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FG in ‘Rat-Race’ to Beat Obama’s Ultimatum on ISPS

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Federal government has intensified action to overcome the security huddles of the US Government, especially the US demand that government beef up security in the Nigerian ports, or have ships coming out of the country’s ports barred from entering the American ports.

Specifically, US Government stressed the need for Nigeria to adopt and adhere strictly to the International Ships and Ports-Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

The code is an enhanced security level which the United Nations, and its specialized organ, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) prescribed, after the September 11 frightening attacks on the US twin towers.

Maritime industry operators opined that Obama administration took the tough decision having witnessed the soaring influence of the dreaded Boko Haram group in Nigeria, Government’s seeming determination to treat their chaos with the kid’s glove; and a perceived unwillingness on the part of the Nigerian government to accept international support to nip the crisis in the bud.

According to MaritimeFirst Newspaper, the operators also posited that US government might have been proactively reacting, based on intelligence, motivating the recent placement of million dollar-bounty of the heads of Boko Haram leaders; as well as the notion that the group, may use the occasion of the coming September 11 anniversary, to export further violent attacks against the US, using ships emanating from care-free ports.

Assuring the industry stakeholders in a swift reaction, the Government, through Leke Oyewole, senior special assistant to the President on maritime matters, said that Government was leaving no stones un-turned, to ensure that the country beats the ultimatum from the US authorities.

Speaking on the theme: ‘Reviving ISPS Code Implementation in Nigeria’, Oyewole also told his audience that the mandate to implement ISPS Code has now been designated on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) after the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS) was dissolved by Federal Government few months’ backs.

“This is an important mission that must be accomplished, because if we fail to comply, US will ban ships that visit Nigerian ports from calling their ports. This will lead to a situation where, few ships will be calling Nigerian ports, and as a result, leads to high cost of freight”, Oyewole said

He stressed that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had also been mandated, to fully automate port access control, so as to reduce the human interface in the port, which will in turn reduce corruption in the port.

He maintained that NIMASA would soon commence the installation of black flags on Nigerian ports that were deemed not to be ISPS Code compliant for not meeting the international security standard; even as the agency, would also install Nigerian flags and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) flags in ports that are ISPS Code compliant., stressing that Nigeria now has 45 days to the termination of the 90 days ultimatum given to the Nigerian government to boost security at her maritime domain, by the United Nations Coast Guard,

In his response, Patrick Akpobolokemi, NIMASA’s director-general, said that the agency would vigorously pursue ISPS Code implementation by raising the security standards of all port facilities in Nigeria, as well as on ships that bears Nigerian flags.

“The gains of a nationwide compliance with the ISPS Code are immense and serve as an anaesthetic for the short-term discomfort that our implementation agenda might cause in the interim. But the risk of non-compliance with ISPS Code is frightening given the threats our nation faces from the growing menace of global terrorism and other maritime crime”, the NIMASA boss added,

He assured that his management would work with the relevant stakeholders, including the NPA, NNPC and the Nigerian Navy to ensure that Nigerian waterways and port facilities are made safer for shipping business to thrive.

The US Coast Guard, through its embassy in Nigeria read the riot act to Nigeria, giving it a 90-day ultimatum to adhere to the letters of the ISPS Code or face sanction.

It would be recalled that the U.S embassy received an audit report from the officials of the United States Coast Guards who were in Nigeria about a month ago, to inspect security of the Nigerian ports.

Based on their findings, the embassy conveyed a diplomatic note to the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Nigeria, which was forwarded to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other relevant agencies.


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NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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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.

 

 


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

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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.”

 

 


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

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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.


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