Connect with us

Uncategorized

2015 Polls: Controversy Trails INEC’s N9Bn Ballot Papers Contract

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Crisis is reportedly brewing at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following the decision of the Commission to contract the printing of the ballot papers to be used for the presidential and governorship elections to a foreign firm at the cost of N6 billion.

The Commission is yet to award the controversial contract to any of the foreign firms, but Vanguard Newspapers gathered that it has, however, set in motion the process that will lead to the award of the pricey job to either an American or European firm any moment from now.

To ascertain which firm should be given the job, top officials of INEC are set to depart Nigeria this week for the United States of America, Germany, Italy and Ukraine in the first leg of the move to inspect elite printing companies, which can handle the job, classified as ‘security documents’ by the commission.

According to Vanguard Newspapers, under the plan, which has already been wrapped up by the commission, the sum of N6 billion is to be used in printing ballot papers meant for the presidential and governorship election slated for February next year.

Similarly, the commission has set aside the sum of N3 billion to be paid to local printers to produce the ballot papers to be used for the National Assembly and House of Assembly elections in Nigeria next year.

In all the commission will spend a whopping N9 billion for the printing of ballot papers for the five set of elections, which the electoral body has decided to stagger because of its claim that it does not have adequate logistics to run it simultaneously.

A competent source in INEC told Vanguard that many officials, who were uncomfortable with the decision of the management to farm out the job to outsiders, have made their opposition known to Prof Attahiru Jega, INEC chairman.

One of the sources close to the commission said: “The INEC officials will visit the United States of America, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, among others to inspect some printing presses that will produce the ballot papers for the next general elections in 2015.

“INEC will specifically produce the presidential and governorship ballot papers abroad while those of the National Assembly and House of Assembly will be printed in Nigeria. The proposed budget for the overseas printing is put at over N6 billion.

Vanguard learnt that those opposed to the printing of the papers abroad have reportedly drawn the attention of INEC Chairman to the fact that it was against the interest of Nigeria for such action to be taken at the time when the Presidency had already made a case for the printing of the documents locally.

The antagonists of the proposal, Vanguard also gathered, had reportedly opted to report the action of the management to President Goodluck Jonathan, who only last week made a case for the printing of security documents with the Nigerian Security and Minting Printing Compan (NSMPC),  as a means of promoting national security and job creation.

The angry officials are said to have queried the rationale of taking such a huge and security-related job outside Nigeria when there were many local printing companies that could conveniently handle it.

To prove their point that the papers could be printed locally, the officials cited the successful printing of the ballot papers used in the Anambra, Ekiti and Osun elections by local contractors.

According to them, the papers that were printed within the country were foul-proof and passed all INEC’s security checks.

While kicking against the foreign contract, the officials, who pleaded anonymity, called on the Federal Government to stop the commission from awarding the job to foreigners especially as the materials needed for the printing were also available in the country.

They also pointed to the fact that the 2011 election was postponed because of the non-delivery of the ballot papers sprinted abroad on time.

But a senior INEC official told Vanguard on Monday that the commission would remain focused in its honest and earnest desire to ensure the success of the 2015 election.

Defending the decision of the management to print the papers abroad, the officials, who pleaded anonymity because he had not been authorized to speak on the matter, said that no company in Nigeria had the capacity to produce the quality and quantity of paper required and be able to deliver to the commission before December this year.

“We are concerned about the capacity of printing press in Nigeria. The time available to us as a commission to conduct the election and the quality and quantity of materials to be delivered by the local contractors do matter to us,” the official said.

“If you must know, for us to conduct the election in February 2015, it means that we must take delivery of the ballot papers in December this year to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2011 when we had to postpone an election because of the late arrival of ballot papers from South Africa,” the officer added.

Reminded that the President last week made a case for the printing of such vital documents with the NSMPC of Nigeria, the officer said, “Well, as we get along and the capacity of the company to handle such assignments grow, we will patronize it. For now, there is none in the country to do such complex job for INEC,” he said.


Kindly share this post

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Comments

Uncategorized

NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.

NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.

Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.

The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.

They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception

“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said

The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.

It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.

Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.

“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.

 

 


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.

Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.

Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.

Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.

Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.

The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.

Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”

Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.

The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.

On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”

 

 


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

Telecom

Risk Assets Push Higher on Vaccine Hopes; Eyes on the Fed

Published

on

Kindly share this post

By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM,

After two consecutive weeks of back-to-back declines, global stocks kicked off Monday with solid gains amid a surge in M&A activity and positive signs towards vaccine developments. Currency markets were little changed ahead of a busy week of monetary policy announcements, while Oil and Gold ticked slightly higher.

The two big deals announced over the weekend were Softbank’s plan to sell chipmaker ARM to Nvidia for more than $40 billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire Immunomedics for a price tag of $21 billion. Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial on Covid-19 after being suspended last week following a neurological illness developed in one participant, and Pfizer announced that its vaccine could be distributed before year-end if found safe and effective.

 

Central Banks will take centre stage this week with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all due to announce policy decisions. Out of the three meetings, the Fed is likely to be the most watched following its historic shift towards average inflation targeting. The big question remains how will the FOMC put this policy into action?

 

From what we know now, the Fed is set up to keep interest rates near zero for a long time, possibly for several years. Given the new framework, any spike in inflation won’t translate into immediate rate hikes as the Fed wants to compensate for the lost years when they have failed to hit the target. The dot plot will be the key guide for investors and traders alike. If inflation projections remain at 2% or below for the foreseeable future, this will solidify market expectations for a low rate environment for many years to come. That said, Jay Powell would still have to explain in more detail how the new framework will be translated into policy action.

 

In June’s economic projections, the Fed anticipated unemployment would be at 9.3% by year-end, but, in August, unemployment was well below that forecast at 8.4%. Many other economic data surprised to the upside during the June – August period in a clear sign that most economists were overly pessimistic towards the strength of the recovery. However, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide and the US, especially as we get closer into the winter season. A second wave will undoubtedly put the recovery at risk in the final quarter of the year and it will be interesting to see the Fed’s view on that issue.

 

As for the market selloff over the past two weeks, the Fed isn’t likely to show any signs of concern. In fact, policymakers should be satisfied with the pullback as the risk of a bubble in several assets has been growing due to the Fed’s extremely accommodative policies. Unless we see another 10 -15% drop, do not expect the Fed to intervene.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

Trending