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NCC concludes cost-based study on international termination rate determination

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has concluded the process for determining the cost-based price of Mobile International Termination Rate (ITR) to ensure healthy competition on traffic handling for voice services between local and international operators in Nigeria.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Commission made this known at the final Stakeholders’ Forum for the presentation of the study on cost-based pricing of mobile ITR, undertaken by Messrs Payday Advance and Support Services Limited, held at the Commission’s Head Office in Abuja on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 with Management Staff of the Commission physically in attendance while other critical industry stakeholders participated virtually.

A statement sent to KANO FOCUS by commission’s spokesperson Ikechukwu Adinde said the forum was convened by the NCC to formally present the findings from the study, which commenced in March, 2020, to industry stakeholders and to solicit further perspectives, insights and other input on the findings towards a mutually realistic termination rate for international voice traffic in Nigeria.

Speaking at the forum, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta, said the cost-based study became imperative, following previous efforts at finding an optimum price for the termination of international voice services that will be beneficial to all relevant industry stakeholders.

Danbatta said that the “overriding need for regulatory options and intervention in relation to the international termination rate in the voice market segment is predicated on some intractable challenges, most common with economies with severe macroeconomic volatility such as ours.”

Going down memory lane with respect to MTR determination in the Nigeria’s telecom industry, the EVC said, in 2013, the Commission issued a Determination stating that mobile Termination Rates (MTR) are the same irrespective of where the call originated. He, however, stated that this was misconstrued by operators at that time to mean that ITR should be the same rate as the MTR, consequently ignoring the international cost portion.

“Arising from these is the persistent fact that Nigeria’s ITR is below that of most countries with which it makes and receives the most calls, making Nigerian operators perpetual net payers. The obvious implication of this is seen in the attendant undue pressure on the nation’s foreign reserves, which continue to get depleted by associated net transfers to foreign operators on account of this lopsidedness,” Danbatta explained.

Danbatta further stated that regulating the ITR is imperative for developing countries, such as Nigeria, with volatile currencies in order to prevent or mitigate the imbalance of payments with international operators. He also said the Commission was faced with the challenge of arriving at a rate that will balance the competing objectives of economic efficiency while, at the same time, allowing operators the latitude to generate reasonable revenues.

He informed the forum however, that “where ITR is not regulated, it tends to converge to the MTR and for a market like Nigeria with major supply side challenges, the socio-economic implications and attendant backlash can only be imagined.”

In her comments, the Director, Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis, NCC, Yetunde Akinloye, corroborated the EVC, noting that the study was intended to compliment and consolidate the initial work done by the Commission which had also culminated in the MTR Determination published in June 2018.

According to her, the ITR previously determined was based on actual benchmarking with countries of similar characteristics to Nigeria, but the findings from that study were faced by major national macroeconomic management challenges, ultimately pointing to the need for an ITR that is cost-based, consistent with the MTR.

ITR is the rate paid to local operators by international operators to terminate calls in Nigeria as contrasted with MTR, which is the rate local operators pay to another local operator to terminate calls within the country.

Meanwhile, Danbatta has reiterated the NCC’s commitment “to continuously provide a conducive environment and level playing field for the effective interplay of factors that would engender sustained market development and growth, while ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunication services to the consumers”.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has concluded the process of determining the cost-based price of Mobile International Termination Rate (ITR) to ensure healthy competition on traffic handling for voice services between local and international operators in Nigeria.

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June 12: Tinubu’s posters flood Kano streets

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

The posters of National leader of All Progressive Congress APC, Bola Tinubu have flooded major streets of Kano metropolis amidst June 12 celebration.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Tinubu was billed to arrive Kano on Saturday to witness formal defection of former gubernatorial candidates of the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN) and People Redemption Party PRP, Abdulsalam Abdulkarim, popularly known as AA Zaura and Salihu Sagir Takai as well as son of former head of state Risqua Murtala Muhammad.

However, Mr Tinubu has not been sighted at the grand ceremony which attracted mammoth crowd at Kano Pillars stadium.

Although there was no known reason why Mr Tinubu has not attend the celebration, his posters has been pasted in major streets of Kano metropolis.

The areas flooded by the Jagaban posters include Sani Abacha stadium, Kofar Nassarawa bridge, Emirs Palace road and BUK road.

The posters carried an inscription of Democracy day congratulatory message ‘Happy Democracy Day’ from Tinubu Advocacy Group.

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Another BUK student dies

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BUK

 

Nasiru Yusuf

The management of Bayero University, Kano has announced the death of young Kamaluddeen Moshood, a level 200 student in the Department of Accounting.

A statement sent to KANO FOCUS by the university’s spokesperson Lamara Garba said Mr Moshood died on Saturday, at the National Orthopedic Hospital Dala, Kano following injuries he sustained as a result of a road traffic accident.

KANO FOCUS had earlier reported a level 400 student in the department of Political Science Mercy Sunday had also died of fever and vomiting in the Ramat Hall female students’ hostel on Tuesday morning.

The statement recalled that young Moshood was hit by a fast-moving vehicle outside the University on Tuesday, 8th June at about 10:00 pm.

“Upon receiving the report of the accident, the Vice Chancellor, instantly directed the Dean of the Students Affairs to visit the scene and take all necessary action.

“The driver of the vehicle was apprehended while the victim was rushed to the hospital  under the supervision of the University Director Health Services for prompt medical attention as he sustained multiple fracture.

“While at the Hospital, preliminary investigations revealed that Kamaluddeen had a severe crush leg injury and needed to have his leg amputated to save him.

“However, the doctors who observed  his condition advised that in view of his unstable condition, it may not be possible to conduct such a major operation.  It was in the process of stabilizing his health that he gave up the ghost,” the statement said.

While commiserating with the family of the deceased entire members of the University community, the Management however, warned against any plan by students or group of persons to engage in any act that could jeopardise the peace being enjoyed on campus in whatever form.

The statement warned that the university will not condone any act of uncivilized behavior whatsoever which will disrupt the peace in it’s our campuses, adding that any student caught doing so will be decisively dealt with.

BUK asks ministry of works to erect pedestrian bridge

The university management said they have sent a request to federal ministry of works for the construction of pedestrian bridge near the main gate of the new campus.

“In the meantime, it should also be noted that in its determined effort to ensure the safety of students and other stakeholders of the University, the Management had, early this year (2021) made a submission to the Federal Ministry of Works on the urgent need to construct a pedestrian bridge near the main gate of the New Campus for  use by students in crossing over the trunk ‘A’ highway that passes by the side of the university.

“Already, the Ministry had obliged to the request of constructing the bridge and arrangement has gone far in that regards,” the statement said.

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Danbatta: Kidnappers release Igbo businessman

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Kidnappers have released the Igbo business man abducted last Friday in Danbatta local government, Kano state.

Kano Focus exclusively reports that Mr Emanuel Eze regained freedom after paying an undisclosed ransom.

Mr Eze’s neighbor Salisu Abubakar Kore told Kano Focus that he was contacted by the kidnappers to drive the businessman home on Thursday night.

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“I was called around 1:30am and directed to pick him up in Ringim, Jigawa state.

“When I reached Kanya Babba I was rerouted to Gidan Lage, Garki local government, Jigawa state where I picked him around 2:30am.

“We arrived Kore in Danbatta local government, Kano state by 5:30am but he instructed me to proceed to Kazaure, jigawa state where he reunited with his brothers.” Mr Kore said.

The Kano Police Command Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa has confirmed Mr Eze’s release.

Mr Kiyawa, a deputy superintendent of police said the command has received tips about the kidnaps whereabouts and is in the process of hunting them down.

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