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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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2023: Tanko Yakasai raises alarm over plot to rig presidential election

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Tanko Yakasai

Aminu Abdullahi

An elder statesman Alhaji Tanko Yakasai has raised an alarm over a plot by some undemocratic elements to manipulate the results of the forthcoming presidential election with its attendant consequences.

KANO FOCUS reports that the politician raised the alarm in a press statement titled “Reflections of a 98-Year-Old Patriot: A Message to Those Planning to Rig the Elections” issued to journalists on Sunday.

He explained that his fear was rooted in the fact that “when people are consumed by their inordinate desires, they become blind to the bigger picture.”

The former Special Adviser to late President Shehu Shagari said, “My concern is not for myself, but for Nigeria and its people. I believe that for Nigeria to properly care for its teeming God-given population everyone in the country must live in peace and harmony”.

Yakasai in the signed statement said “Those who prioritize winning the upcoming elections at all cost may not understand my concern for the survival of Nigeria and its people, which only stems from my patriotism”

He lamented that “Unfortunately, there are unpatriotic individuals who are solely focused on their own selfish and narrow interests and do not care about the future of the country and its people. “

Yakasai’s strong-worded statement reads in parts: “I have been pondering on what motivates those who plan to rig or scuttle the upcoming elections in Nigeria and particularly the presidential election. Do they believe they can do so without consequences?

“In 1966 when the first attempted military coup was made. I was at that time the national publicity secretary of the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU), secretary of the Northern Progressives Front, and deputy national president of the Nigerian Youth Congress, during which I witnessed the tragic events of the 1966 coup attempt, in which late Chukuma Nzeogwo and his other misguided associates assassinated Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa our first and so far the only prime minister for Nigeria.

“Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna of Sokoto also the only premier of northern Nigeria, Brigadier General Zakariya Maimalari, Colonel Yakubu Pam, Colonel Kur Muhammad and other military officers were murdered by the coup plotters.

“I was also present during the Kano riot, which was a response to the murders of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and others I mentioned earlier. That tragic event resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and took place in various parts of northern Nigeria. The exact number of casualties, both military and civilian, has yet to be determined.

“From this tragedy, I learned that when people are consumed by their inordinate desires, they become blind to the bigger picture. This is why I want to advise those considering manipulating the results of coming presidential elections not to take any actions that could plunge our nation into catastrophe.

“At 98 years old and as the only surviving child of my parents, with only a few relatives, all I have are my children and grandchildren. I am a billionaire, not even a businessman. My concern is not for myself, but for Nigeria and its people.

“I believe that for Nigeria to properly care for its teeming God-given population everyone in the country must live in peace and harmony. While some may not share this patriotic concern, it is born from my patriotism and desire for the survival of Nigeria and the well-being of its people.

“There are those who are only concerned with their own selfish interests and unconcerned about the country and its people. Such people are carloads and unpatriotic.

“Furthermore, it is crucial that Nigeria develops in order to properly care for its burgeoning population. This can only be achieved if the country remains United, peaceful and harmonious. Those who prioritize winning the upcoming elections at all costs may not understand my concern for the survival of Nigeria and its people, which only stems from my patriotism. I can assure all that this concern is genuine.

“I am in politics for patriotic reasons, not personal gain. Unfortunately, there are unpatriotic individuals who are solely focused on their own selfish and narrow interests and do not care about the future of the country and its people.

“But there are many Nigerians who are only concerned about the country’s prosperity and of its people but who are concerned about peace and harmony as well as the peaceful coexistence of the over 200 million of its people and humanity.

“I, therefore, urge patriotic citizens to rise in defence of our motherland and its future not to allow the tiny misguided minority among Nigerians who are not looking at the greater picture of the country.

“We should together engage in a cooperative understanding of doing our utmost endeavours and synergy to save the country and protect its future.”

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Organisation trains youth leaders on peace, mediation

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Aminu Abdullahi

 

 

 

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Youth Action for Peace, says it has trained youth leaders in Kano on peace and conflict mediation to promote peaceful co-existence.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Lead Trainer, Barrister Comfort Usman, said that the training was organised in collaboration with MacArthur and Ford foundation and was aimed at training youth leaders on how to prevent conflicts.

According to her, the training is to increase the capacity of young peace builders to be able to mediate and promote peace in Kano and the country as a whole.

Usman, who emphasised the role of youths in nation building, said that with the training, youth leaders would be equipped with skills of mediation and conflict resolution.

“Youths are agents of peace, if properly trained, they will lead peace efforts successfully,” she explained.

Barrister Usman said that the training was strategically placed on dates close to general elections.

She urged youths to be agents of peace rather than destruction.

Cross Section of Participants

The lead trainer called on youths to shun violence and be their brothers keepers.

Earlier, the coordinator, Youth Peace Security Network, Kano, Barrister Nura Ahmad, said the exercise would go a long way to teach young people what conflict was all about and how they could live together as one.

He urged the participants to pass down the knowledge to young persons in their communities.

Cross Section of Participants

Ahmad also called on Nigerian youths to shun any form of violence and all manners of electoral malpractices in the 2023 General Elections and beyond.

A participant, Aisha Abubakar, said the training had helped her to understand the importance of peace and how to be a peace mediator.

Presentation of certificates to Participants

Another participant, Ismail Auwal, said knowledge gained from the training would help them to mediate or handle crisis when the need arose.

He also called for peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.

Barrister Comfort Usman

KANO FOCUS reports that after the training, Kano Youth Mediators Network was inaugurated.

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Late Emir of Dutse: An embodiment of national unity – NRO

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Aminu Abdullahi

The Northern Reform Organisation (NRO) says the late Emir of Dutse, Dr Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi led the Dutse Emirate Council for 30 years exhibiting the attributes of selflessness, accommodation and peace throughout his domain. 

KANO FOCUS reports that the NRO Director of Publicity, Malam Mahmud Adnan Audi made these declarations in a condolence message to the Dutse Emirate Council, the government and people of Jigawa State following the demise of the respected monarch yesterday.

Adnan said the monarch also treated indigenes of other states in the Jigawa State Capital as sons and daughters of the state.

He noted that the late Chancellor of the Sokoto State University also provided good counsel to the successive regimes in the state resulting in the effective maintenance of peace and the provision of infrastructure.

Adnan prayed Allah  to forgive the monarch’s infractions and provide him a space in Aljannah.

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