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Delay on Postal Commission

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The suspense created by administrative bottlenecks on the much awaited policy on the postal commission has given room for varied interpretations on the state of this document that has been embraced by all sundry as the tonic that will change the postal and courier sector and make it to be the pride of Nigerians just like what the NCC is doing in the telecoms sector.

Most stakeholders in the industry especially those outside the government circle are confused on the position of this document. While some are sure that the document is awaiting the action of the legislators on it, others argue that it is still with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) while a great number of them can beat their chests that the document has moved further and is now in the domain of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for their action.

Expectations were also high that the Obasanjo administration which initiated the move to regulate the postal and courier sector was going to constitute the Board for the commission before handover for it to serve as a parting gift to the industry but that never came to be.

Pronouncements by government officials especially those from the Information and Communications ministry were so reassuring of government’s readiness in coming up with the commission to regulate the postal and courier sector. Newspaper headlines had screamed such possibility in the first quarter of this year that one never expected it would take up until this time before we see the commission come on board.

For whatever reason that is delaying the passage of this document; interests or bureaucratic bottlenecks, Yar’adua government should consider the interest of Nigerians and expedite action on this all important document especially when the commission is constituted is expected to enhance healthy and regulated competition in the postal and courier sector which will result to the emergence of a dynamic market that will meet the needs and aspirations of customers.

The present situation where the Courier Regulatory Department (CRD), an organ of NIPOST (a player the industry) is an umpire in the sector has been roundly criticized as an aberration which needs to be redressed immediately.

Such criticisms have also come from Nipost stakeholders themselves and they make no pretences about this. Sometime ago, Alhaji Mori Baba openly declared that Nipost had ‘’limitations because we operate as a regulator and operator the same time: those are parts of the restructuring that we’ve been talking to the government and National Assembly about. If we could find a way of solving this and moving forward between now and end of this administration (Obasanjo’s administration) so that we have a regulator, then we‘ll know we are the national operator. If we have problems, we’ll know where to go and there would be a regulator to intervene. But now who do you run to?

The gains of having an independent regulator are enormous. It will lead to job creation and tax generation to the government coffers as the commission will work to encourage local and foreign investments in the Nigerian postal industry as well as see that innovative services and practices are maintained in the industry in accordance with international best practices and trends.

Yar’adua government therefore must look into the matter and possibly do something to facilitate the passage of this legislation considering the overt and underlying gains such will bring to our economy.


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MTN Launches ‘Visitor SIM’, Designed for Guests Coming into the Country

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MTN Nigeria has announced the introduction of its new Visitor SIM specially designed for guests travelling into the country.

The Visitor SIM comes pre-loaded with an appealing package that includes local and international call and data bundles.

This package will enable people visiting from other countries to stay connected with their friends, family and business associates on MTN’s super-fast network.

MTN VisitorSIMs are easy for inbound international visitors to acquire, activate and use, in addition to which they offer far better value than any roaming tariff.

Not available from any other operator, the service is poised to deliver convenience and the best-in-class customer experience in line with MTN’s brand promise.

According to Adekunle Adebiyi, chief sales and distribution Officer, MTN Nigeria, “The new Visitor SIMs will ensure that before setting foot outside the airport, people visiting Nigeria can plug in, reconnect – to loved ones, associates, tools and information, and begin sharing their remarkable experiences, with no concern about roaming charges.”

 

MTN Visitor SIMs are available in the arrival halls of international airports and other ports of entry.

They are valid for 14 days, which can be extended up to 30 days via MTN’s self-service menus or USSD.


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Nigeria COVID-19 Response: UNICEF, IHS Nigeria Collaborate to Contribute Medical Supplies

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received the delivery of 115,800 COVID-19 test kits to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. These supplies were funded by IHS Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of IHS Towers.

Testing remains the mainstay of the response led by the Presidential Task Force and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the first step towards diagnosing the infection. Tests enable health officials to understand the COVID-19 status of an individual and link that person to care, support and treatment while contributing to the protection of families and communities.

“Testing remains a core strategy of Nigeria’s response to COVID-19. This is critical for understanding the burden of the disease on our population and targeting our response activities accordingly. The primary goal of the Nigerian Government is to control the spread of this disease.

“This donation from IHS Nigeria through UNICEF will contribute to the national stockpile of test kits managed by NCDC, and support efforts of the growing network of accredited laboratories across the country for the testing of COVID-19. We are grateful for the continued support from UNICEF, IHS Towers and other partners.” said Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, NCDC.

IHS Towers has been a strong and continuing partner of UNICEF. At the onset of the coronavirus in Nigeria in late February, IHS Nigeria provided funding to UNICEF to urgently procure essential supplies and equipment with which UNICEF supported the Government of Nigeria in its COVID-19 response.

“UNICEF is deeply appreciative of IHS Towers’ commitment to being a partner in UNICEF’s work in Nigeria. Once more, IHS has shown great generosity in supporting UNICEF’s ongoing efforts to work closely with the Government of Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

“I am very delighted to receive this huge contribution from IHS Towers, the benefit of which will reach many more children and their families“, said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Country Representative.

“We are proud to have played an important role in supporting the Government and our communities where we operate to provide crucial tools needed to fight this pandemic. We understand this virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, but are confident that with our support, and that of our other private sector colleagues, we are helping to manage and mitigate the impact of the virus in our country” said Mohamad Darwish, Chief Executive Officer of IHS Nigeria.

This recent support of essential tests makes IHS Towers the biggest private sector donor for UNICEF Nigeria’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Coca-Cola, Red Cross Society Expand Fight Against COVID-19 In Nigeria

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In a bid to support the fight against the Coronavirus disease, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) along with its national society Nigerian Red Cross (NRC) has started the distribution of PPEs and risk communications efforts to the tune of N228 Million to support its COVID-19 interventions in Nigeria.

 

This is part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s $2.5million grant to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the COVID-19 pandemic within the West and Central Africa sub-regions.

The grant, which leverages the long-standing partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), seeks to support national efforts in the fight against the Coronavirus disease through the provision of essential medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and risk communications to impacted communities, healthcare personnel on the frontlines and treatment centres across the country.

 

Speaking on the donation, Yebeltal Getachew, managing director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, explained, “The Coca-Cola System (Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nigeria Bottling Company and Chi Limited) remains committed to providing support to the communities we serve during these challenging times.

 

“By providing healthcare workers with much-needed PPEs, we are confident that this will go a long way in ensuring their safety as they remain on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

 

“Coca-Cola is proud to support the Red Cross as we deliver on our purpose of making a difference across the world”. 

 

Medical supplies being donated comprise N95 respirators, surgical masks, examination gloves, face shields, medical gowns, no-touch thermometers, disposable aprons, heavy-duty rubber gloves, rubber boots, basic masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizers.

 

Expressing his gratitude for the donation, Abubakar Kende, secretary-general for the Nigerian Red Cross Society explained, “We have identified the facilities in urgent need of these PPEs in consultation with NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health and will subsequently be distributed to these centres.

 

“This will ensure that treatment centres across the country are properly equipped with necessary PPEs as we continue to fight the disease”. 

IFRC seeks to directly impact the lives of over 1.4 million people in Nigeria and across other countries in West and Central Africa under this partnership. For over a century, The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have sustained a rewarding partnership that has seen the rehabilitation and preservation of human lives across the world through the delivery of humanitarian aid and emergency response to communities affected by disasters.

 

 

 


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