Connect with us

News

NCC revises determination on USSD pricing

Published

on

NCC-building

Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission has revised its Determination on Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) pricing published on the 23rd of July, 2019.

Kano Focus reports that, the commission said the development is in furtherance of its mandate to protect the interests of consumers and support a robust telecommunications sector.

A statement sent to Kano Focus by commission’s director public affairs Ikechukwu Adinde revealed that the amendment was necessitated following a protracted dispute between Mobile Network Operators and Financial Institutions on the applicable charges for USSD services and the method of billing.

The statement added that as a responsive and effective regulatory authority, the Commission recognises that its policies are not static and may be modified from time to time as circumstances demand.

NCC honors former media and PR head

Pantami commissions NCC’s emergency communication centre, five other IT projects

NCC implements Accounting Separation Framework in telecoms industry

This according to the statement is coming on the heels of a recent directive by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, regarding a review of the USSD pricing by all parties involved, following a presentation made by the Commission on the billing structure, determination of USSD pricing, current status and the way forward.

Speaking during the presentation, the Minister stated that he took the decision to suspend the commencement of end-user billing (where the consumers are charged directly from their airtime balance for use of USSD channels as opposed to corporate billing where the banks paid the MNOs for the use of USSD service) because he was “genuinely besieged with a barrage of complaints at the attempted commencement of end-user billing by service providers.”

The Minister also clarified that “USSD is a service to banks and not to the Telecom Consumers, and as such, banks should see themselves as corporate customers of telecom operators with a duty to pay for using the telecom network and infrastructure, including USSD channels extended to them for service delivery to their customers.”

According to him, “Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have no direct relationship to bank customers, and cannot, therefore, charge directly for usage of USSD channel.”

The USSD channel has evolved over time from a telco-exclusive channel used for only telco services such as balance inquiry and recharges to a channel for the deployment of a broad spectrum of services, including financial, insurance, agricultural, government services and more. The use of USSD channel has become a critical resource in the economy even more so in this era of the Covid-19 pandemic that has witnessed a rise in reliance on digital services.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta, in the interest of the consumers and other stakeholders, has revised the Determination previously issued by removing the Price Floor and the Cap to allow the Mobile Network Operators and the banks negotiate rates that will be mutually beneficial to all parties concerned.

The NCC also determined that Mobile Network Operators must not charge the consumers directly for the use of USSD channels for financial services in the form of end-user-billing. The transaction should be between the MNOs and the entity to which the service is provided (i.e. Banks and Financial Institutions).

The statement said the copy of the determination is available on the NCC’s website, www.ncc.gov.ng.

News

NCC Boss, Danbatta gets prestigious Zik prize

Published

on

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, is billed to be honoured with the prestigious Zik Prize in the Professional Leadership category in Lagos, next week.

Kano Focus reports that the award will be presented to Danbatta by Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre (PPRAC), during an elaborate ceremony slated for Sunday, December 6, 2020 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos State by 6 p.m.

A statement issued by the Director public affairs Ikechukwu Adinde said this year’s event, which also coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Zik Prize series, will be chaired by Nobel Laureate,  Wole Soyinka, while the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe is to function as the royal father of the day.

The PPRAC according to the statement had, during a virtual conference on Thursday, September 24, 2020, named Danbatta and the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Kennedy Uzoka, as the joint winners in the category.

Danbatta, Uzoka and other prominent personalities who emerged in different categories of the Zik Awards, were carefully selected through a rigorous and meticulous process for their notable contributions to national development, said Jubril Aminu, Chairman of the PPRAC in a statement on the grand award ceremony.

Described by the organisers as a square peg in a square hole, Danbatta, through dint of hardwork as NCC boss, was acknowledged to have led the charge to drive Nigeria’s industrial revolution and knowledge-based economy leveraging telecommunications.

According to them, telecommunications’ contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria has grown by 70 per cent from 2015 to 2020, whilst broadband penetration has increased significantly to over 45 per cent.

“Danbatta’s leadership has enhanced transparency and innovation in the sector, such that recently, NCC was acknowledged by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as one of Africa’s foremost regulators” they observed.

According to the organisers, the NCC boss has transformed the Commission into a regulator of global acclaim, as they noted the establishment and implementation of the NCC’s auspicious strategic 8-Point Agenda, under Danbatta, which has given the direction to activities of the Commission.

Organisers of the award also acknowledge that Danbatta has, through several breathtaking and far-reaching innovations, such as Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) registration and 112 Emergency Number, helped in the effort against insecurity in the country.

They also noted that the sector’s improved contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as well as improvements in Quality of Service (QoS) delivery, broadband infrastructural development, broadband penetration, effective spectrum utilisation, consumer empowerment, technology innovation, have been phenomenal under Danbatta’s leadership.

Earlier in a letter of nomination in July 2020, signed jointly by the Aminu and Utomi, the NCC boss was described as “an outstanding public servant, whose initiatives and reforms had contributed to Information and Communications Technology (ICT), playing a leading role in the socio-economic development of Nigeria.”

Zik Prize center was set up in 1994 in honour of the first President of Nigeria, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, with a view to encouraging and nurturing quality leadership in Africa and in the diaspora.

The impending event literally puts Danbatta in the prestigious category  of eminent intra-continental figures so honoured by the foundation, like late former President of Ghana, Jerry Rawligs (1995); Late President Nelson Mandela, President Yonweri Muzeveni of Uganda and former Chairman of NCC’s Governing Board, Ahmed Joda.

Among this year’s winners, however, are the Senate President, Ahmed Lawal and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustafa, who won in political leadership and public service categories, respectively.

Others are Governor of Borno State, Babagana Umara Zulum, his counterparts from Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and Oyo State Governor, Oluseyi Makinde, who have bagged the award for good governance.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Kano International Trade Fair kicks off on Saturday

Published

on

Nasiru Yusuf

The 2020 Kano International Trade Fair organized by Kano Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industry and Agriculture (KACCIMA) has kicked off on Saturday at the Trade Fair Complex,  Zoo road, Kano.

speaking at the opening ceremony, Kano State governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said his administration is committed towards making Kano the most commercial viable centre among the 36 states of the federation.

Represented by his Deputy Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, the governor explained that the state has embarked on several projects to attract more investors from within and outside the country.

“Our administration as part of its dire need to change the outlook of markets and also to enable them compete favourably with international markets came up with the idea of ‘Yan Tebura Mall at Kantin Kwari Market which is one of its kind in the whole Northern Nigeria.

“The cumulative effects of this project will be economic growth manifested in employment opportunities, job creation and income diversification thereby reducing poverty,” Mr Ganduje said.

He pointed out that despite security challenges bedevilling the Northern part of the country, his administration is not relenting its commitment to make Kano one of the safest destinations.

Mr Ganduje commended KACCIMA for organising the Trade Fair, describing the feat as indication of shrewdness and commitment of members to make Kano a role model in commerce and industry.

In his remarks, the Minister Of Trade Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo represented by Tukur Muhammad said the theme of this year’s fair ‘Promoting the growth of micro,small and medium scale enterprises for Nigeria’s accelerated industrial development’ is in tandem with Federal Government’s commitment to its mandate of boosting the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises to ensure that their products meet the acceptable global standards.

He applauded the effort of the State Government and KACCIMA for creating a conducive environment for business activities in Kano despite the economic  challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Continue Reading

Headlines

PDP challenges Ganduje to constitute #EndSARS panel

Published

on

 

Nasiru Yusuf

The 2019 Kano state deputy governorship candidate of People Democratic Party PDP, Aminu Abdussalam has slammed Governor Abdullahi Ganduje for not constituting panel of inquiry to investigate police brutality in the state.

Mr Abdussalam was speaking on Friday at a Press Conference on failure of Kano state government to constitute panel of inquiry to investigate police brutality and alleged destruction of historical monuments in the state.

He recalled that, amidst #EndSARS protest, president Muhammad Buhari has directed all governors to set up panel of inquiry to investigate police brutality in their respective states, but none was established in Kano.

According to him 31 states of the federation have since constituted such panel of inquiry in compliance with presidential directive.

“You may wish to recall that #EndSARS aftermath necessitated federal government to direct all state governments to constitute panel of inquiry to investigate police brutality and ascertain the level of damages to the victims.

“But to our dismay and unfortunately as I am speaking to you right now, no such panel was established by Ganduje administration in Kano state. While 31 states have already kick started the investigation of police brutality.

” This has led us to raise question whether there is any police brutality in Kano, or any reported killing by the police as it happened in Sharada and other places. It appears the APC led government is feeling that Kano people does not deserved such attention,” Mr Abdussalam said.

Condemned Plan of Selling Kano Zoo

Mr Abdussalam also challenged Mr Ganduje’s plan of relocating Kano Zoological Garden to Bagauda, Bebeji Local government area, about 50 kilometres from Kano metropolis.

He said instead of consolidating on Kwankwaso’s policy of establishment of zoological garden in each of the senatorial district, the governor is closing the first Zoo in the state.

” It is also very sad to note that policies initiated by immediate past administration to establish one zoological  garden per senatorial zone is now being reversed by Ganduje administration.

“A recent announcement by the governor through one of his commissioners that the only zoological garden situated in Kano central would be moved to another place.

” Instead of completing the one initiated by Kwankwaso administration at Bagauda, and establishing another one in Kano North, the governor is to say the least going in anti-clockwise direction.”

“In view of this we are calling the attention of government and other well meaning citizens of the state and individual involved in grabbing public land to desist from this merciless act.

” All these grabs of the public land are only for the benefit of few individuals, and more like a family affair.

“In the event however, that Ganduje continue to destroy these historical monument and strategic public properties, we will remain with no option, than to diligently pursue lawful means and engaging public protest in order to solve this disaster.

The politician described as setback auctioning public properties to individuals in Kano state.

“You may recall that Kano state government has been selling public properties such as Gidan Zoo, Daula Hotel, Triumph Publishing Company, Eid ground, Kofar Mata, Panshekara Modern Abattoir, some part of Fagge Juma’at Mosque, Hajj Camp and Shahuci Motor Park to individuals for personal gains through non-transparent and unconstitutional means that are hitherto being used for the benefit of all.

“The action if this inept, clueless and incompetent government, whose desire is only to milk public fund is a clear sign of setback to Kano state in particular and the nation at large,” Mr Abdussalam said.

Continue Reading

Trending