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NCC Sets Up Annual Operating Regulatory Levy For Telecom Operators

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NCC Sets Up Annual Operating Regulatory Levy For Telecom Operators
Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission

The Nigerian Communications Commission has set up an annual operating regulatory levy to ensure that all licenses are properly and equitably assessed to meet statutory and regulatory expectations.

This was disclosed by Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, during the Public Inquiry on two regulatory instruments draft held on Thursday in Abuja.

Danbatta explained that the two key regulatory instruments were tailored to meet the challenges and to further strengthen the market structure of the industry.

READ ALSO: NCC to Auction 5G Spectrum- Danbatta

The instruments are; Annual Operating Regulations and the Frequency Spectrum Regulations, which fees and pricing fall under.

“The first instrument will bring the regulations in line with current realities and sustain the enviable contributions of the communications sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

“The second instrument is a vehicle that enables the commission to meet its role and exclusive mandate in Section 121 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 by assigning this scarce national resource in an equitable manner.

“The regulations also ensure that frequency spectrum are assigned and managed in a way that ensures fair pricing and efficient deployment of attendant services.

“The public inquiry is a precursor to the commission’s current drive to ensure efficiency in spectrum management and unveiling of next-generation services through varied enablers.

The EVC said that the Commission had begun the process of deploying Fifth Generation (5G) technology in Nigeria, which largely depended on the appropriate frequency spectrum.

With the explosion in technologies, Danbatta said there was also an attendant secondary reliance on different approaches to maximize frequency spectrum.

He said this led to the need for designation of several bands of frequency spectrum for communications services and a key illustration was the recent identification of some Spectrum frequencies for 5G deployment.

The EVC said the Commission was conscious of the expectations and the need to ensure that the required regulatory frameworks were in place to meet those challenges.

He noted that this had made the reviews, which the Commission was conducting, an important milestone as the public inquiry was pushing the country to the front queue of the global efforts.

“We must be prepared on both ends of the industry to push the country forward for these remarkable changes, while the licensees continue to invest in deployment.

“The Commission will sustain its drive-by ensuring regulatory efficiency and excellence,” he said.

He expressed optimism that the review would ensure effective and efficient utilization of frequency spectrum and a fair approach to the management of finance in the industry in the near future.

He urged participants to make their contributions freely and raise issues that would assist the Commission in developing and issuing regulatory instruments that would continually contribute to the development of the industry and sustain its positive contributions to the nation’s economy.

Earlier in her address, the Director, Legal and Regulatory Services of the Commission, Ms. Josephine Amuwa, said the objective of the public inquiry was to secure the buy-in of all stakeholders and ensure the efficiency of the regulatory instruments when implemented.

Amuwa explained that the Commission decided to review the Annual Operating Regulations 2014 and the Frequency Pricing Regulations 2004 to ensure that the regulatory instruments issued were abreast of developments in the industry.

According to Amuwa, the Annual Operating Levy Regulations review will look at the current licensing structure and ensure that all the spectra of licensees will be properly covered.

“Another key part of the review is to clarify and clearly outline the benchmarks for assessment.

“This will not only ensure regulatory certainty but further entrench transparency in the process.

“On the other hand, the review of the second regulation, the Frequency Spectrum (Fees and Pricing) Regulations is expected to provide more guidelines on the parameter for determination of proper fees and pricing of spectrum.

“This will also make adequate provisions for different spectrum licensing processes and their assessment parameters.” 

General News

9mobile Clears The Air On Its Director Being On UAE Terror List

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9mobile Clears The Air On Its Director Being On UAE Terror List

9mobile says one Abdurrahman Ado Musa on the UAE list of terrorist financiers is not a director of the mobile telecommunications company.

The company, in a statement in Lagos, said ‘Abdulrrahman’ Ado ‘Musa’, named on the UAE list, was not the same as Abdulrahman Ado, its Executive Director of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs.

It said the resemblance in names was purely coincidental, adding that its director does not bear ‘Musa’.

READ ALSO: Rising Tension In Benue, Ebonyi Over Renewed Agelong Crisis

“Our Director, Abdulrahman Ado, is a respectable law-abiding Nigerian. He served the country diligently in public service for over three decades before transferring his services to the private sector.

“He served in various capacities and was Pioneer Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and Executive Commissioner, Licensing and Consumer Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission.

“As a law-abiding company that believes in the greatness of Nigeria, and the well-being of all its citizens, 9mobile would never accommodate any undesirable element within its management and staff,” it said.

9mobile urged the general public to kindly disregard the mistaken identity reported in the media.

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Facebook Launches ‘Smart Glass’ That Takes Photos

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Facebook Launches 'Smart Glass' That Takes Photos

Social Media App ‘Facebook’ has launched its first ‘Smart Glass’ as a part of its attempt toward offering augmented-reality spectacles.

CEO/founder of Facebook made this known in a video as he believed that the glasses are going to be an important part of building the next computing platform

At the launch on Thursday, Facebook said the glasses line, called Ray-Ban Stories, would sell at a value starting from $299.

READ ALSO: Smart Schools Creation Already Initiated To Boost ICT – FG

It said the glasses, created in partnership with Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica (ESLX.PA), will allow wearers to listen to music, take calls or photos, make short videos, and share them across Facebook’s services using a companion app.

The social media giant, which reported revenue of about $86 billion in 2020, has been investing heavily in virtual and augmented reality.

It had developed hardware such as its Oculus VR headsets and worked on wristband technologies to support augmented reality glasses.

Earlier, Facebook said it was testing a virtual reality (VR) remote work app where users of its Oculus Quest 2 headsets can hold meetings as avatar versions of themselves.

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Op Ed

A Plea For Understanding in Zamfara Tech Shutdown – Okoh Aihe

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A Plea For Understanding in Zamfara Tech Shutdown – Okoh Aihe

I begin this material with a solicitation that you join me in prayers for a dear friend, Ahmed Abudulkadir who was kidnapped on Monday along with his daughter in Bakori, near Funtua in Katsina State. Ahmed is a nice fellow, a genuine go-happy gentleman who has no time for misery and regrets.

Ahmed has served his people without holding anything back. He was General Manager, Katsina State Television, before joining the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) where he retired as the Zonal Director in Maiduguri. The Maiduguri Zone also includes: Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi and Yobe. Before the Maiduguri posting, Ahmed was Head, Public Affairs of the Commission. It will be pertinent to observe here that with all the dangers in the Zone which includes the dreaded Sambisa forest, Ahmed traversed the whole of the area before retiring into farming in his native Katsina State.

Ahmed is a good man. Go to his Facebook posts and you will be overwhelmed with the love of one man for his family. Those who took him should look at the face of one gentleman that has given his best to his people and country and, please, release him to continue with his simple life. Let those who know how to pray, pray that God should come through for Ahmed and bring him and his daughter home safely.

Without a doubt things are spinning out of control in the country, demanding of all of us to encourage and support government in its actions to deal a lasting blow on the enemies of the land before the situation festers beyond redemption.

READ ALSO: For MTN, a time to celebrate a success story – Okoh Aihe

The nation is not at war but some people are going through war daily. They say there is peace and some unsavory developments are exaggerated; the peace is as good as a man and the young daughter being kidnapped and that man, who is a father, is unable to play the role of a father and defend his family. Villages are attacked for hours and nearly obliterated but help does not come. The attackers choose very soft targets where they can engage in looting and in the dance of death unhindered and people are wondering what is going on in the land. Something has to give. And that came last week.

For the first time government took a decision to shut down telecommunications operations in Zamfara State to enable the gallant Nigerian forces intensify their operations in that part of the country, and the document which is top secret found its way to the public space and it has been trending ever since. I have asked myself severally, how did this happen? Who released this document without even contemplating the implications?

“The second paragraph of the letter dated September 3, 2021, reads: “The prevailing security situation in Zamfara State, has necessitated an immediate shutdown of all telecommunications services in the State from today September 03, 2021. This is to enable relevant security agencies carry out required activities towards addressing the security challenge in the State,” the letter said.

I have looked at this material I couldn’t find anywhere it is marked ‘Top Secret.’ How could somebody make that type of puerile mistake where lives are concerned?

Be that as it may, I have also tried to assess the behavior of whoever leaked the letter, there is no justification whatsoever. I admit that this government may have engaged in some actions that were unwarranted and really irritating sometimes, making the citizenry to hold some of its actions in suspect, but that should not make anybody in the country to underestimate the danger staring us in the face.

I have been reliably informed that the letter was not intended for the public because of the security implications but the public got it, and I am suggesting that the public also get the more sobering message, which is to the effect that the situation in the land is no more a handshake between friends. It has never been. The hold has gone beyond the elbow and only this government enjoys the reason why it cannot declare these bandits terrorists.

Some guy spoke to me on Monday morning and painted a grim picture of what is happening in some of these States where the war on terror has been raging. The source explained that for whatever reason the bandits have taken arms against the nation, the acquiescing conspiracy of the locals, among them informants,  is even more dangerous and damaging. Among the locals are the agents who the bandits pay heavily; they include suppliers of food, diesel, fuel, and other necessities. My source lamented that it is worse when the security forces believe they are fighting for the people only for a tiny few among these people to betray their commitment and sacrifice with results that can be very discouraging, damaging and even deadly.

“They have informants all over the place and they are paying those people heavily. The people are doing it as a means of livelihood without knowing the dangers their actions constitute to the nation,” the source said.

READ ALSO: Bandits Invade Zamfara School For Fresh Mass Abduction Of Students

From all indications, what is being done is so technical that the ordinary folks were not supposed to be in the loop. There is a way the neighbouring States are affected causing some parts of Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna and Niger to suffer some collateral damage by propinquity. The technicality or those involved in the chain of implementation of the government’s directive shouldn’t be our concern but the results. I remain miffed by the fact that a communication was even released to this effect, which nearly jeopardized the entire process. My source is however encouraged by the results coming to them from the field of operations.

Here is my appeal. The situation in the land is so dire and so potentially explosive that we need, as a people, to escalate our thinking process and be able to squeeze reason out of irrationality. In the war against terror, government needs help and Nigerians should give it even at a cost.

For instance, the people of Zamfara are under a very terrible situation at the moment. That is a grave cut. The security forces are ready to pay with their lives by paying the ultimate price. How do we ever pay them back? The operators and their contractors with total service shutdown have taken their own cut. The rest of us should be ready to take a cut and support government’s actions towards bringing this nightmare to an end. This tech disruption in Zamfara is only but a phase that will soon pass.

 

Final take. Please remember Ahmed and his little daughter in your orison.

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