NLC Protest: MTN Denies Non-Compliance With Labour Laws

File photo of an MTN office.


A telecommunications mobile service provider, MTN has denied allegations that it does not comply with Nigeria labour laws.

The organisation in a statement signed on Monday by its Corporate Relations Executive, Tobechukwu Okigbo explained that the protest by NLC where NLC officials picketed their offices across the country was needless. They also alleged that some of their workers were injured during the protest.

“Today’s violence and the needless destruction of property is deeply saddening. As always our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our employees, some of whom were attacked by supposed NLC operatives and have sustained injuries.

“We do not prevent our employees from associating amongst themselves as they deem fit and owe our employees the obligation to ensure they are not compelled to join associations. MTN supports the freedom of association as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution,” the statement read in part.

MTN added that all workers have rights that should be protected and they will “work hard to not only ensure that this is done. We will continue to champion our peoples’ rights, whether they are part of a union or not and work hard to minimise disruptions in service to our customers.”

Obasanjo Proposes Effective Telecommunications To Tackle Nigeria’s Challenges

Olusegun Obasanjo, Telecommunications, NigeriaA former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has recommended the use of operational telecommunications system to tackle some of the challenges facing Nigeria.

Obasanjo was speaking at a three-day conference on ‘Telecommunications Industry in the 21st Century’ held at the African Leadership Forum in Otta, Ogun State.

He noted that the poor condition of the communications system was slowing down Nigeria’s socio-economic development and good governance.

The former President asked the Federal Government to formulate effective short, medium and long term policy objectives to aid job creation.

He also asked operators to set out local content policy to improve research and development.

Obasanjo suggested effective public and private sector partnership in the telecommunications sector.

CPC Cautions Service Providers Against Consumer Rights Violation

CPC-ConsumersThe Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has read the riot act to service providers in the telecommunications and aviation industry in Nigeria.

Addressing members of the Mentorship and Business Development Forum of the Nigerian Bar Association in Abuja, the Director General of CPC, Mrs Dupe Atoki, warned against the violation of the rights of consumers.

Speaking on Thursday, Mrss Atoki noted that the Council had been overwhelmed with complaints by consumers, who receive unsolicited messages from telecommunication service providers in addition to making consumers pay for poor quality of service.

She also decried the actions of airline operators offering shabby treatment to their customers in terms of delayed flights and outright cancellation of flights without compensation to their customers.

The CPC boss cautioned persons trampling on the rights of consumers to brace up and improve the quality of their services or be prepared to face legal sanctions.

India Woos Nigeria On Agro Production and Telecomunication

IndiaThe Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, says his country is gearing up to further enhance cooperation with Nigeria in the areas of agricultural science, agro production and telecommunications expansion.

The High Commissioner, Mr A R Ghanshyam, gave the hint when he paid a visit to Kaduna State Governor, Muktar Yero on Saturday.

Mr Ghanshyam said that he was in Kaduna to woo the state to partner with his country in the areas of modern agricultural development and industrial renewal.

He said that the new government in India has identified Nigeria as one of the countries to partner with in terms of business relations, and expressed optimism that such partnership would enable Nigeria diversify its sources of revenue beyond oil.

According to him, the Nigerian government can reap huge benefit from Indian investors through such partnership, noting that India contributes a larger percentage of Nigeria’s manufacturing sector and is the highest employer of labour after government.

He explained that there is excellent potential for trade and investment cooperation between India and Nigeria in sectors like pharmaceuticals, agro production and telecommunication and agriculture.

In his response, Governor Yero lauded the Indian government for maintaining a close relationship with Nigeria and for choosing the country as one its economic hub.

Speaking to Channels Television shortly after the meeting, Governor Yero highlighted some of the successes recorded in the Agric sector under his administration, which include subsidizing fertilizer for farmers, revamping agric extension services and providing soft loans to farmers in the state.

Energy Analyst Estimates 6months -2years For Stable Electricity

An Eenergy analystnergy Analyst, Bode Sowunmi, says with the current reforms in Nigeria’s power sector, stable electricity supply is expected within the next 6 months to 2 years.

He stated that the government was doing its best to cleaned up the system and allow the structure to run effectively.

“The government is not focusing on what has been achieved but what could be achieved,” Mr Sowunmi said.

On the privatisation of the power sector, he stated that one of the issues affecting the privatisation was finance, explaining that the entrepreneurs are looking for international investors who will invests in the power sector.

On Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Sowunmi pointed out that the international investors needed some form of assurance from the private owners that Nigeria is safe and an assurance of government’s backing before they will invest in Nigeria.

While giving an estimate of 6 months to 2 years for there to be an improvement in the delivery of electricity, Mr Sowunmi  said there were a number of factors that had to be put into consideration.

“The transition network needs to work effectively; the generation needs to be generated, the issue of proper infrastructure has to be resolved and professional management of the human resources has to fall in place,” he said

Mr Sowunmi further explained that more investors were needed, as several companies could exist under one body. “There is a company that manages generation, transmission and distribution to be able to allow the sector perform effectively,” he said.


Jonathan’s Mid 2014 Stable Power Promise Is realistic – Analyst

A Political Analyst, Adetokunbo Pearse, has adjudged President Goodluck Jonathan’s promise of stable power supply by mid-2014 as sensible and opined that the promise should be “viewed in proper context.”

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, Mr Pearse said the President’s “optimism is based on the investments and the policies that have been put in place in 2013 and before.” So “as far as energy is concerned I believe the President. I agree with that and expect that we should be optimistic.”

He posited that improvements have been made in the delivery of power to citizens as “we’re already seeing a difference in supply. It used to be less than 10 hours. People say (now) we have about 10 hours in many parts of the country.” He counted this as “a reason to be optimistic” that the privatisation policy will pay off, judging by its success in other sectors including telecommunications.

He regarded investments which didn’t yield results in the past as “mistakes” but encouraged Nigerians to be patient.

He however advised citizens to be more watchful of government as the President makes efforts at bringing better system of governance through the proposed national conference.

“There’s too much centralisation in the country now,” he said and added that there is “too much power in the centre (and) not enough in the states and trickling down to the community leadership (that is local government).”



Etiquette For Cellphone Users

Cellphones are ubiquitous and research shows that although most users think they have good mobile manners, many people report being irritated or annoyed by the use of the phones in public places.

Clearly there’s a lack of understanding of what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of cellphone etiquette. Following is a list of do’s and don’ts:

– Do respect those who are with you. When you’re engaged face-to-face with others, either in a meeting or a conversation, give them your complete and undivided attention. Avoid texting or taking calls. If a call is important, apologize and ask permission before accepting it.

– Don’t yell. The average person talks three times louder on a cellphone than they do in a face-to-face conversation. Always be mindful of your volume.

– Do be a good dining companion. No one wants to be a captive audience to a third-party cellphone conversation, or to sit in silence while their dining companion texts with someone. Always silence and store your phone before being seated. Never put your cellphone on the table.

– Don’t ignore universal quiet zones such as the theater, church, the library, your daughter’s dance recital and funerals.

– Do let voicemail do its job. When you’re in the company of others, let voicemail handle non-urgent calls.

– Don’t make wait staff wait. Whether it’s your turn in line or time to order at the table, always make yourself available to the server. Making servers and other patrons wait for you to finish a personal phone call is never acceptable. If the call is important, step away from the table or get out of line.

– Don’t text and drive. There is no message that is so important.

– Do keep arguments under wraps. Nobody can hear the person on the other end. All they are aware of is a one-sided screaming match a few feet away.

– Don’t forget to filter your language. A rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t walk through a busy public place with a particular word or comment printed on your T-shirt, don’t use it in cellphone conversations.

– Do respect the personal space of others. When you must use your phone in public, try to keep at least 10 feet (three meters) between you and others.

– Do exercise good international calling behavior. The rules of cellphone etiquette vary from country to country.

Good cellphone etiquette is similar to common courtesy. Conversations and text exchanges have a tendency to distract people from what’s happening in front of them. Cellphone users should be thoughtful, courteous and respect the people around them.

Reasons Why Some GSM Subscribers Cannot Port – NCC

The Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Tony Ojobo on Thursday gave reasons why some GSM subscribers in the country may not be able to port from their current mobile network to a desired one.

One of the major reasons on the list  Mr Ojobo gave while speaking on Channels Television’s programme, Business Morning, was debt recorded against a line.

Porting or mobile number portability enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another.

Mr Ojobo said that subscribers who have debts to settle will have their porting requests denied. He also said that sim cards that have not been registered will also not be allowed to port.

He said a porting request is expected to be granted within 48 hours under normal circumstances.

The service which the NCC officially commissioned on 22April has been warmly received by Nigerians as Mr Ojobo revealed that about 4,000 people ported within the first 48 hours of the service being launched.

Kano: Normalcy Yet To Return To Affected Areas 24 Hours After Blasts

24 hours after the suicide attacks on Airtel and MTN telecom facilities in Kano state, Mallam Kato Square housing Airtel, Singer market and other financial institutions is still deserted with restricted movement.

Our correspondent who visited the area this morning report that the Airtel building which is still under the custody of the state’s joint security forces was seriously damage by the blast, the impact of which also cracked glasses of some nearby business centres.

It was also observed that the Singer market which before the blasts, open on a daily basis to consumers is still closed with few shop owners lurking around their shops.

One of the shop owners in the Singer market Mallam Kabir Ahmed says he cannot open because he is scared.

“After what i saw and heard yesterday, i must tell you that i am very scared, that is why i cannot open my shop till i see how the situation will be in the next couple of hours”.

While Mallam Isah Shehu confirmed to Channels Television that many were wounded in trying to escape yesterday’s attack.

“I personally lost about N150, 000.00 yesterday; many people left their vehicle and could not find it again while dozens were injured out of stampede”.

Meanwhile, the Airtel network in Kano has now been interrupted with most subscribers switching to other networks.

However, the MTN facility was not affected because the car was detonated from the outside; movement has also restricted in Maimalari road, where the MTN mast is situated.

Yesterday’s attack was the first on telecom facilities in Kano since the beginning of the insurgencies in the state.

Three people including the two suicide bombers were confirmed dead after the two coordinated attacks at the offices of two major telecoms provider.

According eyewitnesses, the first suicide bomber dropped his Golf car at the Airtel office in Malam Kato Square at about 8a.m. on Saturday morning, where the bomb explosion killed one security officer of the company and the bomber.

And the second suicide bomber was said to have hit MTN office at Post Road, 30 minutes after the attack on Airtel’s office.


Twitter blocked in Pakistan due to anti-Islam materials

Pakistan’s telecommunications authority has been by the government to block social media networkng website Twitter, the chairman of the authority said.

This was mandatory because of the claim that there are some materials thought offensive to the religion practiced in pakistan which is Islam.

Mohammad Yaseen said the website was blocked on Sunday because Twitter refused to remove material related to a competition on Facebook to post images of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

Many Muslims regard depictions of the prophet, even favorable ones, as blasphemous.

Yaseen said Facebook agreed to address Pakistan’s concerns but officials have not been able to get Twitter to do the same.

Officials from Facebook and Twitter could not immediately be reached for comment.

Pakistan blocked Facebook for about two weeks in 2010 because of a similar competition.