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NCC pledges to promote ICT infrastructure for economic growth




Nasiru Yusuf

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Garba Danbatta says the Commission will continue to promote the expansion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure across the country for the rapid development of the nation’s digital economy.

Kano Focus reports that Mr Danbatta gave the assurance in a presentation titled “Communication Technology for Service Delivery in Health, Education, Tourism, the Creative Industry and Agriculture” delivered during the first virtual and sixth edition of Information Communications Technology and Telecommunications Conference and Exhibition (ICTEL) EXPO 2020.

He said the Commission, not only successfully achieved but surpassed the 30 per cent broadband penetration target in 2018. Danabatta observed that through various policy initiatives, broadband penetration has further increased to 42.02 per cent as of July, 2020, noting that this has laid a solid foundation to drive the national efforts at achieving the new 70 per cent broadband penetration target set in the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025.

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Represented by the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Efosa Idehen, Danbatta said in line with this commitment, the Commission has commenced the review of the framework for engaging infrastructure companies to cascade fibre optic deployment to the hinterlands of Nigeria to ensure pervasive access to broadband services in the country.

He stated that with the support of the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, NCC is resolving the perennial problem of high cost of Right of Way (RoW) with the support of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) to hasten ICT infrastructure that will enable socio-economic activities across various sectors.

According to him, as the world is becoming increasingly digitised; there will be no sector or facet of human life where ICT will not be required for optimal service delivery and improved conditions of living for the citizens.

With regard to the health sector, Mr Danbatta said ICT is playing a very important role in the manner health services are now delivered, adding that the new Internet speed and low latency of 5G technology are expected to further enhance the possibilities of telemedicine and remote surgery.

Similarly, the EVC said the educational sector has also greatly soared on the wings of ICT, as there has been a surge in online learning in many institutions around the globe due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, while illustrating the symbiotic relationship between ICT and educational sectors.

Mr Danbatta said “the relationship between ICT and the educational sector has been mutually beneficial. He assured the stakeholders that the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to enhance the capabilities of the educational sector even further.”

According to him, the agricultural sector has also benefitted from ICT, as several agro-based apps have been designed to ensure that stakeholders in the sector are able to provide and improve on essential agro-services.

These developments according to him have helped to boost food production and security, just as a lot of digitisation is also holding sway in the creative industry, enhancing its growth thereby enabling job creation and greater contribution to the Gross Domestic product (GDP).

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Centre lauds NCC Boss over reforms in communications sector



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim


The Centre for International and Strategic Studies (CISS) has applauded the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani and Aminu Maida, the CEO/EVC of the Nigeriansector Communications Commission (NCC) for reforming the sector.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Centre made this known in its assessment report of the communications sector under President Bola Tinubu.

In the report signed by Dr Thomas Uzah, the Centre hailed Dr Tijani and Maida for keying into President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda with laudable initiatives and reforms.

The report commended the minister for convincing President Tinubu to sign four Executive Orders including the suspension of the five percent Exercise Tax on telecommunication services.

It also acknowledged the importance of the National Broadband Alliance for Nigeria (NBAN) in fostering collaboration for broadband development and adoption to position the country at the forefront of the global digital landscape.

“The administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is consolidating on these gains as part of his promised renewed hope,” the report said in part.

“His appointment of an experienced young Nigerian in the person of Bosun Tijani as Minister of Communication and Digital Economy has yielded fruits with the reforms introduced by the ministry since his assumption of duty.

“He got the President to sign an executive order to suspend multiple taxation that has stifled business in the sector. The administration has rolled out many initiatives that, if implemented diligently will turn things around in the communication sector.

“Efforts are in place in human capacity development with the training of young men and women in ICT while also improving internet accessibility for Nigerians. The reforms introduced under the auspices of Dr Dr Bosun Tijani if sustained will solve many of the problems witnessed in the sector. ”

The Centre, however, recommended that the NCC should revamp stakeholder engagement across the country.

It also urged the Federal Government to address the cost of doing business and invest massively in infrastructure, especially the power sector.

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NCC orders telecom operators to block SIMs without NIN



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim


The Nigerian Communications Commission has reiterated its directive to telecom operators to bar telephone subscribers not linked to their National Identification Numbers on or before February 28, 2024.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Executive Vice Chairman, National Communication Commission, Dr Aminu Maida, spoke at the NCC’s Special Day during the ongoing 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair on Wednesday.

Maida who was represented by Reuben Mouka, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, insisted that as a matter of critical national security, telecom consumers must link their NIN to their SIM.

He reaffirmed that the February 28th deadline given to telecom operators to bar subscribers who failed to link their NIN to SIM, stands.

“To this end, the National Communication Commission has directed all telecommunication operators to bar phone lines of subscribers whose lines are not linked to their NINs on or before February 28, 2024,” he added.

This, the executive vice chairman said, was apt as the theme resonated with the principles and objectives of the commission in promoting local content development in the telecom industry.

Maida also said the NCC was committed to protecting consumers’ rights while ensuring their satisfaction and noting that the commission has created a universally acceptable environment to access “affordable and equitable service and supports the nation’s economic growth.”

“As a regulator of the telecommunications sector in the country, the Commission carries out its functions to ensure service availability, affordability, and sustainability for all categories of consumers, who are leveraging on ICT/Telecoms to drive personal and business activities,” he said.

For instance, he continued that the Telecom Consumer Assistance, Resolution and Enquiries (TELCARE) Desk at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Internatonal Airport Abuja The TELCARE desk was set up to further provide an additional platform to make enquiries on customer issues, receive and facilitate the resolution of telecom consumer complaints.

He explained that by “working together, we can create a more vibrant telecommunications industry that contributes significantly to the economic recovery and growth.”

According to him, as of 2023, the telecoms industry’s contribution to the nation’s GDP stood at 13.5% (Source – Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report November 2023-A publication of the National Bureau of Statistics.

“Conversely, as we promote economic growth through the development of local content, we must also address the challenges faced by consumers and NCC is committed to protecting their rights while ensuring their satisfaction.

The NCC boss, therefore urged telecom firms to prioritize customer satisfaction and uphold the highest standards of service delivery, noting that the commission has implemented measures to safeguard the interests of consumers and businesses alike.

One such measure, he said, was the NCC’s directive on May 17, 2023, that all licensed Mobile Network Operators commence implementation of approved Harmonised Short Codes for providing services to Nigerian telecom consumers.

“The new initiative is enabling consumers using the over 224 million active mobile telephone lines in Nigeria to use the same codes to access services across all networks,” he added.

Meanwhile, the NCC boss disclosed that as of 2023, the telecoms industry’s contribution to the nation’s GDP stood at 13.5 per cent, according to the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report November 2023 – A publication of the National Bureau of Statistics.

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Kano Assembly passes Public Health Security bill




Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim


Kano State House of Assembly on Tuesday passed Public Health Security bill.

KANO FOCUS reports that the the bill was passed after extensive deliberations during the plenary, presided over by Speaker, Alhaji Jibril Ismail Falgore (NNPP-Rogo) in Kano.

After the deliberations, the lawmakers approved the third reading of the bill by the Clerk.

The assembly also commended development partners for their support toward the successful passage of the bill.

Kano State has become a trailblazer among Nigerian states by spearheading the bill as this crucial legislation is designed to fortify the state’s capabilities in preventing, detecting, responding to, recovering from, and preparing for epidemic diseases.

Initiated during the 9th Assembly, the bill garnered support from key partners such as the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO Lafiya), Legislative Initiative for Sustainable Development (LISDEL) among others.

These organizations played a pivotal role in advocacy and hosting workshops for stakeholders and legislators, offering in-depth insights into the bill.

The Bill was sponsored by Musa Ali Kachako member representing Takai state constituency.

Following the workshops, the bill successfully passed its 1st reading but faced a hiatus due to time constraints and the subsequent closure of the 9th Assembly. As per legislative protocols, an unfinished bill in one assembly necessitates restarting the process in a new assembly.

Upon the inauguration of the 10th Assembly, supportive partners launched advocacies and follow-ups based on previous efforts. The members of the assembly, acknowledging the significant investments in the bill, embraced it.

The bill has progressed through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd readings, with a comprehensive retreat organized to scrutinize its contents, sections, and technicalities.

The document underwent meticulous review by a standing committee on health, generating a detailed report presented to the floor of the house and subsequently accepted.

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