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NCC moves to strengthen colocation, infrastructure sharing market segment

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has commenced the process of conducting a study to assess the current level of competition in the colocation and infrastructure sharing (CIS) segment of the Nigerian telecommunications sector. Seventy-eight licensees are currently operating in that market segment.

KANO FOCUS reports that the study is to enable the Commission to have insightful and evidenced-based facts to glean the dynamics at play and ensure the continuous growth of the CIS segment of the telecom market.

The NCC takes this issue as priority in view of the critical role played by the colocation and infrastructure sharing segment of the telecom ecosystem in ensuring robust services.

Already, the Commission has engaged the services of Messrs. Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC), one of the world’s reputable consulting firms, to conduct the study on its behalf, in exercise of NCC’s regulatory functions as provided in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003.

The study is expected to be concluded between April and July, 2022.

Speaking at the NCC’s stakeholders’ forum recently organised in Lagos on the commencement of the study, the Director, Policy, Competition and Economy Analysis (PCEA) at NCC, Yetunde Akinloye, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the forum was hosted to intimate operators in the CIS segment of the telecom market on the study and to secure their buy-in and cooperation with the consultants undertaking the study.

Yetunde Akinloye

Akinloye reasoned that, in line with its mandate of creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry as well as ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services, the NCC periodically conducts studies to assess the level of competition in the industry.

“Having successfully conducted competition assessment studies in 2005, 2010 and 2013, the Commission had issued determinations based on the findings of the studies while outcome of such studies has also enabled the Commission to come up with various regulatory interventions and initiatives to continuously provide a level-playing field for the interplay of market forces.

“These procedures are emplaced by the Commission to ensure fair, efficient and sustainable competition in the Nigerian telecom industry,” Akinloye said.

Despite the measurable progress made by the Commission, Akinloye stated that, since the successful completion of the 2013 study, there had been significant development and activities in some market segments of the industry that had necessitated the conduct of another competition study.

For instance, at the time the 2013 study was conducted, the CIS market segment was still at embryonic stage and as such, much emphasis was not placed on it.

However, “The CIS segment has recorded significant  growth and transformation over the years having about 80 licensees, operating in the segment while its performance and activities continue to impact significantly on other segments of the Nigerian industry.

The Director PCEA also informed that activities in the CIS market has also  attained the targets set out in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025)”.

Akinloye further declared that the overarching objective of the study is to provide current insights into the level of competition in the CIS market segment and articulate strategies to enhance opportunities in the market, as well as ensure the deepening of competition which will ultimately support the provision of innovative services for the benefits of both market players and the consumers at large.

“Therefore, in line with NCC’s participatory approach to regulation, this initial stakeholders forum has been convened to formally introduce the project and the appointed consultants to the industry”.

Akinloye informed participants and asserted that the forum provides opportunities for stakeholders to gain an understanding into the objective, scope and methodology of the study, as well as to ensure that questionnaire or Request for Information (RFI) developed by the consultants to access the level of competition in the market are well understood.

Thus, Akinloye rallied the stakeholders to see the forum as an opportunity “to seek and receive clarification based on presentation delivered by the consultant and to make comments on issues relating to the study.

She urged all participants to “commit to the objectives of the study, by providing complete, timely feedback to questionnaires.”

Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity at NCC, Bako Wakil, also joined Akinloye in seeking the full cooperation of licensees in the CIS segment of the telecom market whenever they are approached by the consultants for relevant information either through the instrumentality of the RFI or through one-on-one sessions with consultants in the course of the implementation of the study.

According to Wakil, the study is in the interest of the CIS licensees, other players and the consumers. It will also provide the Commission with useful and evidenced-based insights necessary to ensure healthy competition and a level-playing ground in the CIS segment and ensure sustainability in the growth of the telecommunication industry.

“Also, rest assured of the confidentiality of any information provided to the Commission in the course of this study, no matter how sensitive,” Bako said to the enthusiastic audience.

Earlier in her presentation to telecom stakeholders at the event, Partner at PwC, Mary Iwelumo, amplified the voice of the Commission on the objectives of the study and urged them to cooperate with the firm in providing accurate, timely and adequate responses to the RFI or the questionnaire that would be administered. This will ensure that appropriate information are to obtained to address the challenges in the sector.

Iwelumo stated that the study is to analyse the structure and operations of the collocation and infrastructure sharing segment of the telecoms market, draw out insights and advise the Commission on necessary regulatory interventions required.

Iwelumo further listed three major tasks of PwC in the execution of the study to include: gathering data, reviewing and analysing information that would be sourced from the Commission, the operators, other jurisdictions for benchmarking; engaging identified stakeholders to get feedback and suggestions after the completion of market assessment; and finally to make recommendations and prepare the study report.

“Operators are very critical to the success of the study. Therefore, they would be involved in this critical assignment, as important sources of information, as provider of technical inputs, and finally, help to validate the findings of the study,” Iwelumo said to underscore the role of operators in the study.

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NUP presents Gov Yusuf with Outstanding Governor of the Year award

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….Acknowledged him as the “Most friendly Governor for pensioners

The national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners has bestowed upon the Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, the title of the most pensioner-friendly Governor of the year.

This was contained in a statement issued by governor’s spokesperson Sunusi Bature Dawakin Tofa on Thursday.

In presenting the accolade to the Governor, the national chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Mazi Godwin Ikechuku Abumisi, expressed that it was incumbent upon the union to acknowledge the Governor due to his steadfast dedication to the welfare of pensioners in the state.

“Your Excellency, you shine brightly as a beacon of support to our members.

“Over the past year, you have authorized and disbursed eleven billion naira to clear the backlog of pension gratuity payments.

“This milestone is unparalleled; no other governor has accomplished such a feat within a single year since the restoration of democracy in Nigeria.”

In their messages of goodwill earlier, the state chairmen of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in Kano expressed gratitude to the Governor for his unwavering commitment to addressing the pension liabilities amounting to N43 billion left by the previous administration.

Responding to the honor, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf reiterated his unwavering dedication to supporting pensioners by the settlement of their gratuities and the timely disbursement of monthly pension allowances.

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Kano emirate tussle: Police ban Sallah durbar

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Kano State Police Command has prohibited the planned Durbar celebrations by both dethroned Emir Aminu Ado Bayero and reinstated Emir Muhammad Sanusi ll.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Durbar, a traditional ceremony typically held a day after Sallah, involves the Emir riding on horseback through major areas of Kano city.

Despite both Emirs having made preparations and requested security permission from the state police command, the police have denied their requests due to potential security concerns.

The Kano State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Haruna Kiyawa, confirmed the ban in a statement issued on Thursday.

The statement, titled “Ban on Durbar Activities and Other Security Restraints During Sallah Festivities,” emphasized that the police command has issued security advisories to residents in preparation for the forthcoming Sallah celebrations.

The police decision aims to prevent any potential conflicts or security breaches that could arise from the ongoing emirship dispute.

The Kano State Police Command congratulates Muslim faithful and all law-abiding residents of the State for witnessing yet another Eid-El-Kabir Sallah period and assures that adequate security deployments have been put in place to ensure no breakdown of law and order in all parts of the State before, during and after the festive period.

SP Kiyawa added “This is part of the commitment to sustenance of the peace by the Kano State Police Command in conjunction with all the relevant security stakeholders.

He state that “in furtherance, a ban has been placed on ALL DURBAR activities throughout the State for the upcoming Eid-El-Kabir celebrations”.

This measure is taken as a result of series security reports obtained and wide consultations made with relevant security stakeholders to ensure the safety of the larger community.

However, worshippers are advised to conduct their normal Eid Prayers at the various designated Eid praying grounds, traditionally done in the past.

On a final note, the Command encourages continued collaboration and cooperation from all stakeholders to collectively work together to build a safer and more secure environment.

The Command also urges everyone to keep reporting any suspicious movement of person(s) or item(s) they come across to the nearest Police Station or through the following Kano State Police Command emergency contact numbers:- 08032419754, 08123821575, 09029292926.

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Kano Emirate tussle: Court confirms jurisdiction to hear rights violation suit

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Aminu Ado Bayero

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Kano, has ruled that it has the jurisdiction to preside over the case of human rights violation brought by deposed Kano Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero, and a senior councillor, Aminu Babba DanAgundi, following the reinstatement of Emir Mohammadu Sanusi II.

KANO FOCUS reports that the court had granted an ex-parte order stopping Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano from reinstating Sanusi pending the determination of a substantive suit filed against his reinstatement.

The order also kicked against the abolishment of four emirates – Bichi, Gaya, Karaye, and Rano – in a bill earlier passed by the State House of Assembly.

It directed all parties involved to maintain status quo ante pending the determination of the suit filed by Sarkin Dawaki Babba and Aminu Babba-Dan’Agundi.

Justice Liman granted leave to the Plaintiff/Applicant to issue and serve their concurrent originating motion as well as all other court processes on the 6th defendant (IGP) in the FCT, Abuja, and outside the jurisdiction of the court.

The defendants in the suit include the Kano State Government, the Kano State House of Assembly, the Speaker of the State Assembly, the Kano State Commissioner of Police, the Inspector General of Police, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, and the Department of State Security.

Justice Liman said all parties are ordered to maintain status quo ante in the passage and assent of the bill.

“That parties are hereby ordered to maintain status quo ante pending hearing of the fundamental rights application.

“In view of the constitutional and jurisdictional issues apparent on the
face of the application, parties shall address the court on same at the hearing of the fundamental rights application which is fixed for the 3rd of June, 2024.

“That in order to maintain the peace and security of the state, an Interim Injunction of this Honourable Court is granted restraining the respondents from enforcing, executing, implementing and operationalizing the Kano State Emirate Law Council (Repeal) Law.

“That parties are hereby ordered to maintain status quo ante the passage and assent of the bill into pending the hearing of the fundamental rights application.”

However, when case resumed on Thursday, Justice Liman, relying on Section 42 Sub-section 1 of the Constitution, said the court has powers of jurisdiction to hear the case.

The judge noted, “What I find intriguing is the respondents total reliance on this case of Gongola, where as Section 42 Sub-section 1 of the Constitution has clearly spelt out the jurisdictional powers of the Federal High Court to preside over such case.

“My respectful view is that the case of Tukur against the Gongola is indistinguishable with the present case. Section 42 Sub-section 1 and Section 32 of the Constitution has vested a power on our court to decide on this matter.”

In continuation of the case the plaintiff counsel, Barrister Chukwuson Ojukwu, argued that the matter is ripe for hearing as to the main issues of the invalidity of the reappointment of a new Emir and the deposition of 15th Emir Aminu Ado Bayero.

But Barrister A. G Wakil insisted that the new motion seeking to continue hearing on the Chieftaincy Affairs issues was not part of the original summons and is a different application outside the matter of Human Rights Violation and the jurisdictional powers of the court, which the court had decided.

The judge explained that the matter was adjourned to Thursday, 13th June 2024, for only ruling and nothing else.

Justice Liman adjourned the case to 14th June, 2024, noting that the matter was too sensitive to linger.

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