Issue #25   •   Quarter 3/4 Edition   •   December 2018

 
Yetunde Akinloye Yetunde Akinloye

Yetunde Akinloye is the Head Legal and Regulatory Services, Nigerian Communications Commission. In this brief chat with The Communicator, she cautions on the implications of Net Neutrality, alerting parents to beware of what their wards are exposed to on the Internet.

Net neutrality in a nutshell

It is an open forum where people will like to put anything in the internet for people to listen, watch or read; it seeks to allow people do whatever they like online which is being advocated

Dangers of Net neutrality

If you say you can put anything online, what happens to online child protection? Our children have access to the Internet; it is pervasive, and that is what we’re working at that everybody should have access to the Internet. But that being the case, what are the contents, what are the things they’re open to, how do you ensure that children under a certain age are not going online to see pornography?

Much as we will want to see net neutrality, there must be checks and balance, because like with everything that has to do with humans, there is bound to be abuse if there’s no restriction on it. Just like your DSTV, as a parent you can ensure your children don’t see certain channels, it is the same thing when you go online if not everybody has access to any content.

by Patience Yusuf (Public Affairs Department)

Background

The Freedom of Information Act was a product of collaboration between citizens, organised civic actors and government. It took seventeen years from the origin of its first draft until its adoption. The first draft of the bill was prepared by Tunde Fagbohunlu (SAN) in 1994.The Freedom of Information Act 2011 was passed by both chambers of the 6th National Assembly on 24th May 2011 and assented by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on 28th May, 2011.

The FoI Act supersedes the Official Secrets Act (OSA), originally enacted in 1911, which forbade the unauthorized transmission, obtaining, reproduction, or retention of any classified matter. The Act applies not only to public institutions but also to private organizations providing public services, performing public functions or utilizing public funds.

The underlying philosophy of the Act is that public servants are custodians of a public trust on behalf of a population who have a right to know what they do. In particular, the FoI Act promises to remove the aura of mystery and exclusion with which public servants cloak the ordinary operations of government and public institutions. It also seeks to change the manner in which public records and information are managed. The Act builds on an assumption of openness, by placing on those who wish to keep public information away from the people, the onus of justifying why they have to do so. If fully implemented, the FoI Act will transform quite fundamentally the way in which government conducts business and the perception of the people towards the government. The Act is a marked shift from the OSA which promotes secrecy and criminalises the disclosure of information.

President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the Senate to confirm nominees into positions of Chairman, Executive Commissioner, and Non-Executive Commissioners of Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.

In a letter dated August 2, 2016, sent to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye (South West) was nominated as Chairman, while Mr. Sunday Dare (South West) was nominated as Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management.

Those nominated as Non-Executive Commissioners are: Aliyu Sa’idu Abubakar (North East), Clement Omeiza Baiye (North Central), Chief Okoi Ofem Obono Obla (South South), Pastor Ezekiel Yissa (North Central) and Senator Ifeanyi Ararume (South East).

According to the Presidency, the nominations are in accordance with Section 8(1) of the Nigerian Communications Commission Act 2003. Their assumption of office is subject to their confirmation by the Senate.

Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye was elected Senator for the Ogun East constituency of Ogun State, Nigeria in 1999 on the Alliance for Democracy (AD) platform. A multidisciplinary scholar, he earned a BSc (Economics) London, and an LLB, London. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1979, and is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He also graduated from the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru. He worked for 35 years in the Nigerian public sector, including 28 years as a Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company. He also worked with the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Reserve System in the U.S.A and the City University London between 1964 and 1982. While in the Senate, he was appointed to committees on Judiciary, Establishment (Chairman) and Special Projects. In December 2002 he recommended a life jail-term for anyone who perpetrated election fraud.

Mr. Sunday Dare is an author, journalist and publicist. Until his appointment he was one of the media specialists working for one of Nigeria’s most influential politicians, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Dare is the author of Guerilla Journalism, a compelling book that chronicles the struggles that attended media practice and journalists in the stormy days of military rule in Nigeria.

Dare is an award-winning investigative reporter, multimedia journalist and media trainer with more than two decades of experience in the United States and Nigeria. He spent eight years at the Voice of America in Washington, D.C., where he headed the Hausa Service and was responsible for broadcasts to more than 21 million listeners in West Africa. Before joining VOA, Dare was general editor of two of Nigeria’s independent weekly news magazines, The News and Tempo, based in Lagos.

He was a journalism fellow at New York University in 1998 and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2000, the same year he received a special citation for Courage in Journalism from the Committee to Protect Journalists for his work in Nigeria. He is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and co-founder of a monthly magazine called News Digest International, based in Lagos. He was also a 2011 Reuters Fellows at Oxford University, where he researched the use of social media, citizen journalists and other new tools used by Nigerian news organizations.

2014Q4-features-2014-bullseyeThe year 2014 stands out as one of the busiest in the eventful history of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC. It was the year that investments in the Nigeria telecom sector grossed a hefty $32 billion, it was the year that aggregate telephone lines in Nigeria crossed a record 130 million lines (in fact total subscriber base was at a time 132,186,840 lines) in a country of about 170 million people, thus pushing teledensity to as high as 94.84 percent.

If you love statistics, you would appreciate the fact that in 2014, total number of internet subscribers for GSM mobile galloped to over 70 million. But beyond numbers and statistics, 2014 marked the highest elevation of Nigeria telecom in the global circuit as the EVC of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, was appointed the Chairman of the Council and Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) during the CTO Annual Council Meeting held in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Besides, it was the year of the Centenary and the commission mopped multiple awards to justify its rating as Africa’s model regulator.

Below, we outline some of the activities that made the commission a beehive in the year when Nigeria marked 100 years of existence as a nation.

FEBRUARY

  • 2.3GHz Spectrum auction in Abuja on 18th & 19th February, 2014
    One major event that prefaced the year was the successful auction of the 30MHz slot in the 2.3GHz spectrum, with Bitflux winning the bid at the sum of $23.251 million. The licensing of the spectrum would engender a deeper broadband penetration in the country, as available data indicated that the country currently had a six per cent broadband penetration but hopes to achieve about 30 per cent of the same by 2017. Such penetration will further spur a huge potential for the nation’s economic development. The process was characteristically NCC, both in its openness and transparency.
  • The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain
    For one moment, you are tempted to believe that this year’s Mobile World Congress more commonly called by its acronym GSMA, the yearly global business festival for operators, entrepreneurs, equipment manufacturers and enthusiasts including consumers of the Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) which holds in Barcelona, Spain, was purpose-made for Nigeria. Nigeria seized the stage and made an impressive showing. And flying the Nigerian flag was the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah.

    {slide=Read More ...}The GSMA came on the heels of a successful bidding process for the 2.3GHz spectrum auction. Juwah was given a rare privilege of addressing the cream of the global telecom stakeholders at the Ministerial Programme where he showcased the potentials of Nigeria’s broadband programme.

    The Ministerial Programme of the annual mobile showpiece is a privileged event where decision makers, ministers, investors, service providers, global mobile providers among other top industry players congregate.

    At this year’s programme, a session was dedicated to Nigeria and Dr. Juwah seized the opportunity to make a profound presentation to the world about what to expect in Nigeria, which is at the threshold of unleashing a broadband revolution that will impact the Nigerian nation and the African continent.

    “We are going to fast- track the nation to a knowledge economy and the contributions of broadband to GDP growth will increase considerably. We have successfully completed the auction of the 2.3GHz Spectrum and we have outlined a number of programmes under the broadband infrastructure framework while licensing of infrastructure providers, tagged Infracos is about to begin”, he said.

    Juwah also unveiled a mouth-watering offer for investors in the Nigerian broadband infrastructure deployment programme using the Open Access Broadband strategy with the planned licensing of InfraCos that will provide a national broadband network on a non-discriminatory, open access and price regulated basis to all service providers.

    “We are creating enabling environment and incentives for the private sector to roll out broadband networks which will be a one-off incentive for last mile to be achieved. We will replicate the success we made in voice in broadband plan as we proceed on the journey.

    “We are also going to license more retail services and encourage the operators where possible to extend fibre to homes and businesses on their own. Government is committed to providing incentives to winners of infrastructure licenses, ``he said.

    According to him, InfraCo would enjoy government support, hence would be getting funding from government to rollout nationwide broadband infrastructure.“We are ready to provide subsidy to simplify entry. However, such a subsidy will come on the basis of milestones achieved to ensure we are realistic in the venture”, he said.

    Recasting the history and revolution of voice communications in Nigeria, Juwah said the nation will witness a boom in the broadband segment of the business as we have done in the voice segment. The NCC boss said for Nigeria to be part of the 21st century knowledge economy, there is the need to leverage on the potentials of broadband.

    He gave an insight into the structure of the growth when he said broadband access in Nigeria would be adequately addressed through the establishment of the broadband networks in the metropolitan areas of Nigeria to facilitate the extension of capacities to households and businesses.

    The objective of this initiative, he affirmed is to stimulate a new national broadband network that is not only more widespread but also faster and more secure than what is available today, and to also offer efficient connectivity as well as ultra-high-speed broadband services that is available, affordable and sustainable.

    While the proposed industry structure offers InfraCos as entities that complement the existing industry players by focusing on the market gap and offering non-discriminatory open access wholesale bandwidth services to the industry players, he further explained that proposed structure allows existing players to operate on the basis of business-as-usual, with the option of leasing their inter-city and existing metropolitan fibre infrastructure to the InfraCos.

    The model, according to him is also envisaged to address the challenges of congested and unplanned towns, the challenges around infrastructure sharing and other issues such as high cost of Right of Way.

    “The Open Access Model will potentially help optimize the cost of broadband access across Nigeria and ensure that all operators, whether large or small, have equal access to broadband infrastructure”, he said.{/slides}

  • The African Leadership Awards in Ghana on the 28th of February, 2014
    The Commission was in Ghana where it was honoured with the Award for Excellence in Public Governance at the prestigious Africa Leadership Awards.

MARCH

  • Training workshop for ICT journalists in Lagos
    As part of its CSR activities, the NCC played host to journalists at a two-day ICT training and workshop to empower them for effective reporting and information dissemination in the digital age. The workshop took place on the 19th and 20th of March 2014.
  • SECUREX trade show and conference held from 18th – 19th March 2014 in Lagos
    The Commission seized the opportunity to market its broadband plan, assure consumers of its commitment to improving quality of service and investors of a clement regulatory clime to perform optimally.
  • 10th Anniversary of the Telecom Consumer Parliament at Muson Centre, Lagos
    Encomiums poured ceaselessly at the event to mark the 10th anniversary of the Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP), the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) excited stakeholders who toasted to the success and longevity of the platform designed by the Commission to bring stakeholders in the telecommunications industry together with the aim of resolving consumer complaints.
  • NCC’s Abuja Centenary Trade Fair Day on the 25th March, 2014
    The Commission, never one to pass off any opportunity, made a strong showing at the Centenary Trade Fair to showcase its regulatory services to all stakeholders in the telecom sector.
  • The 62nd Edition of COP on Thursday 27th March, 2014 at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State
    NCC this time took its Consumer Outreach Programme (COP) to the academic community in the historical city of Zaria. It was a wholesome feast for telecom consumers in the north.

APRIL

  • The Beacon of ICT Distinguished Awards in Lagos on 26th of April
    The Nigerian Communications Commission led the pack of the awardees at the Beacon of ICT distinguished awards as the commission was adjudged Regulator of the Year. The Director Public Affairs of the commission, Mr. Tony Ojobo, received the award on behalf of the commission.

MAY

  • NCC alleviates the plight of the physically challenged in Abuja
    The Commission successfully distributed 12 wheel chairs and 12 crutches to the Abuja School for the Handicapped, Kuje on Wednesday 14th May 2014. The items were donated to the Commission by MTN Foundation to mark the 10th Anniversary celebration of TCP which took place in Lagos.
  • NCC on a courtesy visit to State House Enugu
    On Thursday 1st May 2014, the management of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC was led by the Chairman, Mr. Peter Igoh, on a courtesy visit and interactive session with the Enugu State Governor, Mr. Sullivan Chime. The visit afforded the commission the opportunity to share ideas with the governor on issues of Right of Way, multiple taxation of operators, among others.
  • ADAPTI goes to Akwa Ibom
    Commissioning of the Advanced Digital Awareness Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI) project at the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua, on Tuesday 20th May, 2014 was not just another event but one that brought the students and staff face to face with the right gadgets for e-learning in the 21st Century.

JUNE

  • Techno Ltd pays courtesy call to NCC
    On Friday 6th June 2014, the Management of Techno Ltd, led by its President Mr. George Zhu, General Manager, Mr Nicholas Qin; Country Representative for Nigeria, Mr. Jack Guo paid an official visit to the Nigerian Communications Commission. The Chinese equipment manufacturer expressed its satisfaction with the regulatory efforts of the NCC which has created a level playing field for all stakeholders.
  • NCC collaborates with ONSA on cyber security
    The Commission in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Ministry of Communication Technology (MCT), NITDA, EFCC, Galaxy Backbone and CBN, hosted the First National Cyber Security Forum (NCSF 2014), with the theme: "Towards Multi-stakeholders’ Partnership for National Cyber Security Engagement" on the 18th and 19th June, 2014 at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos. The collaboration underscores the critical role of telecom in containing the threat of cyber-security.
  • Juwah Receives Movie Producers Award
    The EVC of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah was among recipients of the Friends of Nollywood Award. The award ceremony was organised by the Association of Movie Producers, Abuja Chapter on Friday 20th June, 2014 in Abuja. The award was received on behalf of the commission by Director Public Affairs of the commission, Tony Ojobo.
  • ... And NAPS Achievement Award
    Senate members of the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) paid an official visit to the Commission on June 30th, 2014 to present the EVC with an achievement award in recognition of his unflinching support for good education through the instrumentality of the various knowledge-based initiatives of the commission.
  • NCC staff join FEPSGA to keep fit
    The Commission joined other agencies under the Ministry of Communication Technology to participate in the Monthly Walking /Jogging Exercise organized by the Federation of Public Service Games (FEPSGA) at the National Stadium, Abuja on Saturday 28th June 2014.
  • Media and operators came calling
    The Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr. Ima Niboro, together with representatives of MTN, Etisalat, Airtel and Visafone paid a courtesy call on the Commission on Tuesday, 10th June, 2014 to discuss issues in the telecoms industry.

JULY

  • Techno Ltd pays courtesy call to NCC
    On Friday 6th June 2014, the Management of Techno Ltd, led by its President Mr. George Zhu, General Manager, Mr Nicholas Qin; Country Representative for Nigeria, Mr. Jack Guo paid an official visit to the Nigerian Communications Commission. The Chinese equipment manufacturer expressed its satisfaction with the regulatory efforts of the NCC which has created a level playing field for all stakeholders.
  • Consumers in a Town Hall…
    In line with its avowed policy of getting every part of the country to have a say in the quest to engender more competitiveness and quality in service delivery, the Commission hosted the 12th edition of the Consumer town Hall meeting in Ilesha, Osun State on Thursday 3rd July 2014.
  • At last a code for the industry
    The NCC launched the Code of Corporate Governance for the telecommunications industry on Thursday 10th July, 2014 in Lagos. This was described as a 'game-changer'; a complete guide for board and management of the telcos to observe international best practices in running the corporate entities even as it would harmonise the roles and responsibility of stakeholders in the telecoms industry and would address the gap that exists in the operations of telcos. Though enforcement of the code will not be made mandatory in the interim, however, it is envisaged that in the long run, it would significantly govern the activities and actions of the operators whose buy in the code enjoyed.
  • NCC compliance team storms Uyo
    The Enforcement Unit of the Commission was in Uyo, Akwa- Ibom State to enforce compliance from illegal tracking companies on the 8th and 9th of July 2014. This is a stand out feature of the regulatory style of the NCC: its ability to enforce the laws and regulations guiding the industry in a manner devoid of violence and needless brigandage associated with similar duties in other sectors.
  • TCP Repackaged
    The 75th edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament held on Thursday, 10th July 2014 in Lagos. It was hosted by the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the commission which thought it fit to repackage the programme. NCC’s Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mrs Maryam Bayi, said the decision of the regulator was to give a new direction to the idea of the TCP, adding that it has stopped being a forum for consumers to complain about the various fraudulent practices of their service providers. She said such issues will no longer be addressed at the Consumer Parliament but at other fora put in place by the regulator such as Consumer Outreach Programme and Town Hall Meetings.
  • IOD visits NCC
    Senior Management of the Institute of Directors (IoD) paid a courtesy visit to the EVC on Tuesday 8th July 2014. The IoD executives voiced their satisfaction with the regulatory landmarks of the commission which they echoed have impacted tremendously on the national economy.
  • 64th COP in Nsukka
    The 64th edition of the Consumer Outreach Programme (COP) took place at the Princess Alexandra Auditorium, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu State on the 24th July, 2014. It was yet another opportunity for the academic and adjoining communities to share their impressions and experiences with the regulator.
  • Botswana and Nigeria Defence Visit NCC
    Delegates from the Botswana Defence Command and Staff College Course 7, 2014 of the Nigeria military paid a courtesy visit to the EVC on 18th July. The Botswana team was on hand to understand the security interface of the NCC with the multiple layers of security agencies in the country which the delegates described as commendable.
  • Winners emerge for the MNP essay competition
    The NCC held the Award Ceremony for winners of the Mobile Number Portability Essay competition on Friday 18th July, 2014 at the Commission’s head office.The NCC announced Olawale Johnson Dasaolu, an undergraduate of the University of Lagos; Kadri Olamide of University of Ibadan and Ifeanyi Okpala from Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta as winner, 1st runner up and 2nd runner up respectively. The essay topic was "The effect of MNP on telecoms service and usage in Nigeria".
  • NADSS visit the NCC
    Members of the National Association of Delta State Students, paid a courtesy visit to the EVC on the 23rd July, 2014. The students bestowed the honour of Grand Patron of the National Association of Delta Students on the EVC. They also commended the EVC for being a good ambassador of the state.
  • Monitoring team goes tough on Lagos
    The Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department of the NCC held an enforcement activity on the 30th and 31st of July, 2014 in Lagos. The action yielded positive result as it brought order to the marketplace.

AUGUST

  • A day with VAS providers
    The NCC interactive session with Value Added Service Providers was held on Thursday 7th August 2014 in Lagos. Experts say mobile VAS has evolved from simple text messaging (SMS), to advanced functions such as mobile entertainment caller ring back tone, push-to-talk, payments, email, instant messaging and m-Commerce, among others.

    {slide="Read More ..."}The VAS segment of the Nigeria’s telecommunications industry remains loosely regulated in the past years and this development is breeding unethical practices among the VAS providers. According to official data, about 6, 706 short codes (CS) have been activated by the telecoms networks to provide all sorts of services on their own and while also working with licensed VAS providers to provide contents for the use of the short codes. The short codes are assigned number bloc that are generated by telecoms networks to deliver various VAS services. The meeting was intended to bring sanity to the service.{/slides}

  • NCC visits government house Abia
    The Commission paid a courtesy visit to Abia State Governor, Theordore Orji, on Tuesday 12th August 2014. The visit was in furtherance of the commission’s drive to get everyone involved and to get a buy in of public office holders into its agenda of deepening the nation’s telecom market.
  • Special COP in a Golf course
    Special edition of the Consumer Outreach Programme was held at the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Aso Drive, Abuja on Thursday, 14th, August, 2014. It was specially designed for the upscale club members and golfers. The strategy worked as a special segment of telecom consumers, the affluent, was presented an opportunity to exchange ideas with the commission.
  • NCC/EFCC collaborate to fight corruption
    The NCC/EFCC anti–corruption interactive session held on Thursday 7th August 2014 at the Commission’s conference room. This marked a shift in public sector ideas exchange. The anti-graft agency and the telecom regulator had the rare opportunity of comparing notes and learning from each other on how best to tackle cyber-related crimes.

SEPTEMBER

  • Another enforcement exercise in Lagos
    An enforcement exercise was carried out in Lagos on 16th September, 2014.Again, it helped to rein in miscreants and deviants polluting the telecom space.
  • NCC celebrates Day
    The NCC had its day at the 9th edition of the Abuja International Trade fair on 30th September, 2014. It was also a time for the commission to discuss issues concerning consumers.

OCTOBER

  • NCC bags Most Outstanding Regulator Award
    The ‘Nigeria ICT Centenary Conference 2014’ was held on the 8th of October, 2014 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.

    The Nigerian Communications (NCC) Commission received the ‘Most Outstanding Regulator in Telecommunication Award’ at the Nigerian ICT Centenary Awards, while the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, was honoured as “The Consolidator” of the growth in the Nigerian telecom ecosystem.

  • Aba Gets a piece of ADAPTI and DAP
    The NCC commissioned its ADAPTI and DAP projects in three schools in Aba, Abia State on Wednesday 15th October 2014.
  • And Ibadan hosts 67th COP
    The 67th Edition of the Consumer Outreach Programme (COP) was held at Mapo Hall in Ibadan, Oyo State on 16th of October 2014. It was a good time for residents of the ancient city of seven hills to get first hand interaction with the commission on matters pertaining to telecom services and the consumer.

by Osinachi Buchi-Chukwu (Public Affairs Department)

hypertension

Do You Know That High Blood Pressure Is One Of The Leading Causes Of Sudden Death Syndrome In The World Today?

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. Both terms mean the same thing.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is defined as having a blood pressure reading of more than 140/90 mmHg over a number of weeks. Our blood pressures change all the time throughout the day, so your doctor is looking to make sure that your hypertensive reading is not just a one-off.

You may also have hypertension if just one of the numbers is higher than it should be. If the top number (systolic pressure) is consistently higher than 140 – this is known as ISOLATED SYSTOLIC HYPERTENTION.  If the bottom number (diastolic pressure) is consistently higher than 90 - this is known as ISOLATED DIASTOLIC HYPERTENTION.

If you have hypertension, this higher pressure puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. Over time, this extra strain increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Hypertension can also cause heart and kidney disease, and is closely linked to some forms of dementia and sexual dysfunction.

If you have hypertension it is vital that you do not ignore it.  Follow a healthy lifestyle to lower it and take hypertension medications prescribed to you by a qualified medical doctor preferably a consultant physician.

by Osato Akele

bell-gray

In the 1870s, two inventors Alexander Graham Bell (left) and Elisha Gray (right) both independently designed devices that could transmit speech electrically (the telephone). Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell entered into a famous legal battle over the invention of the telephone, which Bell won.

On June 2, 1875, Alexander Graham Bell while experimenting with his technique called "harmonic telegraph" discovered he could hear sound over a wire. The sound was that of a twanging clock spring. Bell's greatest success was achieved on March 10, 1876, marked not only the birth of the telephone but the death of the multiple telegraph as well. The communications potential contained in his demonstration of being able to "talk with electricity" far outweighed anything that simply increasing the capability of a dot-and-dash system could imply.

On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell first transmitted speech electrically with an order to his assistant Thomas A. Watson. Since then, the telephone -- or rather the telephone system -- has revolutionized the way we live, socialize and do business, but its ultimate potential was less than apparent to 19th century society.

The development of telecommunications in Nigeria began in 1886 when a cable connection was established between Lagos and the colonial office in London. By 1893, government offices in Lagos were provided with telephone service, which was later extended to Ilorin and Jebba in the hinterland. A slow but steady process of development in the years that followed led to the gradual formation of the nucleus of a national telecommunications network.

In 1923, the first commercial trunk telephone service between Itu and Calabar was established. Between 1946 and 1952, a three-channel line carrier system was commissioned between Lagos and Ibadan and was later extended to Oshogbo, Kaduna, Kano, Benin, and Enugu; thus connecting the colonial office in London with Lagos and the commercial centers in the country with local authority offices.

The main transmission medium during the pre-independence era was unshielded twisted pair. This evolved later from rural carrier systems on high gauge lines to line carrier systems of twelve-channel capacity. Small- to medium-capacity systems employing VHF and UHF radio were introduced around 1955.

By about 1960, a manual telex exchange of sixty subscriber lines was in service in Lagos. While all the above efforts were essentially aimed at improving internal telephone services in Nigeria, external telephone services in the pre-independence period were wholly owned by Cable and Wireless of the United Kingdom, which was a colonial private company.

Cell phones have become a lot smaller over the years, but they're bigger than ever in functionality and popularity. Here's a look at how the mobile phone has changed over the decade

SRA/Ericsson MTA (Mobile Telephone System A)
Year: 1956

In the days before cellular phone networks, the mobile phones lacked a unifying standard. Instead, they used varying Communication methods defined on a company-by-company basis.

Apple iPhone
Year: 2007

Apple is responsible for more trend-setting consumer technology than most companies. In machine, and a multimedia playback device. Better yet, it gives you instant, high-speed access to the web, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, wherever you can find mobile phone coverage.

The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has made a case for more investments in the telecoms sector at the 2nd edition of the United States- Africa Business Forum in New York. The President who was putting into view the country’s potentials for investments said that opportunities abound in the county’s digital economy.

According to him, “the digital economy, like Infrastructure, has a multiplier effect that touches every part of the economy. We have welcomed and continue to welcome investors willing to take a stake in one of the world’s largest and fastest growing telecoms markets, a market which has attracted more than $35 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) over the last decade and half. The Nigerian Communications Commission will shortly commence a licensing process for the deployment of broadband infrastructure across metropolitan areas in the country”.

All successful public relations work is built on the foundation of good working Relationships. These relationships foster trust and open communication, which are essential for good PR practice as they are key aspects of profit growth for an organization.

When working in Public Relations (PR) you will encounter a number of different stakeholders. Stakeholder management is one of the key responsibility of PR. Stakeholders are the people or organizations who may have a material, professional, legal or political interest in the activities and performance of you and your organization. There are three main types of stakeholder.

Internal: people and departments within your organization. They are your colleagues. They rely on or use the work you produce – for example, your manager is a stakeholder and other departments who require the services of the PR department are stakeholders.

External: people and organizations outside your organization. They may be Customers, clients, suppliers and other key individuals or organizations who take an interest in or are affected by your work.

Interface: stakeholders who function both internally and externally. For example, an organization with a large trade union presence or shareholders who are also employees. You may not find these in every organization.

  1. Corporate governance; Corporate governance is a set of rules that defines the way in which an organization operates. It is the job of internal PR to communicate to the organization as a whole what these expectations are. They should be adhered to from the Board of Directors down and should include legal and regulatory behaviours as well as corporate ethics.

    Boards of Directors should lead by example and should show their stakeholders through their own actions and deeds how to behave. This ensures that all internal Stakeholders are acting with a common purpose and that external stakeholders are clear of what this is. Although in external PR, corporate governance is most often discussed as a campaign or project for a client.

  2. Conflict between stakeholders; Conflict can occur between internal stakeholders. Conflict in agencies may appear when different teams are working on different accounts and need the same resources at the same time. For example if teams need to use key suppliers at the same time, or if the account director is expected to be at simultaneous team launches. These are relatively minor conflicts that can be resolved easily by communicating clearly and reaching compromise. In the long term, a larger conflict may appear if one team feels that another is being favored by senior management. This is why it is important that senior management manage conflict by communicating clearly why decisions are made. Conflict between external stakeholders can also occur as stakeholders have different priorities and see projects in different ways.
  3. Stakeholder importance; ….Stakeholder influence on success Stakeholders can have a direct impact on the success or failure of your project. At the beginning of a project you should assess who the important stakeholders are. It is impossible to please everyone all the time, so you must assess who will have the most impact on your campaign. You may need to consider ranking stakeholders by their importance or influence on the success of a project, then dividing them into direct and indirect stakeholders.

    In conclusion, it is important to have a check list in your relationship with stakeholders; When creating your stakeholder map, ask yourself the following questions to help you identify the more influential or important stakeholders.

    1. Who will be affected positively or negatively, and to what degree, by what you are planning to do?
    2. Who runs any organization with an interest in what you are planning to do?
    3. Who influences opinions about your project? (For example, the media, a key opinion former or an internal member of staff.)
    4. Are any regulatory bodies involved in what you are planning to do?
    5. For which stakeholders involved does the project meet their needs and interests (internally and externally)?
    6. Internally, who has been involved in any similar projects in the past?
    7. Whom do you have existing good business relationships with who might be involved in your project?
    8. Who has the power of veto (the final right to say no) over any given situation within your projects?

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has called for more cooperation and understanding of members of the House of Representatives, on regulatory functions of the commission.

Speaking during an oversight visit of the members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Communications, in Abuja, Danbatta stressed the need for striking a balance in satisfying diverse stakeholders in the industry the commission regulates.

“We will still use this opportunity to seek your cooperation and understanding of delicate balance existing between the functions of regulators, and its many publics and stakeholders, including the legislature.

“These stakeholders have diverse but very important interests, which the regulator must satisfy. In the course of achieving an effective regulation for the benefit of all and in creating an enabling environment for growth, issues and challenges are bound to arise,” he explained.

The NCC boss also told members of the Committee that the Commission had recently won a European Award for Best Practices, in addition to emerging as African Regulator of the Year at regional level.

Responding, Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Shaheed Fijabi, who said they were at the headquarters of the NCC to exercise their oversight duty, also commended the strides of Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) in the country.

Earlier, the Director Public Affairs of the commission, Mr. Tony Ojobo, who said that Commission has always enjoyed fruitful relationship with the committee, commended members for “the very mature way” they have handled its affairs.

Telephony

The Nigerian Telecommunications industry over the past decade has experienced significant growth as evidenced by the growth in the number of telecom subscriber and infrastructural development to mention a few.
  • The Nigerian telecom industry in August, 2011 celebrated a decade of telecom revolution and more significantly the introduction of Global System of Mobile Communications (GSM) in August, 2001.
  • Prior to the liberalization of the Nigerian Telecom industry, there were just about 508,316 lines with a teledensity of 0.45; there has however been a significant improvement as total active subscriptions as at June 2012 stood at 102,369,999 with teledensity at 73.12.

    telephonedata-annual-subscriber-data
    Figure 1: Trend of Total Lines & Teledensity (1999 - June 2012)
  • Installed capacity as at June, 2012 was 208,659,327, while total connected lines stood at 136,041,999.

The resurgence of Globalization has polarized the world along two opposing blocks. On the one hand are the technologically developed countries of the West, and on the other hand is an underdeveloped country that largely depends on the western metropolitan countries for their survival. The technologically developed countries are known for their advancement in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), while the technologically underdeveloped countries are known for their backwardness in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Nigeria in particular and African countries as the main thrust of this write up has remained on bondage for time immemorial due to absence of technological advancement. But despite the Nigeria's backwardness in ICT, the country is ranked top among the most devilish countries engaged in Cybercrimes.

Cybercrimes are "offences that are committed against individuals or group of individuals with a negative motive to intentionally pose threat or harm on a targeted group or individuals, using modern telecommunication networks such as Internet (Chat rooms, emails, notice boards and groups) and mobile phones". Cybercrime therefore is a systematic and intentional use of technical criminal skills that involves information and communication knowledge to illegally hack and have access to scribed or coded information by interception of data through unauthorized damaging, manipulation or distortion, diversion, hijacking, retrieving, deletion, deterioration, alteration or suppression, inputting, transmitting, deleting, forgery or theft of computer data or information and transactions.

107.87%

There was an increase in subscribers’ teledensity from 107.67 per cent in July 2015 to 107.87 per cent as at August 2015

151,018,624

The total number of subscribers (active lines) in Nigeria as at August 2015 is placed at 151,018,624 an increase from its previous 150,741,005 in July 2015

148,703,160

The number of active mobile GSM lines saw a slight increase from 148,495,205 in July 2015 to 148,703,160 as at August 2015

2,125,941

CDMA mobile has also seen an increase in its active lines, from 2,057,519 in July 2015 to 2,125,941 as at August 2015

189,523

Fixed (wired/wireless) lines saw a slight increase in its active user base, from 188,281 in July 2015, to 189,523 as at August 2015

20%

With a subscriber base of 30,075,643; Airtel’s percentage market share is placed at 20 per cent as at July 2015

16%

Etisalat’s market share is placed at 16 per cent as at July 2015 with an increase in subscribers’ database to 23,029,329; it has also retained its market share

21%

Globacom has maintained its percentage market share at 21 per cent, while its subscriber base has seen a slight increase to 31,256,677 as at July 2015

43%

Having an increased subscriber base of 64,133,556; MTN has also retained its market share at 43 per cent as at July 2015

98.5%

The percentage market share by technology for mobile GSM is placed at 98.5 per cent as at July 2015, a decrease from 98.46 per cent in June 2015

1.4%

CDMA has seen a decrease in its market share, from 1.42 per cent in June 2015 to 1.4 per cent as at July 2015

0.1%

For the fixed (wired/wireless) lines, the market share has also suffered a decrease at 0.1 per cent as at July 2015, from 0.14 per cent in June 2015

93,403,147

The total number of internet subscribers for mobile GSM as at July 2015 is placed at 93,403,147 up from 92,699,924 in June 2015

22,539

Incoming porting activity saw an increase from 21,060 in June 2015 to 22,539 in July 2015

28,712

Outgoing porting activity increased from 21, 153 in June 2015, to 28,712 as at June 2015

4,047

With 4,047 outgoing porting activity of the total 28,712 mobile GSM network porting activity as at July 2015, Airtel gained an increase from its previous 3,768 as at June 2015

2,161

Etisalat saw a decrease in its outgoing porting activity from 2,177 in June 2015 to 2,161 in July 2015

3,290

Globacom maintained its outgoing porting activity at 3,290 in July from June 2015

19,214

Outgoing porting activity for MTN witnessed a significant increase from 11,918 in June 2015 to 19,214 in July 2015

Mr. Tony Ojobo, shares his thoughts on his receiving the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Presidential Award.

Reflection on the award

I want to thank God first of all, and for me it’s humbling when you're recognised by your professional group. I am glad that some of the things we do in our little corner are being recognised, because that means more hard work. I want to dedicate the award to God and to the NCC that has given me the platform to express myself in terms of the way I carry out my responsibilities and what I do on my job.

We'll continue to improve on what we're doing in the public space, especially at the NCC, because it is in the course of my assignment there that this recognition came.

We'll continue to improve at what we do and them make sure that we say it as it is all the time and also ensure that we take the feedback that we get from our stakeholders back to our management so that the areas that need improvement can be handled, and then speaking the truth to the management all the time, thereby ensuring that the Nigerian consumer, the operators and even our stakeholders are better served.

Discharging your duties after the awards

I believe in professionalism.  I think that one thing I said to myself when I came to this beat was that I have to be a thoroughbred professional at all times without compromise, making sure that I do things the way that it should be done.  I have people that are working with me that I'm mentoring and I want to leave a legacy  that whatever time I leave the Commission, I know that there are a crop of people who can step into my shoes.

I also believe in setting standards and that is what the NCC has tried to do in terms of PR practice in Nigeria. We have tried to demonstrate that you can be a public office or government spokesperson and also be professional in the way you carry out your assignment.

Challenges in carrying out your assignment as a PR practitioner

We're regulating an industry that is very difficult, an industry that is serving about 153 million active subscribers and I doubt if there is any other industry that is serving that number of people and these are people that are utilising services on a 24/7 basis, so there are always issues and things to talk about.

What we've tried to do is tackle the challenges as much as possible though we've had the challenge of how to talk to people who are facing challenges because of the services they are receiving.

I can't tell people that there are no challenges or pretend that we've not seen that there are problems, but what we have continued to do is to identify the challenges that people are going through in the industry and we've also tried to say the truth, indicating that we've not gotten to where we should be, but it's work in progress and I think that's the way we've tried to communicate most of the time.

The most challenging part of this job is when we're having issues in the industry, how to address those issues and still speak to the people. For instance the issue of unsolicited text messages was a major issue. How did we communicate on all these? We began to use all our social media platforms including the mainstream media to communicate to consumers.

Yes we know there are challenges but there are things we're doing to address those challenges and that helped us in creating a balance and of course going forward we will continue to go along this line.

Consumers Expectation in the coming year, 2018

This year has been full of challenges. You are aware that we declared this year, the Year of the Telecom Consumer and the reason for that was to make sure that we put the issue of the telecom consumer on the front burner; addressing them one after the other.

The 2442 DND code is one of those things we put in place as a Commission to address the issue of unsolicited text messages and we realized that Nigerians are not utilizing this platform, as people were still complaining about unsolicited text messages. But of course the platform had been provided. We still received a few complaints though, from people who said they have activated and they still get occasional unsolicited messages and that is why we have the second level of support that we have provided; which is the 622 NCC help line where if for instance you have activated your 2442 and you’re still getting unsolicited text messages then you can report to us and of course we’ll make sure that we handle it.

I think the year is a year mixed with good and also a few challenges that we had. Some of these challenges we have outlined in some of our stakeholders forum. We have had challenges of deployment of base stations in the states, and because of the quest to increase Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) in some the states, a lot of approvals have been made in terms of siting base stations.

We've also had base stations shut down, issues of Right of Way and the reluctance of the various agencies at various levels over the deployment of infrastructure. These are some of the challenges but the EVC had made a case at the Governors’ Forum on how these challenges are actually contributing to Poor Quality of Service and there is the need for us to have pervasive rollout of base stations so that we can narrow these gaps and areas that do not have coverage so that the issue of access and broadband penetration can be realised. Unless we do that, we’ll keep having challenges with being able meet up with the government policy of 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018.

We believe that by 2018 some of these issues, especially as the governors are beginning to appreciate the importance of these infrastructure in their states, will begin to fizzle out gradually.

A library is an organized collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. It provides physical or digital access to material, and may be a physical building or room, or a virtual space, or both .A library's collection can include books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, films, maps, prints, documents, microform, CDs, cassettes, videotapes, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, e-books, audio books , databases, and other formats.

It is often organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, a corporation, or a private individual. Public and institutional collections and services may be intended for use by people who choose not to—or cannot afford to—purchase an extensive collection themselves, who need material no individual can reasonably be expected to have, or who require professional assistance with their research.

The Commission in 2005 established the NCC Library for use of Staff, Researchers and undergraduate students from various tertiary institutions across the country. It is important to note that “The right to development is shared by all people. If relevant information is not accessible, it is impossible for individuals and communities to become aware of important aspects of their situation, analyze it and take action to improve it. Denying access to information and knowledge systems to certain parts of the population also denies them the right to (participate in) their own development”.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Library is an automated Library with the combination of knowledge resources in soft and hard copies with special attention to Telecommunications and Information Communication Technology subject area to aid research work and promote capacity building in the industry.

Following the acquisition and growth of knowledge resources in the soft copies such as DVD and CDs that are rich in content and crucial to the regulatory functions of the Commission most importantly from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Storage and dissemination of the information in these formats required that the Commission up grade the services of the library to enable easy access and dissemination of information to its clientele.

Library Upgrade

The Commission in attempt to secure appropriate storage facility for these knowledge resource materials in the NCC Library, procured and acquired electronic Juke Box. The electronic Juke box is a CD Rom Storage facility that allows for remote multiple accesses to CDs and DVDs by different user and also enables systematic archiving of large number of soft copy materials. The Commission successfully installed in its library, ArXtor 4000-260 Blu-ray Jukebox that is compatible and interoperable with different networks and built with the following specifications:

Slots 260
Drives 4
Capacity 26TB
Blu-ray Disc Size Minimum: 50GB
Disc to write to CD-R, DVD-R, and DVD-RAM
NSD/DISC Rack Mount Kit for storage
NSM/DISC 15 DISC Removable Media pack

The Jukebox is connected to the Commission’s internet to enable remote access to the Library from individual systems within the Commission. For effective and efficient usage of the Jukebox.

After a painstaking exercise and consultation, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has unveiled an 8-point agenda covering 2015-2020.

The new vision is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s change mantra. It is “to promote innovation, investment, competition and consumer empowerment in and on top of Communications platforms of today and the future-maximizing the power of Information and Communications Technology to grow our economy, create jobs, and enhance national competitiveness through the deployment of broadband infrastructure to facilitate roll out of broadband services that will hold out opportunities and higher network quality of service for all Nigerians.”

The 8-point pillars rest on a tripod of 'A's which include Availability of Service, Accessibility of Service and Affordability of service in line with the Buhari change agenda, an ideological shift in creation of structures for social benefits and inclusiveness for national development.

Prof. Danbatta who spoke to journalists at an International Press conference in Lagos, listed the 8-point agenda as follows:

  1. Facilitate Broadband penetration through provision and optimization access to and use of affordable fixed and mobile broadband in Nigeria;
  2. Improve Quality of Service by promoting the availability of reliable, interoperable, rapidly restorable critical ICT infrastructure that are supportive of all required services;
  3. Optimize usage and benefits of spectrum by maximizing availability of spectrum in order to provide diverse and affordable ICT services and ensuring that spectrum acquisition does not distort marketing competition;
  4. Promote ICT innovation and investment opportunities. By this, ICT innovations will be promoted in ways that improve the nation’s ability to compete in the global economy, increased investment in youth and promotion of SMEs for new business delivery breakthroughs;
  5. Facilitate Strategic Collaboration and partnership with relevant stakeholders to foster ICT for sustainable economic development and social advancement;
  6. Protect and empower consumers from unfair practices through availability of information and education required to make informed choices in the use of ICT services;
  7. Promote fair competition and inclusive growth by creating a competitive market for ICT services that foster fair inclusion of all actors in innovative ways that facilitate new investment, job creation and consumer satisfaction; and
  8. Ensure regulatory excellence and operational efficiency through effective regulatory framework, efficient processes, strict compliance monitoring and enforcement efficient management of internal resources and structure and maintain a commitment to transparency.

Danbatta said; "Wealth creation through application of human knowledge and creativity is steadily outpacing wealth creation through extraction and processing of natural resources. Knowledge has increasingly become an important means for value creation. Hence, with globalization and the technological revolution of the last few decades, knowledge has clearly become the key driver of competitiveness and is now profoundly reshaping the patterns of the world’s economic growth and activity."

He maintained that "the policy goals of the Nigerian Communications Commission recognize the immense socio-economic importance of ICTs to national development and therefore seeks to ensure that the infrastructure necessary to provide ubiquitous broadband services is available and accessible to all citizens at affordable rates. Broadband is the next frontier in the ICT industry which will help in the speedy transformation of the Nigerian economy."

Hence, he added "This Strategic Vision 2015-2020 responds to this by setting out the foundations, for future growth and competitiveness that will be sustainable and inclusive and which would address our principal societal challenges as a nation."

Lagos
January 27, 2016

    • 2014Q1-consumer-obligationsConsumers must be bound by Operator’s terms of service on return of the signed service agreement, or on clearly accepting the service terms. Consumers shall also be deemed to accept an operator’s service term on commencement of use of the service that follows adequate communication by the licensee of its service terms.
    • Consumers must grant the Operator or its authorized representatives, without charge, access to premises, equipment or facilities as reasonably for any provisioning or maintenance of the services, equipment or facilities.
    • Consumers must not use any equipment or related facilities provided by an Operator for reasons other than those related to normal service, and must not do anything that interferes with the functioning of such equipment or facilities, without prior written authorization from the operator. Consumers shall be responsible for any loss of or damage to equipment or facilities that result from action contrary to their service terms or this General Code.

      Equipment owned by the Operator and connected to a telecommunications network may not be moved to a location or address other than the Operator .This restriction shall not apply to any equipment that is accompanied by disconnected and reconnected as part of its normal use.

      Modification or attachment of any unauthorized devise to operator’s equipment or facilities is prohibited without prior written authorization from the operator or Regulator (telephone answering machine).

      No equipment or devise that interferes in any way with the normal operation of a telecommunication service, including any equipment or devise that intercepts or assists in intercepting or receiving any service offered by the Operator that requires special authorization, may be installed by or on behalf of any consumer.

    • Consumers must not resell any service provided by an Operator expect as permitted by the service agreement of the Operator (and subject to any applicable licensing or authorization by the Commission pursuant to Act).
    • Consumers must not misuse public telecommunications services, including by:
      • Dishonestly obtaining telecommunications services; or
      • Possessing or supplying equipment that may be used to obtain such services dishonestly or fraudulently; or
      • Using services to send messages that are obscene, threatening or otherwise contrary to applicable laws or regulations.
    • In a competitive market, a Consumer may be tempted to accumulate payment arrears with one operator for services used, and then switch service to another Operator without setting payment with the previous Operator. This type of “dishonest churning” by Consumers constitutes an abusive practice by Consumers of telecom service. In order to prevent this abusive behavior:
      • Consumer must settle valid payment arrears with an Operator before switching to another Service Provider.
      • Service Provider must be permitted to carryout investigations as to whether a person seeking its services has settled with his or her previous provider, before providing services to that person.

For any complaint, contact your service provider, if still dissatisfied, call the NCC (Toll Free)
For Further Information,
Call the NCC Toll Free
For Complaints: 0800-call-NCC, 0800-2255-622
For Online Complaints visit; www.ncc.gov.ng/consumer
CONSUMER AFFAIRS BUREAU NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Plot 432, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama Abuja
+234-9-2912274, +234-9-461700, +234-9-4617126, FAX: +234-9-4617514
www.ncc.gov.ng

by Osinachi Buchi-Chukwu (Public Affairs Department)

In the last edition we talked about High Blood Pressure or HYPERTENSION as it is popularly known, its causes and prevention. In this edition we are going to discuss DIABETES, another killer disease when not managed well.

What is Diabetes?

2013q3-features diabetesDiabetes which is often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Patients with high blood sugar will typically experience polyuria (frequent urination), they will become increasingly thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry (polyphagia).

The term broadband refers to the wide bandwidth characteristics of a transmission medium and its ability to transport multiple signals and traffic types simultaneously. The medium can be coax, optical fiber, twisted pair, DSL local telephone networks or wireless. In contrast, baseband describes a communication system in which information is transported across a single channel.

Different criteria for "broad" have been applied in different contexts and at different times. Its origin is in physics, acoustics and radio systems engineering, where it had been used with a meaning similar to wideband. Later, with the advent of digital telecommunications, the term was mainly used for transmission over multiple channels. Whereas a pass band signal is also modulated so that it occupies higher frequencies (compared to a baseband signal which is bound to lowest end of spectrum), it is still occupying a single channel. The key difference is that what is typically considered a broadband signal in this sense is a signal that occupies multiple (non-masking, orthogonal) pass bands thus allowing for much higher throughput over a single medium, but with additional complexity in the transmitter/receiver circuitry. Finally, the term became popularized through the 1990s as a marketing term for Internet access that was faster than dialup access, the original Internet access technology, which was limited to 56 kbps. This meaning is only distantly related to its original technical meaning.

Broadband refers to a communication bandwidth of at least 256 kbit/s. Each channel is 4 MHz wide and it uses an extensive range of frequencies to effortlessly relay and receive data between networks. In telecommunications, a broadband signaling method is one that handles a wide band of frequencies. Broadband is a relative term, understood according to its context. The wider (or broader) the bandwidth of a channel, the greater the information-carrying capacity, given the same channel quality.

In radio, for example, a very narrow-band will carry Morse code; a broader band will carry speech; a still broader band will carry music without losing the high audio frequencies required for realistic sound reproduction. This broad band is often divided into channels or frequency bins using passband techniques to allow frequency-division multiplexing, instead of sending a higher-quality signal.

A television antenna may be described as "broadband" because it is capable of receiving a wide range of channels; while a single-frequency or Lo-VHF antenna is "narrowband" since it receives only 1 to 5 channels. The US federal standard FS-1037C defines "broadband" as a synonym for wideband.

In data communications a 56k modem will transmit a data rate of 56 kilobits per second (kbit/s) over a 4 kilohertz wide telephone line (narrowband or voiceband). The various forms of digital subscriber line (DSL) services are broadband in the sense that digital information is sent over multiple channels. Each channel is at higher frequency than the baseband voice channel, so it can support plain old telephone service on a single pair of wires at the same time.

However when that same line is converted to a non-loaded twisted-pair wire (no telephone filters), it becomes hundreds of kilohertz wide (broadband) and can carry up to 60 megabits per second using very-high-bitrate digital subscriber line (VDSL or VHDSL) techniques.

“Nigeria is not the only country aspiring to enjoy the broadband revolution. Doubling the broadband speed for the economy increases GDP by 0.3 percentage points.’’

The above statement could be true, that Nigeria is not the only country to benefit from broadband as said by the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, but it is obvious from all indications that this revolution is more needed in Nigeria compared to other countries.

Thus while some countries like Ghana have gone far in defining access to super fast internet as a fundamental human right, Nigeria’s broadband access remains low at six percent.

Expert says this is expected because the country’s over 95million active mobile users are yet to benefit from the huge broadband capacity provided by subsea cables such as Glo One , Main One among several others, due to inadequate last mile infrastructure with the high cost of internet and abysmally slow speed.

This fact is underscored by the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, who said “despite the fact that we have internet penetration of 28 percent [45 million internet users], only [14.5 million people] of the population are actually internet subscribers and broadband penetration is at mere six percent. In fact, recent statistics that I looked at have us as having one of the lowest speeds in Africa.’’

She said the crux of the consistent industry engagement and discussions is to ensure that Nigeria is able to quickly deploy broadband infrastructure and harness the benefits therein as provided by Main One submarine cables 240m and Glo One 800m cable.

Considering the impact of Main One in Ghana, since launched in October 2011, the Managing Director of Zipnet Broadband Wireless Services, who also coupled as the President of Ghana Internet Service Providers Association, Mr. Ernest Brown, expressed satisfaction with the quality of services provided by Main One.

His words: ‘’We can comfortably say that Main One is doing a good job in terms of customer connectivity. With our last providers, we constantly had to chase them before we could discuss technical issues that affected us. With Main One, they are the one doing the chasing, and they engage us once every month and address our challenges.’’

He further confirmed that the entry of Main One heralded a revolution in Ghana; prices came down, quality went up, customers started getting more capacity and phenomenal quality at the same time which changed the entire dynamics of the ICT Industry.

Hence a glance at the Nigeria’s broadband access shows that most Nigerians still access the internet through public venues, due to high charges and ubiquity network.

According to the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Johnson, Over 7.78 terabytes of internet capacity is lying untapped at the shores of the country. This shows that Nigerians are yet to take full advantage of Main One and Glo One in the country.

She laments that Nigeria currently has one of the highest costs of access in the world at approximately Eight Naira to Ten Naira for 5Mbs of data. ‘’ Unless the capacity was connected to the hinterlands through last-mile connectivity, it would remain a challenge for the country in getting the capacity inland while internet penetration in the country would also remain a challenge.’’

Thus the summit held in Lagos by the Association of Telecommunication companies in Nigeria ATCON, last year 2011, revealed that over 51 percent of internet connection in the country is still done via VSAT and more investment is required to deliver affordable bandwidth to users.

Going by the ATCON’s new position of using broadband as the enabler to connect the next 50 million telecom users in Nigeria, the immediate past president of ATCON, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, projects such as aerial optic fibre, could hold a lot of promise towards achieving this goal.

The prevalent multiple regulation and taxation by state government was also identified as a major hindrance to broadband infrastructure and deployment by the NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Mr. Juwah, adding that available infrastructure are characterized by operational issues such as monopoly ownership, exorbitantly high pricing and discriminatory access.

According to him, it is evident that there is no broadband market in Nigeria. ‘’The current development has made very little impact with the estimated penetration of broadband in Nigeria varying from less than two percent to less than five percent.’’

References:
http://www.mobileworldmag.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadband

The Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, is four years on the job. Recently he reflected on his tenure and other key issues in the telecoms sector with the editorial team of The Communicator.

Q: Did You Ever Expect To Be Nigeria’s Telecom Regulator?

2014q3-feature-001As you know, I’ve been in the ICT industry for a very long time, starting from my days in the early 70s at Shell. In 1990 I specifically moved to telecoms, so I’ve had the advantage of seeing the development of telecommunication in Nigeria. And since 1990 I’ve worked in telecoms I’ve interacted intensively with the regulators; I’ve quarreled with them, I’ve admired them depending on what issue is at stake here. I must tell you honestly I never aimed at being the primary telecom regulator in Nigeria. I admire regulators when they did things that were in my favour when I was in the private sector. And I quarreled with them when they did things against me. But as I said, I never aimed specific to be the regulator until I was asked to apply. Graciously Mr. President selected me and the senate confirmed the selection.

Q: Implementation Of Your Six-Point Agenda

Actually I can summarise the six-point agenda in the following way; we wanted to consolidate the progress made before we came, and we wanted to improve quality of service (QoS), to enhance broadband implementation, improve competition, provide diversified choices for consumers at good quality and price and improve our presence in the international space.

On consolidation of the progress made so far I think we have achieved significant progress in this area. If we start from the parameters, we’ve increased teledensity from 63 per cent in 2010 when I came in to more than 90 per cent in 2014. We’ve increased subscriber base from 88 million in 2010 to more than 130 million, this is an improvement of almost 50 per cent in four years that I have been here. And you should remember that the 88 million was for 10 years before I came. So we’ve done remarkably well in this area.

We’ve also done remarkably well in the contribution to the Nigerian economy in terms of contribution to GDP. We’ve increased it from 5 per cent when I came in to 8.5 per cent as announced recently during the rebasing of the economy. Finally, looking at investment in the sector, we increased it from $18 billion in 2010 to more than $32 billion today. The sector has created the most stable jobs and as investments grew in the past four years, more jobs, both direct and indirect, had been created and are still being created.

For QoS, we would like to have done better but we’ve always been striving to do better. We’re rolling out our initiatives for broadband implementation, as we promised it has just started and it is progressing at a very great speed. We have also improved competition by looking at the competition space within the telecoms industry, looking at operators that are dominant; imposing some limitations on them.

I must say, like I’ve always said that dominance is nothing bad but what you do with your dominance matters. Dominance means that you’ve been doing everything correct, you’ve been doing things well that’s why you’re dominating, but if you use your dominance in uncompetitive practice that’s when the regulator intervenes. We’ve also rolled out Mobile Number Portability (MNP); this deepens competition: if you don’t like your operator you move to the next one; holding your number. We’ve provided diversified choice for consumers. There’re many products being rolled out which we’re approving.

We’ve reduced prices significantly. In fact if you look at voice services, we’ve reduced price at more than 45 per cent in four years; we’ve slashed the prices of SMS from N10 to N4. We’ve actually provided good choice for consumers at reasonably good price. As for our presence in the international arena we’re taking part in all the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) conferences, in fact the whole world know us because we organise what we call Leaders Launch in every ITU World Telecom event where all the big shots in telecoms come and listen to us, and remember that in the recent ones we had, people like Carlos Slim, one of the richest men in the world and a huge investor in telecoms came and we had the opportunity of explaining what we’re doing in Nigeria to him. We’ve achieved a lot in our six-point agenda.


Q: Your Expectations of Mobile Number Portability?

The operators that have large market share will not want it. The operators that think that they’re providing good service will want it. So it was important that the regulator provide a level playing field. We consulted all stakeholders about what we’re going to do, it took some time then we offered a bid for the database provider for MNP. It started in April 2013, initially the transactions were slow and people thought that it was not successful, but if you go to countries (Ghana, Kenya) that have done it before it always starts slowly and then it keeps on increasing.

It is starting to take off now and one of the issues that actually hindered strong regulatory intervention is that there were really no regulations but there were business rules. I’m happy to announce that the regulation for MNP has been gazetted by government; now we have full power by law to descend on any operator who is not carrying out MNP guidelines. It is a success, and I hope the public will appreciate it and give us the credit.


Q: What Informed The Slashing Of SMS Tariff?

We never do anything without studying it, we started by getting a consultant that has a lot of experience in that area and then consulting stakeholders including the operators and consumers. Slashing SMS price came from our cost-based study for SMS; I don't want to tell you the cost of SMS to the operators but I can tell you it is very much lower than N4, so the operators were making what I'll call an unacceptable profit when it was at N10 and that's why you see there was no terrible uproar against it and we believe we've protected the consumer by implementing the slash.

Q: Did You Slash The Interconnect Rate Because Of The Consumer?

Interconnect rate according to international best practices must be cost-based. It must be based on the cost of making a call, so we hired PriceWaterhouseCoopers from London which has a good model for determining the cost of making a call in Nigeria. Of course these calls are average and so they interviewed all the operators, got their data, put it into their model and came up with the price of making calls today.

You see it must keep on coming down because equipment are being amortised; new equipment that they bought are not as big as the ones they started with. You can see the dropping in interconnect rate. We adopted what is called a gliding model, where it is reducing year by year from N6.40k and by the end of the third year which is next year it will be N3.90k.

Operators like that, but what they argued about was that our model was asymetrical in nature; asymmetrical means that the bigger operators pay smaller operators bigger sums to interconnect. This is important to protect some of the operators. We said that operators that have less than 7 and a half per cent of the subscriber base will be regarded as small operators. This includes the CDMA and new operators that are coming. You know small operators pay huge money to big operators whenever interconnection is considered, so by tweaking the interconnect rate to favour small operators, we try to strike a balance; they still pay huge amount but at least we've mitigated it.


Q: Achieving A Balance Between Consumers And Operators?

The regulator is a referee; he stands between the operators and the consumers. His duty on one hand is to provide consumers a plethora of products and of good quality. For operators, we have a mandate to safeguard their investment, so it is a tight balance; anything that will prevent operators from investing further... the more they invest the better the product they give to consumers and the better the quality. It is a very narrow work to balance the interest of the operator with that of the consumer and as you say if both of them blame me, we're doing something that is correct.

Q: Does It Make You Happy When You Fine The Operators?

Not really, we're here to obey our laws. We've made a regulation saying that you must attain some minimum QoS indices and we have published it in our regulation, and this is also a way of protecting the consumer for whom we have the mandate to give good quality. Here is where we have power, to regulate the operators. If we see that they don't give good quality to consumers, we penalise them and when we are penalising them we do that according to our laws, nobody likes penalty but we have to stick to our laws, they have to comply with our regulations, and when they don't do that we have an option to fine them, but if we fine them every time we'll drive them out of business and we don’t want that.

Q: Why So Much Energy On Broadband?

Right from the time I came into the communications industry I saw that the trend is changing from voice to data and data in the good form must be broadband. That's why you have good internet, good video service and a plethora of services coming out of broadband. Apart from that, broadband is a development product, a product that is capable of increasing the GDP of Nigeria, it is also capable of taking Nigeria into the knowledge-based economy that the world is pursuing, it is a product that is capable of increasing the efficiency of our younger generation; this is how we see broadband, and we see that it something that we have to do for Nigeria to enter the 21st century properly, and if we don’t do it then we've failed. We've taken the issue of increasing broadband penetration as a priority. To start off that program is not easy; you first of all have to convince the in-house people and the government that this is important and they have to support you. You have to tell the international audience what you want to do so that they'll get interested because you depend on them to bring in investment.

It took some time for this ground work to be done, but we've started with a publication of our bid for the licensing of Infracos which is actually the major foundation of our broadband intervention. I can tell you that the response is quite interesting; response from inside and outside the country. I can tell you that the International Finance Corporation, IFC has endorsed it, they're supporting us and even helping us source for international investors. What we've done has not been in vain so we're keenly waiting for all these bids to come in and see the result of what we've done.


Q: Why Open Access Model?

The model is the leading model in the world, it encompasses the good things about access. It encompasses sharing of infrastructure, sharing of ownership. It encompasses competition because it structures the industry into primarily two layers; the wholesalers and retailers. If you're a wholesaler you cannot do retail. But most importantly it provides open access to everybody at the same conditions, so whether you're the biggest or smallest, you all have access to infrastructure. In Nigeria we've added one more; we said that all this environment is going to be regulated price-wise by the regulator. These make sure that our teeming publics get broadband at value for money.

Q: Why Regulate The Price?

We've left it to market forces, you see the result; the cost of say Lagos to Ibadan for broadband in Nigeria today is higher than from London to Lagos. We've not succeeded in leaving it to market forces because very few companies have the funding capacity to do this so it leads to some sort of monopoly pricing. Government has intervened and made a program and declared the Nigerian version of open access and government wants to intervene to keep the prices reasonable, with also reasonable profit for people that are operating it.

Q: Unobtrusive Regulatory Style Of NCC

In fact that is the trend of regulation and I'm happy that in fact you being in the press noticed it, that means we're doing something correct. The trend of regulation now is towards what they call soft regulation; the infinite end of it is self-regulation where the regulator does nothing. But the industry in Nigeria hasn't matured to that extent. There's still unhealthy competition, there's still not good QoS, so in these areas we must intervene strongly, but we only intervene when it is necessary and that's why you see what you see.

Q: Transparent Auction of 2.3GHz Frequency

We started by saying we're going to be firm; transparent and that we're not going to play with our integrity. When we decided to do the auctioning we consulted the industry, we had more than two consultations with the industry, some didn't like it while some liked it, but we as regulator must do what we think is best for the industry. So we hired an auction consultant from the UK, published what is called Memorandum of Auction where we detailed every process in the auction which they must abide by. This gives confidence to the bidders and we actually carried out a computer-based auction where nobody can interfere; the computer does it and broadcasts it at the same time. You will remember at the hotel where the auction took place there were people on the 7th and ground floor and they were seeing the results at the same time. It wasn't a question of me going to tell people. Everybody saw it was clear and transparent.

Q: Many Nations Are Adopting The Ncc Template, Why?

Well, in NCC we've adopted a position that we must maintain transparency in everything. We must be firm for operators and stakeholders to comply with what we're doing and we must be dynamic in rolling out regulations and interventions, so the world has seen this. I can tell you that a few weeks ago we received military officers from Botswana who came to study our security interface, which is very rare, and we don't talk about this. They know this and they applied to the National Security Adviser, NSA, in Nigeria to visit us and discuss our security interface. A number of other regulators have come here; Kenya has been here twice, first to study our competition interventions and secondly to understudy our consumer affairs bureau, which is our own innovation. This is why we're dynamic in rolling out intervention and new areas. As I'm talking to you now, we have regulators from Ghana who want to come and understudy our intervention in determining interconnect rate. Regulators as far as Sweden recognise our firmness and say that we're just like them; that operators hate them but the intention is not for operators to hate us but for us to be firm.

Q: Why The Code Of Corporate Governance For Telcos?

It's a primary objective of regulatory agencies that you consult your stakeholders before you carry out any intervention. Right from the start we carried out three major consultations about this CCG with our stakeholders and then we involved them in the committee that worked out these codes. These codes are necessary because it is an investment of more than $32 billion and it has to be properly managed. There are certain rules that operators have to obey. People may be seeing this investment that it is foreign but I can tell you that the amount of pre-paid money that operators are holding may be almost equal to this investment. So subscribers are co investors, so it is important that operators run their companies in a way that is transparent. Also because we do not have operators who are members of the stock exchange which imposes governance once you enter, we have to develop a specific governance for our own industry.

Q: The Way Forward For Quality Of Service

I'm not comfortable with the position of QoS in Nigeria today. It hasn't reached where we want it to be, there are still issues that make it difficult for operators to attain our projected QoS. Principal among them is the issue of capacity; the voice market keeps on increasing; the operators are investing but they're not investing fast enough to meet that increase. And that is why we jab them by fining them. People feel that it is not good to fine them, but if we were not fining them it could have been worse; I can tell you. But apart from the issues from the operator side, there are many other issues that are not from their side; issues of vandalisation of their facilities and one thing you'll notice is that bad service at times is intermittent; for a few days it gets very bad and then it gets better. What that shows is that a key facility has been tampered with and when it is repaired good service recovers. There's also the issue of state government interference; they interfere by imposing all sorts of taxes on the operators and when they don't pay they lock up key facilities shutting off subscribers from getting good service. If you lock up a hub base station for example it will affect many states, so we're appealing to state governments to be more reasonable since their actions do affect QoS. But having said all these I want to challenge any Nigerian to show me a service in Nigeria that is more efficient than telecommunications; is it electricity, banking services, airlines etc. There's no service in Nigeria that you expect to get 24 hours, notwithstanding that there're a few hiccups here and there, so I'll implore Nigerians to be patient with us. We're improving maybe not in evolutionary way, but slowly and slowly we'll get there.

For the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Eugene Juwah, the year 2014 was a good year. Not only did it mark his fourth year on the job, it also threw up a lot of challenges which afforded him the opportunity to prove his mettle. And if those challenges were a form of test, Juwah passed with excellent grade. It was the year he harvested a haul of honours, crowning them with The Sun newspaper Public Service Award, which he described as “Special”.

An elated Juwah, said after being conferred with the Public Service Award at The Sun 2014 Awards in Lagos, that he had touched each of the six items and is satisfied that he has acquitted himself well.

The six-point agenda Juwah rolled out when he assumed office include consolidating on the achievements of his predecessors; taking drastic measures to improve quality of service (QoS); enhancing broadband implementation; improving competition among telecoms players; providing diversified choices for consumers at good quality and price; as well as improving the regulator’s presence in the international space.

“Well I have made a lot of pronouncements in the newspapers about my six-point agenda, I have fulfilled that, I have increased subscriber base, I have increased teledensity, I have increased direct foreign investment, I have increased competition, I have increased our present international arena so most of the things I came with I have achieved,” he told reporters after the awards in Lagos.

He expressed excitement at the award particularly as it came from the fourth estate of the realm which major duty is criticism of people in government. He said he had no problem with that because it is their duty to hold public officers to account for their deeds, adding however that public officers should be given an opportunity to say their side of the stories before they are published.

“We regulate a sector that affects the lives of over 170million Nigerians; a sector that is a primary enabler of every other sector of the country or life generally. There are weaknesses in the sector as exemplified in the quality of service but the transparency we maintain in regulating the sector as a purely independent regulator are some of the reasons the international community is very interested in the Nigerian market; why investors continue to put more money in spite of discouragement by the activities of some states and local councils; and indeed why the industry continues to grow geometrically with no signs of slowing down,” Juwah said.

Earlier, Juwah had described The Sun Public Service Award 2014 conferred on him as special.

Speaking while receiving a letter notifying him of the award in Abuja, Juwah said his real value for the award arises from the fact that “it just came. That is the true reflection of recognition for someone to just announce that you have won an award without con­tacting you. It is the true meaning that the awarding organisation, a reputable media, like The Sun, had been observing objectively the activities of the establishment and the individual that got the award.”

Juwah thanked the management of The Sun for the honour done him and promised that the award would serve as an impetus for him to work harder for the development of the telecommu­nication sector.

He stated that the challenges have been enormous in the sector and prom­ised that in the face of the shortfalls, the NCC must find means of steadily improving on telephony in the country, a service, he said, “remains the soul of modern day economy, business and social life. We understand the centrality of communication in the present world, and we also know our obligation to the nation has equal weight.

“All of us in the NCC are grateful to The Sun, because an individual cannot improve on the system until it becomes a collective duty. I am proud that the NCC has been working assiduously to the extent of being recognised by you, a reputable media. With this award, I can only assure you that we are under a compelling obligation to do more.”

Speaking earlier, while handing over the letter, Executive Director, Special Duties, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, who was ac­companied by Editor, Nation’s Capital of The Sun, Mr. Ikenna Emewu, informed Juwah that the award didn’t just come like a mistake or happen­stance.

He explained that the Board of Editors and management of The Sun examined so many public outfits and their chief executives and eventu­ally selected NCC and Juwah, based on merit and thorough assessment of his achievements in expanding the telephone subscription base to over 130 million, about twice of the volume he inherited.

“There have been facility upgrade and improvements over time. We understand that we have not reached the peak of the sector. So, this award is to commend you for the journey so far, and also help motivate you to do more and take telecommunication higher in Nigeria,” he told the NCC boss.

2014Q4-features-2014-bullseyeThe following staff were given awards for their outstanding service to the NCC.

 
Merit Award Recipients
Department
2012
2013
2014
Administration Matthew Oghiadomhe Agbo Ogbe Bartholomew Eze
Commission Secretariat Ibe Ngwoke Pankan M Eze Ibe Ngwoke
Compliance Monitoring & Enforcement Ayemo Omu Kolawole Owolabi-Lawal Mohammed K Dikwa
Consumer Affairs Ada Tete Mohammed Edota Aisha Shafii
Corporate Planning & Strategy Frank U Oli Rolake Olujimi Ayiabari Kigbara
Drivers Usman Abdullahi Sylvanus N Okoro Iliya Idris Ningi
Enugu Zonal Office Ogechi Ama David Afor Uchenna Akachukwu
EVC’s Office Okoh Aihe George A Roberts Bibian Igbokwe
Finance Services Emmanuel A Raphael Absolute O Njoku Rose Okpor-Kalu
Human Capital Ndubueze P Okeke Ismaila O Ishola Emokivie Gbenedio
Ibadan Zonal Office Omowunmi B Olaoye Armstrong M Abur Ekisola Oladisun
Information Technology Aarinola Okusanya Ebele Akwara Richard Adeleye
Internal Audit Solomon A Igbayue Mohammed B Dari Sunday Atu
Kano Zonal Office Shuaibu Swade Bello M Bungudu Mustapha M Yusuf
Lagos Zonal office Monday Orukpe  Ijeoma Bassey Tolulase Omodele-Rufai
Legal & Regulatory Services Usman Mamman June Nezianya Livinus Ashio
New Media & Information Security Elizabeth Yisa Bolanle M Olumobi Nkiru Ebenmelu
Office of the DHCIG Nwamara E Uwakwe Ifeanyi Okoro Ifeanyi Okoro
Office of the EC, SM Chukwudi Diugwu Michael N Ozoemena Mabel Yakubu-John
Office of the EC, TS Nil Nil Rosemary  Atu
Policy, Competition & Economic Analysis Richard Eyo Chike Nwadije Adeyinka Oluwa
Port Harcourt Zonal Office Ugochukwu Okoroafor Ngozi H Eke Edmund Owudogu
Procurement Chimezie P Amadi Isa Olatinwo Benjamin L Maga
Projects Stella O Tula Terseer Saror Nneoma Njoku
Public Affairs Adizat Abubakar Amaka Agwaniru Grace Ojougboh
Special Duties Nil Nil Anthony I Ikemefuna
Spectrum Administration Adekunle L Adebisi Atiku Lawal Usman A Aliyu
Technical Standards & Network Integrity Kunle J Olorundare Maigana     A Gidado Alkali Mohammed
USPS Olubunmi  Bamijoko  Stella Erebor Rajiu Musa
Best Zonal Office   Lagos Zonal Office Kano Zonal Office Ibadan Zonal Office

 

LONG SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS FOR 20 YEARS
NAME
Dave O Imoko
Felicia N Onwuegbuchulam
Mohammed L Ibrahim
Olatokunboh O Oyeleye
Chinwe V Onwujekwe
Oladoyin C Aiyenitaju
Anthony E Bassey
Phoebe M Danyi 
Ifeoma S Dike
Chioma L Nwogu
Durojaiye A Okodu
Rose Okpor-Kalu
Anne C Onuh-Opara
Ugochukwu J Okoroafor
Monday Orukpe
LONG SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS FOR 15 YEARS
NAME
Nkiru L Ebenmelu
Christy Chukwu-Ajah
Jummai Jibril
Rosemary Atu
Margaret B Ajamok
Samuel S Kolo
Ezekiel Kpanaki
Olarenwaju Alabi
Mohammed Adamu
Sylvanus N Okoro
LONG SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS FOR 10 YEARS
NAME
Fidelis I Onah
Haru Alhassan
Yetunde Akinloye
Efosa V Idehen
 Henry Nkemadu
Chukwuma E Azikiwe
Somieari D Jumbo
Giwa T Mohammed
Salisu Abdu
Nkechi Obiekwe
Abraham S Oshadami
Patrick A Ojo
Ismaila Giwa
Omotayo O Mohammed
Olubunmi Bamijoko
Ibrahim Galadima
Veronica  O A Ajagbonna
Chris Agha
June Nezianya
Olasumbo O Olawaiye
Olufunke O Damola-Sokunbi
Victor Adoga
Atiku Lawal
Nafisa U Rugga
Chimezie P Amadi
Joseph Emeshili
Ogechi U Ama
Susan Idris Nyam
Bala Usman
Oluwakemi Fagbeyiro
Lisu Mshelia
Joe Akpan
Adeyemi Kings
Abdul Isiaka
Kabiru S Haruna
Chukwuma Nwaiwu
Kunle J Olorundare
Terseer Saror
Charles O Edet
Millicent Pat-Nwaoyo
Usman A Kakah
Stella O Tula
Moromoke O Anibaba
Rabiu R Ramalan
Fatima O Edirin
Emmanuel Dazel
Ifeanyi Okoro
RETIREES
NAME
D O Imoko
Mrs. Lolia S Emakpore
Dr. Balarabe M Sani
Dr. Sylvanus Ehikioya
 Olufunso A Fayomi
Mohammed Inuwa
Michael O Williams

Below are eighteen (18) survey questions that will be used as a metric to measure the cyber security awareness level of NCC staff.

  1. Do you know when your computer is hacked or infected, and whom to contact when it occurs?
    1. Yes, I know when my computer is hacked or infected and I know whom to contact.
    2. No, I do not know when my computer is hacked or infected and I don't know whom to contact.
    3. Yes, I know when my computer is hacked or infected but I don't know whom to contact.
  2. Have you ever found a virus or Trojan on your computer at work?
    1. Yes, my computer has been infected before
    2. No, my computer has never been infected
    3. I do not know what a virus or Trojan is
  3. Is anti-virus currently installed on your computer?
    1. Yes it is
    2. No it is not
    3. I do not know how to tell
  4. If anti-virus is installed, is it enabled and updated on your computer?
    1. Yes, it is enabled but not updated
    2. No, it is neither enabled nor updated
    3. I do not know how to tell
  5. How secure do you feel your computer is?
    1. Very secure
    2. Secure
    3. Not secure
  6. Is the firewall on your computer enabled?
    1. Yes, it is enabled
    2. No, it is not enabled
    3. I do not know what a firewall is
  7. How careful are you when you open an attachment in email?
    1. I always make sure it is from a person I know and I am expecting the email
    2. As long as I know the person or company that sent me the attachment I open it
    3. There is nothing wrong with opening attachments
  8. Do you know what a phishing attack is?
    1. Yes, I do
    2. No, I do not
  9. Do you know what an email scam is and how to identify one?
    1. Yes, I know what an email scam is and how to identify one
    2. I know what an email scam is, but I do not know how to identify one
    3. No, I do not know what an email scam is or how to identify one
  10. My computer has no value to hackers, they do not target me.
    1. True
    2. False
  11. Do we have policies on what you can and cannot use email for?
    1. No, there are no policies, I can send whatever emails I want to whomever I want while at work
    2. Yes, there are policies limiting what emails I can and cannot send while at work, but I do not know the policies
    3. Yes, there are policies and I know and understand them
  12. Can you use your own personal devices, such as your mobile phone, to store or transfer confidential office information?
    1. Yes I can
    2. No I cannot
    3. I do not know
  13. Have you downloaded and installed software on your computer at work?
    1. Yes I have
    2. No I have not
  14. Has your boss or anyone else you know at work, asked you for your password?
    1. Yes, they have
    2. No, they have not
  15. Do you use the same passwords for work-related activities as you do for home activities?
    1. Yes I do
    2. No I do not
  16. How often do you take information from the office and use your computer at home to work on it?
    1. Almost every day
    2. At least once a week
    3. At least once a month (d) Never
  17. Have you logged into office accounts using public computers, such as from a library, cyber café or hotel lobby?
    1. Yes, I have
    2. No, I have not
  18. Do you log off and close your browser after every online activity that requires you to use a password?
    1. Yes, I do log off and close my browser after every online activity that requires a password
    2. No, I don't log off and close my browser after every online activity that requires a password
    3. Yes, I do close my browser but I don't log off after every online activity that requires a password.

Commission wants ICT in education curriculum at all levels, Wins Regulator of the Year Award & Best Use of Social Media

Professor Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), says Nigeria has yet to acquire the full dividends of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) revolution in spite of the rich harvest of potentials within the country.

Danbatta disclosed this during the 8th Edition of Beacon of Information and Communication Technology (BoICT) Lecture and Awards in Lagos.

Represented by the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, Mr Sunday Dare, he said that the ICT revolution had no barriers or frontiers.

The Consumer Outreach Programme is the Consumer Affairs Bureau’s strategic initiative aimed at uniquely creating an interactive opportunity amongst key industry stakeholders by focusing on dissemination of information on telecoms products and services among the semi-urban region.

The Commission also introduced the Town Hall meeting which is a third tier of Consumer Outreach event, an unprecedented frequency and diversity of consumer complaints became a common occurrence; hence the need for a robust surveillance of the industry with a view to protecting consumers through well focused information and education initiatives.

by Osato Akele (Public Affairs Department)

2013q3-features gym 04As we all know, the NCC has a well-equipped gym that is open to all members of staff. The following is an interview with the Commission’s Gym Instructor (Micheal Ezekweseili).

  • 2013q3-features gym 01
    Osato Akele of the Online team with Michael
    Question: Are you a certified trainer?
    Answer: Yes I am, I was certified in Nigeria and Kenya as a gym instructor.
  • Question: So what time do you work with here in the Commission?
    Answer: We operate from 6:30am-8:00am for morning session every day and also from 5:00pm-8:00pm for the evening session.
  • Question: What kind of activities do you have in the gym?
    Answer: We have aerobic classes which are on Saturday’s from 9:00am-10:00am and from 8:00am-8:00pm the gym operates.
  • Question: How much time do I need to set aside each week to exercise in order to be healthy?
    Answer: You need to set aside 3 times in a week, 1 hour per session for you to be physically fit.

Following the initial stakeholders' meeting in February 2017 for the determination of termination rates for telecom companies, the NCC says a new study to determine the mobile voice termination rate which has kicked off will come up with a new rate that will take effect from March 1, 2018.

This was disclosed by the Executive vice chairman of the Nigerian communications commission,  NCC,  Professor Umar Danbatta, at a stakeholders’ forum on cost based study for the determination of mobile voice termination rate (the fee which one Telecom operator charges another for connecting and terminating calls on its network) for the Nigeria Telecom industry.

by Mahmood Mahmood (Policy Competition & Economic Analysis)

They never pay? Today na 28th ooo!!!

Oh boy, I don broke pieces.

paycheck-walletThese are typical ‘end of month’ conversations one would hear along the walkways of our beautiful glass house at Aguiyi Ironsi Street that overlooks the Maitama skyline. Anticipations are sky high, but so are employee debt profiles. Need I mention that these employees are often viewed by others as affiliates of a blue chip company? How is it possible to fathom they can ever be “broke to pieces”?

 

Typically, employees will be asking if EVC is around usually for their own selfish reasons, not so that they would walk into his office to offer him a nice drink of coffee and tell him well done for keeping things together, or simply complement him for wearing a really nice suit.

In these trying times, people are having difficulty putting money aside for their long-term benefit. Living from paycheck to paycheck is something you want to avoid, as it's a bad habit that is easy to get into. Pay yourself first because no one else will. What is the best way to do this, you ask? Take out the savings portion before you use it unwisely. Here are a couple of tips to consider when planning your long-term financial growth.

 

Automatic Savings Plan

An automatic savings plan to put money aside into an emergency savings account or your retirement account, on a fixed day of the month, is the best way to start. Typically, people prefer having this luxury on the same day they receive their paychecks. By growing accustomed to a saving regime, you will be able to save a reasonable amount and at the same time live a manageable lifestyle.

  

Getting Into The Habit

We are creatures of habit, which is why living with a reduced paycheck is not as hard as people think -- once you adjust to this way of life. And once you establish the amount you can put aside, altering your spending habits will be easy as 1-2-3.

This will also allow you to realize what kind of lifestyle you can manage and handle. Living with these reduced means is the key to your financial independence.

No one is saying that you should lead a boring life, although realizing what you can handle in relation to what you earn and what you want is essential. The easiest vice to fall into is the constant and easy availability of credit, which can be extremely damaging to your long-term financial success.

Habit Becomes Second Nature

By instilling this regime, you will realize in no time that it will become second nature and that your spending will be reduced automatically. In this scenario, your spending is now based on what you have available rather than what you are earning.

Knowing that a certain amount of money is going to be withdrawn on a certain day will make it harder to spend it on something frivolous.

Your New Exercise Regime

Making any conscious effort to change requires discipline and time. Remember to be realistic in your savings effort and that it's a gradual process.

We always look to improve ourselves, or at least many of us do. Apply this to a new exercise program where you're looking to lose or put on weight. It is never done overnight and if it is, it's unhealthy.

Instill a pace that is manageable for your situation so it is easier to stick to. The harder you make it on yourself, the more likely you will get fed up and just continue on your downward spiral.

Let's say your goal is to put three months' worth of your income into a reserve account. It is then logical that you spend 80% of your pay while the balance would be put into a savings-type account.

You should also consider putting any surprise forms of income into the savings account, so your goal can be accomplished earlier.

Something To Achieve

By having your savings plan mapped out, it is much easier to motivate yourself. Once your spending objective is put in place, you should be on your way to a financial path that meets your needs.

Sources
www.askmen.com


NCC Takes Nigerian Fashion to the World
at Nigeria Night Dinner in Budapest.

The night was exquisite; the setting was brilliantly adorned with a kaleidoscope of incandescent lightings. The occasion was the Nigeria Night Dinner at the ITU Telecom World 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. It was the crowning of Nigeria’s excellent showing at the Nigeria Day in her pavilion to the acclamation of ITU Secretary-General, Mr. Houlin Zhao.

And too soon, the dinner paved way for real business talk as the regulator, operators and ICT agencies took turns to share their testimonies of the profitability of the Nigerian telecom market. Etisalat, Airtel, NigComSat, GalaxyBackbone among others told their various success stories doing business in Nigeria. It was exactly what the array of investors and regulatory agencies from other countries wanted to hear: first-hand information on the investment opportunities in the Nigerian telecom market which ranks among the fastest growing in the world.

The icing on the cake for the night was the enchanting session of fashion parade; a modeling of the different traditional attires that make Nigerian fashion thick. The models were not hired from Broadway or the fashion high streets of Paris. They were NCC staff, from Directors to young, zesty employees. They simply wowed the world and got the audience shouting for more. It was an audacious statement made about the variegated fashion cultures that define the diversity of Nigeria.

From the Iro, Buba and Gele fashion mix of the Yoruba through the Fedora hat and loose Kaftan of the Niger Delta complete with walking staff ( a symbol of authority of the man) to the loose, wide sleeve top of the Hausa (Agbada or Babanriga) and the richly embroidered and ornamented long flowing gown usually made of rayon fabric of the Efik maiden, the hall rocked as model after model graced the stage. Add to this ensemble the tight Buba and Wrapper of the Igbo woman, the Ishiagu (head of a Lion) attire of the Igbo man as well as the Aso Oke and Talking drum associated with the Yoruba male.

Guests from the Americas, Europeans, Asians and other Africans in the ornate hall made brisk inquiries about how to get a piece of the Nigerian fashion on parade. And what with the music and the dance? Same night Nigerians told the world that the nativity of music and dance is Africa, and not just everywhere in Africa but Nigeria. Nigerian music blasted from the jukebox and the infectious bug of Nigerian dance styles took a hold of the crowd as guests of all races and communes took to the floor and danced the Nigerian way.

In all, NCC killed two birds with just a stone. It marketed the Nigerian broadband market as well as the rich and diverse Nigerian fashion market in one night of glamour, glitz and splendor.

The Nigerian Communications Commission has commenced the processes that will lead to a review of the licensing framework for telecommunication spectrum administration in Nigeria.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, stated this when he presented the 23rd Inaugural Lecture at Bayero University, Kano (BUK). Delivering the lecture was akin to a return to a familiar turf for the Professor of electrical cum Electronic engineering. There was a ring of emotion as the lecturers took turns to welcome a man they had worked with and cherished his warmth for nearly three decades.

Considering the pivotal role telecommunications plays in the lives and economic wellbeing of any country, no effort should be spared in protecting the infrastructure and platforms of the industry, according to Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta.

But NCC is concerned about increasing cases of illegal sealing up of telecoms Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) across the country by various persons, including organizations, communities, agencies of the Federal State and local government at times using law enforcement officers.

Danbatta who led a team of NCC Directors and officials on a courtesy visit to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase in Abuja recently, lamented that apart from the actions being illegal, they also violate Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, CAP C39, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Sealing up of Base Stations also has its social implication that is cutting off subscribers from communicating thereby degrading quality of service, which is already a major concern.

Acts of willful destruction of telecoms infrastructure, cutting of fibre optics and general vandalism have become very worrisome, hence the proposal for the institution of a critical infrastructure law that will require the police to monitor and protect public infrastructure.

“While we seek your support for urgent actualization of this law, we wish to implore you to see to the use of the current provisions of the law to ensure that individuals found to be engaged in willful destruction of telecoms infrastructure are timely prosecuted,” Danbatta pleaded with the IGP.

Both agencies of government, recently pledged to collaborate on vital issues concerning security of telecoms infrastructure and capacity building for modern policing which the IGP, Solomon Arase, stressed, forms the bedrock of modern security practices.

While the EVC, used the opportunity of the visit to place a request list on the table of the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, which includes the intervention of the IGP in the following areas: Illegal Sealing of Base Stations, Protection of Critical Telecom Infrastructure, Stealing of Telecom Equipment, and Prosecution of Cases on Contraventions of NCC Regulations; an excited IGP lauded the role of modern telecoms in tackling national security challenges, citing kidnapping as one area where the role of GSM has been pronounced.

Explaining that over the years the telecommunications sector has grown in leaps and now forms the super structure of modern lifestyle, social and economic practices, Danbatta told Arase that except something was done urgently the adverse practices as listed above will hurt the industry and impact very negatively on life in the country

“Virtually all the financial transactions, mobile money and mobile banking are made possible as a result of the infrastructure and platforms provided by the telecom industry.

The vibrant social media industry that we are witnessing today is made possible by the platforms provided by the telecom industry. The telecom and ICT industry currently contributes about 10% to the GDP of this country. It is therefore evident that telecommunications impact positively on our lives, our families, businesses, governance, security, and even our social lives, and even in our international relations,” Danbatta explained while appealing to the IGP to help provide security for the protection of these vital facilities.

Danbatta recalled that several arrests have been made over the past two years, of those involved in either the use of pre-registered SIM Cards or those perpetrating other criminal acts. Although the Police were part of the compliance team of the Commission which carried out the arrests, most of the cases were either thrown out for lack of proper investigation or lack of diligent prosecution.

Danbatta who recently released an 8-point Agenda aimed at repositioning the telecommunications sector told the IGP that as the Commission under him was putting more emphasis on sanitizing the telecom environment and enforcing compliance to its regulations, he would need the law enforcement community, especially the police to support his efforts.

Arase who expressed the readiness of the Force to work with the Commission immediately proposed the setting up of joint teams, drawn from the Police and the Commission which will handle telecom related cases.

2013q4-features vacationWhen was the last time you took time off to travel with your family for the simple purpose of relaxation? I know a lot of responses wouldn't be affirmative because we barely see vacation as a necessity.

However, there is a lot to benefit from vacations as a lot of discoveries have been made that it helps help to boost both the physical and mental wellbeing.

A vacation is a specific trip or journey, usually for the purpose of recreation or tourism. Recent discoveries have shown that vacations promote creativity, a good vacation can help us to reconnect with ourselves, operating as a vehicle for self-discovery and helping us get back to feeling our best. Vacations highly promote overall wellbeing as a recent study found that three days after vacation, subjects' physical complaints, their quality of sleep and mood had improved as compared to before vacation.

These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacations. Vacations can also help strengthen bonds. Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong, helping you enjoy the good times more and helping you through the stress of the hard times.

In fact, a study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages.

Amazingly, vacations could also serve a booster with your job performance. As the authors of the above study suggest, the psychological benefits that come with more frequent vacations lead to increased quality of life, and that can lead to increased quality of work on the job.

The bottom line is that taking a good amount of time away from the stresses of daily life can give us the break we need so that we can return to our lives refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes.