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NCC sensitises lawyers on telecoms regulations

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Nasiru Yusuf

To sustain the contribution of telecommunications and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Nigeria’s economic growth, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has commenced a national sensitization programme for lawyers on telecommunication regulations.

The Commission has also said the country needed more lawyers with specialisation in telecoms laws and regulations to sustain the industry growth.

Yetunde Akinloye, Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC, made the call during the ‘Meet the Regulator Forum’ organised by the Commission for lawyers and law school students at the Nigerian Law School (NLS), Abuja Campus yesterday (17/03/2020), at the commencement of the sensitisation programme designed for lawyers which will hold in all geopolitical zones to create more awareness about the legal environment of telecommunication regulations.

According to Akinloye, the Nigerian telecoms industry is principally governed by the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, which empowers the Commission, as an independent telecoms regulatory authority, to, among others, regulate stakeholders in the sector and implement government’s policy on communications.

Akinloye said the Commission has also been using the Act to protect and promote consumer interests and grant licences to operators, and she also stated that the Act empowers NCC to manage scarce resources such as spectrum and numbering plan, to investigate and resolve disputes in the industry, and to develop and enforce regulations and guidelines in the general interest of the consumers.

She averred that the exercise of the Commission’s powers as enshrined in the Act has helped the NCC to bring about digital transformation in the country with impressive contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and to trigger positive multipliers effects on all other sectors of the economy.

According to the NCC Director of Legal and Regulatory Services, “we have recognised the role of lawyers in telecoms regulations and laws. This is why we have put in place this forum to create a meeting point between NCC as a regulator and legal practitioners. We are here to sensitise you to NCC’s activities from legal perspective, knowing full well that you have a role to play in further development of the sector.”

“More legal practitioners are needed in the country with specialisation in telecoms-related laws in our quest to continue to boost our regulatory frameworks for the continued growth of the telecommunications sector,” she said.

In his presentation, Jerry Ugwu, Deputy Director, Legal & Regulatory Services at NCC, also amplified Akinloye’s position. He stated that the sector needed more telecommunications lawyers with a broad perspective on the NCC Act 2003.

He said as the gate-keeper of legal training in Nigeria, Nigerian Law School services are essential for compliance and enforcement. “Being the institution that trains lawyers in the country, lawyers have a peculiar training that sharpens understanding of the essence of regulations and guidelines; and other regulatory instruments used in the telecom industry.”

He said the NCC has considered it imperative to sensitise new wigs and the institution on the activities of the Commission as a regulator in order to build a knowledge-based economy in the country. He stated that effective regulation is a key success factor in any economic ecosystem.

“Regulatory activities run on relevant legal instruments that guide service delivery, creating and interpreting these instruments are where lawyers have key advantage and role to play,” Ugwu said.

Also speaking, Ibe Ngwoke, Principal Manager, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC, stated that through effective regulations, driven by various legal instruments, telecom sector has, over the years, become a major contributor to the national economy.

Ngwoke noted that, in the last quarter of 2019, the digital economy fetched Nigeria 13.1 percent (about N2.6 trillion) of the country’s GDP, as against oil and gas, which contributed 11.32 percent in the same period.

He said it is hoped that, “with the recently unveiled National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) in November 2019 by the Federal Government, and giving other extant necessary legal instruments, the contribution from the entire ICT industry is going to improve significantly.”

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Ganduje, Dantata reconcile Aliko Dangote, Abdussamad Rabiu

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Aliko Dangote, Aminu Dantata, Abdullahi Ganduje and Abdussamada Rabi'u

Nasiru Yusuf 

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and renowned business mogul, Aminu Alhassan Dantata, Kano Emirate and the Kano State Council of Imams have reconciled  the two illustrious sons of Kano, Aliko Dangote and Abdussamad Isyaka Rabi’u. 

Kano Focus reports that both parties, chairman of Dangote Group of companies and chairman BUA Group of companies, agreed to work together and supply enough sugar to satisfy the demand of the country.

A statement issued by Ganduje’s spokesperson Abba Anwar said the reconciliation meeting took place at Kano Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, Wednesday, which put a stop to all rumours making round that the duo were in dispute over sugar control in the country.

“They all dismissed allegation that Dangote was planning to see to the increase of sugar price, through pressuring BUA to succumb to the increment. They described that allegation as baseless and lacking any iota of truth.

“The meeting was seen as the zenith of other similar efforts to reconcile the two giants by the governor. Alhaji Aminu Alhassan Dantata played the role of a father during the meeting,” the statement added.

Present at the meeting were the Minister for Commerce, Trade and Investment, Mr Niyi Adebayo, representative of the Kano Emirate, Alhaji Aminu Babba Dan Agundi, Chairman of the Council of Kano Imams, Sheikh Muhammad Nasir Adam, the Chief Imam of Sheikh Ahmadu Tijjani Friday Mosque, Kofar Mata, Kano and the Chairman of NEPZA,  Adamu Panda.

All the two business moguls agreed to work together as brothers for the growth and development of the nation at large. Assuring that, henceforth, there would be no differences, that could cause any disharmony between them.

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COEASU FCE (T) Bichi commences one week warning strike over poor leadership in the college

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Comrade Salisu Yunusa

 

Nasiru Yusuf

The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) Federal College of Education (Tech) Bichi has commenced a one week warning strike.

Kano Focus reports that the chairman of the union Muhammad Salisu Yunusa announced this on Tuesday while briefing journalists at Press Centre.

The COEASU chairman has accused the management of the college under Muhammad Bashir Fagge with non remittance of twenty five million Naira deduction made on behalf of the staff multi purpose cooperative society.

According to him as at August 2017, the college management had incurred a debt stock amounting to about eighty million Naira, being the cumulative sum of deductions from staff salaries that were not remitted to the college’s staff cooperative society.

Mr Yunusa alleged that teaching and learning is being conducted under unbearable condition due to dilapidated infrastructure.

He also alleged that the management of the college has failed to pay legitimate staff allowances including 10 months peculiar academic allowance, Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) supervision allowance; teaching practice allowance and series of outstanding payment of the centre for continuing education.

” Academic infrastructures are dilapidating due to lack of maintenance; laboratories, workshops and studios are not functioning optimally due to lack of equipments and consumables.

“Insecurity and lawlessness is alarming due to complacency of the current management of the college; while staff morale is at low level, due to non payment of staff allowances and other statutory entitlements among other pressing issues,” Mr Yunusa alleged.

According to him the college is yet to issue college graduands their Teachers’ Registration Council (TRCN) certificate and National Certificate in Education (NCE) certificates for 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 sessions.

“The failure to issue TRCN certificates to our former students may be viewed by the general public as a corporate fraud, considering the fact that they had paid for the processing of the certificates in advance as part of their NCE III school fees while in college.

“The non-payment of security personnel for about seven months has further threatened the security of lives and properties of the institutions. This situation has culminated in serious theft in the students hostels,” the chairman alleged.

Mr Yunusa called on the appropriate authorities to to prevail on the management of the college to immediately remit this money back to college’s cooperative as soon as possible as failure to to do this will further worsen the welfare condition of some staff, some of whom have invested a larger chunk of their life saving in cooperative society.

“We will never soccumb to the intimidation of ‘No work, no pay’ by the college management until our demands are met,” he said.

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We’ve never added a penny on the price of our products during Ramadan – Dangote 

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Aliko Dangote

By Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The chairman of Dangote Group Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has categorically urged people not to panic over price hike in his products during this Ramadan.

Kano Focus recalled that every Ramadan, sugar is one of the most used substance to prepare varieties of drinks and other edibles, even though it often goes higher than usual that a common man cannot afford to buy.

This problem according to many Muslim faith, is associated with the business people in commodity markets – who purchase such most used substances during the fasting period.

However, Mr Dangote said that he has massively filled markets with sugar across the country to avoid shortage during this Ramadan, which according to him to will not heighten the price of the sugar.

Dangote who spoke through his Manager, Garba Ibrahim El- Suleiman in Kano, says the Company presently has bathed all the markets across the country with products, “because our President, Alhaji Aliko Dangote respects and values month of Ramadan to the level that he has never added a penny on the price of his products during the time.” He added.

“Our dealers also are very good people and we’re rest assured that none of them would be able to take up the price of any product.” Garba said.

Speaking with Salisu Sambajo, one of the Dangote Company’s major Dealers in Nigeria, says there has never been a time when the Dangote increases prices of his products in any parts of the country during Ramadan.

“The price of every bag of sugar we sell is N18,500 only, therefore whenever you find out that a kobo is added to that, it is from the retailers. These people buy goods from us, they pay for transport, tax and many – so when they some amount on it, it is not Dangote that added it…we cannot force them not to.” Sambajo said.

Also, Sabo Dankoli, another dealer of Dangote products explained that they have never experienced a hike in price from Dangote unless in 2020, when there was lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, “and that also was not from Dangote, it’s because the commodities have gone out of store and people started to add money.” He said.

Commending the Dangote Group efforts to ensure that there is no price increase during the fasting period, Chairman of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti- Corruption Commission (PCACC), Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado has thanked Aliko Dangote for taking measures to ensure that his products have not gone out of store or too expensive to consumers during Ramadan.

‘’I was informed that the company has flooded the market with commodities that can last till after the Ramadan period and not only in Kano but across the northern states, ‘’Muhuyi Rimingado said.

‘’That was why we appreciated the company with a letter of Commendation last week. I hope the company will sustain the initiative even after the holy month of Ramadan.’’

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