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NTC to Regulate Transport Modes

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 Ms Bolanle Onagoruwa, acting director-general of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has explained that the proposed National Transport Commission (NTC), is envisaged to be the economic regulator for the transport modes of roads, rail, air and marine.
According to her, the NTC Bill provides that the NTC will monitor and approve tariffs set by public and private transport service operators and operators of prescribed goods and services. It will also examine and resolve complaints, objections and disputes between Government agencies in the regulated transport industry on the one hand and concessionaires, licensed operators, users, shippers and consumers or any other person involved in the regulated transport industry on the other hand, using such dispute-resolution methods as the Commission may determine from time to time including mediation and arbitration.
Onagoruwa noted that while each of the agencies in the different modes, that is, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Inland Waterways (NIWA), Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and others will continue to perform technical regulatory functions as landlords, the NTC will have oversight functions over their technical regulation.
The BPE boss added that the privatization agency has completed work on the Railway Bill, the Road Sector Reform Bill, the Inland Waterways Bill, and the Ports and Harbour Bill.
She recalled that the NTC Bill is a direct product of the Transport Sector Reform Implementation Committee (TSRC) of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) which was inaugurated in September 2000 under the chairmanship of the Transport Minister with membership drawn from key stakeholders and representatives of all the agencies in the transport sector.
The Bill “has derived strength from reports of many seasoned consultants and given validity and richness through the intensive stakeholders’ interfaces”, she said.
According to her, when established, the NTC will perform roles similar to those of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the telecoms sector and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for the electric power sector.
The NTC Bill will establish the National Transport Commission as a corporate entity and an independent sector transport industry regulator. Among the functions of the commission will be to, create an economic regulatory framework for the provision of transport services and facilities which promote and safeguard competition; facilitate effective competition, promote competitive market conduct and ensure that the misuse of monopoly or non-transitory market power is prevented. It will also promote the financial viability of the regulated transport industry and related services,  and facilitate incentive for efficient long-term investment in Nigeria  for the provision of transport services and facilities.
The NTC shall be vested with powers to develop and monitor performance standards and indices relating to the quality of transport services and facilities provided to users, shippers and consumers in Nigeria having regard to best international performance indicators. It will also have the power to approve the presence of and monitor the activities of any Government agency so permitted to operate at ports, airports, rail and road stations and terminals.
It will enforce economic and technical regulatory provisions of all relevant legislation on the regulated transport industry including but not limited to legislation on ports, inland waterways, aviation, road and rail transport; and introduce guidelines, standards and regulations in respect of safety issues to be complied with by all Transport Operators.
The Federal Executive Council, mindful of the central and overriding role of the NTC in the whole reform process, is presently finalising the NTC Bill alongside other Reform Bills for transmission to the National Assembly for passage into law.

 

 

 


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Telecom

Ndukwe Reveals Secret of MTN’s Dominance Of Nigeria’s Telecoms Space

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Dr Ernest Ndukwe, Erstwhile Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has been speaking on why foremost telecommunications services provider, MTN, has continued to dominate the Nigerian telecom space like a colossus.

Ndukwe, speaking on Tuesday as a guest at the Virtual Digital Africa VIP Leadership Series powered by Digital Africa, organisers of the annual Digital Africa Conference & Exhibitions, noted that three factors – strong financial position, good management and discipline in terms of managing resources, separate MTN from the rest of the pack.

“I think it is important to say that MTN is a particularly disciplined company right from its roots; it has always been a well-run organization. It has not had the board squabbles of its competitions. Since the first board of MTN (Nigeria), some of the board members just retired last year (2019). Meanwhile, their competitions have had various owners, various quarrels, and various issues,” he said.

Ndukwe, who is the Chairman of MTN Nigeria Board, said that nobody can be blamed for this position as the way organisations manage their affairs translates to the kind of position they occupy in the business environment.

“One thing that people don’t know also is that for the first five years of existence of MTN in Nigeria, it did not pay dividends to its shareholders. They recognized the importance of scale and were pumping in all the earnings, all the profits into building networks. They started building their own microwave links; they started building their own fibre optic links all across the country because it’s a matter of planning.

“Let it be said that technology changes, the best company today might not be the best company tomorrow. A few years ago, Facebook was not on the reckoning but today, is a much bigger company. People might not make it in terms of telecommunications service delivery because in certain countries, there is actually a certain number after which the market gets saturated. There are opportunities in the technology space; all that is needed is for operators to discover them and leverage.

“When Zoom started, no person knew it was going to scale to the level it has now reached; thanks to Coronavirus. People should continue to look for opportunities and niche markets and go there because that’s where they can scale. There are many companies that are doing very well in the financial technology space in the country too.”

Dr. Ndukwe also talked about NITEL, 5G, the Stock Market, companies he admires in Nigeria and the concept of a single African Telecoms network.


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Broadcasting

TStv Lures Subscribers with N5 Daily Subscription

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TStv, a local satellite television network, has said that it will on October 1, roll out pay-per-view services in 18 states to mark the country’s independence on October 1.

TStv Lures Subscribers with N5 Daily Subscription

Dr. Bright Echefu, managing director of the company, who said this on Tuesday in Abuja, said that the company had surmounted the challenges it encountered after its launch in October 2017 and was better positioned to deliver quality services to Nigerians.

He said that the pay-per-view entails the minimum of N3 and maximum of N5 daily subscription per channel.

According to him, the company since 2017 went back to the drawing board to address all lapses to give Nigerians value for money and that while services will begin in 18 states on October 1, the remaining states will enjoy services from October 10.

“While we were off the radar, we properly studied the business and we have created a model to fit every Nigerian’s desire. We have created the pay as you view model where Nigerians will pay only for the channels they want to watch.

“Nigerians will be able to choose their bouquet by themselves, by choosing only those channels that they want to watch and pay for with a minimal amount per pay; 108 channels are available on our platform and more than 80 of them are High Definition (HD),” he said.

Echefu also said that as a gift to Nigerians for their steadfastness and understanding, the company had made the Grande Sports Extra Channel and some other local channels free to all Nigerians for one year.

While saying that Nigerians would be able to enjoy the ability to pause the decoder when not in use for a long period, he however, said that to safeguard against abuse, genuine reasons must be given for pausing the services.

He also commended the Federal Government for giving the company the desired support to start again after the challenges that led to its failure when it was first launched.


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E-Financial

Oreoluwa Adesakin, First Bank Staff Jailed for Stealing N49m

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Oreoluwa Adesakin, a staff of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has been convicted for fraud and handed a total term of 98 years in prison by Justice Muniru Olagunju of the Oyo State High Court.

Oreoluwa Adesakin, First Bank Staff Jailed for Stealing N49m

Oreoluwa Adesakin

But she will spend just seven years in jail.

Adesakin was found to have committed financial fraud against First Bank to the tune of N49,320,652.32.

She also stole $368,203.00 belonging to the bank, which she converted to her personal use.

Adesakin, before she was busted by the bank and sacked, was its Money Transfer Operator, saddled with the responsibility of effecting payments through Western Union Money Transfer and MoneyGram platforms.

The convict was prosecuted by the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on a 14-count charge, bordering on stealing, forgery and fraudulent accounting.

One of the counts read: “That you Oreoluwa Adesakin sometime between the months of May, 2013 and November, 2013, at Ibadan within the Ibadan Judicial Division, whilst being a staff of First Bank PLC stole the sum of N25,974,116.13 (Twenty Five Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand, One Hundred and Sixteen Naira, Thirteen Kobo) from First Bank PLC MoneyGram Payment Naira Account, property of First bank PLC.”

She pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Usman Murtala, prosecution counsel, presented every vital document and witnesses which nailed the convict.

Justice Olagunju noted that the EFCC presented incontrovertible evidence against the convict and did a diligent investigation and prosecution.

He thus pronounced Adesakin guilty of all the counts.

He sentenced her to seven years in prison without an option of fine on each of the 14 counts. The sentencing will run concurrently.

Apart from the jail term, the convict is also to restitute the First Bank, through the EFCC, all the money she stole.

The convict was arraigned April 4, 2014 by the EFCC following a conclusion of investigations against her which arose from a petition from her former employer, dated December 18, 2013.

The bank alleged in the petition that Adesakin fraudulently manipulated its Moneygram accounting and withdrew N49,320,652.32 and another $368,203.00 for herself, which the bank only uncovered while reviewing its internal account.

The EFCC was also able to establish that the convict used part of the proceeds of her crime to acquire landed properties in different parts of Oyo State.


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