Buhari Approves Reappointment Of Professor Danbatta As NCC’s Boss

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

In an effort to consolidate what has been achieved in the telecommunications sector in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the reappointment of Professor Umar Garba Danbattaas the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission.

Professor Danbatta’s reappointment was based on the recommendation of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), in line with the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.

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While wishing Professor Danbatta the best, the Honourable Minister directed him to significantly improve on the overall performance of the Commission as well as ensure that adequate mechanisms are put in place to facilitate the implementation of all policies of the Federal Government through the Ministry.

Furthermore, the Honourable Minister enjoined him to ensure that the interest of telecommunication consumers, Nigerians, and investors are adequately protected.

There Is No Deployment Of 5G In Nigeria, NCC Insists

Failed Data Tariff Increment Decision Was To Protect Consumers – NCC‎

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has insisted that there is no deployment of the 5G network in the country at the moment.

NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr Henry Nkemadu, made this known in a statement while reacting to claims that the telecommunication industry planned to switch on 5G in Lagos on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday.

He faulted the claims, saying the commission had approved a trial test for 5G for a period of three months in November 2019 and the trial had been concluded and installation decommissioned.

Nkemadu said the NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Umar Danbatta, had explained that the trial was to study and observe any health or security challenges the 5G network might present.

He added that relevant stakeholders, including members of the security agencies, were invited to participate in the trial.

The NCC spokesman stated that the agency would continue to maintain its policy of technology neutrality and encourage service providers to deploy the best technology that would meet the needs of the society in a secure and friendly manner.

According to him, the NCC has provided clarifications of Frequently Asked Questions in view of the recent developments in which the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was linked to the 5G network.

Nkemadu stressed that the claim that there would be switching on of 5G in Lagos was false.

He said the agency also provided clarifications on the laying of fibre optic cables within Lagos and other parts of the country to the effect that the laying of additional fibre optic cables was to strengthen the existing 3G and 4G infrastructure.

The NCC official explained that this was aimed at providing robust and pervasive telecoms infrastructure to improve network performance.

“NCC has not issued any licence for 5G in Nigeria and, therefore, the mobile network operators (MNOS) cannot switch on such technology,” Danbatta was quoted as saying in the statement.

He added, “NCC is technology neutral. As such, we don’t license technology but assigns spectrum to operators for deployment of any service when allocated by the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC).

“As the telecoms regulator, we enjoin Nigerians to get accurate information from us rather than relying on information emanating on social media by some individuals out of ignorance to misinform our people.”

5G is the fifth generation of mobile technology which is an improvement of the 4G technology with enhanced capabilities.

It provides the platform for new and emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Big Data to make life easy for the people.

Telecoms Operators Not Laying 5G Cables In Lagos, NCC Explains

NCC
File: NCC

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has refuted claims of mobile network operators (MNOs) laying 5G fibre cables in Lagos State and other parts of the country. 

In a statement by the NCC Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the agency said mobile network operators (MNOs) companies were only laying fibre optic cables and deploying other equipment. 

According to the NCC boss, the development is meant to “expand their networks infrastructure across the country to provide more efficient services to the consumers.”

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Prof. Danbatta made this clarification following messages on social media making the rounds that the laying of fibre optic cables by the MNOs was in connection with 5G equipment deployments.

“As we speak, any information suggesting or claiming that the equipment being deployed by the network operators are 5G equipment is purely misinformation deliberately orchestrated by individuals bent on creating ill-feelings in the industry,” Prof. Danbatta said. 

He said: “As the telecoms regulator, we enjoin Nigerians to get accurate information from us rather than relying on information emanating on social media by some individuals out of ignorance to misinform our people.”

The NCC boss explained that the ongoing digging and fibre optic cable laying by some operators are in line with agreements reached during meetings by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and Management of the NCC with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) in January 2020.

“The Governors’ Forum agreed to allow the telecoms operators to expand their networks by granting the telecoms operators necessary permits, which they had been having difficulties in getting before now,” he explained. 

According to him, the Commission has not started any licensing process for 5G, adding that it had carried out a 5G trial for three months.

“In line with our regulatory process with respect to technology-neutrality, type-approval and other regulations aimed at protecting the citizens and ensuring standards are complied with in the Nigerian telecoms industry, NCC ensures that adequate trial is conducted before a new technology is introduced,” the statement added. 

“This is essentially to ensure public safety. This is a priority for us at NCC. Similar trials were carried out by NCC on earlier technologies that we use today, ranging from 2G, 3G and 4G.” 

 

COVID-19: FG Not Giving Out Free Internet Subscription, NCC Warns

Failed Data Tariff Increment Decision Was To Protect Consumers – NCC‎

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned Nigerians not to fall victim to a fraudulent message being spread by a fake website.

The commission, in a statement on Thursday, identified the fake website as (https://covid-19-fg-grant.blogspot.com/?=1).

NCC noted that the website is asking Nigerian citizens to apply for a free Internet bundle given by the Nigerian government in collaboration with NCC.

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The website suspiciously asks Nigerians to apply for the free Internet by clicking a web link, which automatically takes them to a webpage with a dialogue box where they are expected to fill in their bio data and other demographics.

NCC in the statement which was signed by its spokesperson Henry Nkemadu said “neither the Nigerian government nor the Commission has issued such a message to Nigerian citizens.”

The Commission strongly advised Nigerian citizens and all telecom consumers to beware of the fraudulent, false and spurious claim, urging the general public to, “discountenance the falsehood which has gained traction by the rise in tempo of its circulation.”

“The message should be disregarded in its entirety. The said website is a sham and a total deception to dupe Nigerians of their hard-earned money, and to harness personal data for fraudulent purposes,” NCC added.

The Commission warned that Nigerians should be wary of the antics of cyber criminals, who will want to take advantage of this challenging period of COVID-19 pandemic, and the stay-at-home directive of the government to scam telecom consumers and the general public.

NCC Deactivates Over Two Million Improperly Registered Sim Cards

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has deactivated over two million improperly registered sim cards across mobile network operators in the country.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, disclosed this in Abuja at the weekend, saying the development is in line with the key agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari to improve the security of lives and property for all Nigerians.

“By our records, all improperly registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards across Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s) in Nigeria have been completely deactivated,” Professor Danbatta said.

According to him, over the years, the NCC has tenaciously worked with determination and through various policy initiatives, to rid mobile networks of improperly or invalidly-registered sim cards to ensure that all the current over 184 million registered sim cards/mobile lines have valid data that are traceable and not anonymous.

“Our efforts received a boost, following the implementation of a September 12, 2019 ministerial directive that the NCC should compel service providers to block all improperly-registered sim cards, pending when their owners regularise their registration,” he said.

“As at the time the ministerial order was issued, the commission, through its compliance monitoring and enforcement team, had reduced the number of improperly registered sim cards on mobile networks in the country to 9.2 million.

“As part of the commission’s ongoing regulatory interventions such as the setting up of the sim registration industry task force, which led to several resolutions including the Industry Working Group (IWG) on harmonisation of sim registration process with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure a clean sim database, the commission had, in June 2019, commenced the second round of comprehensive verification audit of MNO’s sim card registrations.”

According to Danbatta, this audit exercise was concluded in August 2019.

The audit was specifically to ensure strict adherence by telecom operators to the provisions of the telephone subscribers registration regulations 2011.

Following the September 2019 ministerial directive, however, the NCC, within a week, intensified efforts by reducing the number of improperly registered sim cards from 9.2 million to 2.2 million.

“We have since initiated the second phase of sim deactivation based on the ministerial directive and as at today, we have completely deactivated the remaining 2.2 million lines on the networks. This is contrary to reports by a section of the media, suggesting that nothing has been done with respect to the issue of improperly-registered sim cards,” he said.

The NCC boss assured all stakeholders that the commission will continue to aggressively pursue the national objectives of delivering an accurate database of telephone subscribers in Nigeria, stating that the sim data submitted to the commission is constantly being validated for higher efficiency to support the national security objectives of the sim registration exercise through NCC’s zero tolerance for deviations from the proper registration process.

“I also use this opportunity to restate the commission’s commitment to the periodic sim data audit, continuous compliance monitoring exercise on the MNO’s, as well as constant consumer education and engagement against using improperly-registered sim cards. With this, we would be able to, collectively, address national security concerns, especially kidnappings, banditry, armed robberies, cattle rustling and other crimes associated with sim cards across the nation and to ensure that all sim cards are traceable to their real owners,” he added.

Buhari Replaces Heads Of Ministry Of Communications And Digital Economy

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has replaced heads of five parastatals under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

The parastatals include the Nigerians Communications Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

Others are Galaxy Backbone Limited (GBB) and The Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat).

A statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the appointments is due to fast-tracking the targets and mandates given to the Ministry.

Below is the list of replacements and appointments:

Nigerians Communications Commission (NCC)

  1. Prof. Adeolu Akande (South West) replaces Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye (South West) as Chairman, Board of Commissioners – subject to Senate confirmation.
  2. Mr Uche Onwude (South East) replaces Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Ararume (South East) as Non-Executive Commissioner – subject to Senate confirmation.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)

  1. Dr Abubakar Sa’id replaces Prof. Adeolu Akande as Board Chairman.
  2. Dr Habibu Ahmed Imam (North West) replaces Dr Lawal Bello Moriki (North West).
  3. Dr Mohammed Sa’idu Kumo as Board Member.

The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST)

  1. Dr Ismail Adebayo Adewusi (South West) replaces Barrister Bisi Adegbuyi (South West) as Postmaster General/CEO

Galaxy Backbone Limited (GBB)

  1. Professor Muhammed Bello Abubakar replaces Architect Yusuf Kazaure.

The Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat)

  1. Architect Yusuf Kazaure replaces Chief Dr George Nnadubem Moghalu as Board Chairman.
  2. Dr Najeem Salam replaces Hon. Samson Osagie as Executive Director, Marketing and Business Development.
  3. Professor Abdu Ja’afaru Bambale replaces Kazeem Kolawole Raji as Executive Director, Technical Services.
  4. Hadi Mohammed replaces Mohammed Lema Abubakar as Executive Director, Administration.

2020 Budget: Senate Approves N140.3bn For NCC

Failed Data Tariff Increment Decision Was To Protect Consumers – NCC‎

 

The Senate has approved the sum of N140, 383,591,000 for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the 2020 fiscal year.

In a statement by the Special Assistant on Press to President of the Senate, Ezrel Tabiowo, the approval came following consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Communications during plenary on Wednesday.

Chairman of the Communications Committee, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, while giving a breakdown of the Commission’s total expenditure for the year 2020, said that N39, 297,044,000 is for recurrent expenditure and N20, 863,699,000 for special projects.

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The lawmaker added that out of the total budget for the Commission, the sum of N8,129,462,000 is for capital expenditure, N64,208,446,000 for Transfer to Federal Government, and N7,500,000,000 as Transfer to the Universal Service Provision Fund.

Similarly, the Senate also approved the sum of N11,594,920,847 for the Universal Service Provision Fund for the 2020 fiscal year.

The approval came after consideration of the report of the Committee on Communications chaired by Senator Tinubu.

Out of the total amount approved, N2,354,055,799 is for recurrent expenditure, N196,108,610 for capital expenditure and N9,044,756,438 for USPF projects and programmes.

Buhari Replaces NCC Executive Commissioner, Others

Muhammadu Buhari, Owed Debt, States
President Muhammadu Buhari (file).

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved replacements for the heads of Federal Government agencies that were recently appointed as ministers.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, announced this in a statement on Tuesday.

He said President Buhari has forwarded Mr Adeleke Adewolu’s name to the Senate for confirmation as a replacement for Mr Sunday Dare.

Mr Dare was the Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) until his appointment as a minister.

According to the presidential aide, Senator Basheer Mohammed also replaces Sadiya Farouk as the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons.

Shehu added that the President appointed Dr Chioma Ejikeme as the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, replacing Sharon Ikeazor.

Similarly, President Buhari appointed Kashifu Abdullahi as the Director-General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency.

The President’s spokesman said the appointments take immediate effect.

Senate To Summon National Communications Commission (NCC)

 

The Nigerian Senate has resolved to summon the National Communications Commission (NCC) over dropped calls and poor registration of sim cards.

The resolution followed a motion on the increasing rate of dropped calls and unwholesome practices by telecommunication network operators in the country.

According to the lawmakers, there are worries that the dropped calls unwholesome practices are robbing Nigerians of their hard earned monies.

Hence, the lawmakers also want refunds for disrupted calls caused by network issues.

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The decision to summon the NCC is because the Senate believes the agency has not lived up to its regulatory responsibilities.

President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, vowed that the Senate would blacklist operators where necessary.

This is not the first time a motion on poor telecommunications service will be brought before the National Assembly, as it was raised in both chambers of the 8th assembly.

However, President of the Senate, Lawan assured that the Senate will take real actions this time.

Mobile Porting Activities Decline By 53% – NCC

NCC

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission has reported a decline of 53 percent in mobile number portability activities by telecommunications operators

The data which covers the past two years shows that the industry recorded a total of 14,491 incoming and outgoing porting activities in November 2018, compared to 31,077 in November 2016

While the data indicates a 13 percent resurgence between October and November 2018, 9mobile topped the incoming table, gaining 2,608 customers.

MTN Nigeria added 2,173 as Airtel took the third place with 1,469.

The data shows Globacom in the fourth place, adding only 714 subscribers.

Mobile number portability was introduced by the NCC in 2013 to promote healthy competition among telecom networks and ensure consumer satisfaction.

COSON Crisis: Tu Baba Asks Nigeria Copyright Commission For Help

Multiple Award-winning singer, Innocent Idibia popularly known as Tu Baba has called on the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) to urgently enforce its position in the lingering crisis rocking Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).

The music star, in the petition, which is addressed to the Director General of NCC, Alam Ezekude, copied the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari, calling for help.

He explained that some members of the COSON’s board who are seeking accountability and transparency are allegedly being harassed and intimidated by police force.

“It is quite unfortunate and disheartening that a simple call for accountability and transparency has degenerated into relentless media attack, harassment and intimidation of the group of people who made the call.

“The personal interest of a few should not supersede the collective interest of generality of members and overall well being of the society.

“I will like to implore you to use your good office to engage the Inspector General of Police with a view to setting the records straight and reversing the embarrassing and dangerous scenario where Mr Efe Omorogbe and Mr Joel Ajayi, chairman and members of the commission-recognised board acting well under the directive of the regulator, are now being harassed, intimidated, demonised and prosecuted by a sister government agency – The Nigerian Police Force,” Tubaba’s petitioned read in part.

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He commended the commission for its position on the lingering crisis at COSON but said he wishes to, through the petition, lend his voice to growing call for further action to ensure total compliance to the commission’s directives by all parties.

“COSON is formed and built by the collective efforts of like-minded industry stalwarts, and it will be a shame to see all of the hard work that has gone into building the society, go down the drain.

“Our CMO is under siege and our commonwealth is threatened by Chief Tony Okoroji and his agents who for personal ends, continue to demonstrate deep contempt for regulation and the call for accountability,” Tuface said in the petition.

The Music legend said Nigeria is a nation of laws and the music industry stakeholders and regular citizens have only the government to turn to for protection at perilous.

INEC To Begin Electronic Collation, Transmission Of Results

INEC: Endless Litigations Hindering Democratic Processes In Nigeria
File photo: Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the time has come for it to go digital in conducting electoral processes across the nation.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in a statement signed on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Lawrence Oyekanmi said the commission hopes to commence the use of the electronic process in its collation and transmission of results as soon as possible.

“The time has come to electronically collate and transmit election results. We are convinced that by doing so, results will be transmitted faster and more accurately from the Polling Units to the various collation and declaration centres.

“In several re-run and bye-elections conducted since the 2015 General Elections, the Commission has deployed the electronic collation and transmission platforms on a pilot basis. More recently, we conducted simultaneous electronic and manual transmission of results in some major elections,” he said.

 

While stating that the commission would launch the new innovation with the governorship elections of Ekiti and Osun States in July and September, its success would herald the eventual usage in the 2019 general elections.

Yakubu who had ealier visited the Headquarters of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) expressed hopes that there would be an effective collaboration between both commissions in order to achieve the planned project.

On its part, the NCC’s Chairman, Umar Danbatta reiterated his agency’s commitment to partnering with the electoral body to achieve free, fair and credible elections.

He said: “We will bring to bear, our wealth of experience in the area of information and communications technology expertise in ensuring that the 2019 elections meet with the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians. We are about to witness what has never happened. We will be active participants. We will offer our operational experience to ensure that we obtain the desired results.”

The two organisations immediately set up a technical committee, comprising members from both sides to work out the details of the collaboration.