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

 

It is official; the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will continue to sponsor the NCC Tennis Tournament, its Acting Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has confirmed, adding that the decision to continue sponsorship of the tennis championship was buoyed by the sterling success recorded so far in the maiden edition. “We will continue to sponsor this tournament”, an elated Danbatta said.

He spoke at the National Stadium, Abuja, and venue of the second Semi- final of the Tennis National Tournament. NCC, he said, will also review the prize money upward to ensure that as many teams are attracted from different parts of the country. He said the tournament has helped to foster national unity even as it has elicited more enthusiasm for tennis.

A visibly excited Danbatta who went down memory lane said, he remembered with nostalgia the escapades of Nigeria’s Nduka Odizor who reached the round of 16 in Wimbledon of 1983.

To Danbatta, Odizor was easily one of the global tennis greats at the time but sadly “Nigerian players have not made the desired impact in global Tennis circuits since then.

According to Danbatta: “We are witnesses to how tennis stars have brought fame and fortune to themselves and their nations, and we want to be identified to taking these talented players in Nigeria to the circuit”.

He told the audience at the stadium including, President, Nigeria Tennis Federation, Mr. Sani Ndanusa, President, International Tennis Academy, Mr. Godwin Kienka among others that the main objective of the NCC sponsorship of the tournament is to raise the level of Lawn Tennis which is one of the most popular and lucrative sporting activities.

feat-002“Part of our objective is to help in nurturing and exposing these talents through robust competition so as to help them perfect their skills. It is also promoting peace and friendship among the players as this has taken the game to various locations of the country where such competitions have not been held. So far, several matches have been played in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Asaba, Onitsha, Abeokuta, Kaduna, Abuja, and Enugu, with the finals scheduled for Lagos. Another objective of this tournament is so fruitfully engage the players, officials and the youth in some value-driven activities associated with this competition.”

Danbatta said the NCC is glad that most of the objectives of this project have been realized. “We understand that most of the best Nigerian players are featuring in this year’s edition, which has made the quality of the competition to be very high. The cross-section of the people that matter in Nigerian Lawn Tennis sport have honoured us with their presence in some of the tournaments, including Nduka Odizor that I spoke about. We are happy the way the tournament has been organized as shown by the huge turnout at this second semi-final.”

“This is the maiden edition of this tournament, and we are very happy the way the Commission’s gesture has been received since this league tennis was launched on May 23, 2015. We are proud to have added a new version of competition that has energized activities in the Nigerian lawn tennis calendar.

                                                    

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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.

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).

stakeholder_meetingThe telecommunication industry in the last few months has witnessed cases of forceful closure of base stations in various parts of the country by agents of states and local government on non-payment of different kinds of levies and taxes. The closure of these base stations across the nation to enforce payment has come to the attention of the Telecoms regulatory authority, NCC.

By way of intervention, the commission has inaugurated an industry working group (IWG) on multiple taxation and levies. The duties of the work group varies from reviewing recent cases of multiple taxations suffered by the operators within the telecoms industry, to liaising with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Joint Tax Board (JTF) to ensure fair and equitable tax/levies for operators within the industry and where necessary, a review of the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act of 1998.

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.

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.
    • 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

MEANING OF A MUSEUM

A Museum can be defined as a building or place where works of art, scientific specimens, or other permanent value are kept and displayed. Telecommunications in Nigeria include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

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.

Since its inception a little over a century ago, Nigeria's telecommunications system has progressed through various stages of development from the primitive communications equipment in its colonial days to the enormous variety of technologies available today.

The Commission’s museum can be located close to the library. The Commission’s Museum is an information rich environment which takes us back to the history of telecommunication in Nigeria which has helped hasten the growth of ICT in Nigeria. The NCC’s museum consists of four sections namely:

  1. The Postal Service section
  2. Telex and Telegraphs Section
  3. The Analogue Section
  4. The Digital Section

Here are a few contents of the postal service section

POSTAL OFFICE SECTION

  1. POSTAL OFFICE COUNTER: Post office counter is the window of NIPOST or any other postal establishment. Post office counter is where transactions are made. Example (1) Selling of postage stamps (2) Registration of letters, delivery of registered mails, etc. This wooden post office counter dates back to 1852 when postal service was introduced in Lagos by the British Government.
  2. DROP BAG FITTING: Drop bag fittings are well constructed metal devices fitted in mails bags where large postal packets and parcels are sorted according to their destinations. This came into use in the late 19th century.
  3. BALANCE SPRING SCALE: The spring scale apparatus is simply a spring fixed at one end with a hook to attach an object at the other. It works by Hooke’s Law, which states that the force needed to extend a spring is proportional to the distance that spring is extended from its rest position.
  4. IMPERIAL TYPEWRITER: A typewriter is a device that prints letters one at a time on paper using ink when the user presses key on a keyboard. In 1902, American inventor Hidalgo Mayo, arrived in Leicester, carrying his handmade model of what, at the time, he considered a revolutionary design of typewriter. A local businessman, Mr. J.G Chattaway, was persuaded to finance the opening of a small factory in Gaton Street, Leicester, where The Moya Typewriter Company could develop, manufacture and market their new machine.

 

TELEX/TELEGRAPH SECTION

  1. TELEPRINTER T1200BS: This Siemens T1200 was in use between 1986 and 1991. It also has 5 level (bit) Baudot code page printer of between speeds 50 to 100 baud (switchable). It has a matrix printer and electronic memory. It is the last ever produced teleprinter model by Siemens. These machines were built in a time where Telefax already replaced the TELEX service. It is available in two main versions.

 

ANALOGUE SECTION

  1. BINDING WIRE: This is a tapered fibre optic distribution cable that includes a plurality of drop cables having at least one predetermined breakout location where a drop cable is withdrawn from the tapered distribution cable. The drop cables are bound together to form the tapered fibre optic distribution cable by binding members or helical winding. Each drop cable contains a plurality of optical fibres which may be reconnectorized according to a user’s preferences. It was invented by Brain Herbst and assigned to AFL Telecommunications LLC. The filling in US was on August 8, 2006. The patent number is 7590320.
  2. UNDERGROUND CABLE ROLLER: Underground cable roller came into use in the early 20th century and it is used for installation of underground power cable or communication cables. There are different types of rollers for installation of communication or power cable in the trench, some of which are: Trench Roller, Twin Link Corner Roller, Trench Feed Roller Set, Manhole Quadrant Roller, Duct Entry Rollers and Cable Duct Protection. It is advisable that Cable rollers should always be used when pulling cables.
  3. DUAL BEAM SYNCROSCOPE: The dual-beam synchroscope or analog oscilloscope can display two signals simultaneously. Although multi-trace analog oscilloscopes can simulate a dual-beam display with chop and alternate sweeps, those features do not provide simultaneous displays. (Real time digital oscilloscope offers the same benefits of a dual-beam oscilloscope, but they do not require a dual-beam display).
  4. 5MHZ TRANSMISSION TEST TROLLEY: 5MHz transmission test trolley first used in the early 1910s is an equipment test set which is a fully programmable instrument with a bandwidth of 5MHz. The 5MHz (60m) amateur allocation spand 5 fixed frequencies and requires a NoV from the RSGB. The 60 meter band of 5MHz band is a relatively new (2002) amateur radio band that was originally only available in a few countries, such as the US, UK, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Ireland and Iceland.

  

DIGITAL SECTION

  1. FIRST COIN BOX: This is also a telephone that requires immediate payment for operation, as by a coin or credit card. Also called pay station. Pay telephone stations preceded the invention of the pay phone and existed as early as 1878. These stations were supervised by telephone company attendants or agents (such as an employee in a hotel where a station might be located) who collected the money due after people made their calls. In 1889, the first public coin telephone was installed by inventor William Gray at a bank in Hartford, Connecticut. It was a “postpay” machine (coins were deposited after the call was placed).
  2. 1895’s LINE CORDED CANDLESTICK PHONE: The candlestick telephone was manufactured from the early 1890s through the 1920s. The Candlestick phone without a dial, also known as the ‘Upright’ initial became popular during the early 1900s and had many manufacturers before the introduction of the one-piece handset. The Crosley CR64 1-Line Corded Phone is one of the first Candlestick phones which were introduced when the magneto system was in use which meant that the phone was connected to a large wooden box called a subset containing a battery, bell, and crank.
  3. DIGITAL CARD PHONE: This is a public payphone which is often located in a phone booth or a privacy hood, with pre-payment by inserting a pre-paid telephone card, a credit or debit card, or money (usually coins). Payphones are often found in public places, transportation hubs such as airports or train stations, convenience stores, malls, casions, and on street corners.

fashion_abdul_shehuFashion! One word; so many definitions and interpretations. One of the mega businesses in the world is the fashion industry and also the most evolving, probably after Technology.  It’s simply amazing how you can tell so much about a person from the external packaging, right? Don’t be too quick to judge though, because there are lots of products with wonderful packaging and still does not deliver results. Also, there are many ‘properly dressed’ folks that use it to mask a lot of negative attributes.

However, the main point here is that the first point of contact with an individual is his or her fashion sense and unless you have a lot of contact with that person, most times you simply do not have the opportunity to peel away the external, so as to have a closer look at the internal. Most of us, especially the females will be used to the term 'Fashionista.' According to Urban dictionary.com it is, "A term used to define a woman with a penchant for shopping and a natural flair for combining both current and vintage fashionable trends." This is an apt definition and the last part is particularly on point. To understand how to combine current and vintage fashion trends simply means that one can be fashion forward and also conservative. While it is key to live within the current decade, and one’s dress sense must also reflect that, it is imperative that we understand the limits that are obtainable within an office environment.

The NCC is a world class organization and staff must dress to toe that line. As a Public organization, there are various options available to staff. Whether you prefer the formal, traditional, semi formal, the bottom line is to keep it CORPORATE! With the help of our lovely models below (whom we all know), we would try and analyze some few do(s) and don’t (s) of fashion in the office:

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.

Conflict between work and family life is one of the most common sources of stress for working adults. In this productivity-driven society that we are living in, more and more people are finding it hard to adequately fulfill their roles both at home and at the workplace. More often than not, workers are unable to find a point of balance between their careers and their families — there is always one that is given more priority than the other. Hence, it is very important that we are able to achieve balance between our work and our family life. This may seem to be a very daunting task, but a lot of people have already done it, so there shouldn’t be any reason that you can’t do the same.

Are you a nursing mom struggling with scheduling your official duties with your personal life? Be ultra-organized, plan out your clothes the night before, plan your week’s meals, and keep an online calendar that you can access from a smart phone to avoid over committing. Nothing beats stress like knowing what is coming up next. My family appreciates it when I am organized and prepared– they know that their needs will be covered. It calms everyone down. Having a specific place for everything, and always putting it back where it goes, not only saves tremendous time, it somehow energizes you.

CHALLENGES OF BEING A WORKING MOTHER

A lot of women in the Commission face a lot of challenge balancing work and family because of the time schedule at work. One has to wake up very early to take care of the child’s needs i.e food, change of clothes/bag for the crèche, getting both you and your baby ready for work especially on Wednesdays that most departments have its departmental meeting. In as much as this is difficult, I must commend all nursing mothers in the Commission for meeting up with these tasks, and the professional nannies who have taking out time to look after these children’s as theirs. As a world class organization, the Nigerian Communications Commission has been able to provide a space for a crèche in the office building to enable mothers tend to both work and child effectively. Having a crèche space and professional nannies at work is an ideal thing for most organizations to imbibe because this will reduce the level of inefficiency in nursing mothers such as; having to run out to pick their kids from school, going to check up on these kids and so on.

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

The Director of Public Affairs (DPA) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Tony Ojobo has been named the most outstanding Public Affairs Spokesperson of the year 2016 by the Authority Newspaper.

Ojobo received the award at The Authority Newspaper’s maiden award ceremony for Excellence & Good Governance which took place recently in Abuja.

The well attended ceremony which was chaired by former Anambra State Governor, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, and keynote speaker, Human Right Activist/Constitutional Lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, was described by Madu Onuorah, The Authority Managing Director, as painstaking before the Board of Editors “took decisions to select the personalities we are honouring today”.

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.

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.

Telecom infrastructure is a critical resource in the effective delivery of quality of service but who watches over such infrastructure. This has been a major concern to the Nigerian Communications Commission. Now, solution is on the way as the Commission and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps  (NSCDC)  recently in Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to protect critical telecom infrastructure from vandalism and theft.

Directors

  • Engr. Fidelis Onah

    2014Q4-features-fonahEngr. Fidelis Onah has BSC and MSc in Electronic Engineering from Moscow University of Communications and Information Tech, a PG. Dip. Computer Engineering and has over 18 years in Communications Engineering practice before joining the Nigerian Communications Commission in 2002. He is a registered Engineer with COREN with many years experience, and a member of several Engineering bodies including Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineering (IEEE), Communications Society, Computer Society, Standards Society, Broadcasting Society, etc. He is the Director, Human Capital and Infrastructure Group.

  • Mr. Haru Alhassan

    Mr. Haru Alhassan was a Deputy Director and Head of Technical Standards and Network Integrity Department before his new promotion to the rank of a Director. He graduated with B. Engineering (Electrical) from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria in 1989 and MSc. Electrical and Computer engineering from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg Canada in 2003. His experience spans over Mobile Network Planning, Deployment, Optimization, Operations and Support.


Deputy Directors

  • Mr. Ephraim Nwokenneya

    2014Q4-features-enwokenneyaAn alumnus of George Mason University, West Virginia, USA, Ephraim Chikwendu Nwokonneya was in 2000 conferred with the fellowship of the noble Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and currently serves as a member of both the Membership Affairs and Finance/General Purpose Committees of the institute respectively. He is a management, finance, accounting and utility regulation specialist with broad experience spanning over 27 years in manufacturing, aviation, and telecom sectors of our country. In the past thirteen years, he has been part of the senior management team driving the revolution in the telecommunications sector of the country under the sector regulator; Nigerian Communications Commission. Particularly in 2010 he developed a robust compliance monitoring framework for the Nigerian telecoms industry and presently heads the Compliance Monitoring Unit of the Commission.

  • Dr. Henry C. Nkemadu

    Before his new promotion, Dr. Henry C. Nkemadu was an Assistant Director, Policy, Competition & Economic analysis Department from 2009. Previously the Zonal Controller and the Administrative head of the Lagos zonal office, he was formerly the Head - Policy, Economic Analysis and Research Unit where he was saddled with the responsibility to coordinate research and analysis of market trends and other economic indicators on the Nigerian telecommunications industry. He carried out reviews of telecoms industry policies, articulated and evaluated the implementation of necessary regulatory policies as well as facilitated the development of the Knowledge Management facilities in the Commission. Dr. Henry C. Nkemadu joined the NCC as a Principal Manager in the former Business Development Department and was responsible for strategizing for the Department. He was in charge of monitoring all consultancy projects to ensure compliance with terms of reference as well as drawing up proposals on capacity building initiatives and liaison with international agencies for capacity building.

  • Mr. Inatimi Spiff

    2014Q4-features-ispiffMr. Inatimi Benjamin Spiff obtained a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in July 1984. After stints as a journalist with both Daily Times Group and Guardian Newspapers, he was recruited in October 1992 by Nigerian Breweries Plc where he spent eight years – five years as Media Relations Assistant and three years as Field Sales Manager. In October 2001, Mr. Spiff joined the NCC as a Principal Manager, Press and Publications. He was redeployed as Zonal Controller, Port Harcourt in July 2008, was promoted to Assistant Director effective March 2009 and was transferred in February 2011 to Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis Department as Head, Competition and Tariff. In November 2013 he was moved to Projects Department to oversee the Commission’s Emergency Communication Project. Mr. Spiff has participated in various professional training programmes annually throughout his career.

  • Mrs. Amina Shehu

    2014Q4-features-ashehuMrs. Amina Shehu is an alumni of the Bayero University Kano, and has an MBA in Marketing from the Enugu University of Science and Technology Business School, Lagos. She joined the Commission in 2005 as a Principal Manager in the Legislative and Government Affairs, and was the SERVICOM Nodal Officer from June-2008 to January 2010. She was transferred to Policy Competition and Economic Analysis in 2010 as the Head, Policy and Process Review, and was made the Head, Human Capital Department in October, 2013. She has enviable years of experience garnered from her previous work environment which includes her work in Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) as the Chief Investment Officer. She is a specialist in Human Resource Management, Public Relations, Marketing amongst others.


Assistant Directors

  • Mr. Edoyemi Ogoh

    2014Q4-features-eogohMr. Edoyemi Ogoh graduated from the University of Benin with a 1st class in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. He earned his MBA from the University of Warwick, UK and GMP from Wits Business School, South Africa. He has worked for different telecommunications companies in Nigeria including Mobitel, MTN and Airtel before joining NCC in 2012 as Principal Manager in the Spectrum Administration Department. He was an Engineering Manager in Mobitel, before moving to MTN as High Level Support Engineer and then Acting Manager High Level Support / Data Control Group. He then moved to Airtel (then Vmobile) where he held several positions including Manager Switching High Level Support -responsible for managing the team tasked with providing 2nd Level switching support and implementation, Head of Department (HOD) Core Planning - responsible for the switching network planning and project support, Head of Core Networks - responsible for planning, implementation and operations of the core networks, Head of Network Planning - responsible for the end to end planning of the network from the switching, transmission, IP/MPLS, IN/VAS, Radio networks to the 3G network and finally, Head of Entreprise Network Solutions with responsibility for delivering solutions targeted at the key corporate market.

  • Mr. Usman Malah

    2014Q4-features-umalahUsman Malah joined the Commission almost a decade ago and has worked variously in the Commission Secretariat, USPS, Consumer Affairs Department and currently in the Executive Office. A lawyer with over two decades at the Nigerian Bar. Mr. Malah is from Geidam in Yobe State. He had previously worked as State Counsel at the Ministry of Justice, Damaturu, Prosecuting Counsel at the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and Habib (Nigeria) Bank now Keystone Bank as In – House Counsel. A holder of LL.B (Hons) and Masters in Business & Commercial Law (MBCL). His hobby includes watching football. He is currently the Special Assistant to the EVC/CEO, Legal. Mr. Malah is married with children.

  • Engr. Abraham Oshadami

    2014Q4-features-aoshadamiEngineer Abraham Sunday Oshadami attended the University of Ibadan where he graduated with First Class honors in Electrical Engineering in the year 1993/94. He started his work career with Unisys Inlaks Computers, Victoria Island, Lagos where he grew to become the Port Harcourt Branch Manager of the company before joining the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in September 2004. He has worked in various departments including Engineering, Traffic and Network Integrity and Spectrum Administration. Engineer Oshadami is currently the Head of Spectrum Database Unit. Engr. Oshadami is a registered Engineer with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).

  • Miss Hafsat Lawal

    2014Q4-features-hlawalMiss Hafsat Lawal obtained her Law degree from the University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, in 1992 and was called to the Nigerian bar in 1993. She obtained Masters Degree in Law from University of Lagos, Lagos in 1996. She had a brief stint as a practicing Lawyer with the Law firm of Ayodele, Gafar and Co. in Kano. In January 1996, Miss Lawal joined the NCC as a Senior Officer, Commercial Services (now Licensing). She was redeployed to Management Information Services from where she moved to Legal Department and was later promoted to Manager. She was redeployed as Zonal Controller, Ibadan in July 2008 where she was promoted to Senior Manager; she was thereafter transferred to the Commission Secretariat. In 2011 she was redeployed to the Government and Legislative unit of the Public Affairs Department and subsequently promoted to Principal Manager. She was recently promoted to Assistant Director effective March 2014. Miss Lawal is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has participated in various professional training programmes throughout her career.

  • Also promoted to the rank of Assistant Director were Engr. Abba Adamu, Ms. Chinelo Ofomata and Mr. Kelechi Nwankwo.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, has advocated for government to introduce Public Service Excellence Award for MDAs that excel in all spheres of their operations in order to increase productivity and efficiency. He said such initiative will be good incentives for the public sector which is under increasing pressure to demonstrate that its operations are consumer-centric and there is continuous improvement in performance.

Danbatta said this at the National Stakeholders' Conference on Public Service Delivery in Nigeria at Arewa House in a paper entitled: Evaluating the Framework for Measuring the Quality of Service Delivery in the Public Sector. He was represented by Engineer Ubale Maska, NCC's Executive Commissioner Technical Services.

2014Q1-mobile-nativeThe fast evolution of mobile communication over the last decades has played a central role in the daily life of most people person on earth. It is a fundamental driver in the global economy and will play an even more vital part for most aspects of global progress in the decades to come. Our own country (Nigeria) is no exception.

The development in voice communication has moved from one fixed phone per household to a highly personal communication device. And Internet is moving in the same direction with mobile, individual cloud based 24/7 connectivity.

The number of mobile broadband will pass one billion subscriptions this year. With close to 5 billion connections in 2016, mobile broadband will bring the Internet further than ever before creating a truly globally networked society and a new generation of mobile natives.

Features of the Mobile Natives:

  • Almost 2 hours per day is spent accessing the Internet from smartphones. The age group 15-24 years spends about twice as much time using smartphone Internet as the age group 45+.
  • The smartphone is always kept close at hand and users tend to carry it with them whenever they move around, even at home. The smartphone represents a vital part of the personal identity from all areas of life and is literally an extension of the body.
  • The smartphone offers an individually designed selection of Internet content, which reflects the identity, and lifestyle of the user.
  • People's Mobile Broadband usage and behaviors are shifting. More than ever, people are viewing broadband access as a 24/7 necessity, rather than "nice-to-have". They see it as part of daily life – moving far beyond basic connectivity. Before people decided when to get online. Nowadays, they decide when to get offline.
  • Losing a regular mobile phone means losing the address book, this is quite troubling. Losing the laptop or the smartphone could mean losing an identity on a social network or a large amount of personal data, which is not recoverable.
  • Of the estimated 5 billion people who will have broadband by 2016, about 85 percent will be mobile broadband subscribers.

So if you happen to see yourself in three out of the above, whether you accept it or not you are now truly living in the global village and your are fairly versed in our native tongue.

To be able to increase the accessibility to the internet for every Nigerian, the Commission and her mother Ministry have joined hands with other government agencies and private companies and have been able to birth this baby. The baby is named Long Term Evolution (LTE) for short.

LTE is the global standard for the fourth generation of mobile networks (4G) supported by all major players in the industry. LTE offers the capacity and the speed to handle a rapid increase in data traffic with close to 5 billion mobile broadband subscriptions in 2016.

The major benefits for LTE deployment are being enjoyed worldwide and we are bringing it home to Nigeria.

2013q4-features bad-bossManagers' words carry enormous weight with the people they manage - and the wrong words can destroy employee morale and motivation. Yet bad managers go on saying the wrong things repeatedly.

Here are 10 of the most common phrases you'll hear from bad managers -- and why they're wrong.

  1. "You're lucky to even have a job." This is a favorite refrain of bad managers who really mean: "You should be grateful that you're employed during this bad job market and therefore shouldn't complain about any conditions of your employment, no matter how bad." These are generally managers who don't know how to deal with problems or staff feedback constructively. If your manager says this, take it as a sign that you're dealing with someone inept.
  2. "Just figure it out." Sure, there are times when employees really should be able to find solutions themselves, but in general, managers who say this are abdicating their responsibility to guide and coach. Even if the question is one that a reasonable employee should be able to solve on her own, a good manager would more clearly say, "This is something that I'd like you to handle yourself, using resources X, Y and Z." "Just figure it out" is both lazy and unkind.
  3. "I received an anonymous report?" Good managers will do everything they can to avoid citing anonymous reports when talking to employees. Sometimes managers do need to address problems that they were told about in confidence, but when that happens, a skillful manager won't put the focus on the anonymous reporter, but rather on the problematic behavior that needs to be addressed.
  4. "I don't have time to do your performance evaluation, but you're doing fine." Part of managing well is supplying thorough, nuanced feedback. It doesn't have to be through a formal performance evaluation, but "you're doing fine" doesn't come close to cutting it. Employees deserve to know what they're doing well, how they could be doing better and where they should focus on developing.
  5. "That's a dumb idea." Let's face it, not every idea is a brilliant one. But good managers know that you won't hear great ideas if their staff is afraid of being insulted and shot down when brainstorming. Great ideas usually come from environments where it's safe to think out loud and toss ideas around, good or bad.
  6. "That dress really flatters your figure." Commenting on employees' physical appearance -- particularly their bodies -- is a good way to make people uncomfortable (few people want to feel that their boss is assessing their attractiveness), as well as invite harassment complaints down the road.
  7. "You don't need to know what this is for - just do what I tell you to do." Sure, it could be faster to simply bark out orders without providing any context or rationale. But that's how you end up with a staff of employees who don't think beyond what's required and don't feel any ownership for their work -- and the good ones will move on to a company where they're allowed to feel a personal stake in their work.
  8. "What's wrong with you?" Feedback should never be personal. Good managers keep the focus on behavior that needs to change -- writing skills, attention to detail, judgment or so forth. They don't make it personal and attack someone's intelligence or worth.
  9. "Your job is what I say it is." This is of course true; your job is what your manager says it is. But bad managers generally say this when an employee is resisting doing work outside her core role. By contrast, a good manager will explain the circumstances when a role needs to broaden or change, rather than simply falling back on "I control what you do."
  10. "You're so much better at this than Bob is." Putting down another staff member, even when it's supposed to be a compliment to another, signals to the employee being "complimented" that it might be her you're putting down someday. Employees want to trust their managers to give them feedback in private, not make unflattering comments about them to their co-workers.

9.25%

Telecommunications contribution to GDP is now placed at 9.25 per cent, up from its previous 8.5 per cent


132,186,840

Total number of subscribers (active lines) in Nigeria as at Q2 (July) 2014 is placed at 132,186,840, a slight decrease from the number in June at 132,780,703


129,978,598

GSM mobile saw a reduction in its number of active lines from 130,536,850 as at June 2014 to 129,978,598 in July 2014


187,028

Fixed (wired/wireless) lines saw an increase in its active user base from 182,395 in June 2014 to 187,028 in July


2,021,214

The number of active CDMA lines went down from 2,061,458 in June 2014 to 2,021,214 in July


179,588,986

Total number of connected lines in Nigeria increased from 170,032,880 in June 2014 to 179,588,986 as at July 2014


94.42%

There was a slight reduction in Subscribers’ teledensity from 94.84 per cent in June to 94.42 per cent in July 2014


45%

Percentage market share by the number of subscribers for MTN by July 2014 stands at 45 per cent with 58,289,807 subscribers, it has recorded a slight decrease in its market share of 46 per cent in April 2014


15%

Etisalat’s market share is placed at 15 per cent as at July 2014 with subscriber database of 19,470,884, it retains its market share of 15 per cent from April 2014


21%

With 27,352,007 subscribers, Globacom's market share stands at 21 per cent as at July 2014, an increase from its 19 per cent in April 2014


19%

Airtel's market share is put at 19% as at July 2014. With 24,865,900 subscribers, it has suffered a decrease in its market share of 20 per cent in April 2014


98.33%

Percentage market share by technology for GSM mobile rose from 98.12 per cent in April 2014 to 98.33 per cent in July 2014


1.53%

CDMA has continued to suffer a decrease in its market share from 1.74 per cent in April 2014 to 1.53 per cent in July 2014


0.14%

For the fixed (wired/wireless) lines, it has maintained its 0.14 per cent market share of April 2014 in July 2014.


70,307,011

The total number of internet subscribers for GSM mobile as at July 2014 is put at 70,307,011, an increase from 67,197,505 in June 2014


11,320

The total number of incoming porting activities increased from 10,815 in June 2014 to 11,320 in July 2014


11,110

Outgoing porting activity also saw an increase from 10,325 in June 2014 to 11,110 in July 2014


3,312

Having 3,312 incoming porting activity of the total 11,320, Airtel saw an increase from its previous 1,678 in June 2014 to 3,312 in July 2014


4,791

Etisalat's incoming porting activity decreased from 5,081 in June 2014 to 4,791 in July 2014


1,965

Globacom's incoming porting activity also saw a decline from 2,540 in June 2014 to 1,965 in July 2014


1,252

Incoming porting activity for MTN was also on a decline from 1,516 in June 2014 to 1,252 in July 2014

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


Chizaram Ucheaga, Co-founder, Mavis Computel

Meet Chizaram Ucheaga, Co-founder, Mavis Computel; innovators of the Talking Books and Posters for learning both local and foreign languages with audio; using a digital pen. A 29-year-old 2007 electronics engineering graduate of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Chizaram who spoke with The Communicator, says the idea was conceived by his father in 2010, with the thought that it would be a great idea to develop an app that would help people learn their local language.

HOW IT WORKS: With our app you’re not just reading a book but you’re also listening thereby giving you the opportunity to practise and gain proficiency in the language. It is based on a digital pen that we call Mavis Pen and the specially printed digital paper books; all that is required of the user is to turn on the pen; then you tap on the cover of the book with the pen for identification of the book and then you place the pen on any writing, picture and audio and it sounds it out in English and the language you wish to learn to make it easy. It also comprises games, rhymes, words and sentences to make learning easy.

FUNDING: The company was funded both from private savings and a team of investors. As of today the company has raised over $250,000. The company is however looking for more resellers of its products around the world. Most of the investors are family and friends who are based in Nigeria at the moment. We’re looking at resellers in government, NGOs and those in the health and education sectors that we can develop customised versions for deployment in rural areas and communities across Nigeria and Africa. At the moment we have about six resellers in Nigeria and one in the US and we’re planning to have over 20.

PROJECTIONS/VISION: We can make literacy and numeracy series e.g. Hausa learning English and Hausa learning Maths; i.e. using Hausa language to teach kids English and mathematics. We can also work with health-based organisations to have Talking Books in various languages for community health education in Yoruba or Igbo for example.

MOTIVATION: Everything you do depends on your dedication and commitment to what you’re doing to focus on pushing what you have forward.

The innovative leadership skill of the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta is not only paying off but it is being noticed and recognised by relevant local and international agencies. The latest of such recognitions came from the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) which named the Commission tops in institutional work processes in the country.

Very strong business organizational structure, policies and practices that facilitate effective and efficient service delivery were some of the high points considered by the Bureau, said the Director General of BPSR, Dr. Joe Abah as he presented the report and plaque to the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, at the NCC Headquarters in Abuja.

Telecommunication networks have being around for over a century now, public switched telephone network (PSTN), telegram etc. By mid 21st century wireless communication started to come up with the likes of 'Push to talk' systems, car telephone etc. But true Mobile communication networks did not start to show till late 1970s and mostly early 1980s. This was the era when the analog mobile phone came to being, these systems are the first generation (1G) of mobile telecommunication systems. It was based on analog modulation and it was built specifically for voice. Soon the second generation (2G) of mobile networks started coming, 2G was based digital modulation and also offered short messaging service (SMS) and later those networks offered additional services such as basic web browsing, email, multimedia messaging service (MMS) etc

The explosion for the need of information and rapid growth of the internet lead to the development of third generation systems (3G) which offered packet switching, higher data rates and more data based services. There were also efforts to standardise mobile networks, and considerable progress was seen in 3G networks. The limitations of 3G and the need for wireless systems to be as fast as today’s fixed systems yet with high mobility and also the desire to hamornise and further standardize the mobile telecommunication networks lead to the emergence of a new set of standards adopted for a fourth generation (4G) of networks. Such systems are begining to spring up in some places. Already talks are on the way for the next generation of networks that some call 5G. The graph above shows the relationship between the generations of networks with their respective data rates

FIRST GENERATION MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATION (1G)

These are the first mobile telecommunication networks to emerge. Works on 1G was mostly done in the 1970s and by early 1980s these networks were implemented in different places. Some 1G technologies include Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS), Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) Total Access Communication System (TACS), C-nets etc. 1G was built basically for one function; voice communication and it offered only that, though Paging networks are also considered a 1G technology. Paging networks offered a messaging service not voice. 1G was an analog technology which uses analog modulation techniques though some networks used digital modulation for base station to base station communication but mobile equipment to base station communication was purely analog modulation. These networks were circuit switched, operated at 150MHz frequency and above and had a speed of 2.4Kb/s

1G had a lot of limitations and issues. It had poor voice quality due to the analog nature of the system. There was also the issue of security, 1G networks had no encryption therefore calls can be listened into when tuned to its frequency. Also phone identities could be cloned and used which lead to a lot of privacy problems, scandals and fraud. Other problems included limited capacity of users, limited roaming, poor handoff reliability, frequent call drops, large phones which had poor battery life and many more problems. Therefore the need of redesigning mobile telecommunication gave birth to new 2G technologies

SECOND GENERATION MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATION (2G)

Around the late 1980s 2G networks began to emerge and by early 1990s those networks were in many countries. Unlike its predecessor these technologies used digital modulation techniques which resulted to superior voice quality. But the networks remained circuit switched. 2G came with new services such as SMS, fax and WAP. Encryption was introduced which greatly enhanced security and solved most security problems of 1G, also error detection and correction improved quality of the service. Some 2G technologies include Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), IS-54 (digital AMPS), IS-95 (CDMA) etc. These networks operated earlier at the 824MHz − 894MHz frequency band later on other systems operated at higher frequencies of 1800MHz. Speeds of around 9.6Kb/s and higher was achieved on 2G networks. GSM remains the most successful 2G network technology with much wider use. GSM was later improved with General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) with data rates of a little over 100Kb/s, GPRS introduced more services such as email, web browsing and other data related services. Soon after GPRS, Enhanced Data rates in GSM Environment (EDGE) emerged yet as another upgrade which pushed data rates to up to 300Kb/s, this brought the possibility of higher data rates and new services. GPRS and EDGE are sometimes referred to as 2.5 and 2.75G respectively

Though 2G technologies greatly improved mobile communications which lead to an explosion in number subscribers it was with many limitations. One of such includes the fact 2G was a circuit switching based network therefore it inefficiently uses bandwidth and resources which hugely limits high data rates capability, it is also unable to handle complex data such video and also limits number of users. Other limitations include lack of interoperability between 2G networks, poor standardisation and the fact that 2G offers very few opportunity for services and applications

THIRD GENERATION MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATION (3G)

3G Mobile networks were built based International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) unified family of standards that can work together and satisfy IMT-2000 specification, to build mobile networks which offer multimedia services and other services that were available on wire-line systems. Those networks started to operate mostly around early 2000s. 3G technologies used circuit switching for voice/SMS and packet switching for data services. The technologies include W-CDMA, CDMA-2000 and TD-SCDMA. These network operated on the 2100MHz frequency band and offered higher speeds of 144kb/s to 384kb/s at high mobility and 2Mbps at low mobility. 3G increased network capacity to meet up with demand and actualised global roaming for subscribers. Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) was adopted by Europe which chose W-CDMA as the standard 3G technology. UMTS is based on GSM infrastructure therefore made it easier for GSM operators to upgrade to it. It became the most popular 3G technology. UMTS later added High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) which offered speeds of 14.4Mbps downlink/5.8Mbps uplink and then High Speed Packet Access (HSUPA) which offered similar speeds but with a higher uplink speed. HSPA AND HSUPA were refered to as 3.5G and 3.75G respectively.

3G was a huge success, especially in standardization but there are limitations and expectations that supersedes it. Such issues include the the high price for spectrum license, high cost of 3G networks which makes most operators to revert to 2G. There are also issues of delayed roll out and patchy coverage. Also with the recent rapid evolution of information systems and services, mobile devices which demand high mobility, much higher data rates and interoperability, there is need for harmonising all network technologies to get wireless anywhere anytime with much higher data rates

FOURTH GENERATION MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATION (4G)

Soon after 3G, fourth generation mobile telecommunication networks are technologies that are built to achieve the ITU’s set of standards specified by the IMT-Advanced specifications. These networks are to achieve speeds of 100Mbps at high mobility and up to 1Gbps at low mobility. This is to enable wireless systems to achieve present day wireline systems capabilities and trigger a mobile broadband revolution. Also the 4G network is to be an ‘open wireless’ system which means it should be a network with a unified core which is accessible from different wireless(access) technologies, this is aimed at harmonising and further standardising all the available wireless technologies. 4G networks are also ‘all IP’ and fully packet switched networks. On full implementation, 4G will be a revolution of mobile telecommunications because it will bring technology services offered by other types of networks to mobile networks, this will significantly reduce repetition of network infrastructure and devices. Services such as live TV, voice, radio, broadband etc will be replaced by IPTV, VOIP, internet radio and the likes. There is yet to be a tested and proven truly 4G network but 4G technologies so far seen are Long Term Evolution (LTE) and IEEE's WiMAX based on the 802.16x specifications. Both technologies use orthogonal frequency-divisional multiplexing (OFDM) and also MIMO antenna technology which stands for Multiple-Input Multiple-Output to achieve the high data rate required. Such networks are already being deployed in Europe and other few places but in recent years to come more roll outs will be seen. Though an evolution of LTE called LTE-advanced has fully met ITU’s IMT-advanced specification in demonstrations, full roll out is yet to be seen

BEYOND 4G

Already talks are on the way for networks beyond 4G but no formal standards are set in place yet. But definitely those networks will offer new services and new clever ways of achieving very high data rates while efficiently utilizing spectrum. Also more intelligence will be seen in mobile networks and importantly will easily accommodate sensors, automated appliances and other non-human operated devices/equipment to build the ‘new internet’ which is often called the ‘internet of things’ (IoT). Further centralization of core networks will surely be seen and possibly decoupling of the service layer from the network layer which means the interface for services and application will be independent of the underlying technology. This will further enrich services and applications development of mobile technologies and bring about a further boost to the current mobile revolution.

Since the emergence of 1G networks there had being big leaps from one generation to the other almost every decade a new generation of networks emerges with better services and data rates. Earlier in the evolution the technologies were evolving to meet consumer demands but towards the end we see that technologies have mostly surpassed consumer demands and mostly are driven by "craze" for technology (as demonstrated in the figure above). But future generations of networks will be tailored towards offering better services and better quality of service, therefore switching from a technology driven operational model to a customer needs driven model

It’s a programme that will run for a year. Since the day we were unveiled as Ambassadors of the Telecom Consumer we’ve been going round; we’ve done town hall meetings with some communities in Gwagwalada in Abuja, Agege in Lagos, Abeokuta in Ogun and Kano.

Telecom consumers should cooperate with us; NCC means well for all telecom subscribers. We’re going to step down to our local languages so that we can communicate with the average Nigerian anywhere, any day and anytime; so we’re representing the brand. We are voices for the consumer and we’re certainly going to deliver.

by Ms. Freda Ruth Murray-Bruce (Head, Strategy and Performance Management Unit - Corporate Planning and Strategy Department)

A life without purpose is a life not lived.  To live is to achieve, to dream and to make a difference.  What is life if the sum total of our experience is to have acquired and enriched.  To live a life worth recounting is to live a life of sacrifice. To open doors for others; to champion causes others have never heard of; to speak when others shut up; to strive to attain the impossible.  To refuse to be put down, pressed down, oppressed or rejected.  It is to live a life of plenty; a life that says, ‘I can be anything that I choose to be’.  And when you get there, to strive for even more.

I had the singular privilege recently to go to Mandela’s place of captivity for 18 years.  I went to Robben Island in Cape Town South Africa. It is a trip that evokes deep emotions within you.  It evokes emotions of who you are, what you believe, what you stand for, what people believe you stand for, what you die for, and what you will give your life for.

Mandela is a man like none other.  Yet Mandela is every one of us.  He was born, he was subjected to difficulties, he understood failures, he made mistakes, he dreamt.  But in one place he stood out-  He actualized his dreams.

It takes a lot to dream.   Dreamers are not common.  Human beings are natural realists.  We accept what we see, what we are told, and strive not to rock the boat.  Dreamers are different.  Dreamers travel.  They desire, expect and wish for.  They aim for the stars, and see the stars indeed they do.  But dreamers often go through life empty.  For they see way more than the ordinary man.  But alas, dreamers often fall by the way side – the effort of actualizing a dream is the effort of sacrifice.  Sacrifice- the singular most difficult thing to give.  So dreams fail and dreamers die.  Dreamers are the loners, the sufferers, the wanderers.  The men and women who knew they could be all.  And yet, fear robbed them of their dream.  The fear of the unknown in the place of sacrifice.  Yea, so many a Mandela has died with dreams deep within their stomachs.

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.

2014Q1-maryam-bayiFollowing the recent promotions at the Nigerian Communications Commission, management has redeployed some top management staff of the Commission for optimal performance. EVC of the Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, who announced the changes through a memo posted on the NCC portal, said Management had deemed it expedient to effect the changes, so that offices and responsibilities can be properly realigned for optimal service delivery.

The redeployment affected five directors, five Deputy Directors, and seven Assistant Directors. The erstwhile Director of Corporate Planning and Strategy Department, Ms. Funlola Akiode was appointed Director of the newly created Special Duties Department. Mr. Nnamdi Nwokike, former Director of Projects was redeployed to Corporate Planning as Director while the newly promoted Director and former Head of Legislative and Government Relations, Ms. Ayodeji Sofolahan was appointed Director of Projects. Mrs. Maryam Bayi (pictured), the former Head of Human Capital who was also promoted, was appointed the new Director of Consumer Affairs while Engr. Austin Nwaulune, former Head of Spectrum Administration, is now the Director of the Department.

Similarly, the Head of Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF, Mr. Abdullahi Maikano now stays on the job as Director/Secretary of USPF while Mr. Ibrahim Yakubu, a former Deputy Director at the USPF, moves over to the Policy and Competition Department to Head the Tariffs and Charges Unit.

Mrs. Amina Shehu, former Assistant Director in Corporate Planning Department was redeployed as Head, Human Capital while Dr. Ike Adinde of the Human Capital Department, an Assistant Director, was redeployed to the Corporate Planning and Strategy Department.

Mr. Inatimi Spiff, an Assistant Director formerly of Policy and Competition Department is now in Projects Department while Engr. Abba Adamu of Technical Standards Department, who was recently promoted, is now an Assistant Director with the USPF. Mr. Mohammed L. Ibrahim, newly promoted Assistant Director and Zonal Controller of Kano Zonal office, was redeployed to headquarters as Head, Legislative and Government Relations while the newly promoted Assistant Director in Projects Department, Mr. Alkasim Umar, now heads Kano Zonal Office. Mr Ogbonnaya Ugama, newly promoted as Assistant Director, moved from Corporate Planning Department to Policy and Competition Department.

The Special Adviser, Technical to the EVC, Engr Anthony Ikemefuna was transferred to the Department of Special Duties while Engr Edoyemi Ogo, formally of the Spectrum Department is now the current Special Adviser, Technical to EVC.

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

When one hears the word Clearinghouse, what often comes to mind is a financial institution where various monetary transactions are reconciled. That is because the financial sector has long been a multi-faceted and dynamic industry. Clearinghouses are also used in the telecoms industry. A telecoms Clearinghouse refers to a central exchange where calls from different Mobile Network Operators are interconnected, billing and reconciliation is carried out and Call Data Records are produced. The telecoms boom of the 21st Century, put the telecommunications industry at the fore of technology and development worldwide, and consequently there has been rapid and enormous growth in the services offered in the telecommunications sphere.

Nigeria, being the giant of Africa has naturally been at the focal point in pioneering innovations and developments in ICT. The advent of “GSM” in 2001 has irreversibly changed the way we communicate with each other. GSM services have evolved over the years to where we are today, as a result Mobile Network Operators render services that transcend facilitating a call, as the mobile phone has become a lifestyle tool. One can do virtually anything on their mobile phone ranging from mobile banking to buying airline tickets.

At inception, the Mobile Network Operators were using only the “peer to peer” system which essentially entailed the Network Operators connecting their switches directly to one another to facilitate the connection of mobile numbers to each other which terminates in a “call”. This method had a lot of hurdles as it did not have enough capacity to sustain the needs of subscribers. Once the capacity of the peer to peer connection was reached, any subscriber trying to make a call on that route will receive the “network busy” error message. Many end users resorted to subscribing to more than one mobile number on different networks to ensure that they could at least make a call. The rationale for this was that if the Network was busy on Sim Card A, perhaps Sim Card B might not be congested.

The Peer to Peer system also posed a problem for the smaller telecoms companies as they did not have the capacity to connect to the bigger network operators and today most of the smaller telecoms companies have gone bust. It is more than likely that had the smaller telecom companies had a central point of interconnection and exchange of traffic to the bigger networks, many of them might still be operating today. Enter the brilliance and dynamism of the interconnect clearinghouse.

What the Clearinghouse does is remove the hazards posed by the peer to peer system. All the calls pass through a central exchange for interconnection which ultimately results in faster call connection, accurate billing, reconciliation and better service provision for end users in the telecommunications industry. The Clearinghouse also helps with the normalization of format, optimization of links and mitigates the problem of capacity.

This is not to say that the peer to peer system does not work, but the switch to switch connection comes with a lot of problems such as congestion, or a total breakdown if a switch gets disconnected or there is a fibre cut.

The benefits of the Clearinghouse cannot be over emphasized or down played. Beyond interconnecting to the Mobile Network Operators, there is an array of services offered by Clearinghouses which are pivotal for Value Added Service Providers and their end users, as they are able to gain access to all the Network Operators through Co-location Services and single points of connectivity offered by the Clearinghouse and thus have all the subscribers of those Networks at their fingertips.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) took the bold and commendable step of introducing Mobile Number Portability into the Nigerian Market. Telecoms consumers are thus given the choice to switch to any provider of their choice without changing their mobile number. The NCC in recognition of the neutrality and versatility of a telecoms Clearinghouse, opted for the mobile number portability service to be powered by a licensed and operational Clearinghouse. Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria Limited powers all the mobile number porting that is carried out in Nigeria. This is another benefit of operating an Interconnect Clearinghouse, as Clearinghouses are independent service providers and are not in competition with the mobile network operators for subscribers.

The sky is really the beginning for the services which can be offered by an Interconnect Clearinghouse as there are no limits or boundaries to the innovations in this niche area of telecoms service provision. Services currently being offered include Interactive Voice Response, Voice Broadcast Services, Carrier Services, Co-location Services, All Call Query and of course Interconnection services. The Clearinghouse also provides central monitoring of traffic for tax and security purposes.

All the telecoms Clearinghouses in Nigeria are regulated by the Nigerian Communications Commission and as such best practices are ensured and all services are provided to the highest industry standards. The NCC mandates telecoms operators to pass at least 10% of their calls through a Clearinghouse. This percentage will hopefully increase in future and perhaps we may even emulate the Republic of Ghana, who though the operation of the telecoms Clearinghouse is at an infancy stage, have set a timeline for which all mobile calls in the Country must mandatorily pass through the Clearinghouse. To start with the Ghanaian regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA), mandatorily requires all licensed operators that are operational to connect to the Interconnect Clearinghouse within two months of its commencing its activities.  Furthermore, the NCA mandates all operational licensed operators to pass all their interconnect traffic through the clearinghouse within 3 months of the commercial launch of the clearinghouse model.

This is a massive platform for Afriwave Telecom Ghana Limited, the Company that emerged the successful bidder for the Clearinghouse license in Ghana. This should be a nudge in the right direction for us in Nigeria, as the Republic of Ghana have fully recognized and embraced the Clearinghouse model having recognized the immeasurable benefits that come with its adoption. The NCA in Ghana in what can be described as the ultimate step in the advancement of the Clearinghouse model in West Africa, set the following timeline for the complete migration of all telecoms traffic in Ghana:

  • Month 1 – 30% of traffic
  • Month 2 – 60% of traffic
  • Month 3 – 100% of traffic

Nigeria has been operating the Clearinghouse Model over 10 years and as at today the mobile network operators are only required to pass 10% of their traffic through a Clearinghouse. Perhaps we can pluck a leaf from our Ghanaian counterparts and re-examine our Clearinghouse model to see how we can boost the operation and activities of the Nigerian Clearinghouses.

The Republic of Ghana currently intend to license just one Clearinghouse to provide all the services a Clearinghouse can offer. Nigeria however has multiple telecoms Clearinghouses which have been duly licensed by the NCC and are operating in the industry. This is another commendable step taken by the NCC, as multiple operating Clearinghouses is an indication of a growing and competitive sector which minimizes the risk of monopoly and encourages best practice.

In conclusion, Nigeria has achieved a lot of growth and advancement in the telecoms sector, but more still needs to be done to ensure that we as pioneers and leaders of growth and development in Africa, are not overtaken due to lack of foresight or underlying political undertones.