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Excellent quality of service non-negotiable in telecom industry – Maida

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida has said that quality of service in the telecommunications sector is non-negotiable as he called for industry collaboration to make this a reality.

KANO FOCUS reports that Maida, who spoke in Lagos at an interactive session with chief executive officers in the industry on Thursday, assured of collaborations within the industry and commitment to transparency in the telecom ecosystem.

He told the industry chieftains to appreciate that they have a very important role to play in an industry to consolidate on the achievements already recorded in the sector, which is an enabler of Nigeria’s digital economy.

Speaking as his confirmation as the substantive chief executive officer of the Commission was taking place at the Senate Chambers, Maida noted that the expectations of telecom consumers are very high.

“People actually expect telecom services to work. I don’t think they really appreciate what it takes to deliver these services. So, it has come to a stage they just see telecom service as utility like water and electricity. Like a social service, it needs to work. We need to really come together in the industry and deliver value to the customer,” he said.

He also spoke about compliance to industry regulations and standards. “When it comes to compliance, this is an area where we are going to be placing a lot more focus, and things are going to be a lot more urgent. I am not going to be asking for compliance after the fact. That is going to be a very key area of focus for me.

“So, we owe it to ourselves to benchmark ourselves against the best, not against other sectors. We have to just take ourselves as setting the benchmark for every person else. So, let people compare and say we have to be as good as telecom.”

On broadband, Maida said the Commission has a very short time to do so much. “A lot has been done with the Infrastructure Company (InfraCo) licensing. We just have to re-imagine, look at it again, and see whether that is the right approach and re-imagine how we approach it. We now need to start getting into the states, and perhaps we might need to sit down and see how we can do that differently. Again, on the broadband issue, we need to increase the investment,” he said.

The new NCC boss said that he considered operating entities as a very crucial segment of the national telecom development, hence his desire to hear directly from industry CEOs about the issues, challenges, and opportunities.

“We also have to be clear that this is not just a conversation about you representing your shareholders. This is a conversation about Nigeria. This is a conversation about moving Nigeria forward. So, your shareholders are one part of your stakeholders, but Nigerians are also another critical, in fact, your most important stakeholders. So, this conversation is going to be about you having your shareholders, but you also have Nigerians to whom you will have to deliver services,” he said.

The CEOs, who expressed delight at the consultative approach of the EVC, promised to work closely in support of Maida’s mandate.

President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Tony Emoekpere, said the industry is reassured by the steps that Maida has taken in convening the interactive session. “We are really encouraged that your first action is to meet with us here at this interactive session. What you have done to invite us here to hear what we have to say is the right step,” he said.

Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, commended the interactive session for providing a platform for discussing the issues in the industry. He said the approach of the new boss of the NCC is very promising.

 

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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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