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Akande tasks telecom operators on licensing obligations

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Prof. Adeolu Akande

Nasiru Yusuf

The Chairman, Board of Commissioners of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Adeolu Akande, has urged telecoms licensees across different segments of the Nigerian telecommunications sector on the need to adhere strictly to their licensing obligations in order to ensure robust provision of services to the consumers.

KANO FOCUS reports that Akande made the call in his remark at the third edition of NCC’s 2021 “Talk to The Regulator” (TTTR) Forum, which took place at Visa Karena Hotels, Port Harcourt, over the weekend.

At the forum held with a focus on “Improving Stakeholder Satisfaction”, Akande stated that the essence of conducting the stakeholder engagement forum across the country’s geo-political zones was to demonstrate to the Commission’s licensees that responsibility does not end in issuing of licenses alone but rather in working with the licensing authority to address issues affecting their operations.

Beyond the issuance of licences to operators, Akande declared that the Commission is legitimately concerned with providing the necessary regulatory frameworks and initiatives capable of ushering in an environment that encourages seamless implementation of the licence conditions.

“In return, we expect the licensees to deliver on their licensing conditions and I want to use this opportunity to challenge our licensees to always comply with their licensing obligations and conditions in order to provide the much-needed services to the generality of Nigerians,” he said.

Speaking earlier on the centrality of the stakeholder engagement to the regulatory activities of the Commission, NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO), Umar Garba Danbatta said the Commission considers feedback from stakeholder’s engagement initiatives imperative for building a robust licensing regime in the Nigerian telecom sector.

The EVC, who was represented at the forum by NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, reiterated the Commission’s commitment to stakeholder engagement as a means of deepening collaboration with NCC’s licensees, identifying areas of concern, and jointly developing and implementing practical solutions.

The NCC boss noted that the focus of deliberations for the series of stakeholder engagement had been on licensing processes, policies, and procedures, all geared towards improving Stakeholder Satisfaction, a central factor to all NCC’s regulatory activities.  He emphasised the need to curate insights from each geo-political zone to encourage mutually-beneficial relationships and enhance understanding between the Commission and its key stakeholders.

According to Danbatta, measurable success has been recorded essentially because of Commission’s focus on prioritising stakeholders. “Achievements such as contributions to Gross Domestic product (GDP) grew to 14.42 per cent in Q2’2021; active internet subscriptions have reached over 140 million; teledensity which now stands at 99.98 per cent; and 40.01% per cent broadband penetration, all as at the end of September, 2021,” he said.

Speaking further, Danbatta said to achieve national policy targets and maintain progressive growth in the telecoms industry, “efforts must be jointly made to harness the full cooperation of licensees to highlight areas hampering the progress of the Commission’s stakeholders.

“We have started making necessary adjustments to reflect the views of our licensees in Kano and Lagos. Port Harcourt will not be an exception,” Danbatta assured.

He reiterated that the meeting is organised in keeping with the Commission’s strategic objectives, which seek to guarantee continuous interface with the critical stakeholder in the industry, for collaboration in seeking solutions to challenges of licensing in Nigeria.

Further underscoring the significance of stakeholder engagement and sensitisation in the Commission, Danbatta said the forum affords stakeholders a platform to raise questions about the challenges of licensing and their operations. He said such forum also avails the Commission ample opportunity to adequately respond to the concerns that may be raised.

At the Focus Group Discussions (FGD), participants reviewed and discussed licensing trends, regulatory process, implementation of Annual Operating Levy (AOL) regulations, assigning of short codes, type-approval obligations, and Commission’s expectations.

Commission’s propositions for the survival of smaller licensees were also discussed in a session termed “Listen to the licensee,” as they were not only given ample time to air their grievances but also made to proffer solutions for Management’s consideration.

“Also, mutually-beneficial positions on multiple taxations, surrendered licences, Right-of-way (RoW) for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) boosters, amongst others, were part of the issues discussed.”

The Port Harcourt edition of the TTTR was sequel to previous editions of the stakeholder engagement forum which took place in Kano on October 16, 2021 and Lagos on November 25, 2021.

The event had in attendance members of NCC Board: Millionaire Abowei; Clement Baiye; Chief Uche Onwude; as well as Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil; and his counterpart in Licensing and Authorisation, Muhammed Babajika, whose department facilitated the organisation of the forum.

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Gov. Abba Kabir Urges Security Agencies to Quell Thuggery in Kano

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Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, has beseeched security agencies operating within the state to promptly bring an end to Thuggery and other malevolent activities that are disrupting peace in specific areas of the Kano metropolis.

The Governor gives this directives at the commencement of the 15th weekly meeting of the Kano State Executive Council held at the Government House.

This was contained in a statement issued by the governor’s spokesperson, Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, on Saturday.

Governor Abba Kabir expressed disapproval of the recent upsurge in Thuggery and clashes involving Yan daba, affirming that the government will not passively observe while unscrupulous elements endanger the relative tranquility and harmony enjoyed by the law-abiding citizens of the state.

He reiterated that under his administration, the state government is diligently collaborating with relevant security agencies to ensure the safety and security of the populace and their possessions at all times.

Furthermore, Governor Abba Kabir cautioned Judges against the unwarranted release of thugs, emphasizing the threat they pose to the welfare of the state’s residents and stressing the importance of prompt and equitable dispensation of justice.

Alhaji Abba Kabir also instructed security agencies to strictly adhere to their mandated duty of safeguarding the lives and properties of the citizens they serve, warning against involvement in matters beyond their designated responsibilities.

He implored the populace in the state to continue with their lawful pursuits, assuring that the government will persevere in its commitment to ensuring their protection, and requested ongoing support and cooperation for the current administration.

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Emirate Tussle: Prof. Yadudu Faults Justice Liman’s Ruling, Says Judgement not Helpful For The Judicial Process

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Reacting to the ruling, renowned constitutional lawyer, Professor Auwalu Yadudu, told Daily Trust that the judge’s pronouncements were strange and baffling by approbating and reprobating in the same breath.

He said the development was not helpful for the judicial process, stressing that the judge assuming jurisdiction on the fundamental human rights aspect and refusing the same on the validity of the substance of the case–the Kano emirates law–has “muddled up the case, and it is very unbecoming of a judge who has now been elevated to the Court of Appeal”.

Professor Yadudu clarified that while he was not accusing the judge of any impropriety, the pronouncements were unbecoming. “How can you say the actions taken in pursuant of a law are set aside, and then say you are not delving into the validity of the said law?” he queried.
Prof. Yadudu said further that the judge had more or less held that he lacked jurisdiction on the issue by transferring the case to another judge, but still went ahead to set aside the governor’s actions.

He said that the ex-parte order should no longer be of any currency because it is being challenged at the Appeal Court, and the judge himself admitted knowledge of this by granting a stay of proceedings and also deciding not to grant an order to nullify the law.

“All these are avoidable. It is not helpful for the judicial process. It is strange and doesn’t speak well of the judge. The question of whether the governor’s actions came before and after the exparte order is a question of fact or evidence. It seems from the record that the order came after,” he said.

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Governing council: ASUU BUK rejects Gawuna’s appointment, favours Udoma’s return

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Bayero University Kano, BUK chapter during the weekend rejected the appointment of Kano top flight politician, Dr Nasiru Gawuna into the Governing Council of the second generation tertiary Institution.

 

KANO FOCUS reports that the Chairperson, Prof. Ibrahim Tajo Suraj said that the process that led to the appointment of politicians into the Governing Council of the nation’s citadel of learning contravened the relevant laws that guided such appointment.

 

Addressing newsmen in its secretariat, Comrade Siraj explained that “I must admit that we are not happy over the decision of the federal government to appoint hard core politicians into the Governing Council.

 

Prof. Siraj stressed that “the criteria for such appointments is explicitly clear, as it favoured the appointment of technocrats, academic to the Council”.

 

The Chairperson maintained that the sack of former Council with a constitutional mandate of

4 years tenure, after one year in office was a rape on the rule of law.

 

He therefore called on the federal government to reinstate Senator Udo Udoma led Governing Council to complete their term in the interests of the rule of law

 

Siraj stressed that “the scenario is just like sacking an executive governor of a state after just one in office, and you went ahead to assume that all is normal, no, this is rape on the rule of law.”

 

Ibrahim Tajo Suraj, earlier had led (ASUU), Bayero University Kano branch, on a peaceful protest on Friday demanding the federal government to pay their entitlements and implement the 2009 ASUU/FG Agreement.

 

Prof. Ibrahim Tajo Suraj, said the action was in compliance with the directive by the national body to all its branches to organize protests within their campuses on account of the federal government’s failure to pay their entitlements.

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