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NCC Seeks Public Listing for Telecom Operators

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Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has called on big telecommunications operators in the country to consider listing in Nigerian Stock Exchange. He explained that telecom operators going public will give Nigerians the opportunity of owing shares and enthrone transparency in the management of such companies.
Ndukwe stated this during a media parley on the allegation of bribing attempt leveled against the commission by Honourable Dino Melaye, chairman, House of Representative Committee on Information and National Orientation.
The commission according to him does not have the legal backing to enforce operators to go public but, that they will continue to advocate in that direction with the hope of realizing it in the coming year.
On effort by the NCC to ensure that broadband infrastructure is accessible to every Nigerian, Ndukwe reiterated the commission’s resolve to realizing the dream, which it began with the licensing of 3G in 2007.  Nigeria he said is one of those countries where wireless applications have taken root and that aside from the people that get it through their mobile infrastructure in both GSM and CDMA the commission is planning to also use wired infrastructure. “This year, we have talked a lot about the State Accelerated Broadband Initiative, (Sabi) project. We have got to the final stages of that, and like what have happened in the year before, the two Ministers in the communications are eager in pushing this through, so we think in the next three or four months, a lot will be happening in this space,” he said.
He noted that NCC has given frequencies to some companies to enable them roll out broadband infrastructure copiously. And that by the end of the year, a lot of broadband infrastructure would have been rolled out across the country with enough speed to make users happy.
He added that the commission is planning a forum to discuss how to improve the speed of broadband in the country. “Many people are not happy with the current speed and there are some bottlenecks which the forum aims to relieve in order to get better speed of download across the various networks,” he said.
The commission he said has not relented in tackling poor quality of service through regulatory frame work as witnessed during the festive period last year. “Before the festive period, we warned operators against promotions and that anyone whose promotion affects the network would be banned for two years without lifting it and they became responsible. We will encourage them to expand, and I can assure you we will not allow them to rest. We will not tolerate any company that does not take the Nigerian people very seriously,” he stated.
He assured that nobody in NCC will do anything that will support the operators against the subscribers. “It is unthinkable; it has not happened and will not happen”.
 He emphasized that several other factors such as topography, dense vegetation, buildings especially those built with concrete are responsible for loss of radio signals which often times lead to call drops.  “The most common cause here in Nigeria is the fact that cell sites are not enough in number and spread.  Yet operators are having problems with obtaining approvals for sites from local and state governments.  There are also cases where existing cell sites are disabled due to breakdown, maintenance, vandalisation, theft of generators, lack of diesel, or out right sabotage.  Once a cell site is disabled, it affects service in the area,” he said.
He stressed the need to continue to urge the operating companies to roll out 3G services so that more and more people will have access to broadband Internet, because that is the next wave of revolution in the country.


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NDPR to Safeguard Personal Data of Nigerians -DG NITDA

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Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has disclosed that the motive behind the issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulations, (NDPR) by the Agency was to safeguard the right of natural persons to data privacy, fostering safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data, enablement of Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant and competitive and to create jobs for Nigerians.

 

Mallam Abdullahi revealed this Friday while delivering the keynote address  at the 6th annual conference of Institute Internal Auditors of Nigeria, (IIAN) with the theme:, “Agility and Resilience” which was held on zoom conference platform.

 

The Conference aimed at preparing participants across Internal Audits, Internal Controls, risk management, revenue and Government assurance and other business professionals to learn how to leverage on new technologies and procedures towards actualisation of the organisation’s goals and objectives.

 

The NITDA DG who was represented Director e-Government Development and Regulations, Dr Vincent Olatunji stated that since inception of the Agency in 2001, it has been playing a catalytic roles to spur the infusion of technology into nation’s work processes reiterating that the Agency plays “critical roles in capacity development, provision of working tools for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

 

“NITDA also has an existing arrangement with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to aid the office in the discharge of its activities.”

 

Mallam Abdullahi said, “The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued on 25th January, 2020 by my predecessor, DrIsa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

 

“As part of his think-tank then, our thinking was that Nigeria needed to quickly provide a regulatory framework for the processing of personal data.

 

“This was even more pertinent in consideration of the global implications of non-performance.

 

“Businesses where losing bids because investors felt there was no data privacy regime in Nigeria.

 

“The Agency’s implementation of the NDPR has been innovative and impact oriented. For the first time in data protection implementation, auditors became recognised as Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO)”.

 

He maintained that NITDA has 72 licensed DPCOs among which are members of this “august body,” adding that “this posture is not as a result of lack of professionals in the IT industry, rather, we have made conscious efforts to carry every relevant stakeholder along in our developmental regulatory strategy.

 

“ I hope this noble institute would repay NITDA’s generosity by imbibing ethical and professional principles on your members for better implementation of the Regulation.”

 

Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, New Capital Cooperatives Society Mr. Benedict Anyalenka while commending the organisers of the conference affirmed that data privacy and protection should be a requisite skill needed for development of the Information Technology Sector as it would create platform for protection of information against unauthorized usage.

 

Anyalenka, however, called for proper awareness on the importance of data privacy among organisations and stakeholders across the country to safeguard citizens’ data.


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FG Reveals Plans to Deploy Technology in the Health Sector

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As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to deploy information and communications technology (ICT) in the country’s health sector.

This is part of the plans to achieve transparency and accountability in health care delivery across the country.

Dr. Ngozi R. C. Azodoh, director, Special Projects, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health, revealed this while speaking at MTN Nigeria’s Revv Programme masterclass on Thursday, September 17, 2020 .

The virtual session themed ‘Bridging the healthcare divide through technology and partnerships’ had in attendance health sector experts including Chief Executive Officer, Hygeia HMO Limited, Obinnia Abajue; Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Afya Care, Kola Oni; Managing Director, Ingress Health Partners, Dr. Orode Doherty and Chief Executive Officer, Tremendoc Limited, Ugochukwu Chikezie. The session was moderated by the General Manager, Business Development, MTN Nigeria, Omotayo Ojulatayo.

According to Azodoh, the federal government has put structures in place to utilise ICT as part of efforts to standardise the healthcare system.

“The government is working hand in hand with state governments across the country to maintain transparency and accountability, adding that ICT and other forms of electronic platforms are currently being improved and expanded following the federal government’s COVID intervention”.

She also shared that the ministry is willing to support small businesses in the sector imploring the participating SMEs to seize the opportunities provided by The Revv Programme.

“I want to ask everyone who is listening to write to the MTN Revv team and say this is one thing I want the Federal Ministry of Health to do to help my business then we can engage on how to proceed,” she enthused.

In her parting remarks, she also commended MTN Nigeria for providing a platform for SMEs to expand their capacity. “I must commend MTN for this excellent initiative. It has been very productive for me and an opportunity to transfer knowledge.”

The Revv Programme is an initiative from MTN Nigeria to help small businesses rethink and retool their operations in order to withstand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic using a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives.


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Peace House Charity Foundation Seeks for DCTC Intervention

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Mallam Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), asserted that if we do not empower our people, they become a problem to the society in future.

 

He made this know on Friday while receiving a delegation from Peace House Charity Foundation,Yola who were at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarter, Abuja to seek for interventions in the areas of ICT.

 

The representative of the Director General, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Director eGovernment Development and Regulation stated that one of the mandate of the Agency is the deployment of ICT infrastructure as such the Foundation’s visit at this time is very apt as the Agency is relentlessly working on the implementation of the Digital Economy strategy.

 

MallamAbdullahi affirmed that Agency at the moment is looking for organisations to partner with to sustain Digital Capacity Training Centres deployed across the country.

 

He commended the effort of the organisation in assisting orphans with not only providing basic education but also the provision of skills, mentorship and moral upbringing.

 

Speaking earlier, Mr Mohammad Bello, a Director with the Foundation said that the organisation was at the Agency to seek for ICT intervention and to commend NITDA’s effort in promoting ICT knowledge across the nation.

 

He stated that the organisation supports education for the orphans and the less privileged,  promote health care delivery especially among women and children, provide sensitisation workshop for parents (mothers) on parenting and matrimonial home, promote unity and encourage self-reliance among the populace.

 

 

 

 

 


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