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MainOne Submarine Cable Systems Scheduled to Land in Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire

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Making good on the strategic partnership with Orange Telecoms and its West African Affiliates (Sonatel and Orange Cote d’Ivoire) signed in September 2018, MainOne has confirmed the scheduled landing of the MainOne submarine cable systems in Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire in September and October 2019 respectively.

With the Cable Landing Stations (CLS) in both countries fully built and ready for installation of equipment, in both Dakar and Abidjan, the company is poised to undertake the physical connection of the branching units on its 7000-kilometer-long omnibus fiber pair to the shore and terminal equipment.

The MainOne submarine cable is being installed by the Orange Marine specialized vessel, Pierre de Fermat vessel, which has arrived in Dakar, having picked up the fiber and ancillary equipment, including repeaters from Brest, France earlier in the month.

It will proceed to Abidjan to conclude the laying and final splice in the month of October, with ready for service and commercial launch of the system scheduled for November 2019.

Consistent with its strong preference for deploying top of the range technology to deliver best-in-class services in the West Africa region, MainOne, as part of the landing project, shall deploy on the cable WSS ROADM Spectrum Sharing technology, the first of its kind to be deployed for commercial purpose in the world.

This new technology will optimize the utilization of the MainOne subsea cable, by enabling multiple operators share optical spectrum on the omnibus fiber optic pair to obtain closer to 10 Terabits per second of capacity.

This will be most beneficial for countries directly connected to the MainOne subsea network, and the region in general, by delivering higher volume of connectivity to achieve lower connectivity pricing that will spur the development of new digital services and promote sustainable socio-economic growth across the region.

Speaking on the development, the CEO of MainOne, Funke Opeke, revalidated the company’s mission to deliver world class communication and connectivity services, as the bedrock for the partnership with Orange that broadens the connectivity range in the region.

Opeke states “MainOne is committed to leading the digital transformation across West Africa, driving economic growth and development by enabling and empowering the ecosystem through affordable and ubiquitous connectivity.

“We are determined ultimately to improve the digital services of the region and today marks the realization of that journey for Senegal with the landing of the Submarine cable which will drive substantial impact on both GDP and employment.”

On his part, the CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, Alioune Ndiaye explained that “Africa is experiencing a rapid technological evolution with mobile broadband connectivity enabling a tech ecosystem. Orange, as part of its multi-service strategy, is an important partner in the continent’s digital transformation as demonstrated by our continuous investment.

“Through the partnership with MainOne, we expect to see improved high speed and affordable broadband services in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire that will reinforce connectivity and guarantee reliable access to global broadband networks.”

MainOne’s submarine cable in 2010, became the first private subsea cable to deliver open-access, broadband capacity to West Africa, heralding the advent of high speed fibre-optic broadband in the region.

The MainOne system traverses the coast of West Africa with fully operational landing stations from Seixal in Portugal through Accra in Ghana to Lagos in Nigeria, and additional branching units in Morocco, Canary Islands yet to be connected.


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Aside RoW, Other Roadblocks Hobble Telcos

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Ekiti, Kaduna, Imo, Katsina and Plateau states recently blazed the trail by implementing right of way (RoW) resolution of resolution of the Governors’ Forum in a bid to deepen broadband penetration in the country and promote a digital economy for a digital Nigeria.

Aside RoW, Other Roadblocks Hobble Telcosn

Right of way charge of per meter of fiber optics cabling is considered one of the most vexatious and biggest hindrances to growth in the industry

It is however, disheartening that some states have decided to disregard these resolutions and have, in some cases, increased the RoW charges by over 1,200 percent.

Experts believe that if all states in the country can implement the resolutions, it will facilitate digital literacy and accelerate broadband penetration across the country and also improve Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Apart from implementing the resolution on RoW, regulatory authorities must draw from its political will to prevail on the states and local governments to stop insisting on collecting taxes and levies on operators’ infrastructures such as base stations and masts.

The canker worm of multiple taxes by local, state and federal governments and their agencies is threatening the survival of the telecom sector.

At last count, the industry estimate they pay over N20 billion annually to various agencies of government.

Also, the problem of insecurity, which has assumed alarming proportions, is discouraging further investments.

Added to this, are the constant harassment, intimidation and killing of workers in the industry while equipment are stolen every day.

Another major problem is the thorny issue of Nigeria’s public power supply, which seems to have defiled all known solution.

A situation where telecom operators spend an incredible N45.9 billion (approximately $2.9 Billion) annual bill on diesels in running power supply to their infrastructure is unacceptable.

Power supply is like the nerve, in fact, the engine of production. The near absence of public power supply has a devastating effect on businesses and has forced many companies to close shop because they could no longer remain competitive.

Regulatory authorities must find appropriate way to communicate to governments at all level that the current RoW, tax, public power as well as state of insecurity cannot create a knowledge driven economy or so called new economy in which the generation and the exploitation of knowledge play the major part in the creation of wealth.


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Why Office was Withdrawn from NiDCOM- NCC

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has, again, clarified that Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, was never involved in the process of offer of office allocation to the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) at the NCC’s Communications and Digital Economy Complex located at Mbora District, Abuja, as the public is being made to believe.

Why Office was Withdrawn from NiDCOM- NCC

The Commission reiterated this position in a press statement signed by Dr. Henry Nkemadu, director Public Affairs, in which it made further clarifications to the members of public and other stakeholders on the situation.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, was never involved in the offer to the office space, nor in the withdrawal of the offer for same office space.  the Minister should not, therefore, be brought into the issue,” he said.

According to Dr. Nkemadu, the decision to withdraw the offer of office space from NiDCOM was purely of the NCC, the custodian of the office complex.

“It should, however, be made abundantly clear that the withdrawal of the offer of the office space, which was unconditionally given, in the first instance, to NiDCOM, was informed by exigencies and change in priorities within the NCC, which led to the taking back of the office space earlier allocated with intention of finding a suitable replacement for NiDCOM,” he said.

The Commission therefore reiterates its confidence in the leadership, person and office of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami


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MTN Nigeria Commences Payment of 2019 Company Income Tax Obligations

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MTN Nigeria has initiated payments for its 2019 Company Income Tax (CIT) obligations ahead of the statutory deadline of June 30th, in line with the request by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to corporate taxpayers whose operations are able to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of constructive engagements with its Board and Management, MTN Nigeria agreed to continue its existing practice of initiating early payment for its CIT obligations.

In this regard, it has committed to making full payment in a series of instalments ahead of the June 30th deadline. As a demonstration of this commitment, it has made payment of the first instalment.

FIRS would like to thank MTN for this demonstration of support for Nigeria during a time of significant disruption to the nation’s economy, and also to MTN’s own business.

FIRS Chairman, Muhammad Nami is particularly happy with this prompt response by MTN Nigeria and urges other companies to emulate MTN Nigeria so that together we shall continue to support the growth of Nigeria’s economy as well as business enterprises in the country.

Commenting on the agreement, Ferdinand Moolman, ceo, MTN Nigeria said: “We value the relationship that we have built with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and are pleased to be able to deepen that relationship by collaborating closely with the government and its agencies to manage the challenge that COVID-19 represents to the nation.

“Conscious of the role companies’ play in sustaining government revenue and services, MTN has consistently initiated payments towards our CIT obligations well ahead of statutory deadlines and despite prevailing conditions.

“This year, the Board of MTN Nigeria has once again approved advance payments towards our annual tax obligations.”


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