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NCC’s Kaduna Emergency Communication Centre, Five other IT Projects Commissioned by Pantami

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The Kaduna Emergency Communication Centre (ECC) built by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), alongside five Information Technology projects by other agencies under the Ministry Communications and Digital Economy have been commissioned by Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

Pantami Commissions NCC’s Kaduna ECC, 5 Other IT Projects

L-R: Kashifu Abdullahi, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency; Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC; Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy; Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State and Chairman of the occasion; Zainab Shamsuna, Hon. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing and Abimbola Alale, Managing Director, NIGCOMSAT during the virtual commissioning of the six IT projects.

The NCC’s ECC project, which makes it possible for people of Kaduna and environs to dial 112 Emergency Number to get help during emergencies from appropriate emergency response agencies, is aimed at supporting the Federal Government agenda of enhancing security of lives and property in the country.

NCC had built ECC in each of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT. Nineteen of the ECC have been activated while efforts are ongoing to extend it to other states.

The Minister also commissioned the Tertiary Institution Knowledge Centre (TIKC) in Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo executed by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) of NCC.

Three other projects by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), IT Community Centre in Katsina and IT Hub each in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria Main Campus, Kaduna and University of Lagos, were also commissioned.

The sixth project commissioned was the opening of Nigeria Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT)’s Northwest Regional Office in Kaduna.

Speaking during the virtual commissioning of the projects, which took place at the NCC’s Communications and Digital Economy Complex, Mbora District, Abuja on Thursday, July 23, 2020 and attended by all heads of agencies under the ministry, Pantami said the projects were all connected to the country’s digital economy drive, as contained in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) unveiled by the President in November last year.

According to him, “these projects are connected to some of the pillars of the NDEPS, especially with respect to developmental regulation, digital literacy and skills, solid infrastructure, among others,” urging Nigerians, who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the projects, to take advantage of the opportunities.

He added that he would continue to work with other ministries, departments and parastatals of government to ensure teething challenges facing ICT infrastructure deployment in the country are addressed in other to deepen digital economy.

Governor of Borno State and Chairman of the occasion, Babagana Zulum; as well as Hon. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna and her counterpart in the Ministry of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola who were guests of honour commended the ministry and its agencies for expanding the footprint of digital economy across the country.

Meanwhile, Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC, and other heads of agencies under the Ministry, have commended the Minister for promoting synergy among the agencies under his supervision.

According to Danbatta, “the projects will help in leading the country into a truly-digital economy.

He restated the Commission’s commitment to ensure a robust broadband infrastructure in the country, to support government’s initiatives aimed at accelerating the implementation of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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NCC Says 78.9m Nigerians now Connected to Broadband

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that the number of Nigerians connected to high-speed internet rose to 78.9 million in June.

NCC Says 78.9m Nigerians now Connected to Broadband

Prof Umar Danbatta, EVC, NCC

The data from the commission showed that telecommunications operators in the country added 2.2 million customers to their broadband database in the month to raise the figure from 76.6 million recorded in May.

This raised the country’s broadband penetration from 40.14 per cent in May to 41.27 per cent at the end of June.

The steady growth in penetration has been attributed to the telecoms operators’ aggressive push for deployment of 4G service across the country. To extend the service to more Nigerians, the largest mobile network operator in the country, MTN, recently announced more investments targeted at building more 4G infrastructure

MTN said it planned to spend an estimated N600 billion on technical infrastructure over the next three years as it looks to expand its 4G coverage across the entire country by 2024

The Federal Government also recently launched a new National Broadband Plan (NBP 2020-2025) with a target of achieving 70 per cent penetration in the next five years.

This followed the expiration of the NBP 2013-2018, which delivered 31 per cent penetration as of December 2018.

Aside from the 70 per cent penetration target, the government in the new plan also raised the benchmark speed for broadband service in Nigeria to 25 megapixels per second, which is an improvement from the 1.5mbps benchmark in the 2013-2018 plan.


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Gilat Telecom, Spacecom, Unite to Bolster Satellite Services in Africa

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Spacecom, operator of the AMOS satellites fleet, and Gilat Telecom, a connectivity service provider, have announced a collaboration “to develop a faster, more reliable and more cost-effective satellite service for organisations of all sizes across Africa.”

The service uses Spacecom’s AMOS-17 fully digital and advanced High Throughput Satellite (HTS) on both C and Ku band, and Gilat Telecom’s unique SD-WAN MAX technology.

The companies add that the service, available immediately, can be used for home and office connectivity including video conferences, e-health applications, e-learning, e-education, etc.

They add that the collaboration will benefit African MNOs and ISPs in several ways including CAPEX savings and higher throughput at reduced operational costs.

“Spacecom’s AMOS-17’s HTS fully digital payload enables cross-connection between all beam and all bands enabling the use of existing equipment which can also be set-up remotely by the end customers (on existing or new terminals). Using Gilat Telecom’s intelligent routing, capacity can be expanded by up to 20% (the equivalent of 6 Mbit/s can be achieved from a 5 Mbit/s downlink),” the companies state.

Another benefit is smart traffic management. The companies explain: “Gilat Telecom’s SD-WAN enables service providers and MNOs to centrally control the route that both satellite and fiber traffic takes to and from the customer.

It enables different applications – voice, streaming, caching (Facebook, Netflix, Microsoft cloud services etc.) – to be identified with automatic prioritisation, according to the customer’s needs and demands.”

Dan Zajicek, Spacecom’s CEO said: “This partnership enables us to boost the services offered to customers along with fast returns on investments to these growing markets. We are sure this fruitful cooperation will lead us to many great business opportunities in Africa.”

Asaf Rosenheck, Gilat Telecom’s CEO also said, “We are an innovative company always focused on how we can improve the service we provide to our customers. Our partnership with Spacecom demonstrates how we work across the ecosystem to drive down costs and improve capacity”.


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Encomiums as Sonny Aragba-Akpore Bows Out of NCC

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It was encomiums galore recently as Management and Staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) bid the Commission’s Head of Media Management and Public Relations, Sonny Aragba-Akpore, farewell following his retirement.

Aragba-Akpore, former Information and Communications Technology/News editor at the Guardian Newspaper, joined the service of the Commission in 2014.

Speaking at the valedictory party held in his honour on Thursday, which was attended physically and virtually by staff of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, appreciated the level of professionalism Aragba-Akpore brought to bear on his work at the Commission.

Represented at the event by Abigail Sholanke, director, Projects, Danbatta commended Aragba-Akpore for using his many years of industry experience and knowledge as a media professional and corporate communication manager to create a robust relationship with both mainstream and online media stakeholders, which, he said, has contributed significantly to the overall positive image and favourable public perception of NCC.

“On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of Commission, we wish you a successful retirement and fruitful engagements in your future endeavours,” Danbatta said.

In his remarks, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, director, Public Affairs Department,  said “within the short time I worked with Mr. Aragba-Akpore, I found him to be a man of uncommon passion for his work,” describing him as a very committed and hardworking colleague.

“We, therefore, wish you increased divine favour, as you retire from the services of the Commission.”

Other staff of the Commission, including directors, deputy directors, middle management staff, among others, took turns to talk about the favourable working relationship they had with Aragba-Akpore while at the NCC and wished him well in his retirement life.

Responding, Aragba-Akpore expressed gratitude to the Management and Staff of the Commission for their support and cooperation during his service and for organising a befitting valedictory ceremony in his honour, saying he enjoyed working with the NCC.

“This is one event I will not forget in a hurry. Indeed, I feel I am very lucky and singularly blessed and very appreciative of the privilege to work with a leading telecoms regulator like the NCC. For me, it is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.


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