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NCC sets new mobile international termination rate for voice services

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has determined the new International Termination Rate (ITR) for voice services paid by overseas telecom carriers for terminating international calls on local networks in Nigeria at $0.045.

KANO FOCUS reports that the new rate is contained in the ‘Determination of Mobile International Termination Rate’ issued by the Commission on November 25, 2021.

A statement sent to KANO FOCUS by Director Public Affairs, NCC, Ikechukwu Adinde said the $0.045 rate is the floor price for ITR services and shall take effect from January 1, 2022. The rate is to be paid in US Dollar to enable Nigerian operators to receive an increasing rate in Naira terms to accommodate devaluation.

No licensee shall charge and/or receive effective rate per minute below determined ITR floor rate. As such, payment discounts, volume discounts and any other concession that has the effect of bringing the effective ITR lower than the rate determined shall be deemed a contravention of the new determination and will attract sanctions in line with the Nigerian Communications (Enforcement process, etc.) Regulations, 2019.

The ITR Floor is the minimum that can be charged. Operators will be free to negotiate a rate above the floor and this will be entirely left to commercial negotiation between the operators and international carriers/partners.

However, while the ITR only pertains to the cost of bringing traffic into Nigeria, Nigerian operators will continue to pay the regulated Mobile Termination Rate (MTR), the local termination rate among themselves.

The MTR of N3.90 for generic 2G/3G/4G operators and N4.70 for new entrant Long Term Evolution (LTE) operators determined in 2018, will continue to apply for local call terminations until a new rate is determined by the Commission pursuant to its powers as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003.

The subsisting regime of interconnection rates was sustained by the Commission’s Mobile (voice) termination rate issued on June 1, 2018. In the determination, it was stated that the ITR of N24.40 determined in 2016 will continue to apply until a new determination is made.

The ITR, being denominated in Naira had multiple negative impacts on local operators which was further exacerbated by episodes of devaluation of naira which ultimately left Nigeria from being a net receiver with respect to international minutes to a net payer.

The Commission also observed that operators continue to face series of challenges occasioned by the denomination of ITR in Naira, necessitating a need for a cost-based study on ITR.

In view of the foregoing and in fulfillment of its statutory mandate of periodic review of regulatory policies, the Commission engaged Messrs’ Payday Advance and Support Services Limited to undertake a cost-based study of voice MTR that is most suitable for the Nigerian telecommunications industry.

Commenting, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said in arriving at the new MTR of $0.045, “the Commission has carefully considered the information provided by stakeholders and taken a view on parameters and regulatory measures in the light of relevant information such as international experience, cost model results, the state of competition in the sector and the Nigerian macro-economic environment.”

He added that the process of arriving at the ITR had been conducted transparently with a view to providing maximum clarity to all parties without compromising the confidentiality of commercially-sensitive information. “We are confident that the result the review will make a significant contribution to the development of the telecoms sector in Nigeria and be beneficial to subscribers, operators and the country at large,” he said.

The EVC, on behalf of the Board and Management of the NCC, extended the Commission’s gratitude to all operators and industry stakeholders, who submitted information relating to the regulation of interconnection rates and the costing models as well as the consultant, for their participation in the process leading to the Determination.

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Dangote Food Intervention Excites Host Communities In Kogi

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

Representatives of the diverse host communities and ethnic groups at the Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana; and that of Dangote Coal Mines Limited, Ankpa, Kogi State,aq expressed their excitement over the Food Intervention Programme of the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF).

In an outpouring of appreciation, a Monarch, the Bajana of Obajana, Engr Idowu Isenibi, described the Food Intervention Programme of the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) as timely.

Obajana is home to West African largest cement factory, the Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana.

“It is coming at the time Nigerians are in need. We are humbled by this generosity, but like Oliver Twist, we would always ask for more,” Engr Isenibi said.

The Monarch said, “We are peaceful people. We have been protecting his investment, and we will continue this path bequeathed to us by our forefathers.

“We promise not to betray or disappoint Alhaji Aliko Dangote.”

This paper can report that N15billion was earmarked for the Food Intervention Programme by the Aliko Dangote Foundation.

Representatives of the different religions and ethnic groups took turn to pledge their unwavering support for the Dangote Cement Plc.

Speaking, the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) who was represented by his secretary, Pastor Pius Ushie, described Mr. Dangote as God sent, adding that the food intervention would positively impact the lives of many impoverished and vulnerable people in the state and Nigeria.

According to him, the Christian community in Obajana will continue to pray for the success of the Dangote Cement Plc.

The Muslim Community, represented by the Deputy Chief Imam, Mallam Saidu Adamu, said Dangote has contributed to peace, security, and economic development of Kogi State in general.
He said in Islam feeding the poor attracts great reward, calling on other wealthy Nigerians to emulate Mr. Dangote’s act of generosity.

Leader of the Yoruba community, Ismail Adetunji, said the rice donation by the ADF would not only cushion the economic situation of the poor, but it would also help in creating a sense of unity among the members of the host communities.

On his part, the leader of the Igala community, Daiko Gideon, said his community members would continue to support the company, even as he commended it for the several social intervention schemes over the years.

Speaking earlier, General Manager, Social Performance, Ademola Adeyemi, said the food initiative represents a continuation of the Foundation’s commitment to supporting the government and the Nigerian populace in alleviating economic hardship within the country.

He thanked the communities for being the Ambassadors of the Dangote Cement Plc in the state.

Representative of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Sanusi Abdulkadir, said the Foundation would not rest on its oars in giving back to society.

At Ankpa Local Government Area, home to the Dangote Coal Mines Limited, Mr. Husseini Christian, a community leader commended the Foundation for the food donation, saying it would further enhance the existing cordial relationship between the company and the community.

Similarly, Mallam Ismail Yakubu, representing Awo Ate said the food intervention came at the right time, and would create succor to members of the community.

On his part, Mr. Peter Adejoh, representative of the Awo Akpali Community, said his people were grateful for the support, adding that it would go a long in easing the economic realities among members of the community.

Representative of the Onupi Community, Abdullahi Saidu, and his counterpart, Abdullahi Garba Muhammad who represented the Ajobe-Ofeanyaka community of Ankpa said the support of the Aliko Dangote Foundation is huge in his community, just as he said the community members would not relent in its support for the company.

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AFRICA CEO FORUM: Dangote calls for more investments to propel Africa’s economic growth

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

President of the Pan-African Conglomerate, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Aliko Dangote has called for increased investments in the African continent to foster its rapid growth and development.

Speaking at the largest gathering of private sector leaders in Africa, the Africa CEO Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, Dangote emphasized that recent trends underscore Africa’s pivotal role as the future epicenter of global progress.

The business mogul cautioned against the continent’s overreliance on raw material exports, but advocating instead for strategic investments that will propel indigenous industries. He urged African nations to resist the urge to export raw materials but to nurture domestic manufacturing capabilities so as to reduce dependency on imported consumer goods.

“Looking ahead, Africa holds the key to its greatness. I’m not merely investing money but dedicating my entire being to this cause. In Africa, possibilities are boundless. It is like a scratch card; you won’t know what is inside unless you scratch it. For some of us, despite the boom of the capital market in the US, we didn’t really participate, rather we invested in Africa,” he affirmed.

Over the past seven years, Dangote said he had channelled over $25 billion into bolstering Africa’s self-sufficiency in vital sectors such as fertilizers, petrochemicals, and refined products. Notably, he said the monumental Dangote Refinery, boasting a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, stands poised to meet the burgeoning demand across West Africa, Central Africa, and South Africa.

“We have finished our refinery; it is quite big. We believe it is what Africa needs. If you look at the entire continent, there are only two countries that don’t import petroleum products, only Algeria and Libya but the rest import. We need to change that, so we don’t just produce raw materials but finished products and create jobs. One of the things we need to know as Africans is that when we produce raw material and export them while others dump finished products on our continent, what we are doing is that we are importing poverty while exporting jobs. We must change the narrative.

“We just commissioned in February. We are producing jet fuel and diesel. By next month, we will be producing gasoline but what that will do is that it will be able to take most of the African crudes that are being produced and be able to supply refined products not only in Nigeria because our capacity is too big for Nigeria. It will be able to supply in West Africa, Central Africa and South Africa. This is the first phase, we are going to the next phase by next year,” he said.

Expressing concern over Africa’s paradoxical export of raw materials juxtaposed with an influx of imported finished goods, Dangote underscored the urgent need to reverse this trend. He lamented that exporting raw materials while importing finished goods perpetuates a cycle of job loss and poverty.

Founded in 2012, the Africa CEO Forum, is a platform through which African decision-makers connect with each other continuously, as well as with international investors and institutions operating on the continent..

It has evolved into an organisation dedicated to facilitating business in Africa through the exchange of ideas and experiences,

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Nigeria’s Omoniyi Ibietan, elected Secretary-General of APRA

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Head Media Relations at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, has just been elected the Secretary-General of the African Public Relations Association (APRA) at the ongoing 35th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) taking place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. 

 

KANO FOCUS reports that Ibietan was elected into a three-man Executive Council. The other two members are Arik Karani (Kenya), President, and Dr. Michele Mekeme (Cameroon), Vice President.

 

Ibietan, a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and APRA, has promised to work with other members of the Executive Council to continue the trajectory of reforms in APRA, expand the democratic space by encouraging greater participation of national public relations institutions on the continent.

 

He has also expressed his readiness and commitment to working more closely with the African Union Commission and Council of Ministers to put public relations at the heart of policy, programmes, and project implementation.

 

Ibietan, a journalist, writer, and author works at NCC where he oversees aspects of the public communication strategy of the national regulatory authority for telecommunication in Nigeria.

 

Earlier in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, he was Special Media Advisor to the Federal Minister of Information and Communication. He has over 20 years of experience in media and communication scholarship and practice, spanning journalism, academia, policy discourse, communication strategy, regulation, and stakeholder relations.

 

Ibietan earned BA and MA in Communication Arts and Communication & Language Arts from the Universities of Uyo and Ibadan in Nigeria, respectively, graduating atop his classes. Earlier, he obtained a diploma in journalism with distinction from the Moscow-Based International Institute of Journalism.

 

He holds a Ph.D. in Communication from the North-West University in South Africa, with specialisation in political communication. He is a IP3 certified regulation specialist and holds a mini MBA in telecommunications from NEOTELIS in Paris.

 

He is also a member of the African Council for Communication Education (ACCE), an Associate Registered Practitioner of Advertising (arpa) and member of the International Institute of Communications (IIC), the world’s only policy debating platform for the converged communications industry.

 

As a scholar, he focuses on patterns of political communication through new media; media and culture studies; and theoretical & normative foundations of communication in relation to democracy and freedom. He is on the faculty of the Nigerian campus of Italy-based Rome Business School (RBS), where he teaches doctoral students PR & Advertising and Media Management & Communication Strategy. He also facilitates learning to students in the Master of Corporate Communication programme at RBS.

 

His first book, Social Media, Social Demography, and Voting Behaviour in Nigeria, was published by Premium Times Books in Washington in May 2023. He has travelled extensively in Africa, North America, Europe, and Asia.

 

At the ongoing conference, Ibietan presented the first paper at the commencement of business sessions titled: Digital Inclusion as Arbiter of Accessible Public Relations: A case of Nigerian Communications Commission.

 

Using Castells’ Theory of the Network Society and the Knowledge Gap Theory, and based on the actions of the Nigerian government through the activities of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ibietan advanced a thesis that digital inclusion is the arbiter of digital public relations.

 

Through implementation of laws, policies, guidelines, developmental regulation, collaborative partnerships, social investments, operational efficiency and ancillary actions that are consequential and quantifiable, and using copious pictorial evidence, Ibietan discoursed a perspective that NCC’s digital inclusion programmes, projects and activities are foundational to digital economy.

 

He argued that this is because investment in and coordination of expansion of digital infrastructure, demonstrating their affordances and enhancing people’s access to such resources, constitute the building blocks and raison d’être of digital economy and inherently digital public relations.

 

APRA, the successor to the Federation of African Public Relations Association (FAPRA), instituted in Nairobi in 1975, exists to foster unity of Africans and their global allies through interactions and exchange of meaning. This year’s theme is ‘One Africa, One Voice: Bridging Africa’s Communication Divide’.

 

APRA Côte d’Ivoire 2024 is endorsed by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, the Holding Opinion & Public (THOP), and major global PR associations, namely the International Public Relations Association (IPRA), The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO), the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management (GA), the African Union Commission (AUC), and PR national associations across the continent.

 

Additionally, the conference featured the eight edition of the Innovation Summit (IN2SUMMIT) and included the seventh edition of the SABRE Awards Africa, holding tonight. The APRA secretariat is in Nigeria, and the body maintains an observer status with the African Union.

 

 

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