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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.
    • 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

Telephony

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

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

We are both doing the jingles and TV adverts in our own way and on our social media platforms to putting up posters of the NCC campaign to the consumer. We also answer and reply some of our fans when they ask questions or when they want to know more about the Year of the Telecom Consumer. These are the techniques we’re using to communicate.

We are grateful and very glad that we have a body that recognises a problem and is willing to solve the problem. Many telecom users want someone to listen to them and NCC is there to listen to them. It’s really a great opportunity and a great thing that they’re using us to showcase our talent in passing across the message to consumers.

When you have a problem as a consumer in the area of unsolicited text message all you have to do is text STOP to 2442 and if you also want to select a message you want to receive or continue receiving you can also text HELP to 2442. If you do this and you’re not getting response on time you can also call the toll-free line 622 (Monday –Friday 8am-8pm) to speak to any one from NCC.

2014Q4-features-aloma-mukhtarThe Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, has sought the partnership of the Nigerian Communications Commission and security agencies to combat cyber-crime in Nigeria. Mukhtar said this in Calabar, Cross River State, at the 2014 edition of the workshop for judges on legal issues in telecommunications sector, organised by the NCC in conjunction with the National Judiciary Institute.

Mukhtar commended the NCC for the idea of SIM card registration, biometrics and picture data of all GSM users, adding that this would go a long way in detecting and prosecuting people who use these medium for criminal activities.

According to the CJN, who was represented by the Chief Judge of Cross River State, Justice Okoi Ikpi, the revolution in the telecom sector in Nigeria came with much excitement and an upsurge in criminal activities, including spoofing, fraud, sexual harassment, internet prostitution, pornography, terrorism and kidnapping, among others.

“To tackle these menaces, the NCC and security agencies must work more closely. This workshop is designed to address some of these nagging issues. I do hope that it will enhance the ability of the Nigerian judges to properly understand the cases as they come before them and be able to deliver more landmark and unassailable judgments.

“I want to implore the NCC, the network providers and all the stakeholders in the communication industry to ensure a remarkable improvement in the services rendered to their numerous subscribers, '' she said.

She frowned at the poor network services by various telecom operators in the country and stressed the need for all stakeholders to improve services for the benefit of the consumers.

The CJN warned that the current spate of epileptic services was not satisfactory and that the consumers might not continue to tolerate the situation.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said the primary goal of the workshop was to provide the judicial officers with practical knowledge of developments in the telecommunications industry.

Juwah said the workshop would deliberate on emerging regulatory and legal issues in areas of cyber security, electronic waste, data protection, cloud computing, electronic commerce and protection of critical national ICT infrastructure.

The EVC was represented by Chief Okechukwu Itanyi, Executive Commissioner in charge of the NCC stakeholders' management.

by Kunle Adebisi (Spectrum Administration Department)

engr-austin
Engr. Austin Nwaulune
H(SA)
The Spectrum Administration Department, formerly known as Engineering Directorate is one of the oldest departments in the Commission.

The Department has the primary mandate of managing all the commercial Radio Frequencies in Nigeria. This involves frequency engineering, planning, assigning, monitoring and coordination, and keeping the data base of all frequencies allocated to the Commission. The Department is responsible for evolving fair, equitable and transparent procedures and conditions for the allocation and assignment of spectrum and ensuring innovative and efficient use of the radio spectrum (a scarce resource). The Department is headed by Engr. Austin Nwaulune.

The mission of the Department is to ensure efficient and effective management of all commercial radio frequencies in the country. This will be achieved through regular planning, assignment, monitoring and keeping up-to-date records of assigned spectrum to ensure a clean spectrum for the benefit of the industry which will also enhance good quality of service delivery, and thus contributes to the overall mission of the Commission as a whole which is to support a market driven telecommunications industry and promote universal access.

The Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Mr. Sunday Dare has been honoured with Democracy Heroes Award for his decades of consistency in promoting democracy in Nigeria.

Organisers of the event, Face of Democracy Nigeria (FDN), said Mr. Dare has acted in manners worthy of emulation by Nigerian youths. They urged young people to step out to participate in the democratic process by contesting elections in order to represent the people of Nigeria conscientiously. This year’s award ceremony is the fifth in the series.

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:


The EVC with some management staff of the
Commission and representatives of GSMA

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has added a hefty N70 billion to the Federation Account in the last six months, the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, has said.

Danbatta said this in an interaction that preceded his lecture entitled: ‘Mainstreaming ICT for Poverty Reduction in Nigeria’ at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Plateau State.

According to the EVC, the first tranche of the payment was made in December for the last quarter of 2015. The second tranche of about N35bn was made in March for the first quarter of 2016. He explained that while the NCC is authorised to use a portion of the Annual Operating Levies paid by operators for running its operations, a certain proportion must be paid into the Federation Account on quarterly basis.

He also said that 40 per cent of the Annual Operating Levies paid by the telecommunications operators must be reserved for the Universal Service Provision Fund, which concentrates on bridging the gap in underserved and unserved communities in the rural and urban parts of the country.

Danbatta said service provision, especially broadband Internet among unserved communities, played a great role in poverty reduction as research had shown that access to Internet provides opportunities for people to create wealth. He was optimistic that with the new enthusiasm in the sector, Nigerians would in the coming years begin to see tangible evidence of ICT making Nigerian youths creators of wealth and jobs.

But he cautioned that investment in ICT alone was not enough for sustainable development to occur or for poverty to be eradicated, adding that successful ICT poverty reduction interventions could only be achieved with an enabling environment, participation of the private sector and non-governmental organisations, free flow of information, access to ICT by women and youths, and capacity building.

He said: “Consequently, ICTs may be regarded as an enabler of other developmental efforts and infrastructure required for sustainable development. Only a banquet of strategies duly implemented can attempt to resolve the global menace of poverty.

“The challenge for the poor is inability to access information due to inadequate infrastructure, ignorance or illiteracy. The availability of information sources for the poor should be of great concern if poverty is to be reduced.

“For most developing countries, particularly those with large populations, inadequate infrastructure has made it difficult for them to participate as equal partners in the worldwide enterprise of knowledge production and dissemination.”

 

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

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, says it is willing to continue to partner the National Assembly as a critical stakeholder in the development and deepening of the nation’s telecom marketplace. The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Professor Umar Danbatta, said this at the Senate Committee on Communications retreat on Improving the socio-economic development of the nation through qualitative telecommunication services.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ken_okoroafor
Mr. Kenneth Okoroafor
(1975 - 2012)
A beloved brother, friend and colleague that lived at peace with everyone.

That carried a charming smile on his face all the time.

That was full of life and friendliness.

That responded to the call of duty at all times.

That never failed to be courageous, smart and well dressed.

That had a promising future ahead.

But today you are no more with us.

We shed tears that you are gone.

We smile because you lived.

We close our eyes and pray that you will come back.

We open our eyes and see the lovely family you left behind.

Today and always we think of you and miss you so much that words cannot express exactly how we feel.

May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

Glorious Exit Of A Rare Gem!

By Project Department

evc_civiccenterThe Nigerian Communications Commission has said that one of its priorities for 2012 is the implementation of Number Portability across networks, with a strong belief that the exercise will commence August this year.

Director Public Affairs (DPA) for the NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, who spoke with THISDAY in a telephone conversation, said the NCC already commissioned a consortium to handle the implementation process of Number Portability and that the license authority the consortium was ready. According to him the license takes effect January 2012, and the licence mandates the consortium to commence Number Portability implementation within seven months after receiving it.

"Since the licence is ready, we are looking at August this year, for the commencement of Number Portability," Ojobo said.

Head, Media and Public Relations (HMPR) for NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka has said that Number Porting within telecoms networks remains in the interest of subscribers and that the NCC had longed planned its implementation, but was waiting to get a central national data of telecommunications’ subscribers across networks, adding that the on-going Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards registration exercise, would be a better platform and avenue upon which to successfully carry out Number Portability in the country.


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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

THE EFFECT OF MOBILE NUMBER PORTABILITY ON TELECOM SERVICE AND USAGE IN NIGERIA

2014q3-feature-004Telecom services have become an indispensable part of modern living, indeed the mobile phone has become an indispensable tool for communication and a myriad of other things. Telecom usage constitutes an indicator of national development (ibid).

The Concise Oxford Learners Dictionary tenth edition defines telecom as a short form of the word Telecommunications, which means the branch of technology covering communication over a distance by cable, telegraph, telephone, or broadcasting, it further defines service as the action or process of serving . Accordingly telecom services can be defined as those services provided in respect of telecom based communication, encompassing two parties the service provider and the service user.

Furthermore telecom usage can be defined as the act of using telecom technology for the purpose of communication. The rate of telecom usage in a country is its teledensity (ITU). Mobile telephony is but a subset of the larger whole of telecom services (ibid).

Various number portability types exist, however focus shall be on Mobile number portability(MNP) which has been defined as the ability of mobile subscribers to switch between service providers while retaining their original mobile phone numbers (Smura 2004), i.e. customers can change service providers without having to change phone numbers (Levin 2006).

GLOBALLY
MNP is considered a consumer right in many parts of the world, 60 countries have so far adopted MNP (Keynote Capitals 2002). Its first implementation in Africa was by South Africa and West Africa by Ghana.

LEGALITY
Section 128 of the NCA vests NCC with the exclusive right to regulate numbers and number portability in Nigeria.

BACKGROUND
The teledensity ratio of Nigeria has grown from 0.4% to 86.62% in 11 years rendering it one of the fastest growing telecoms markets in the world.

However quantitative growth without qualitative advancement plagues the sector. It is against this backdrop that MNP was implemented.

OBJECTIVES OF INTRODUCTION
It is posited that three cardinal aims exist for the introduction of the MNP scheme in Nigeria by the NCC (NCC Business Rules and Port Order processes).

Firstly, the MNP scheme was introduced to facilitate consumer choice as this is the foremost justification for the introduction of MNP in any country (Kojo 2013),significant goodwill is attached to mobile numbers as a means of unique identification (Smura 2004, Buehler Dewenter & Haucap 2006).Customers put a high premium on their phone numbers poor services notwithstanding, with the goodwill and economic costs of abandoning their numbers serving as a strong limitation of consumer choice (Gerpot, Rams & Schindler).

Secondly, to foster competitiveness in the telecom services environment it is believed that increased competition will drive tariffs lower than their current position (Kola, Oyebode & Akinsola), Also increased competition is always in the best interest of consumers(Odi and Onuoha).Lastly, to encourage better quality of service by the service providers (ibid).

EFFECT ON SUBSCRIBERS
The introduction of the MNP scheme has its advantages for mobile subscribers in Nigeria especially those who have successfully ported their numbers to the desired networks.

MNP as a tool for fostering consumer choice and competitiveness has been ineffectual so far, as no substantial change in the structure of Nigeria’s mobile subscriber base has resulted since its introduction, neither has there been a marked improvement in quality of service.

Nigerians still groan under the yolk of poor and unreliable telecom services. The objectives of the MNP scheme introduction in Nigeria to further foster competitiveness and engender consumer choice in Nigeria’s telecom services sector are unfulfilled as yet.
Its effect on telecom usage is insignificant as Nigerians believe in dual sims thereby fuelling growth of connected and inactive lines (ibid).

EFFECT ON PROVIDERS
This encompasses costs of upgrading network infrastructure, Advertising expenses, setting up and maintaining new infrastructure (NPDB, routed caller database, etc.) section 5& 5.1of the Nigerian MNP business rules and port order processes (Khan 2012), this fact informed the decision of the NCC in making its business rules which mandates the ported subscriber to stay on the recipient network for 90 days for cost recovery.

The market effect is negligible, our sub-Saharan neighboring nation Ghana as a case study where MNP was introduced in July 2011, it caused the leading service provider to lose as much as 5% of its market share by June 2013 indicating facilitation of consumer choice and competitiveness (NCA GHANA) also the standard rate of porting per month was 15355.35 mobile subscribers in a market of 19 million subscribers.

However statistics in Nigeria pale in comparison to what has just been painted 13,923 total ported numbers out of 117 million subscribers as at June 2013 after 2 months of introduction, a highly negligible percentage 0.000119%, with the number of ported numbers actually falling from 7,164 reported ported numbers in May to 5,759 in June. The numbers are indeed a great let down from the lofty forecasts being made before the MNP introduction in Nigeria and much fanfare surrounding its launch Total ported numbers rate of 000119% in Nigeria as at June 2013 so far abysmally unconvincing.

REASONS
Lack of awareness of the bulk of the subscriber base, poor publicity, difficulty of porting ,speed of porting ,willful complication of the process by network operators ,economic and technical limitations e.g. the fact that the same old mix that largely constrained the choices of the Nigerian mobile subscribers such as geographical reach of the individual networks ,and the extent and quality of network infrastructures still prevail, have combined to perpetuate the erstwhile dominant players without significant modification(ibid) ,lack of substantial investments by less dominant providers in network infrastructure to radically alter their competitiveness.

Conclusively, MNP introduction in Nigeria has entrenched global best practices locally, signaled a firm commitment by the regulatory body in Nigeria to promote ‘demand side’ policies in the telecoms services sector in Nigeria, the mobile telephony subsector in particular (ibid). However, it still has a long way to go if it is to fulfill the many laudable objectives that have been expressed as its aims.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chine and Chuba Ezekwesili, twins of a former Minister, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, have turned a mere childhood fancy into a major project. Chine (Sociologist) and Chuba (Economist) came together to found AKANKA, a business-to-business design marketplace. Chine who was in Bangkok as one of the innovators from Nigeria tells how they migrated from Socio-Economist to digital natives.

What did you study in school?

I studied Sociology at Boston University, United States while my twin brother studied Economics. In order to continue with sociology you probably have to go for a PhD, Master's degree etc. and what you can do with that limits you to academia which is something I didn't want to do.

What pushed you to IT?

The love for design pushed me to the IT space. When I came back home in 2012 I noticed that a lot of things were just badly designed and that was a big issue for me. I didn't want a situation where things didn't look as good as they're supposed to be so I decided, rather than complain about it I should just learn how to fix it and that's how we (my twin brother and I) started AKANKA.

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.

2014q3-feature-002It would be recalled that at the 2013 Akintola Williams lecture series with the theme: Good Corporate Governance in Nigeria- The Telecommunications Sector Example, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, was lauded as an epitome of a good regulator in the country through good corporate governance that has been sustained over the years.

The NCC has however not relented in ensuring that its virtues be transferred to the telecommunications companies under its regulatory supervision. And following series of consultations with stakeholders in the telecommunications industry by the NCC and the setting up of the Corporate Governance Working Group, CGWG, between 2012 and 2013 on corporate governance for the industry, the NCC has launched the Corporate Governance Code for telecommunications service providers. This has become necessary since good corporate governance in institutions encourages corporate success and business sustainability.

The ICT industry contributed N6.97 trillion to the newly rebased Gross Domestic Product, GDP, of over N80.3 trillion of Nigeria’s economy, making the sector one of the largest contributors to the nation’s GDP which makes it critical to the country’s development.

Speaking at the official launch/unveiling of the code in Lagos, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said this became necessary following the increasing significance of corporate governance beyond the capital markets, where according to him there is enforcement through listing rules and compliance with best practices. He described it as a voluntary code of leading practices which aims at guiding corporate behaviour and practices of companies within the industry.

Juwah however emphasised the commission’s determination to promoting good corporate governance for the industry since shareholders and stakeholders are placing higher demand on companies to demonstrate these principles.

He said that the recognized corporate governance principles of accountability, responsibility, transparency, integrity and ethical conduct, independence, etc., are important for all types of companies whether large or small, operating within the telecommunications milieu since good corporate governance is not determined by the size or type of business affiliation.

This, he added, further makes it imperative for operators to align and uphold a code of corporate governance which is specific to their industry because of the “combined factors of the strategic importance of telecommunications and the unprecedented growth of the sector (Over 130 million mobile subscribers) with extensive reach across all social and demographic groups in the Nigerian economy”.

Giving her ministerial address on the topic Corporate Governance as a System of Promoting Transparency and Accountability, at the event, the Minister of Communications Technology, Dr (Mrs) Omobola Johnson said: “The objective of the system is to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability and also to ensure that corporate decisions are made with the best interest of the company and its stakeholders in mind”.

The minister who was represented by Director, Telecoms Postal Services of the Ministry, Engr. John Ayodele, said that by working with the stakeholders with key interests, by putting in place a framework that adequately contains minimum best practices, there however should be periodic reviews and consultations.

She added further that the task before the NCC will be to develop an effective monitoring team with allocated responsibilities for supervision, implementation and enforcement among different operators in a clearly defined way and that at the stipulated time questions will be asked.

She therefore commended the Commission for instituting the code as a way of improving corporate behaviour in the telecommunications industry especially now that the industry is undergoing restructuring, since good corporate governance will promote better investment and better investment leads towards achieving government policies of broadband deployment.

A CALL TO ENLIST

It could be recalled that there is a bill before the National Assembly to mandate the multinationals (power companies, telecom companies and petroleum companies) to go through the capital market. But the code which is not mandatory for the telecoms companies at the moment however lays credence to the fact of the telecoms companies listing.

The code may however be a call for the telecommunications companies in the country to be listed as it states in part in principle 10.1a and b that “the board should ensure the equitable treatment of all shareholders and that the interests of minority shareholders are protected. There should be dialogue and engagement between the board and the shareholders to align appreciation of and attain the mutual understanding of corporate governance. “The going concern principle deals with the desirability that organisations will grow and outlive their founders”.  

EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP

This is key to organisational efficiency. The code however states in its 2.3b principle that the decisions and deliberations of the board, including actions are value-based which is a principle of good corporate governance, by ensuring accountability, transparency, responsibility, independence, integrity, reputation, fairness amongst others.

The Corporate Governance Code document looks at the roles and functions of the Board and Directors, the Board value system, performance evaluation, transparency and disclosure, risk management and internal control, shareholders and stakeholders, reporting, remuneration of staff among other issues.

by Olutosin Oduneye (Information Technology Department)

ict-bridgeEveryday we are constantly being inundated with new innovations in the ICT field. In fact, I dare say that ICT is now a way of life.

Even though some predictions were made years ago, most notably in 1965 when George Moore postulated that computer processing power would double every 18 months, he probably did not envision the stage we are in right now. Computer processing power has not just been doubling, they have become more miniaturized and more efficient and it has been fuelled by advancement in software and telecommunications.

Today the internet can lay claim as being the greatest invention of man. It has expanded our views by making information readily available in the shortest possible time. It has led to faster integration of nations. It has also led to the advent of the Social Media era. Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Blogs and YouTube are all offshoots of the success of the internet. It is worthy to note that the events of the Arab Spring last year was made possible by the collaborative nature of all these technologies. So much so that Time Magazine “Person of the Year” for 2011 was awarded to the “Protester”.

by Abubakar Maina (Compliance Monitoring & Enforcement Department)

engr-maska
Engr. Ubale A. Maska
D(CMED)

The Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department (CMED), as the name implies, performs the Commission’s crucial function of monitoring / enforcing compliance to License obligations by all Licensees. The department which is headed by Engr. U.A. Maska also performs the following functions:

  1. The CMED ensures that industry operators comply with their license obligations, including defined policies, laws, regulations and guidelines governing the conduct of fair competition in the Nigerian Telecommunication industry.
  2. The department also acts on, and facilitates resolution of disputes arising from public complaints on issues relating to Masts and Towers.
  3. Where material non-compliance with these laws, policies, regulations and guidelines are established against any licensee, the CMED enforces compliance by applying appropriate penalties /sanctions /fines for specific acts of breaches. In doing this, the department liaises and collaborates with relevant external agencies like the Judiciary, Law Enforcement Agencies, etc.