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Active subscribers increase by 43,807 in March — NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says there is an addition of 43,807 active subscribers on the telecommunication networks in March 2019.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the active subscribers on the telecommunications networks increased from 173,670,035 in February to 173,713,842 in March.

According to the data, 173,432,863 of the 173,713,863 active users subscribe to the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network services.

The GSM operators’ active customers’ figure increased by 156,335 in March, after the 173,276,528 subscribers recorded in February 2019.

The report stated that out of the GSM operators, MTN had 65,034,615 users in March, showing a decrease of 531,283 from the 66,565,878 it recorded in February 2019.

Globacom’s figure increased in March by 199,186 with 46,203,703 customers, as against 46,004,517 in February.

Airtel had 45,238,335 subscribers in the month under review, which showed an increase of 262,803 users, from the 44,975,532 recorded in February.

9mobile recorded 16,838,403 customers in March, having an increase of 107,822 subscribers, against 16,730,581 in February.

Visafone, which just migrated from the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) to the GSM network had 117,807 subscribers in the month of March.

The Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators recorded 4,460 subscribers in the month under review, indicating a decrease of 119,087 from 123,547 users in February 2019.

The only surviving CDMA operators, Multi-Links had 4,460 in the month under review, same with the record of February 2019.

One of the two landline networks, Visafone had 26,437 subscribers, while Multi-Links maintained its record of 428 customers in the month under review.

It also revealed that the Fixed Wired operators (landline) subscriber base decreased by 641; reducing to 107,154 users in March, as against 107,795 recorded in February 2019.

In the Fixed Wired arena, MTN Fixed moved from 5,459 users in February 2019 to 5,449 users in March, thereby decreasing by 10 customers.

Glo Fixed had 2,789 users in March, decreasing by 95 customers from the February record of 2,884.

IpNX network moved from 2,233 subscriber base in February 2019 to 2,221 in March, hence, its customers decreased by 12.

It said that 21st Century Network had 96,695 customers in March, recording a decrease of 524 users from its February record of 97,219 subscribers.

The report also showed that the two Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) networks had 142,500 active users in March, as their customers increased by 7,200 from their February 2019 subscriber base of 135,300.

Of the VOIP networks, Smile Communication had 137,247 customers, giving an increase of 7,779 users to its February result of 129,468.

Ntel had 5,253 consumers subscribing to its products and services in March, showing a decrease of 579 users from the February 2019 record of 5,832.

The regulatory body said that Section 89, Subsection 3(c) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 mandated it to monitor and report the state of the telecommunications industry.

“The commission is mandated to provide statistical analyses and identify industry trends with regard to: services, tariffs, operators, technology, subscribers, issues of competition and dominance.

“This is with a view to identifying areas where regulatory intervention will be needed.

“The commission regularly conducts studies, surveys and produces reports on the telecommunications industry.

“Therefore, telecommunications operators are obligated, under the terms of their licenses, to provide NCC with such data on a regular basis for analytical review and publishing,” NCC said.

Science & Technology

Energy saving bulbs contain carcinogenic chemicals, injurious to health- Ewaste expert

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An Electronic waste expert, Dr Ifeanyi Ochonogor, has cautioned Nigerians on usage and disposal of energy conserving bulbs, saying they contain several carcinogenic chemicals which are injurious to human health.

Ochonogor told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Saturday that a lot of scientific studies had been performed on mercury in the Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFLs).

reports that CFLs is popularly known as energy conserving bulbs.

”Mercury from CFLs can cause cancer and various diseases.

”When you break CFLs, an explosion of toxic chemicals ensue and mercury is the last thing anybody wants to inhale.

“CFLs also cause lethargy, headaches and dizziness. We need to be watchful of what we buy, use and consume,” Ochonogor, Founder, Ewaste Relief Foundation, warned.

He said that CFLs were widespread on the African continent due to lack of awareness.

Quoting a foreign publication, Daily Mail, he said some German Scientists claimed that several carcinogenic chemicals and toxins were released when CFLs were switched on including: Phenol, Nepthalene, Styrene, and Mercury Vapour.

Ochonogor, also the Chief Executive Officer of E-Terra, said that improper disposal of CFLs and the possibilities of spreading the mercury and contaminated glass, were another major challenges.

According to him, broken CFLs pieces are usually thrown away in the dustbins or trash cans, thus poisoning the ecosystem.

Ochonogor said that there was need to proffer possible strategic solutions toward the usage and safe disposal of energy saving light bulbs due to the mercury in it.

The expert said that in the first quarter of 2019 a solution to the light bulb problem was developed by investing so much to protect children and our future.

He said that the foundation was ready to collaborate with the governments at all levels and corporate bodies toward proffering lasting solutions through massive and aggressive campaigns for proper sorting of hazardous variations of waste.

The expert said there was also need to partner with the local governments and the state government agencies like Lagos Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) and Lagos State Environment Protection Agency (LASEPA).

Ochonogor lauded the Federal Government for sponsoring the Data Protection Bill through the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) now before the National Assembly.

The expert said that there were also jobs and business opportunities in the areas of safe collection and specialised disposal through enlightenment of putting used bulbs in their packs and deposit them in designated places.

According to him, people that invented the CFLs were right in the area of energy conservation, but the energy conservation affects human health negatively.

He said that the manufacturers have not allowed sufficient amount of time to study the effects of the innovations on consumers before releasing them for use.

SKA/GOK

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

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MTN mPulse Planet thrills 5,000 children, showcases different games

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MTN mPulse Planet, a fun exploratory world, on Friday delighted 5,000 children mostly teens on ways to learn, play and shine.

The Chief Operating Officer, Mazen Mroue made the  statement during the opening of the event held in Lagos.

He said that the event was themed, “How the Future Will Look like in 2044’’.

“MTN mPulse is designed for Nigerian children, teenagers and secondary school students to learn and excel in their academics, development skills for now and the future, play brain-stimulating games and others.

“We segmented our customers and find out that teens between nine and 14 should be given extra attention by us, as looking at their hobbies and interest, it has to do with technology, online gaming, online education.

“We packaged all these together through mPulse platform to get them exposed to the latest technologies and educational materials available as at this age, they can have a final decision regarding their own future carrier.

“So exposing them to the maximum number of technologies that will aid them in future is the essence of our celebration today,” he said.

Mroue noted that connectivity was a must for every Nigerian and it was their role to really make sure that every Nigerian had access to technology and access to the connectivity that would push the technology.

He, however, added that the mPulse platform was available online to all Nigerians, between the ages of 9 and 14 irrespective of where they are.

Mroue pointed that while accessing the platform online, they could leverage all the freebies and all the offers available for  physical interaction.

“These children are already exposed to technology, they are already using our services and are already connected.

“So definitely, we need to give them attention to make life easier and enable them to make the right choice when they grow up.

“It is an opportunity for us, as well as for the country to really train our people in the early stage to take the right decision and we will ensure that all children present here gets the right attention,’’ he said.

Mroue said that the key success factor for this story was the company’s partnership with their strategic partners and all government support; and also thanking the regulator for their constant encouragement.

Also, the General Manager, Consumer Marketing MTN, Mr Olawale Rawa, said that mPulse was a proposition launched last year to help `Catch Them Young’ from the secondary school level.

“On the website you can see a lot of contents around games, education and others that will get your children interested in entrepreneurship.

“The physical event that we are witnessing here today is to enable the children see those things they have seen online and have a feel of them,’’ he said.

Rawa said that the event was free and one does not have to be rich to partake but an avenue for everyone to experience what the future would look like and understand it.

As regards pushing it out of Lagos, he said that it was also in their mind but they needed to understand what they were  doing very well as it had to do with children who were very delicate.

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Telecoms infrastructure vandalism affecting service – NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says the spate of vandalism of telecoms infrastructure across the country has resulted in slowing the pace of growth of services.

The Director, Zonal Operations, NCC, Mrs Amina Shehu raised the concern on Friday at a programme to sensitise the Eggon community, near Lafia, Nassarawa, to protection of telecoms infrastructure.

The director, specifically frowned at the state of vandalism, theft and hostility from some host communities stressing that telecom facilities should be treated as collectively owned infrastructure.

Shehu, who was represented by Abubakar Usman, Principal Manager, Zonal Operation, NCC, said the telecom sector had contributed and recorded not less than 10 per cent growth in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

She said the programme was aimed at enlightening the public and other stakeholders on the need to protect telecom infrastructure within their communities.

She said it would also create awareness about the importance of telecommunication infrastructure and ensure that telecom consumers get satisfaction from the quality of service.

“This workshop is also intended to present a platform for cooperation between stakeholders in the telecommunications industry.

“It is also to reach an understanding towards putting into proper perspective the concerns most often expressed by the public about telecoms infrastructure,” he said.

The director said that the advent of GSM has re-engineered the economy and social well-being of the nation.

She noted that there were some challenges pervading the seamless provision of telecommunication services in the country arising from some misconceptions and misguided facts about key telecom infrastructure such as Base Stations.

The director assured that the commission would continue to collaborate with relevant agencies to ensure adequate security for telecoms facilities.

In his paper presentation, Engr. Kunle Olorundare, Principal Manager, Technical Standard and Network Integrity, NCC, also underscored the need to protect telecoms infrastructure.

Olorundare noted that the benefits were enormous, including job creation, attraction of investors.

He urged all stakeholders, traditional rulers, indigenes and individuals to collectively protect telecoms infrastructure in the communities.

The Chairman of Nasarawa Eggon Local Government Council Mr. Idris Danlami, applauded the NCC for for organizing the enlightenment programme.

Danlami who was represented by a Concillor, Mr. Masin Anzaku, promised that all hands would be on deck to mobilise more people for the protection of telecoms infrastructure in the communities.

JEZ/ROT

Edited by Rotimi Ijikanmi

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Onu’s reappointment will engender space technology development – NSE

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The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) says the reappointment of Dr Ogbonnaya Onu as Minister of Science and Technology will engender development of space technology and its deployment to tackling insecurity.

Mr Hamid Abdulkareem, the Chairman of NSE, Giri Branch, FCT stated this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Abuja.

Abdulkareem recalled that during the first tenure of Onu, there were specific responsibilities assigned to parastatals within the Ministry of science and technology for the development of the sector.

He said it would be beneficial to the nation if the minister continued on the path he was towing towards developing the science and technology sector.

The chairman recalled that the minister, during his first tenure, assigned responsibilities to some engineers to collaborate with security agents on how to deploy space technology into addressing issues of insecurity.

He reiterated that space technology had proven impactful in developed nations across the world, adding that Nigeria could leverage on it.

Abdulkareem said that space technology can also address issues on food security, environmental challenges, among other issues.

“One of NSE’s contributions to the development of this sector is to create awareness, galvanise engineers towards deploying space technology into addressing issues of national security.

“In times past, our security agents seem to have deployed strategies within their reach to tackle the problem.

“With space science technology which requires the involvement of engineers, we can monitor activities of banditry, terrorism, food security, natural disaster, among other issues.

“Another mandate given to NSE at the Giri branch is collaborating with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) to ensure that Nigeria has a meteorological satellite,’’ Abdulkareem said.

The branch chairman said that a meteorological satellite could be deployed towards monitoring weather for strategic planning in aviation, defense, water resources and agriculture.

“By the time we have our own built meteorological satellite; it will take Nigeria far in monitoring weather for strategic planning.

He urged the minister to consolidate on the existing projects and initiate more for the development of the sector.

Edited by Celine-Damilola Oyewole, Rotimi Ijikanmi

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Nigeria needs population that appreciates science knowledge – NAS

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The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) says the country needs a population that appreciates science knowledge.

The President of NAS, Prof. Mosto Onuoha, made the assertion at the `NAS Science Media Award’ held in Lagos on Thursday evening.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the NAS Science Media Award in its 8th year, seeks to promote excellence in science and science-related journalism.

The Academy is of the opinion that an improvement in science reporting will result in a well-informed public, bringing about greater accountability in policy-making.

NAN reports that the awards are open to all print and broadcast journalists in Nigeria who published science-related stories (health, environment etc) in 2018.

According to him, appreciating science will go a long way in the development of the country.

“It is good to appreciate people that are good in disseminating information especially in science as science changes the way we live and believe.

“As an academy, we want to popularise science in the country and this led to the starting of the Academy Science Media Award.

“The academy strives to push science forward but is saddled with obstacles like finance. This is the part of the roles Vitafoam Nigeria will play as they recognise the value of science,’’ Onuoha said.

The Managing Director of Vitafoam Nigeria, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi, said that the bedrock of what Vitafoam does evolve around science, the ability to innovate and conduct research.

According to him, if science is taken out of Vitafoam, it will not be relevant again, as science has replaced our natural way of doing things to technological advancement, which has led to production in large quantity.

“Beside Corporate Social Responsibility, embarking on this is an avenue to get people interested in science so as to push the country forward,’’ he said.

Ms Caroline Southey, Editor, Conversation Africa, South Africa, said that science reporting had to be done in a tireless and dogged way through adequate research.

Southey who presented the keynote address titled: `Captivating Science Reporting in the 21st Century’, said that she had witnessed that tireless and doggedness in Nigerian Science Journalists.

She said that a captivating science reporting should be done in a competitive way by maintaining facts and pursuing the truth at all times.

Southey decried the spread of misinformation by some journalists, saying that it damaged public trust in the new media and had a devastating effect on the health of a nation.

The Public Affairs Secretary, NAS, Prof. Olatunde Farombi, while presenting the awards to the winners, said that they had 22 entries from which four winners emerged.

He said that two persons from the print media and two from the broadcast media won the awards, saying the winners showed consistency and uniformity to have emerged.

 

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