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Lagos Shops for N87.5Bn to Buy Back Concession

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The Lagos State government is to approach the Nigerian capital market to raise some N87.5 billion through bond to buy back the concession rights of the Lekki-Epe Expressway from the Lekki Concession Company (LCC).

The Lagos State House of Assembly had on Tuesday approved the buy-back of the concession right from LCC, paving way for the government to take over the road and toll collection.

The Lekki-Epe Expressway has a contract sum of N50 billion while the LCC has 30 years concession rights under the Build, Operate and Transfer, BOT, system, that will enable the company recoup its investment plus interest.

The N87.5 billion bond to be floated in the capital market will enable the state pay off LCC and take over the construction and management of the road and collect toll on it as well as address shortfall in the state’s internally generated revenue, IGR.

According to Governor Babatunde Fashola in a letter to the State House of Assembly for the approval and an amendment to the Appropriation Act 2013, “the proposal for further amendment is largely predicated on the need to fund the acquisition of existing concession rights and toll revenue benefits held by the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), the concessionaire for the Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe expressway.

“This will effectively accelerate the transfer of ownership of the road to the state, leaving the state with wider policy options with regards to that important road infrastructure.”

He added that, “we also need to restructure our borrowing plan as the N30 billion World Bank Development Policy Operation, DPO II, will no longer materialise in 2013. In effect, we will need to issue bonds totaling N87.5 billion this year, instead of the N35 billion originally envisaged, in order to cover the shortfall in internally generated revenue and the delay in disbursement of the DPO II, so as to be able to finance the acquisition of the concession rights and take control of the toll regime for the benefit of our citizens.”

Answering questions from the lawmakers,  Ben Akabueze, commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget said the decision to acquire the concession was for the interest of the residents of the state.

The commissioner explained that part of the plan by government for the review of the agreement with the LCC was to pay them off in order to take full possession of the road.

Akabueze noted that government had already committed about N10 billion to the funding of the project which took off in 2004 billed to cost N50 billion.

According to him, the state government would now determine how much to be paid by motorists as toll on the road instead of allowing the concessionaire to fix prices when and how it likes.

Ayo Gbeleyi, commissioner of Finance, also told the House that under the agreement with the LCC, the concessionaire possessed the right to increase tolling on the road at any time, saying that the government had been notified of a 20 percent increase in the tolling and another five percent increase next year, adding that when the company is bought over, this would no longer be the norm.

The State House of Assembly also approved the N7.5 billion supplementary budget the government asked for. The current figure approved by the House through a law to amend the Appropriation Act scaled up to N507.105 billion from the N499.605 billion approved on 2 January, 2013.

This means that the addition is to be sourced through bond issue while the initial budget figure has also been re-ordered to provide enough money for the purchase of the company.

To attain the new figure, the House reduced the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the 2013 budget by N22.5 billion. It also reduced the External Loans by N30 billion and added both figures to a bond issue requirement now standing at N87.5 billion.

Furthermore, it approved N7.5 billion addition to the existing internal loans of N44.419 billion in the 2013 budget, making it now total N51.919 billion.

The House also reduced the Recurrent Expenditure from N229.729 billion to N214.729 billion while supplementing the Capital Expenditure from N269.876 billion to N292.376 billion.


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NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System

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Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.

NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System

Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.

He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.

“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.

“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.

He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.

Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.

Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.

According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.

“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.

Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.

 


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NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.

 

The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.

 

A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.

 

This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.

 

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.

 

Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.

 

They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.

 

Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.

 

According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.

 

However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”

 

The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.

 

Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.

 


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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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