Federal Government has set a three-year road map for the development of highways, targeted at promoting the culture of maintenance and upgrading of existing infrastructure to enhance socio-economic growth of the country.
Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of Transportation, who revealed this at an interactive session with stakeholders in the transport sector in Abuja, said the new road development strategy is programmed towards improved rural-urban transport sector for economic development. Diezani however assured Nigerians that the implementation of the 5% fuel levy approved by the National Assembly in the amended Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) Act would relax for now.
According to her, "the issue of fuel levy, which am sure the Engineer Olubunmi Peters, managing director of FERMA, has expatiated on number of occasions, is one that has not yet taken effect". "And it will be until such a time that it has been clearly sort out and worked out with all necessary government agencies and MDAs that have to be involved for it to become effective", she said. The minister noted, "it will also never be put in effect in such a way that it will become an additional burden or on top of petrol price increases on road using public. So I don’t think it is an issue that we should concern ourselves on about at this point in time". Mrs. Diezani who also emphasized on the ongoing concessioning process of some selected highways and bridges across the country said such road must meet the international standard before tolls should be collected on them. She said "I think that once the country and the road users at all levels see the quality of the roads that would actually be tolled, they will be more than happy to pay those tolls. I have no doubt that we are driving on international quality expressways, at some points over the few years, our concern will not be the toll because to toll could be kept to a certain standard or level anywhere". "Our concern and our target will be for the quality of the road and just I have said for the shortness of turnaround time for the safety to our persons and to our assets. And in fact for the fact we can make journeys with a much lower percent of ghastly carnage on our roads". "The tolls could be incidental because tolls are actually taken in all developed countries or international expressways. So in all, the way we take it that’s the only way we can sustain good quality roads. But the high quality roads at the international quality roads would be put in place first before the tolls start". On the three-year agenda, she said "over the years, the Federal Government has been saddled with the responsibility of bearing the burden of financing road construction solely through budgetary allocation". She added, "notwithstanding, the present administration is poised to improve on providing adequate infrastructure in recognition and promotion of the vital role transportation plays in the socio-economic, political and cultural development of our great nation". She explained that to this end therefore, the Federal Ministry of Transportation has set targets for the year 2008-2011 in the road to improve the safety, security, quality and speed of movement of goods and people at both national and international levels. The road map also, according to her, targets to increase the involvement of the Private sector in financing and operation of transport-related service and to promote the culture of maintenance and upgrading of existing infrastructure as well as to develop institutional framework and revised legislations in the sector for sustainable growth, amongst others.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
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.
NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.
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.
Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria
Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.
Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.
Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.
Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.
Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.
The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.
Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”
Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.
The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.
On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”
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