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Telcos Record 9,077 Service Outages in Q2 2020, Says NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that major mobile network operators (MNOs) in the country recorded 9,077 cases of service outages on their networks in the second quarter of the year, resulting in unexpected disruptions to operators’ network quality of service (QoS) delivery and intermittent quality of experience (QoE) by the consumers.

 

Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, executive commissioner, Stakeholder Management (ECSM), NCC, disclosed this in a presentation delivered during the first Virtual Telecoms Consumer Parliament (VTCP) hosted by the Commission recently in Abuja.

 

According to Adewolu, of the 9,077 service outages recorded by the operators, 3,585 were caused by incidences of denial of access to telecoms sites for maintenance, 4,972 were triggered by incidences of fibre cuts from construction activities and vandalism while 520 cases were as a result of incidences of generator and battery theft at sites.

 

Adewolu, however, noted that in a proactive step to mitigate the challenges, the Commission had swiftly responded by taking some major decisions to mitigate any unforeseen challenges that may cause serious disruptions in service delivery to the consumers throughout the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

He said, “the Commission approved resource sharing by operators throughout the period of COVID-19 pandemic.” These include fibre optic cables and other resources in the event of cable cuts and other unforeseen developments.

 

“We also ensured that the service providers meet the needs of their teeming consumers by securing Right of Passage (RoP) for all telecommunications officials and staff for easy movement during the lockdown.

 

“This was to ensure ease of movement to service base stations and other telecom facilities and equipment,” among others.

 

The ECSM called on all stakeholders to join hands with the Commission in enlightening all citizens on the need to protect the telecom infrastructure in their domain without which quality of service delivery will be hampered.

 

He noted that the numerous complaints received from consumers by the Commission since the outbreak of the pandemic were indicative of the widening gap between the consumer QoS and the QoE provided by the service providers, which, according to him, needed to be addressed.

 

He charged operators on the need to increase and improve their network capacity following the unprecedented increase in consumer demand.

 

“Also, service providers must embark on pervasive consumer education and enlightenment campaign about data usage and billing to ensure their subscribers have all the required information to make informed decisions so as get value for money spent.

 

“Operators also need to train and equip their customer care personnel on consumer complaint management as well as ensuring that consumer complaints are resolved conclusively and in line with the revised Service Level Agreement (SLA),” Adewolu said.

 

He warned service providers to refrain from indulging in unwholesome practices such as modification of data plan without informing the consumers, putting out promotional advertorials without prior approval by the Commission, changing the names and nomenclature of promotions from what was approved, among others to short-change the consumers, warning that the Commission will not hesitate to sanction erring operators.

 

The ECSM noted that the Consumer Code of Practice requires that once a contract agreement is signed, both parties should adhere to the contract terms and conditions and where a change is required, the validity period should end before any modification is effected.

 


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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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NDPR to Safeguard Personal Data of Nigerians -DG NITDA

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Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has disclosed that the motive behind the issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulations, (NDPR) by the Agency was to safeguard the right of natural persons to data privacy, fostering safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data, enablement of Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant and competitive and to create jobs for Nigerians.

 

Mallam Abdullahi revealed this Friday while delivering the keynote address  at the 6th annual conference of Institute Internal Auditors of Nigeria, (IIAN) with the theme:, “Agility and Resilience” which was held on zoom conference platform.

 

The Conference aimed at preparing participants across Internal Audits, Internal Controls, risk management, revenue and Government assurance and other business professionals to learn how to leverage on new technologies and procedures towards actualisation of the organisation’s goals and objectives.

 

The NITDA DG who was represented Director e-Government Development and Regulations, Dr Vincent Olatunji stated that since inception of the Agency in 2001, it has been playing a catalytic roles to spur the infusion of technology into nation’s work processes reiterating that the Agency plays “critical roles in capacity development, provision of working tools for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

 

“NITDA also has an existing arrangement with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to aid the office in the discharge of its activities.”

 

Mallam Abdullahi said, “The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued on 25th January, 2020 by my predecessor, DrIsa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

 

“As part of his think-tank then, our thinking was that Nigeria needed to quickly provide a regulatory framework for the processing of personal data.

 

“This was even more pertinent in consideration of the global implications of non-performance.

 

“Businesses where losing bids because investors felt there was no data privacy regime in Nigeria.

 

“The Agency’s implementation of the NDPR has been innovative and impact oriented. For the first time in data protection implementation, auditors became recognised as Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO)”.

 

He maintained that NITDA has 72 licensed DPCOs among which are members of this “august body,” adding that “this posture is not as a result of lack of professionals in the IT industry, rather, we have made conscious efforts to carry every relevant stakeholder along in our developmental regulatory strategy.

 

“ I hope this noble institute would repay NITDA’s generosity by imbibing ethical and professional principles on your members for better implementation of the Regulation.”

 

Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, New Capital Cooperatives Society Mr. Benedict Anyalenka while commending the organisers of the conference affirmed that data privacy and protection should be a requisite skill needed for development of the Information Technology Sector as it would create platform for protection of information against unauthorized usage.

 

Anyalenka, however, called for proper awareness on the importance of data privacy among organisations and stakeholders across the country to safeguard citizens’ data.


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FG Reveals Plans to Deploy Technology in the Health Sector

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As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to deploy information and communications technology (ICT) in the country’s health sector.

This is part of the plans to achieve transparency and accountability in health care delivery across the country.

Dr. Ngozi R. C. Azodoh, director, Special Projects, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health, revealed this while speaking at MTN Nigeria’s Revv Programme masterclass on Thursday, September 17, 2020 .

The virtual session themed ‘Bridging the healthcare divide through technology and partnerships’ had in attendance health sector experts including Chief Executive Officer, Hygeia HMO Limited, Obinnia Abajue; Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Afya Care, Kola Oni; Managing Director, Ingress Health Partners, Dr. Orode Doherty and Chief Executive Officer, Tremendoc Limited, Ugochukwu Chikezie. The session was moderated by the General Manager, Business Development, MTN Nigeria, Omotayo Ojulatayo.

According to Azodoh, the federal government has put structures in place to utilise ICT as part of efforts to standardise the healthcare system.

“The government is working hand in hand with state governments across the country to maintain transparency and accountability, adding that ICT and other forms of electronic platforms are currently being improved and expanded following the federal government’s COVID intervention”.

She also shared that the ministry is willing to support small businesses in the sector imploring the participating SMEs to seize the opportunities provided by The Revv Programme.

“I want to ask everyone who is listening to write to the MTN Revv team and say this is one thing I want the Federal Ministry of Health to do to help my business then we can engage on how to proceed,” she enthused.

In her parting remarks, she also commended MTN Nigeria for providing a platform for SMEs to expand their capacity. “I must commend MTN for this excellent initiative. It has been very productive for me and an opportunity to transfer knowledge.”

The Revv Programme is an initiative from MTN Nigeria to help small businesses rethink and retool their operations in order to withstand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic using a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives.


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Peace House Charity Foundation Seeks for DCTC Intervention

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Mallam Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), asserted that if we do not empower our people, they become a problem to the society in future.

 

He made this know on Friday while receiving a delegation from Peace House Charity Foundation,Yola who were at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarter, Abuja to seek for interventions in the areas of ICT.

 

The representative of the Director General, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Director eGovernment Development and Regulation stated that one of the mandate of the Agency is the deployment of ICT infrastructure as such the Foundation’s visit at this time is very apt as the Agency is relentlessly working on the implementation of the Digital Economy strategy.

 

MallamAbdullahi affirmed that Agency at the moment is looking for organisations to partner with to sustain Digital Capacity Training Centres deployed across the country.

 

He commended the effort of the organisation in assisting orphans with not only providing basic education but also the provision of skills, mentorship and moral upbringing.

 

Speaking earlier, Mr Mohammad Bello, a Director with the Foundation said that the organisation was at the Agency to seek for ICT intervention and to commend NITDA’s effort in promoting ICT knowledge across the nation.

 

He stated that the organisation supports education for the orphans and the less privileged,  promote health care delivery especially among women and children, provide sensitisation workshop for parents (mothers) on parenting and matrimonial home, promote unity and encourage self-reliance among the populace.

 

 

 

 

 


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