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Good Job! Madam Minister

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Inadequate infrastructure remains a major obstacle towards Nigeria achieving her full telecommunications potential.

With Nigeria seen as one of the world’s fastest growing telecommunications hubs, meeting the demand for key infrastructure has been identified as a priority.

The successes recorded by the telecommunications industry in the last 11  years have reinforced the internationally acknowledged perception that communications is a powerful, progressive tool of socio-economic development.

Unfortunately, telecommunications sector, arguably the only thriving sector of Nigerian economy hobbled by years of mismanagement and neglect is burdened by multiple regulations as all tiers of government see the industry as a milk cow.

The challenges of multiple regulations and by extension taxation faced by the communications industry has existed and been ventilated severally over the years.

The phenomenon limits the ability of telecommunications as an economic enabler and social overhead capital to impact positively on the attainment of the country’s developmental goals.

Network operators have continued to witness harassment, forcibly sealing of telecoms sites or removing components of site installations in their bid to compel compliance.

These lead to inappropriate regulatory intervention, as the MDAs resort to extra-legal means to enforce such interventions. As noted earlier, MDA employ coercive means such as facility lock-outs to enforce compliance by telecommunications operators.

Operators are denied access to such sites for refuelling, maintenance or fault resolution, leading to congestion and other quality of service deficiencies. Indeed, to ensure that operators feel the squeeze, it is the case that the agents of the MDAs ‘go for the jugular’ by targeting Hub Sites to which anywhere between 20 to 100 or more sites are parented.

This effectively paralyses a good section of the network, causing complete network outage for the affected communities over an area that could stretch across as many as 2 or more adjoining States with quality of service deficiencies across a much wider area.

The incidence of multiple regulation or taxation invariably constitutes illegal and inappropriate taxation and legislation.

The twin issues (multiple regulation and taxation) fall squarely with Government which is in the best position to address same.

That is why we are happy that the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology has taken the lead in addressing the constraints to the installation, rollout and deployment of base stations and fibre optic cable starting with Lagos state.

We believe that this singular show of visionary leadership by ministry under Mrs. Omobola Johnson will spur socio-economic development including further job creation, security and quality of service provisioning.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek also commends Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos state for agreeing to address the issues of taxes, levies, decommissioned sites and Right of Way fees militating against quality of service in the state.

As Fashola noted good infrastructure rollout and deployment are in the best interest of residents of Lagos State, making very much needed infrastructure and capacity available.

But in brokering the meeting, Johnson has shown leadership and the much needed intervention to ventilate the industry.

It is a clear sign that Johnson is well cut-out for the job as the minister of Communications Technology.

We however enjoin the ministry to also reach out to other state governments and MDAs which are still hostile to telecommunications industry.

That said, members of Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) must make sure that there is a standardized approach for excavating roads where no ducts existed.

More than anything else, we commend Johnson for job well done.


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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.

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Shell to Sack 9,000 over Oil Output Drops

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Shell said on Wednesday that volumes of both Liquefied Natural Gas and crude production were down in the third quarter.

Shell to Sack 9,000 over Oil Output Drops

The oil major disclosed this in an update to the market, which also detailed plans to cut up to 9,000 jobs by the end of 2022 as it adjusts to the COVID-19 price collapse, according to S&P Global Platts.

Upstream production of oil and associated streams was significantly down in the quarter, in a range of 2.2 million to 2.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, from 2.6 million boe/d in Q3 2019.

LNG output was down in a range of 7.9 million to 8.3 million metric tonnes for the quarter, compared with nine million mt a year earlier.

In the update ahead of a full results statement on Oct. 29, Shell said its oil sales in July and August had reflected a 15-20 per cent discount to Brent pricing, similar to the second quarter, and its LNG business in the quarter had suffered a ‘significant impact’ from a lag effect in the oil-linked pricing of LNG.

It also highlighted refining weakness, with a utilisation level of just 64-68 per cent and margins “significantly lower” than in the second quarter 2020, and said it intended to reduce its refining footprint globally to less than 10 sites.

On its restructuring plans, Shell said, “Reduced organisational complexity, along with other measures, are expected to deliver sustainable annual cost savings of between $2.0bn to $2.5bn by 2022.

“This will partially contribute to the announced underlying operating cost reduction of $3bn to $4bn by the first quarter 2021.”

Worldwide job reductions of 7,000 to 9,000 are expected by the end of 2022, including 1,500 people who have agreed to take voluntary redundancy this year, Shell said.

It also said production levels in both the upstream business and the LNG business had been lower than in the second quarter, partly reflecting seasonal maintenance, but also the impact of hurricanes in the US Gulf of Mexico.

 

 

 

 

 


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Western Digital Unveils Speed, Portable SanDisk SSDs

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Western Digital Corp. yesterday released two new SanDisk® portable SSDs that offer nearly 2x the speed over previous generations. The SanDisk Extreme® and SanDisk Extreme PRO® portable SSDs are purpose-built to keep up with today’s high-quality content demands.

Professional photographers, videographers and enthusiasts capture and keep life’s best moments every day and they need reliable solutions that perform on the move at astonishing speeds.

With capacities up to 2TB*, the new NVMe™ drives are perfect for creating amazing content or capturing and moving incredible 4K and 8K footage with ease.

The flagship SanDisk Extreme PRO portable SSD features a forged aluminum chassis made to stay cool under the pressure of a heavy workload and a durable silicone design to withstand the rigors of production. The drives also help keep content safe with password protection and an upgrade to 256-bit AES hardware encryption1.

“When every second counts, I need fast and powerful solutions that work as quickly as I do. I rely on SanDisk SSDs to keep up with my creativity,” said Tyler Stableford, SanDisk Extreme Team member.

“As an artist, speed is one of my greatest strengths, and I know with the SanDisk Extreme line of SSDs, I can get the job done with greater efficiency and capacity, and I never have to worry about running out of memory wherever the job takes me.”

Rugged and Powerful SSD Performance

Designed with professionals in mind, the new SanDisk portable SSDs were built to reliably handle the most challenging assignments – whether at home, in the office or out on location.

The SanDisk Extreme portable SSD is a great go-to drive for those who need more memory and a durable and fast drive, while the SanDisk Extreme PRO was built for an avid pro who needs even, sustained performance and a drive that can go anywhere.

“For our customers, life is an adventure and they rely on us to raise the bar across our portfolio when it comes to delivering powerful solutions to consumers and professionals alike,” said Brian Pridgeon, director of marketing, Consumer Solutions, Western Digital.

“The SanDisk brand is trusted by professional photographers worldwide, which is why we built our Extreme family of drives to perform at the highest level. We amped up the speeds with the latest NVMe technology and used robust materials in our designs to handle the best shots and the most demanding jobs.”

Key Features

  • SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD

– Save time storing and transferring data with powerful NVMe solid state performance featuring up to 2000MB/s** read and up to 2000MB/s** write speeds.

– A forged aluminum chassis acts as a heatsink to deliver higher sustained speeds in a portable form factor.

– Up to two-meter drop protection and an IP55 rating2 make the drive tough enough to take on any adventure. The drive’s forged aluminum chassis and silicone shell design offer a premium feel and added protection.

– Helps keep private content private with password protection and an upgrade to 256-bit AES hardware encryption1.

  • SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

– Get NVMe solid state performance featuring up to 1050MB/s** read and up to 1000MB/s** write speeds in a portable, high-capacity drive that’s perfect for creating amazing content or capturing incredible footage.

– For added durability, the drive features up to two-meter drop protection and IP55 water and dust resistance2.

– Durable silicone shell that offers a premium feel and added protection to the drive’s exterior.

– Helps keep private content private with password protection and an upgrade to 256-bit AES hardware encryption1.

Ready to move, consumers can use the handy carabiner loop to secure the drives to a belt loop or backpack for extra peace of mind. The new drives are compatible with PC and Mac computers.

In addition to moving content to a PC or laptop, the new products also now allow users to back up mobile content quickly and easily thanks to compatibility with a range of USB Type-C™ smartphones.

Availability

The SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Extreme PRO portable SSDs are backed by a five-year limited warranty3 and are now available at the Western Digital Store, and at select e-tailers and retailers worldwide.

The SanDisk Extreme portable SSD is available now in 500GB* and 1TB*, and is expected to ship in 2TB* later this holiday season. The SanDisk Extreme PRO portable SSD is available now in 2TB*, and is expected to ship in 1TB* later this holiday season.


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ID Africa Announces ‘Neusroom Untold’ In Celebration Of People, Places And Events That Have Shaped Nigeria’s History

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In celebration of Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary, ID Africa, Marketing, Media and Technology company and media platform, Neusroom have announced the Untold project, a collection of 78 stories about important people, places and events that have shaped Nigeria’s history and some little known facts that are yet to penetrate mainstream consciousness, especially amongst young citizens.

 

Nigeria was under colonial rule from 1900 to 1960. Sixty years after independence, the country has survived a civil war, endured eight military coups and rule, and grown to become one of the most populous black nations on earth. With a GDP of $376.3bn, and $1.2 trillion PPP, Nigeria is ranked by the IMF as the largest economy in Africa. But many of the stories, ideas, and events that can unite, motivate, and inspire the mostly youth population appear to have been forgotten.

 

The Untold project is in line with the Neusroom’s long-term mission to research, document and publish important stories about Nigeria and its people.

 

The collection includes the work of six Neusroom and Netng writers published over the past two years, and are being presented to the world in honour of the country’s 60th year of breaking free from colonial rule.

 

At a critical time when access to historical facts  and verifiable information on some of Nigeria’s most important people, places and events has become a challenge for the younger generation, Neusroom is taking a position as a reliable information outlet by providing the public with credible, verifiable, and objective information about Nigeria and other African nations.

 

The Untold project includes profiles of some of Nigeria’s most revered and celebrated personalities such as potter Ladi Kwali, and Alimotu Pelewura, a fish seller who led Lagos market women’s protest against colonial masters. It also includes the detailed account of how Kudirat Abiola fought valiantly to ensure her husband’s mandate as elected President was returned to him, and how Samuel Okwaraji slumped and died on the football field while representing Nigeria.

 

Events and places such as the Nigerian Civil War, the Oyo town where every household has a set of twins, and the Kiriji war which is popular as the world’s longest ethnic war that pitched powerful Yoruba towns against Ibadan, also make up a part of the collection.

 

The collection which will be updated quarterly, is aimed at serving as a source of entertainment, knowledge and insight, in easily digestible formats, for today’s youth and future generation of Nigerians.

 

Speaking on the idea behind the project, ID Africa CEO, Femi Falodun says, “We are using Nigeria’s 60th Independence celebration as an opportunity to share some of the most remarkable stories we’ve curated over the past few years with a wider audience of young Nigerians who may not have previously known about these people, places and events.

 

Our ultimate goal for the Neusroom Untold Project is to document obscure parts of Nigeria’s past and recent history in short multimedia formats that are interesting, easy to read and readily accessible to anyone on the internet. And as history is constantly being made, we believe that this project will always be work-in-progress.”

 

Ayeni Adekunle, founder and publisher of Neusroom and Netng, said, “With The Neusroom Untold Project, we are celebrating Nigeria’s journey as a progressive nation with a spotlight on all of its important contributors whose stories may have been lost in the archives or not being told at all.

 

“We have and will continue to put together, through a thorough editorial process, this project which reflects the country’s rich history, achievers and events that particularly young Nigerians will find interesting and useful.”

 

Since it was founded in 2015, Neusroom has been a trailblazer in telling the most relevant and impactful Nigerian stories. In June 2020, the ID Africa-owned platform unveiled The Neusroom 100 Project, in recognition of 100 people, organizations, countries, and things helping the world fight the pandemic and flatten the COVID-19 curve.

 


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