issue being collectively tackled, variance in termination rates agreed in commercial roaming agreements has also constituted an obstacle to harmonization of roaming tariffs which, he said, collaboration between WATRA and ECOWAS is set to achieve.

Participants at the event were updated on the status of the implementation of the Removal of Surcharges on International Traffic (SIIT) on ECOWAS countries;  establishment of a uniform tariff cap for roaming call termination in the ECOWAS region, among others.

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Kano closes hospital where a doctor performs multiple surgery alone

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Kano State Private Health Institutions Management Agency (PHIMA) has shut down Green-olives Hospital, Gadon kaya, Gwale local government area.

KANO FOCUS reports that the hospital was indicted for professional misconduct and poor service.

A statement issued by the spokesperson of the agency Abba Dalha said the agency has received a petition that the facility has recorded two death cases in the last six months.

After thorough investigation, the agency found that, the hospital do not undertake proper investigation nor issue consent form to patients before conducting a surgery.

According to the statement the surgeon is found to be to be doing the task of anaesthetic nurse, peri operative nurse and assistant surgeon which is grossly unethical.

The statement added that the surgeon is not inclined to any speciality of surgery as one of the recorded death case was a Paediatric surgery to three year old child, while the second death was Obstetrics and gynecology surgery.

The Agency threatened to deal with the culprit in accordance with it’s   guidelines and appealed to people to report quacks and professional misconduct for appropriate action.

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