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Nigerians to Pay 7.5% VAT on Facebook Ads from January 1



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Facebook has announced that Nigerians will pay 7.5 percent value-added tax (VAT) on all ad placements from January 1, 2022.

The charge will also apply to those buying ads for businesses or personal purposes. Those exempted from VAT would be able to recover the fund if they provided their tax ID.

The new 7.5 percent VAT charge will also apply to Instagram ads.

The statement read;“Due to implementation of a value-added tax (VAT) in Nigeria, Facebook is required to charge VAT on the sale of ads to advertisers, regardless of whether you’re buying ads for business or personal purposes.

“All advertisers with a business country of Nigeria will be charged an additional 7.5% VAT on advertising services purchased beginning 1 January 2022.

“If you’re registered for VAT and provide your VAT ID, your VAT ID will show up on your ads receipts.

“In the event that you’re entitled to recover the VAT, this may help you recover any VAT you paid to the Nigerian tax authorities if you are a VAT registered business in Nigeria.”

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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. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Nigeria Oils Machine for Launch of Sat2, 2nd Satellite — Pantami



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Nigeria is to launch a second satellite (Sat 2) into orbit with a view to boosting the nation’s satellite communications capacity, according to Isa Ali Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

Nigeria Oils Machine for Launch of Sat2, 2nd Satellite — Pantami

Pantami said he has secured the approval of  for purchasing the  Satellite.

He disclosed this during a one-day working visit and interaction with the staff of the Nigerian Communications  Satellite in Lugbe Abuja.

The minister also informed that he had gone further to lobby the Minister of Finance to ensure that this is included in the 2022 Budget.

Though the Minister refused to disclose the amount approved and how many satellites are to be purchased, our findings show that the Federal government earmarked the sum of N2.5 billion for the Satellite 2 project in the 2022 budget estimate.

The existing Sat1R, which was launched in 2011 with a life span of 15 will expire in the next four years.

Recall that the Federal government had in 2017 announced plans to raise $550m required for the construction of two new communications satellites for Nigeria, which the Chinese Export and Import Bank accepted to provide.

According to NIGCOMSAT, the approval of the Chinese bank followed representation by Nigeria that it could not afford the 15 per cent counterpart funding required for the country to access the loan of $550m for the construction of the two new communications satellites.

Also, the minister said he had approved the establishment of some subsidiaries under NIGCOMSAT, as part of the ongoing effort to revive the institution back to the part of progress and productivity.

‘‘Since 2019, I have been so passionate about the success of NIGCOMSAT. Starting with the suspension of the privatization of NIGCOMSAT. As a matter of fact, I have secured the approval of Mr President for purchasing another Satellite. I went further to lobby the Minister of Finance to ensure that this is included in the 2022 budget. I have also approved the establishment of some subsidiaries under NIGCOMSAT as part of efforts to revive  the company  and make it innovative and productive.’’

Pantami, who told the staff of the company that the innovation in the agency is not enough and needs to be improved upon, charged them to turn the institution around in order to justify the suspension of the proposed privatization plan.

The Minister said, ‘‘Core values should be the guiding principle that must be adopted without compromise, to ensure that any institution is successful.  You need to be customer-centric, discover the failure of services before they realize it, fix the problem and come up with innovative ideas. The innovation in the agency is not enough and needs to be improved upon

‘‘You need to change your perception because you are not part of core civil servants, you are a company and should by far be above civil servants. One of the reasons our civil service has been failing is that feeling that we are government employees, we have nothing to lose and whatever happens, we will be paid our salaries.

‘‘There are other companies that are ready to come up and start providing similar services with you. The efforts made to stop privatization of NIGCOMSAT is for the good of the company and for the good of the country.’’

‘‘You need to turn things around through the Unique and effective service you are able to provide and revenue you generate for government. It is a difficult task to revive an institution and make it very successful, that you must make. The challenge of reviving NIGCOMSAT is not just a necessity but an obligation for all the staff,’’ he added.

Speaking on the revolution in NITDA, Pantami said through innovative policies and implementation, he succeeded in raising NITDA revenue from N7 billion to N19 billion annually, an agency that was supposed to be scrapped according to Orosanaya Report.

‘‘We revived NITDA and the agency has become a reference point for any IT project.’’

On NIMC, he said they had also secured the approval of N25 billion for the agency infrastructure upgrade.

‘‘Look at NIMC and what we have achieved, the NIN environment since the inception of National Identity Card to 2020 when I assumed supervision of the commission even after billions have been spent was below 30 million, and this is direct enrollment without leveraging on any database.

‘‘Before I assumed supervision, the annual enrollment used to be around 1.5 to 2million but between October 2020 to December 2021, we increased the NIN environment by 30 million in using the obsolete infrastructure. Mr President has approved N25 billion for the infrastructure but till today, no money has been released from October 2020 to date but we are still doing the work, that is why thinking outside the box is necessary.

‘‘The achievement of this one year has been better than the previous 10 years and within that 10 years there was a time N100 billion was released but this one no single Kobo was released to us. As the DG of NITDA, I increased the revenue generation of NITDA from N7 billion annually to N19 billion. Leverage the opportunity and turn things around.

‘‘Before I became the Minister, there was an Orunsanye report that recommended that NITDA should be scrapped and that the IT clearance should be given to Galaxy Backbone but today nobody is talking about the scrapping of NITDA because the institution has turned things around.

‘‘If you turn things around, you will go back and sleep but if you fail, you will be struggling So the challenge is on your table, the earlier you use 2022 and make NIGCOMSAT better the better for all of you but if you fail to do that, many people are there waiting for me to go so that they can execute their agenda.

‘‘2022 is the best year for you to turn things around but if you fail to do that, it will be the worst year for you I don’t pray for that, I pray for the best for you but you must get your priority right,’’ he said.

Earlier in her welcome address, Dr Abimbola Alale, managing director of NIGCOMSAT, said the coming of the Minister has raised the hope and confidence of the staff and management of the agency through his unprecedented support and increase in yearly budgetary allocation.

She expressed delight for the support being given to the agency by the Minister and assured him that her staff would take up the new challenge and ensure that they deliver on the mandate given by the Minister.

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Danbatta Urges Youths to Embrace, Utilise ICT to Live & Lead in Future



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Reckoning that 70 per cent of the new value to be created in the economy over the next decades will be based on digitally-enabled platform business models, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stated unequivocally that it is focused on implementing all sectoral interventions focused on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) youth empowerment. Prof. Umar Danbatta.

Danbatta made this declaration while delivering the 10th and 11th combined Convocation Lecture of Fountain University, Osogbo, Osun State.

He asserted that the resolve of the Commission to pursue very vigorously a bouquet of ICT programmes focused on the youth is based on the projected opportunity for the youth in the emerging ICT-based labour market.

Danbatta recalled that statistics from Global System for Mobile Communication Association (GSMA) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), have indicated that unique mobile subscriptions are expected to grow up to 5.7 billion by 2025 with concurrent growth in Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) connections, and Internet subscriptions and corresponding growth in operators’ revenue and investment.

The CEO of NCC also said that fourth generation (4G) connections are expected to grow to 57 per cent; Fifth Generation (5G) is also envisaged to have 1.8 billion connections; usage of smartphones are projected to grow to 81 per cent; Internet of Things (IoT) will grow from 13.1 billion to 24 billion connections; and contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the mobile industry is expected to grow by, at least, 5.1 per cent by 2025.

The implications of the foregoing, according to Danbatta, is a huge, incredible opportunity for youth to own businesses.

“Therefore, while NCC is working collaboratively and strategically with its supervising ministry, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, it is also working with young Nigerians to prepare them for harnessing these opportunities for personal and national prosperity.

“It is this huge prospect that informed NCC to institute a number of initiatives and interventions targeting the youth in a unique and unprecedented institutionalisation of strategic collaboration and partnership,” he said.

The programmes, according to Danbatta, include the ICT Hubs Support and Engagement, which is a forum that brings together key players, actors and the youths in Nigerian tech-ecosystem to deliberate and suggest policy framework and strategies that could further develop the sector to catalyse improved local content in the ICT/telecommunications sector.

There is also the annual ICT Innovation Competition and Exhibition aimed at facilitating sustainable digital start-ups development through a platform to showcase their digital innovative solutions.

Also, the Annual Hackathon is designed to challenge start-ups and tech hubs in Nigeria to produce impactful and sustainable innovative solutions that will address common societal challenges using digital technologies.

Danbatta said the ICT Park Project being built across the six geo-political zones of the country to boost digital skills among young people, promote innovation, provide jobs for young Nigerian and ultimately support the Federal Government Digital Agenda is equally a strategic programme focused on harnessing and optimising the youths’ creative energy for development.

Other related projects in this regard include the NCC National Essay Competition engaging undergraduates in Nigerian tertiary institution to explore and enhance research in tertiary institutions and build capacity.

In addition, the school support programmes which include the Digital Awareness Programme (DAP), a special intervention initiated as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project in response to the digital information knowledge gap observed in the country; as well as the Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI), instituted to bridge the knowledge skill gap in higher institutions of learning, largely target the youth and students.

Accordingly, Danbatta called on the youth to consciously take note of emergent segments in ICT that are available for them to explore. These, according to him, include Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data.

He also enjoined youths and students to pay attention not only to any of those technology segments but also their overlapping variables such as hyper-connectivity, super-computing, cybersecurity, and smarter world such as robotics, 3D printing, and sensors – which are at the heart of the circular economy.

In recognition of the innovative minds of Nigeria’s huge youth population, Danbatta said the NCC had put all the ICT youth empowerment initiatives to support a digitally-skilled workforce that will fit into the Digital Economy Project of Nigeria.

“The Commission is committed to fostering partnership and collaboration with the technology hubs and startups, to accelerate innovations and the creation of a digitally-skilled workforce for industrial growth and sustainable development of the nation,” the EVC said.




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FG Applauds NCC’s Commitment to Enhancing Digital Skill in Youths



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The Federal Government has applauded the commitment and dedication of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) towards enhancing digital skills development among youths, through implementation of various Information and Communication Technology skill acquisition programmes.

L-R: Iyabode Solanke, Director, Projects, NCC; Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of Commissioners, NCC; Hon. Rauf Aregbesola, Minister for Interior, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, minister of Interior, and Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, gave the commendation during the inauguration of a Digital Nigeria Centre (DNC), a project executed by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), an arm of NCC, at the Ijesa Muslim Grammar School, Ilesa, Osun State recently.

Representing President Muhamadu Buhari at the event, Aregbesola commended the NCC for timely and thorough implementation of the project, saying he was confident that the project will promote the connection of public secondary schools to broadband internet in Ilesa community and ultimately equip beneficiaries with 21st century skills.

“I would like to thank my very good friend and brother, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, for assenting to our request to have the first of this remodeled project in Osun State sited in Ilesa.

“I will also like to thank the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta and the entire Management and staff of NCC and the USPF, as well as their technical partners for a timely and successful completion of this laudable project,” he said.

On the sideline of the commissioning, Aregbesola also announced the establishment of President Muhammadu Buhari N100 million Technology Fund for Youth Empowerment, to nudge the emergence of world class technology experts.

The Minister of Interior stated that the Fund targets 2,000 youths in the next two years, who will be provided with devices for training in different areas such as software development and design, amongst others.

Adegboyega Oyetola, Governor of Osun State, who was represented by the State’s Commissioner for Innovation, Science and Technology, Dr. Babatunde Olawale, expressed the gratitude of the State Government to the Federal Government, the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Communications Commission, for initiative and particularly for inaugurating the pioneer remodeled DNC project in Osun State.

Oyetola also informed the enthusiastic gathering that Osun State Government was willing and ready to collaborate with NCC to replicate the project in other parts of the State.

Speaking in the same vein, Pantami, who was represented at the event by the Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande, also commended the NCC and USPF on the delivery of the DNC project on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He declared that the project and similarly instituted ones were initiated by government to give expression to its vision to effectively digitise the nation’s economy for increased prosperity for all Nigerians.

Pantami stated that the Federal Government is focused on promoting digital economy across the country and that this had informed the renaming of the Ministry of Communications to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

On the heels of the re-christening, Pantami recalled that the Federal Government emplaced Digital Nigeria-oriented policies to reinforce the focus of existing policies in order to accelerate the delivery of derivable benefits of digital economy to Nigerians, regardless of their locations and circumstances.

Very central among the policies is the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, a 10-year, eight-pillar focused blueprint for actualising Federal Government’s digital economy agenda unveiled in November, 2019.

Pantami asserted that the DNC inaugurated at Ilesa was a concrete implementation of the Digital Literacy and Skills, the second pillar of NDEPS.

According to Pantami, the overarching objective of the DNC project is to facilitate adoption of digital lifestyle in the schools as well as in the school communities.

The Minister averred that the project’s significance cannot be under-estimated, considering its ability to improve digital skill for the youths and subsequently make them globally competitive.

Pantami said the Nigerian government is determined to arm the youths with digital skills, strong literacy and numeracy skills, critical and innovative thinking skills, complex problem solving aptitude, the ability to collaborate, and deploy socio-emotional skills, which they require to transform their lives and build the economy.

“We have already made a number of giant strides in the development of our digital economy culture and the deployment of initiatives such as the Digital Nigeria Centre eloquently demonstrates the current administration’s commitment to connecting all Nigerians,” Pantami said as he equally expressed Federal Government’s commitment to its tripartite agenda of improving the economy, curbing corruption and enhancing national security through effective deployment of ICT in all nooks and crannies of the country.

In his remark, Danbatta, who was represented at the event by the Commission’s Director of Projects, Iyabode Solanke, said all the regulatory activities, initiatives and programmes that the Commission had undertaken since 2019, in collaboration with its critical stakeholders, including its arm, the USPF, have been targeted at giving concrete expression to Nigeria’s deliberate policy to migrate to a full digital economy.

He said the Commission achieves this by consistently committing itself to expansion of appropriate infrastructure to enhance digital literacy and skills in view of the economic and social impact of digitization on all sectors.

The NCC Chief Executive restated the Commission’s commitment to the overall objective of bridging the digital divide through the provision of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as well as broadband access to the unserved and underserved institutions and communities in the country.

Earlier, the Principal of Ijesa Muslim Grammar School, Ramota Ilesanmi, thanked the President Buhari-led Federal Government for the project, saying that it will go a long way in meeting the ICT needs of students and residents of the city.

The DNC, formerly known as School Knowledge Centre (SKC), is one of the projects in the Access Programme framework of the USPF, conceptualized to promote the availability and utilisation of ICT and resources of the Internet in teaching and learning in public schools in underserved, unserved and rural areas.

Specific objectives of DNC are to increase ICT literacy among school teachers and students; provide a platform for accessing online educational resources; equip students with ICT skills; facilitate ICT adoption in teaching and learning; as well as increase pass rate in Mathematics, English language and other science subjects.

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