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No Extension of Deadline for SIM-NIN Linkage- NCC

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said there would not be an extension of the February 28 deadline for the linkage of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards to National Identification Numbers (NIN).

No Extension of Deadline for SIM-NIN Linkage- NCC

Reports suggest that about 12 million lines may be affected by the directive after the deadline expiration.

According to the NCC, SIM-NIN linkage is the process of attaching one’s NIN to a phone number to validate the person who registered the SIM card.

Reuben Mouka, the NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, said that  the Commission issued a public notice stating there would not be an extension to the linkage.

In a notice dated December 20, 2023, the NCC directed telecommunication companies (telcos) to block SIMs that had yet to be connected to the NINs of their owners by February 28, 2024.

Besides, the NCC requested that by March 29, 2024, Global Satellite Mobile (GSM) Communications companies ban individuals whose NINs have been submitted but not confirmed, and by April 15, 2024, prohibit those with fewer than five lines connected to an unverified NIN.

Recall that the Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday, February 22, restrained telecom operators from deactivating or barring any line or SIM whose user did not link to the NIN.

Ruling on a restraining order application brought by Olukoya Ogungbeje , rights activist on February 22, the judge, Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa, prohibited telecom carriers from executing such an action.

Ogungbeje had filed a lawsuit against MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and Airtel Networks Nigeria Limited, the Federal Government, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Minister of Justice, and others.

He asked the court for an injunction pending appeal denying all the respondents jointly or severally, whether by themselves, their agents, outlets, agencies, privies, officials, servants, men, parastatals, units, organs, or anybody or person however so called, from taking any step or action capable of enforcing the judgment in any way and from further outright barring, deactivating and or restricting any SIM cards or his phone Lines, or of any Nigerian citizen, slated for February 28, 2024, pending the hearing and determination of his appeal at the Court of Appeal, against the court’s judgment delivered on May 8, 2023, by Lewis-Allagoa.

 

 

 

 


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Telecom

Secure Identity Alliance: OSIA Becomes Official ITU Standard

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Secure Identity Alliance (SIA) has announced that its OSIA specification, has been recognized as international standard by the International Telecommunication Union’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T).

Secure Identity Alliance: OSIA Becomes Official ITU Standard

This milestone establishes OSIA as official ITU standard (ITU-T Recommendation) for the global infrastructure of information and communication technologies (ICT).

The specification that is now an ITU-T Recommendation is: ITU-T X.1281 – APIs for interoperability of identity management systems.

ITU-T is the standardization arm of ITU, the United Nations specialized agency for ICT.

The Secure Identity Alliance specifications were approved as official ITU-T Recommendations by ITU members including 193 countries and the world’s front-running ICT companies on 1st March 2024.

The new ITU-T Recommendation is under the responsibility of ITU’s standardization expert group for security, ITU-T Study Group 17.

“We are very proud that the OSIA specification is recognized as an international standard by ITU-T. This milestone demonstrates the maturity of OSIA and its potential to foster interoperability and promote fairness in the identity management systems market,” said Debora Comparin, chair of the OSIA Initiative.

Prof. Heung Youl Youm, chairman of ITU-T Study Group 17, said, “The recognition of the OSIA specification as an official ITU-T Recommendation underscores its critical contribution to the advancement of global ICT infrastructure. We are thrilled about the ongoing collaboration between ITU-T SG17 and the SIA, aimed at developing standards for secure identity management.”

“As Editor of the OSIA standard in the ITU-T Study Group 17 Q10, I am pleased to have contributed to this successful recommendation by the ITU,” said Abbie Barbir, rapporteur for ITU-T’s working group on ‘Identity management and telebiometrics architecture and mechanisms’ (Q10/17).

“The collaboration with the SIA continues on OSIA and other structuring initiatives and standards development.”

Engr Abisoye Coker-Odusote, CEO, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Nigeria and chair of the OSIA Advisory Committee, said, “As the Chair of the OSIA Advisory Committee, comprised exclusively of government representatives, we take great pride in our five years of collaboration guiding the working group in the development of the OSIA specification. OSIA establishes equal marketplace conditions, fosters collaboration, and ensures product compatibility post-mergers and acquisitions.

The OSIA standardized interfaces drive innovation, enabling new local market models and reducing fraud within multiple ID systems.

Additionally, OSIA addresses integrator/vendor lock-in, allowing governments to maintain control over their identity systems and pursue national development agendas seamlessly.”

 

 

 

 


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Zipline Achieves One Millionth Delivery Milestone

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Zipline, the leading force in drone logistics delivery, has reached a monumental achievement with its one-millionth delivery to customers, signifying a significant leap forward in the logistics delivery sector. This historic milestone was marked by the delivery of two bags of IV fluid from a Zipline distribution center in Ghana to a local health facility.

Renowned for its innovative approach to designing, building, and operating autonomous delivery drones, Zipline’s zero-emission technology has garnered acclaim, covering over 70 million commercial miles across four continents.

Backed by investments surpassing several millions of dollars from notable supporters like Sequoia Capital, a16z, and Google Ventures, Zipline has firmly established itself as a disruptive leader in the industry. CEO Keller Rinaudo emphasizes the company’s commitment to key markets such as healthcare, quick commerce, and food delivery, envisioning a future where Zipline achieves 1 million deliveries per day.

“The three areas where the incentive really makes the most sense today are health care, quick commerce, and food,” underscoring Zipline’s commitment to partnering with top brands and institutions to transform the future of logistics using autonomous drones –  Keller Rinaudo Cliffton.

In Africa, Zipline has made a profound impact, forging significant partnerships across the continent. In Ghana alone, which accounts for about 54% of the one-millionth delivery milestone, Zipline’s collaboration with the government and health ministry has been pivotal. Since its inception, Zipline has completed over 540,000 drone delivery flights across Ghana, encompassing the delivery of crucial supplies, including 3,566,500 units of vaccines, 2,825,210 units of medical products, 14,807 units of blood products, and 18,289 units of animal health products. These deliveries have directly impacted the lives of over 17 million Ghanaians across 13 regions, saving 6,014 lives through emergency deliveries, including blood products and snake antivenom since 2019.

Beyond mere statistics, the company has facilitated the delivery of 12.2 million vaccine doses, including 2.8 million Covid-19 vaccines, leading to a 21% increase in vaccination coverage and a 44% reduction in missed opportunities to vaccinate in Ghana. These efforts have potentially saved 727 lives due to increased vaccination coverage. Additionally, Zipline’s infrastructure expansion in Ghana, with six distribution centers strategically located across the country, has enabled swift and efficient on-demand drone delivery services.

Not only this, the technology has facilitated the vaccination of 104,000 cattle against Anthrax in northern Ghana, safeguarding both human and animal lives. Such interventions have also extended to the agricultural sector, where 10.4 million doses of poultry vaccines have been delivered to poultry farmers nationwide, combating diseases such as Newcastle disease, Fowl pox, and Gumboro.

But Zipline’s impact in Africa extends far beyond Ghana’s borders. Operating in Rwanda, Kenya, Côte D’Ivoire, and Nigeria, the company has become a beacon of hope for healthcare accessibility and disease prevention. In Rwanda, Zipline serves as a lifeline, delivering 75% of the country’s blood supply outside of Kigali, drastically reducing maternal mortality rates due to postpartum hemorrhage by 88%. Additionally, the company’s deliveries of agricultural products have elevated farmers’ fertility rates by 10% compared to the national average.

In Kenya, Zipline’s collaborations with the Elton John AIDS Foundation have facilitated the delivery of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment products, empowering individuals to manage their health effectively. Similarly, in Nigeria, Zipline’s expansive coverage encompasses over 500 health facilities in Kaduna, more than 350 in Cross River State, and 200 in Bayelsa. Teaming up with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Zipline focuses on reaching children in remote regions, ensuring equitable access to life-saving immunizations.

Zipline’s adaptive approach and tailored delivery services reflect its commitment to meeting the diverse needs of populations and sectors. The achievement of the one millionth delivery milestone underscores its dedication to enhancing healthcare outcomes and addressing societal needs across Africa. As Zipline continues to innovate and expand its reach, it is poised to shape the future of healthcare delivery on the continent and beyond.

 

 

 


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Telcos Record N27Bn Loss from Damaged Fibre Cables

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Repairs and revenue losses from damaged cables are estimated to have cost Nigeria’s telecom industry almost N27bn ($23m) in 2023, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg.

Telcos Record N27Bn Loss from Damaged Fibre Cables

MTN Nigeria, the biggest wireless operator in Africa’s most-populous nation, and Airtel Africa Plc bore the brunt of the costs, the documents show.

MTN suffered more than 6,000 cuts on its fiber cable last year, the documents show.

On Feb. 28, a cut in its network in three different locations by a road construction firm, an oil serving company, and someone burning rubbish in a manhole meant customers faced more than five hours of data and voice outages.

The operator relocated 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) of vulnerable fiber cables between 2022 and 2023, at a cost of more than N11bn —enough to build 870 kilometers of new fiber lines in areas without coverage.

Broadband fibre optic cables form the backbone of modern communication infrastructure, enabling the high-speed data transmission that underpins a wide range of personal, business, and societal activities.

On several occasions, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator, has acknowledged this challenge and expressed willingness to work on measures to address it.

These measures include stricter regulations to deter vandalism and improved collaboration between telcos and government agencies responsible for construction activities.

According to the NCC, the telecom sector will make up more than a fifth of the country’s gross domestic product by the end of 2027, up from 13.5 per cent in the third quarter of last year.


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