Connect with us

Headlines

Senate expresses satisfaction with NCC’s regulatory performance

Published

on

Nasiru Yusuf

The Senate Committee on Communications says it was impressed by the various regulatory interventions which the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has taken to ensure improved service delivery and bridging access gaps in the country.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Chairman of the Committee, who led other members of the Committee to NCC’s Head Office in Abuja on a familiarisation and fact-finding visit on Tuesday (10/03/2020), said, given the mammoth  of challenges facing the industry and the achievements of the Commission so far,  its regulatory interventions and performance deserves to be  appreciated and commended.

The committee members were received by the Executive Management team of the Commission, led by Prof. Umar Dambatta, NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), who provided a detailed briefing of the Commission’s core mandates, its various initiatives that have helped to improve wider access to telecommunications as well as the challenges in the regulatory environment, which formed the basis for the comments made by the Committee members.

“We are here on a familiarisation and fact-finding tour to the Commission but I must say that we are impressed by the presentation made by the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Dambatta, on the activities of the Commission so far in regulating the industry.

“We particularly see the Platinum Category Certificate of Award for exceptional organisational performance which NCC received from the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) in 2017 as a testament to your recognition as a performing agency of the Federal  Government. However, we want you to do more for Nigerians, ” Mrs. Tinubu said.

Earlier, while addressing the Committee members, Prof. Dambatta reeled out industry statistics which, irrefutably captured the growth recorded in the industry.

According to him, Nigeria attained and surpassed 30 percent broadband penetration target in December, 2018 and the penetration has further increase to 38.49 per cent as of December, 2019.

Also, Prof. Dambatta said the number of active phone lines has increased to over 185 million; active Internet subscriptions on global system for mobile communications (GSM), fixed wired and voice over internet protocol (VoIP)  networks have equally increased to over 126 million.

The EVC added that teledensity is 96.76 per cent, and quarterly contribution of telecoms to gross domestic product (GDP) has reached 10.60  per cent. The NCC, through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has reduced the number of access-gaps clusters in the country further from 114. Hitherto, some 38 million Nigerians were affected by access gap clusters.

Prof. Dambatta explained to the  Committee what the Commission has done, so far, with respect to spectrum administration in the sector. He stated that despite the crucial role of spectrum, and being a scarce resoure, the Commission has deployed spectrum quite effectively for the development of the telecom industry.

Some of the clear goal-oriented programmes in that regard include development of spectrum trading, ongoing effort to leverage Television White Space (TVWS) to address rural connectivity, the Proof of Concept (PoC) non-commercial trial of Fifth Generation (5G) networks, and development guidelines on commercial satellites deployment.

Prof. Dambatta stated that the Commission’s efforts in licensing Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) to cascade fibre optic into the hinterland to reach all the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country, is succeeding and will bolster government’s effort at expanding the nation’s broadband infrastructure.

The EVC recalled various inter-agency collaborations, frequent engagement of state governments to discuss issue of Right of Way (RoW), multiple regulations, taxation and other challenges, are consciously articulated towards improving deployment of telecoms infrastructure to ensure improved services for the telecom consumers.

The Commission, Prof. Dambatta said, has also issued various Directions to Mobile Metwork Operators (MNOs) with respect to roll-over data and forceful subscriptions to ensure that consumers are not shortchanged by market forces.

Similarly, Prof. Dambatta said the introduction of Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 Short Code to manage unsolicited messages, the Toll-Free Number (622) for the escalation of complaints and the 112 Emergency Communication Number which is connected to the Emergency Communication Centres (ECCs), are conscious policies put in place to ensure that the rights of telecom consumers are safeguarded and to ensure that Nigerians enjoy derivable benefits of new communication  technologies.

At the moment, eighteen (18) states of the Federation currently have operational ECCs while the efforts are ongoing by the Commission to ensure ECCs are operational in the remaining states in the country.

The EVC also told the Committee members that the Commission is instrumental to the listing of MTN and Airtel on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE); resolved N1.03 trillion fine against MTN; promoted the Code of Corporate Governance in the industry from voluntary to mandatory compliance; developed new numbering plan to enhance opportunities for emerging technologies; and restructured the telecoms value-added services (VAS) segment resulting in licensing of 10 VAS aggregator companies,

Prof. Dambatta, who appreciated the support of the National Assembly so far, however, listed key issues affecting the regulatory environment. These, he said, include power, which is the biggest challenge facing telecommunications operations in the country; multiple regulations and multiple regulations; security challenges, vandalism and theft of telecom installations and transmission cable cuts; as well as RoW issue.

The Committee members assured NCC of their readiness to support the regulatory efforts of the Commission through legislative intervention and other collaboration towards addressing the challenges in the regulatory environment.

They also urged the NCC to focus more on increased access across the country as well as ensuring affordability of telecoms services for Nigerians.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headlines

TCN creates Kano transmission region

Published

on

Nasiru Yusuf

THE Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has carved out a new Kano transmission region from the old Kaduna Region. 

KANO FOCUS reports that the newly established unit brings the number of TCN regional centres to 10.

The TCN believes the step will improve commercial activities in the state.

A statement issued by TCN General manager of Public Affairs Ndidi Mbah explained that the creation of the Kano Transmission Region became necessary owing to the rapid economic and industrial development being witnessed within Kano State and its environs, as well as the gradual implementation of TCN’s strategic ‘Nigerian Electricity Grid Maintenance, Expansion and Rehabilitation Programme (NEGMERP),’ which has enabled the transmission company to complete some ongoing projects and increase the number of substations within that axis.

He said the  Kano Transmission Region had, under its supervision, one sub-regional office and several work centers, all housing 13 transmission substations (TS), including the Kumbotso TS, Dan Agundi TS, Dakata TS, Tamburawa TS, Kwanar Dangora TS, Wudil TS, Kankia TS, Katsina TS, Daura TS, Dutse TS, Hadejia TS, Azare TS, and Gagarawa TS.

The new Kano region currently according to the statement has ongoing transmission substation projects which when completed would further increase bulk transmission capacity in the new region.

The new Kano Transmission Region, the company said, would deepen operational efficiency within the region and enable its engineers to readily access and resolve technical issues within the new region.

Mbah explained that prior to the creation of the new Kano Region, major decisions had to be referred to Kaduna Region for directives, and the supply of materials was sometimes delayed due to logistic issues from Kaduna.

Mbah noted that the proximity of the new region would radically reduce downtime and eliminate time lost when materials had to be conveyed from the Kaduna Region.

Continue Reading

Headlines

DSS arrests singer accuse of blasphemy

Published

on

Nasiru Yusuf

The Department of State Services have arrested another blasphemous singer, Ahmad Abdul, whose song was perceived to create chaos in Kano state.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Singer Ahmad Abdul was detained by the DSS because his free movement may likely cause violence reaction from Kano residents.

While in detention, Mr Abdul tender apology to entire Muslims, Kano state government and Islamic Scholars.

He told DSS operatives that he never thought that the song has violated Islamic teachings.

Commenting while witnessing the bail condition granted to Mr Abdul at the DSS Headquarters, Kano, the Executive Secretary of the Kano state Censorship Board Ismaila Naaba Afakallah recalled that he had received hundreds of petitions against the song from concerned citizens.

Afakallah said having realized the gravity of the song’s blasphemy, he reported the singer to DSS who swung into action and arrested him at a Hotel where he was hiding for days.

Mr Abdul Father, Abdullahi Isa thanked the DSS for their timely response on the matter which saved possible outbreak of law and order.

Also in August last year, An upper Sharia court in the Hausawa Filin Hockey area of the state has found one Yahaya Sharif-Aminu guilty of committing blasphemy for a song he circulated via WhatsApp.

However, the appellate division of the High Court of Kano State had on January 21 quashed the death sentence passed on Mr Sharif-Aminu and freed him.

Continue Reading

Headlines

I’ll not run for President – Muhammadu Sanusi II

Published

on

Deposed Emir Sanusi

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The deposed Emir of Kano Malam Muhammadu Sunusi II says he is not interested in contesting for the presidency of Nigeria.

Kano Focus reports that Mr Sunusi revealed this at a Tijjnaniyya zikir held in Abuja on Thursday.

Muhammadu Sanusi said his current position as Tijjaniyya Khalifa in Nigeria is superior to the presidency.

The deposed Emir however said he is ready to help those he believe in their competence to win elections without his participation in politics.

“If we trust a candidate is out to serve the people, we will come out and help them.

“That is not joining politics but a civic duty to the nation and its citizens” Mr. Sanusi said.

Continue Reading

Trending