NCC Shuts Down All Telecom Sites In Zamfara

Failed Data Tariff Increment Decision Was To Protect Consumers – NCC‎

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed telecommunications providers to shut down services in Zamfara State.

The shutdown is to last for two weeks.

This was disclosed in a memo signed on Friday by the vice-chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, and addressed to one of the telecoms providers.

According to the memo, the shutdown of the telecoms sites had become necessary due to the lingering insecurity in the state.

“The pervading security situation in Zamfara has necessitated an immediate shutdown of all telecommunications services in the state from today, September 3, 2021. This is to enable relevant security agencies to carry out the required activities towards addressing the security challenge in the state.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill Four, Abduct Several Others In Zamfara

“In line with this requirement, Globacom is hereby directed to shut down all sites in Zamfara State and any sites(s) in neighbouring states that could provide telecommunications services in Zamfara State. The site shut down is for two weeks from September 3 to September 17, 2021, in the first instance. Your urgent action in this regard is required,” the memo read in part.

This decision is coming six months after the Federal Government declared Zamfara State a ‘no-fly zone’ and banned all mining activities in the state.

The state has been a hotbed of criminal attacks ranging from kidnapping and banditry.

Last week, the government shut down schools after the abduction of 73 students from a public school in the state.

The abduction occurred 11 days after students abducted from the College of Agriculture in Bakura, Zamfara, regained freedom.

The state governor Bello Matawalle also suspended the transportation of livestock beyond the state’s borders and ordered the closure of weekly markets across the state, while transportation of food items will be subject to verification.

Nigeria To Roll Out 5G Technology Soon – NCC

NCC

 

The Federal Government is set to begin the roll-out of fifth-generation (5G) services across the country.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, made the announcement on Friday at a public inquiry on the instruments necessary for the deployment of the technology.

The instruments are the annual operating levy regulations and the frequency spectrum regulations.

Speaking further, Professor Danbatta explained that the commission has submitted the proposal to the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and is awaiting approval from the Federal Government to roll out the services.

He added that the commission is also discussing the fees and pricing for the technology.

The NCC and the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May to facilitate the deployment of 5G technology.

Both agencies signed the agreement on the use of C-Band Spectrum for 5G services in Nigeria at an event in Abuja.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners at the NCC, Professor Adeolu Akande, noted that in recent times, precisely from the last quarter of 2019, several administrations have begun to license spectrum for commercial deployment of 5G.

He stated that 5G services have already been deployed in the United States and South Korea among many more countries in the world.

“Telecommunication evolution from inception to date has led to improvement in user experience witnessed from 2G, 3G and later 4G. The global impact of 4G brought about increases in mobile usage and network performance.

“5G will build on this momentum, bringing substantial network improvements, including higher connection speeds, mobility, and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities,” Akande said.

According to him, 5G does not only offer enhanced broadband and ultra-reliable latency communications but also provides massive machine-type communications where a lot of devices will seamlessly connect and independently interact with the internet without human intervention.

According to industry estimates discussed during the Better World Summit in Shenzhen, China earlier this month, there would be 2.7 billion subscribers to 5G networks globally by 2025.

Electronic Transmission Of Results: We Can’t Guarantee 100% Safety, NCC Tells Reps

A file photo of lawmakers during plenary at the House of Representatives chamber in Abuja .

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it cannot guarantee total safety for the electronic transmission of results, explaining that no system is completely free from hackers. 

Federal lawmakers had a rowdy session as debates over the inclusion of electronic transmission of results in the Electoral Act Amendment took centre stage in the chambers on Thursday in Abuja.

But the Executive Commissioner of the NCC, Adeleke Adewolu told lawmakers at the House of Representatives on Friday that while concerns over the electronic transmission of results are genuine, no system can guarantee a 100 percent shield from hacking.

The NCC boss also stated that elections results can only be transmitted by a 3G network, noting that 50 percent of the country has 3G coverage.

He, however, explained that for areas without such coverage, poll results can be recorded and thereafter uploaded in places where there is a network. But Adeleke admitted that this cannot be compared with the real-time upload.

READ ALSO: Reps In Disorder As Deputy Speaker Rules Against E-Transmission Of Electoral Results

Senate Backs E-Transmission

A file photo of lawmakers at the Senate chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

The House of Representatives had failed to reach an agreement over the controversial clause.

This was after Deputy Speaker Idris Wase ruled against the electronic transmission of results despite a resounding vote in favour of electronic transmission.

Subsequently, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the NCC would be present on Friday to give further clarifications on the Electoral Act with a major focus on section 52(3).

The Senate had on the same day voted for the conditional electronic transmission of election results.

At the end of voting,  28 Senators mostly from the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) voted for the original amendment in the report while 52 Senators backed the amendment as proposed by Senator Sabi Abdullahi.

This means the majority of Senators voted that INEC may consider electronic transmission provided the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by NCC and approved by the National Assembly.

 

Nigerians Start Getting Charged N6.98 For USSD Transactions

A file photo of NCC logo and some SIM cards.

 

Many users of USSD services in Nigeria on Friday started to see a notice to pay N6.98 for each transaction session.

USSD is a critical channel for delivering financial services, especially for those who do not have access to physical banking infrastructure or internet services.

“Welcome to USSD Banking,” one notice said. “Please note, a N6.98 network charge will be applied to your account for banking services on this channel.”

The decision to charge users was reached in March by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The decision was part of an agreement reached with deposit money banks following a disagreement between banks and telecom firms over USSD and other text message transaction requests.

“Effective March 16, 2021, USSD services for financial transactions conducted at DMBs (Deposit Money Banks) and all CBN-licensed institutions will be charged at a flat fee of N6.98 per transaction,” a March statement signed by the CBN and NCC partly read.

The charge is expected to be withdrawn from users’ bank accounts and remitted to mobile network operators, who provide infrastructure for the service to operate.

Many Nigerians took to Twitter early Friday to express their dismay over the charges.

“Things are really getting harder in this country a whole 6.98 approximately 7.00 to use #USSD,” one Twitter user wrote.

“The general public is reminded that the USSD channel is optional, as several alternative channels such as mobile apps, internet banking and ATMs may be used for financial transactions,” the CBN and NCC said in its March joint statement.

“The CBN and NCC shall continue to engage relevant operators and all stakeholders to promote cheaper, seamless access to mobile and financial services for all Nigerians.”

But there are concerns about how the new charge will affect financial inclusion, particularly for people who do not have access to internet services.

“Do they realize that people who mostly use #USSD can’t afford internet enabled devices talk more of data. Now you’re charging 7 Naira,” another Twitter user, @JimolWest, said.

Nigerians Not Required To Submit IMEIs – NCC

NCC
File: NCC

 

Nigerians are not required to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of their phones from July.

This is according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) which denied media reports suggesting that the masses would have to submit their IMEIs to the Federal Government.

NCC in a statement issued on Friday by its spokesperson, Ikechukwu Adinde, said the commission is in the process of deploying a Device Management System.

“At no time did the commission issue a statement regarding the registration of IMEI by subscribers and it has no plans to do so,” he said.

“The reports in question have emanated from a section of the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration recently launched by President Muhammadu Buhari and which has been uploaded on the commission’s website.

“The DMS will essentially protect subscribers against phone theft and will identify and enable the elimination of fake devices from the networks.

 

“The system will capture IMEI automatically without any requirement for subscribers to submit same.”

NCC, NIGCOMSAT Sign Deal To Deploy 5G In Nigeria

This file illustration picture taken on February 17, 2019 shows the 5G wireless technology logo displayed on a tablet in Paris. Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP
This file illustration picture taken on February 17, 2019, shows the 5G wireless technology logo displayed on a tablet in Paris. Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the deployment of 5G technology in the nation’s telecommunication sector.

Both agencies signed the agreement on the use of C-Band Spectrum for 5G services in Nigeria at an event held on Wednesday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners at the NCC, Professor Adeolu Akande, noted that in recent times, precisely from the last quarter of 2019, several administrations have begun to license spectrum for commercial deployment of 5G.

He stated that 5G services have already been deployed in the United States and South Korea among many more countries in the world.

“Telecommunication evolution from inception to date has led to improvement in user experience witnessed from 2G, 3G and later 4G. The global impact of 4G brought about increases in mobile usage and network performance.

“5G will build on this momentum, bringing substantial network improvements, including higher connection speeds, mobility, and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities,” said Akande.

According to him, 5G does not only offer enhanced broadband and ultra-reliable latency communications but also provides massive machine-type communications where a lot of devices will seamlessly connect and independently interact with the internet without human intervention.

Akande explained that the role of spectrum was critical in realising the full extent of the new capabilities, adding that the full socio-economic impact of 5G was dependent on access to a variety of spectrum resources.

NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Umar Danbatta, on his part, said Nigeria cannot be left behind when several countries were already expanding their technologies through the 5G network.

He was confident that the synergy with NIGCOMSAT would help in harnessing the contagious quantum of spectrum needed for the early deployment of 5G.

NCC Arrests Five Suspects For Fraudulent Registration, Sales Of SIM Cards

A file photo of NCC logo and some SIM cards.

 

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), has arrested five suspected persons for allegedly engaging in fraudulent registration and sales of SIM cards.

This is part of the commission’s routine enforcement activities to sanitise the industry of criminal elements.

The operation was carried out by a joint team from the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department of the Commission, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, in the Wuse area of Abuja.

In a statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the arrested suspects were subsequently handed over to the NSCDC Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command, Wuse, Abuja for further investigation with respect to the allegations leveled against them.

Commenting on the enforcement operation, NCC’s Head of Enforcement, Salisu Abdu, who led the joint enforcement exercise, said the exercise was part of the routine activities embarked upon by the Commission to rid the industry of criminal elements engaging in fraudulent registration of SIM cards.

He said pre-registering a SIM card is an offence punishable under relevant regulations in the telecom sector and constitutes a breach of national security.

“It is criminal and fraudulent to pre-register a SIM card in Nigeria and it is an offence punishable under the law. Though the Federal Government recently lifted the ban on the sale of new SIM cards, it should be noted that proper registration of SIM cards and linking them to National Identity Number (NIN) before activation has now become a prerequisite,” he said.

Abdu warned those who are engaged in the unlawful registration of SIM cards to desist from the illegal act, noting that the Commission will continue to collaborate with relevant law enforcement agencies in its routine enforcement activities in order to rid the industry of individuals, who have resolved to contravene SIM registration regulations.

The enforcement activities will continue in other locations across the FCT and other states of the country.

NCC Didn’t Allocate 383million New Phone Numbers To Operators In Q1 2021

NCC
File: NCC

 

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has called on the general public to the wrongly interpreted update report on National Numbering Plan, posted by the Commission on its official website.

Specifically, the report published by the media outfit with the headline: “NCC allocates 383 million new telephone numbers to operators,” purported that the Commission allocated 383 million new telephone lines to telecoms service providers in the first quarter of 2021 alone.

In a statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said the update report posted on the Commission’s website on Friday 19th, February 2021, under the heading: National Numbering Plan (2021 Q1), was the Total Number of Telephone Numbers allocated to all the telecommunications services providers since the inception of digital mobile services in the country in 2001.

“The update report is, therefore, by no means, either an indication of new allocation or new activation of telephone numbers in Q1 2021, as wrongly interpreted by the media outfit.

“Rather, the report on the Commission’s website titled: ‘National Numbering Plan (2021 Q1)’ is a routine periodic report issued as part of the Commission’s regulatory mandate to publish and update all telephone numbers allocated to service providers for the benefit of stakeholders”.

Dr Adinde explained that te purpose of the National Numbering Plan in the telecommunications sector is to set up a uniform numbering scheme and the associated dialing procedures to be used in the networks to allow the subscribers and operators to set up calls.

He asked the general public and all our stakeholders to disregard the said report and be guided accordingly.

“While we appreciate the good intention of our media stakeholders in terms of timely reportage of NCC and its regulatory activities, we, however, encourage them to always fact-check their stories with the Commission for accurate reporting.

“We also use this opportunity to remind our esteemed media stakeholders that the Commission runs an Open-House system. We encourage them to always feel free to contact the Commission for necessary clarification on NCC’s regulatory activities and reports published on it’s website before going to press”.

 

NCC Didn’t Allocate 383million New Phone Numbers To Operators In Q1 2021

NCC
File: NCC

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has called on the general public to the wrongly interpreted update report on National Numbering Plan, posted by the Commission on its official website.

Specifically, the report published by the media outfit with the headline: “NCC allocates 383 million new telephone numbers to operators,” purported that the Commission allocated 383 million new telephone lines to telecoms service providers in the first quarter of 2021 alone.

In a statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said the update report posted on the Commission’s website on Friday 19th, February 2021, under the heading: National Numbering Plan (2021 Q1), was the Total Number of Telephone Numbers allocated to all the telecommunications services providers since the inception of digital mobile services in the country in 2001.

“The update report is, therefore, by no means, either an indication of new allocation or new activation of telephone numbers in Q1 2021, as wrongly interpreted by the media outfit.

“Rather, the report on the Commission’s website titled: ‘National Numbering Plan (2021 Q1)’ is a routine periodic report issued as part of the Commission’s regulatory mandate to publish and update all telephone numbers allocated to service providers for the benefit of stakeholders”.

Dr Adinde explained that te purpose of the National Numbering Plan in the telecommunications sector is to set up a uniform numbering scheme and the associated dialing procedures to be used in the networks to allow the subscribers and operators to set up calls.

He asked the general public and all our stakeholders to disregard the said report and be guided accordingly.

“While we appreciate the good intention of our media stakeholders in terms of timely reportage of NCC and its regulatory activities, we, however, encourage them to always fact-check their stories with the Commission for accurate reporting.

“We also use this opportunity to remind our esteemed media stakeholders that the Commission runs an Open-House system. We encourage them to always feel free to contact the Commission for necessary clarification on NCC’s regulatory activities and reports published on it’s website before going to press”.

FG Approves Improved NIN Slip, Mobile App For Enrollment

 

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has approved the development and release of an improved National Identity Number (NIN) slip and a mobile application to help in securing NIN.

This according to the Ministry is part of the Federal Government’s policy to improve the process of obtaining NIN and linking it to SIMs, which was sent to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for implementation.

This was made known on Thursday by Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant, Information Technology to the ministry.

READ ALSO: Insecurity: No Grudges Against Nigerians Who Feel We Haven’t Done Enough – Buhari

He said that the mobile application has been sent to the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, and the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, for implementation.

He added that the new improved NIN slip is pocket friendly and an easy to verify version.

“The N20 and N40 fees for NIN verification by individuals and mobile network operators, respectively, were also waived.

“These efforts are aimed at supporting the policy to link subscribers’ NIN to their SIM, which was approved by the government earlier in the year and communicated to the NCC on Feb. 4, 2020.

“The highly anticipated Web Service (MWS) application called the NIMC mobile app and the improved NIN slip are now available for public use,” the minister’s aide said.

Mr Adeluyi explained that the application provided a secure channel for all Nigerians and legal residents to easily verify and authenticate their identities on-the-go using smartphones, adding that it also enables them to link the NIN to their phone numbers.

He also said that the application offered a built-in harmonisation process that allowed its use across other government services including the NCC, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Federal Road Safety Commission and National Health Insurance Scheme, among others.

“It can be accessed via a self-service portal where people who already have been issued the NIN can log in, download a PDF of the document in colour, if preferred, print and laminate as desired.

“The current NIN slip will remain valid and will be gradually phased-out,” he said.

He said that the application was already available on the Google Play Store for Android users and App Store for IOS users.

NIN: FG Releases Policy For SIM Replacement

A file photo of NCC logo and some SIM cards.

 

The Federal Government has released a policy for telecommunication service subscribers to replace lost, stolen, misplaced, or damaged SIM cards using their National Identification Numbers (NINs).

This policy according to National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is part of the Federal Government’s efforts to reduce the burden on subscribers and simplify the exercise of retrieving lost SIM cards.

According to the NCC, subscribers must present their National Identification Numbers for their SIM cards to be replaced.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Fully Open For Business, Buhari Tells Neighbouring Countries

The National Identity Management Commission will also verify the National Identification Numbers presented by subscribers before Mobile Network Operators replace such SIM cards.

 

 

See the full statement below…

The Federal Government’s drive to ensure all Subscriber registrations are linked with National Identification Numbers (NINs) is moving forward and all stakeholders in the industry are working together to ensure the process is carried out as seamlessly as possible.

The Government would like to seize this opportunity to sincerely appreciate Nigerians for the understanding and commitment demonstrated towards ensuring the overall success of this exercise.

The Ministerial Task Force under the Chairmanship of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy set up a Technical Committee made up of representatives of:

1. Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC);

2. National Identity Management Commission (NIMC);

3.The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON); and

4. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

The Technical Committee is charged with the operationalisation of the process to ensure an expedited linkage of all SIM Registration Records with NIN.

Based on recommendations of the Technical Committee, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has approved a SIM Replacement Policy for subscribers whose SIMs have been lost, stolen, misplaced, or damaged subject to the following conditions:

i) That the subscriber present a NIN;

ii) That an effective verification of the NIN is carried out by NIMC; and

iii) That the relevant Guidelines and Regulations of NCC concerning SIM Replacement are fully adhered to.

This policy is part of the Federal Government’s efforts to reduce the burden on subscribers and simplify the exercise. It is aimed at enabling telecommunications service users who need to replace their damaged, stolen or misplaced SIMs to re-establish access to telecom services.

Signed

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde

Director, Public Affairs

NCC

 

Signed

Mr. Kayode Adegoke

Head, Corporate Communication

NIMC

Reps Ask NCC To Extend Deadline On Blocking SIM Cards Without NIN

Members of the House of Representatives.

 

 

The House of Representatives has asked the National Communications Commission (NCC) to extend the 31st December deadline issued to sim card owners to submit their National Identification Numbers (NIN) to their network providers to prevent blocking.

The motion was moved on Wednesday during plenary by the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu.

According to the lawmaker, two weeks is too short for 200million Nigerians to conclude the process.

The House lauds the intention of the NCC, for security reasons but wants the process to be extended to 10 weeks, considering the difficulty experienced by Nigerians in attaining the NIN.

A file photo of NCC logo and some SIM cards.

The Federal Government on Tuesday issued an ultimatum to all telecommunications operators in the country to block all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) without National Identification Number (NIN).

It also ordered the network operators to ask all their subscribers to provide valid NIN to update their records and suspend SIM registration.

READ ALSO: Block SIMs Without NIN After Two Weeks, FG Tells Telcos

These formed parts of the resolutions adopted for immediate implementation by all network operators at an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the communications industry held in Abuja.

The spokesman for the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, noted in a statement that the meeting was convened on Monday by the Minister, Dr. Isa Pantami.

According to him, the meeting resolved that the submission of NIN by subscribers would take place between December 16 and 30, 2020.

The government stated that after the deadline, all SIMs without NINs should be blocked from the networks while a Ministerial Task Force comprising the minister and all the CEOs, among others, as members would monitor compliance by all networks.

It warned that violations of the directives by any network operator would be met with stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating licences.

Adinde explained that the meeting followed the earlier directive on the suspension of new SIM registration by network operators.

The need to consolidate the achievements of last year’s SIM registration audit and improve the performance and sanity of the sector was exhaustively discussed and all stakeholders agreed that urgent drastic measures had become inevitable to improve the integrity and transparency of the SIM registration process.