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NCC harps on need to protect telecom infrastructure for quality services

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stressed the need to protect

telecommunication infrastructure in the country to ensure quality services.

The NCC Director, Zonal Operation, Mrs Amina Shehu, made this known at a sensitisation programme on protection of telecom

infrastructure held in Obajana, Kogi, on Thursday.

Represented by Mrs Khadijah Abari, Principal Manager, Zonal Operations Department, Shehu said that the sensitisation was a

platform to enlighten the public and other stakeholders on the need to protect telecom infrastructure.

He added that the programme was also intended to present a platform for cooperation between stakeholders in the telecom

industry to reach an understanding toward putting into proper perspective, the concerns most often expressed by the public about

telecom infrastructure.

He said “the programme is an initiative of NCC to sensitise stakeholders, as well as create awareness about the importance of telecom

facilities in our domain.

“Infrastructure such as Base Stations and other facilities have been targets of vandalism, theft and hostility from host communities.

“It is therefore, imperative for the public to regard telecom facilities as a collectively-owned infrastructure that are crucial and essential

for the provision of efficient and acceptable quality service and need to be keenly protected.”

He explained that vandalism of telecom facilities had continued to be a major challenge in the industry, adding that NCC

continued to collaborate with relevant agencies to ensure adequate security for the facilities.

Shehu said that the commission’s attention in recent time had been drawn to rising public concerns regarding alleged  negative

health implications of Electromagnetic Frequency radiation emanating from telecom infrastructure.

According to him, those negative concerns about this subject have in some cases led to interference and agitations against deployment

of required infrastructure to the detriment of delivering quality services.

He added that “in response to these growing concerns and commitment to public safety,  NCC, through Zonal Operations Department

deems it necessary as one of its core functions to organise such sensitisation to enlighten the people.”

Mr Lawal Bello, the Manager, Technical Standard and Network Integrity Department of NCC, also emphasised the importance of protecting

the facilities.

Bello said that quality service depended on these infrastructure so there was need to protect them.

According to him,  telecom operators cannot continue to deploy their infrastructure if they are not protected.

He said “there is urgent need to consider ways to protect these infrastructure to ensure quality and efficient network services.

“His Royal Highness, Idowu Isenibi, the Oba of Obajana, had commended NCC for the initiative to educate stakeholders and create

awareness on protection of telecom infrastructure.”

Oba Isenibi also said that Obajana community needed such programmes to enlighten the people.

He said “vandalism is one of the setbacks of development of any community so we should put our heads together to push it out of our domain.

“We also use this opportunity to call on telecom operators to extend their social corporate responsibility to assist the people of Obajana.”

Science & Technology

Buhari approves Danbatta’s reappointment as NCC’s boss, says Minister

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, says President Muhammadu Buhari has approved  reappointment of Prof. Umar Danbatta as Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

Pantami made the disclosure in a statement signed by Mrs Uwa Suleiman, spokesperson for the ministry, on Friday in Abuja.

The minister said it was an effort to consolidate the gains made in the telecommunications sector in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy of the country.

He also informed that Danbatta’s reappointment was based on his recommendation in line with the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.

Pantami congratulated the EVC and directed him to significantly improve on the overall performance of the commission to ensure adequate mechanisms were in place to facilitate implementation of all policies of Federal Government through the ministry.

He, however, enjoined him to ensure that the interests of telecommunication consumers, Nigerians and investors were adequately protected.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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Education

EACOED courses fully accredited by NUC, NCCE – Provost

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All the Bachelor degree and the Nigerian Certificate of Education (NCE) courses being offered by the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education (EACOED), Oyo, have been given full accreditation.
The Provost of the institution, Dr Rasak Adefabi, made the disclosure in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media Matters, Mr Wale Adeoye, on Friday in Ibadan.
Adefabi
said that the courses were accr
Edited By: the (NAN) National Universities Commission (NUC) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE).
The News Agency of Nigeria
reports that the institution had, for over two decades, been runing its Bachelor degree programmes, in affiliation with the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti.
Adefabi said: “NUC
communicated the body’s position via a letter, with reference no. /412/Vol.2/160 and dated March 19, after it conducted the accreditation exercise in the college in December 2019.”
He said that the letter was addressed to the EKSU Vice-Chancellor, with a copy sent to his office.
“With this development, all the 11 Bachelor of Education degree programmes floated by the college have been officially accredited by NUC for another five years,” he said.
The provost listed the accredited degree programmes to include: Education Agricultural Science, Education Biology, Education Chemistry, Education Computer Science, Educational Management and Planning, Health Education and Social Studies.
Others are Education Political Science, Education Economics, Education History and International Relations
as well as Guidance and Counselling.
Adefabi
said that the institution could now boast of 17 fully- accredited Bachelor degree programmes altogether.
He commended the ‘excellent performance’ of the college in the accreditation exercise carried out by the NUC in 2019.
The provost said that the NUC Technical Committee’s report revealed that the college did not score below 85 per cent in any of the accredited degree courses.
Adefabi also said that the authority of the NCCE had approved and granted full accreditation to three new NCE programmes of the college.
The three new courses, according to him, include Special Needs Education, Theatre Arts Education and Adult and Non-Formal Education.
The
provost further said that the NCCE announced the additional courses in a letter dated March 4, after its accreditation team had visited the college between Nov. 24, 2019 and Nov. 28, 2019 for the purpose of institutional and academic accreditation.
He said that the update had, therefore, raised the number of courses run by the college to 31, all fully accredited.
Adefabi expressed appreciation to Gov. Seyi Makinde for his commitment and support to the college, particularly in the consistent as well as regular payment of staff salaries, which had improved the commitment of members of staff to duty.
“These two feats could not have been achieved but for the unwavering support which the college had been receiving from the Oyo State government, under the watch of our governor,” he said.
Adefabi thanked his management team, the academic and non-academic staff, students as well as members of the college community for their unflinching support.
He said that the support had given the college an enviable rating among comity of tertiary institutions in Nigeria and beyond.


Edited By: Bola Akingbehin and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Science & Technology

NCC absolves Pantami of involvement in office space allocation controversy

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says its Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, is never involved in the process of offer of office allocation to the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) at its  Complex.

In a statement clarifying the controversial issue on Friday in Abuja,  the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr Henry Nkemadu,  said that Pantami was never involved in the offer of the office space nor in the withdrawal of the offer for same office space

He said  the minister should not, therefore, be brought into the issue.

According to Nkemadu, the decision to withdraw the offer of office space from NiDCOM was purely of the NCC, the custodian of the office complex.

“It should, however, be made  clear that the withdrawal of the offer of the office space, which was unconditionally given, in the first instance to NiDCOM, was informed by exigencies and change in priorities within the NCC.

“This led to taking back of the office space earlier allocated with intention of finding a suitable replacement for NiDCOM,” he said.

He, however,  reiterated the commission’s  confidence in the leadership, person and office of the minister.

The NCC complex  is  located at Mbora District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Science & Technology

NCC suspends Spectrum Trading Guidelines 2018

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has suspended the Spectrum Trading Guidelines 2018 for the Nigerian telecommunications industry.
A statement signed by Dr Henry Nkemadu, Director, Public Affairs, NCC, on Wednesday in Abuja, said the commission’s Board of Commissioners rose from a meeting with the position.
Nkemadu said that the board had begun to inform licensed telecommunications operators, prospective investors, industry stakeholders and the general public about the development.
He said that the board had earlier taken the decision for Spectrum Trading in response to telecommunications global dynamics as well as the efforts to optimally utilise and maximise the benefits of the Spectrum scarce resource.
The director explained that Spectrum was a scarce commodity, which when inefficiently utilised greatly limited broadband coverage and speeds.
“The current Spectrum Trading Guidelines were developed in 2018 after industry-wide consultations.
“This instrument allows that the Spectrum resource be traded on the Secondary Market through Transfer, Sharing or Leasing upon satisfying stipulated regulatory conditions.
The Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020 – 2025, launched by President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja in March 2020 requires that these Guidelines be reviewed.
“This was to ensure that unutilised Spectrum is fairly traded and to facilitate rollout by other operators amongst others.
“This is to address the need for ubiquitous broadband deployment to accelerate penetration and access in line with the economic Agenda of the Federal Government,” he said.
He further explained that in accordance with the NNBP, 2020 – 2025, for optimal use of spectrum, licensees had the obligation of the `Use it or Lose it Policy’.
He explained that idle high demand spectrum did a disservice to poorly served populations.
He said that spectrum should be released for effective use as might be required to promote efficient use of assigned spectrum.
He advised that the ‘Use it or Lose it’ rule should therefore apply in all instances where assigned spectrum was found to be non-utilised or underutilised.
He stated that it would ensure that unutilised spectrum was fairly traded to facilitate rollout by other operators.
According to Nkemadu, the suspension is in response to the need for the review of the Guidelines as highlighted.
He further said that it followed paragraph 12 of the Spectrum Trading Guidelines, 2018, which vested the Commission with the right to review/vary and modify the guidelines from time to time as it might deem fit.
The Spectrum Trading Guidelines 2018 application in Nigeria is hereby suspended until further notice, as declared by the Board,’’ he added.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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General news

NCC director says no proof telephone radiations dangerous to health

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The Director of Technical Standards and Network Integrity of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Mr Bako Wakil, said on Wednesday that there had been no scientific proof that mobile telephone radiations were dangerous to  human health.

Wakil made the disclosure while speaking on “Electromagnetic Radiation and Human Health’’` at a webinar, organized by the Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers in Lagos.

The event was put together to mark the 2020 World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

He said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had also established the position.

The director argued that telecommunications masts do not pose health hazards as long as they are located properly and in accordance with approved guidelines.

Wakil, a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, said that WHO had since established that GSM radiation was also not harmful to mobile telephone users.

“A large number of studies have been performed over the past two decades to assess whether mobile telephones pose health risks.

“To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile telephone use,’’ he stated.

Also speaking, Mr Peter Ewesor, Managing Director of the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, explained various hazards associated with electricity generation and distribution.

He said that in spite of the huge benefits of electricity to all aspects of life, its abuse could cause avoidable accidents.

Ewesor called on operators in the electrical and electronics industry to comply with safety guidelines to avoid accidents and deaths.

The chief electrical inspector of the federation, while speaking on “Electrical Safety Standards and Regulations in the Power Industry’’, described electricity as important for economic growth and development.

He stressed the need for installations to be properly planned, executed, maintained and utilised to avert accidents, electrocutions, explosions, fire-outbreaks, loss of supply and power wastages.

The National Chairman of the institute, Mr Kings Adeyemi, restated that health and safety of members of the institute were vital to the body, saying that the webinar was to keep them abreast of current trends.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

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General news

NCC urges researchers, academics to explore intellectual property framework for development

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Mr John Asein, Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has urged the nation’s researchers and academics to explore intellectual property framework for national development, especially in science and medicine.

He made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Monday while expressing goodwill message to Nigerian intellectual property creators and innovators for the 2020 Intellectual Property (IP) Day.

NAN reports that the World Intellectual Property Day, established by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), is observed annually on April 26.

It is to raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impacted on daily life, and to celebrate the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Innovate for a Green Future” aimed at taking a closer look at green innovation and sustainable technology.

According to Asein, effective application of intellectual property can assist Nigeria to unlock its vast potential and empower more communities to become global players in the fields of science and medicine.

He, therefore, called on academics and researchers to explore and provide empirical, IP-driven support to help refine, validate and propagate our traditional knowledge for the benefit of humanity.

“Nigeria must continue to harness its rich diversity of traditional knowledge, and through a careful infusion of the modern intellectual property system, provide both positive and defensive protection for its traditional knowledge.

“As the world marks this year’s IP Day, we urge academics and researchers to look inward and provide empirical support to help refine, validate and propagate our traditional knowledge for the benefit of humanity.

“A green future should be one that also guarantees the protection of the nation’s biodiversity and the sustainable use of appropriate innovation.

“This includes traditional knowledge, to find simple, safe and sustainable solutions for daily challenges in health, well-being, food, shelter and environmental safety.

“This will complement government’s ongoing efforts at self-sufficiency and the vision for Nigerians to grow what we eat and consume what we make,” he said.

The DG observed that the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed the fragile ecosystem of the world and reminded mankind of the need to use technology, creativity and innovation in a balanced, responsible, human-friendly and sustainable manner.

He added that the current global scourge had exposed the vulnerability of developed and developing countries alike and how the choices made in one part of the world today could affect other parts.

He, therefore, noted that there was no better time than now for the world to appreciate the consequences of the daily choices being made in different areas of human life.

“The world can no longer ignore the consequences of unwholesome practices and innovations that threaten ecosystems, distort climatic conditions, deplete farm yields and foist untold hardship on people.

“The depletion of the ozone layer, increasing global warming, acid rain, ocean plastic waste, water pollution, are some of these byproducts that threaten humans, animals and the planet on which we coexist.

“The 2018 Global Innovation Index released by WIPO forecasts that by 2050, 85 per cent of the world’s primary energy needs will be derived from renewables, such as solar, wind, and geothermal power.

“Countries are therefore encouraged to develop policies that support renewable energy and, fortunately, Nigeria is well endowed and it is already taking steps toward boosting the country’s performance index in the field of green technology,” he said.

The director-general, urged everyone to embrace the campaign for a green future, adding that the commission would continue to give institutional support as part of a national strategy for a balanced and robust intellectual property.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Science & Technology

NCC clears doubts over 5G, COVID-19, Security

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says there’s no is no correlation between the Fifth Generation Technology (5G), Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Security.

Dr Henry Nkemadu, Director, Public Affairs, NCC made this clearification in a statement following recent materials being circulated, linking COVID-19 with 5G Technology.

The statement, which was signed by Nkemadu, on Monday in Abuja, said it has become imperative for the commission to provide some clarifications.

According to the him, firstly, there is no correlation between 5G Technology and COVID-19. 5G is an advancement on today’s 4G technology designed to transform the world positively.

“Secondly, there is no deployment of 5G in Nigeria at the moment. The NCC back in November 2019 approved trial test for 5G for a period of three months and that the trial has been concluded and installation decommissioned.

“The trial among others was to study and observe  any health or security challenges the 5G network might present. Relevant stakeholders including members of the security agencies were invited to participate during the trial.

“The NCC will continue to maintain its policy of technology neutrality and will continue to encourage service providers to deploy the best technology that will meet the needs of the society in a secured and friendly manner.

Nkemadu explained 5G as a fifth generation of mobile technology, which was an improvement of today’s 4G technology with enhanced capabilities, adding that it provides the platform for new and emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data to improve on living and work.

He also explained that 5G belonged to the same class of Non-ionising Radiation and a such not different from those of 2G, 3G and 4G, adding that there was nothing to worry about as safety and human health were top priorities in the design and deployment of 5G.

He said that the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) Chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy had the responsibility of allocating bulk spectrum for various services

He said that NCC had not issued any licence for 5G in Nigeria, adding that NCC was technology neutral as such do not license technology but assigns spectrum to operators for deployment of any service when allocated by NFMC.

“There is no 5G network in Nigeria at the moment.  What we had was a trial test for 3 months which has since been concluded. No exact time frame but when conditions are right and all doubts are cleared.

“We have spectrum, particularly the millimetre wave spectrum from 24GHz and above are available. We have not given out 5G spectrum to operators. It will be auctioned at the appropriate time,” he said.

Nkemadu, assured that 5G technology would ransform the world by connecting everything with everybody and create millions of jobs in the country.

He also noted that  it it would add billions of dollars to the country’s economy in terms of Growth Domestic Product (GDP) and can solve some problems such as insecurity and improve governance and efficiency in the society.

He called on Nigerians not to ignore negative narratives but to rely on information from world standards making bodies such as World Health Organisation (WHO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU),

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and industry experts for advice, when in doubt.

He, however, said that there was radiation emission limits set by the International Commission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) which the radiation was considered safe for humans.

“The NCC has been regularly conducting measurements of radiation emissions from Base stations across the country and they are all well below the set limits.

“5G is not the same as Fibre cable. fibre cable is a terrestrial technology for broadband that existed for decades while 5G is a new mobile technology for enhanced quality of service as explained in Q1 above.

“There are other sources of radiation, which include television stations,  radio broadcasts stations,  wifi and so on. They all belong to the class of radiation considered to be safe for humans when operated below the set limits.

“5G is not owned by anybody but collection of technologies, Standards and processes agreed at the international level by Standards making bodies.

Nkemadu said that the amount of voice and data usage had increased by huge amounts as a result of the lockdown and there was the need to expand the network to provide optimum quality of service to users sitting at home.

He said that Telecom was also critical for information decimination during the lockdown.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that there is 5G deployment to countries like South Korea, China, U.S., Germany and others since middle 2019.

Mediterranean by Sadiya Hamza

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Economy

Cybercrime, e-fraud, major challenges facing telecommunication users — NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has attributed cybercrime and e-fraud as one of the major challenges facing telecommunications users in the country.

NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated this during the commission’s special day in Enugu on Sunday at the ongoing 31st Enugu International Trade Fair.

Danbatta, represented by a Director in the Commission, Reuben Mmuoka, said NCC recently hosted a cyber security enlightenment conference where telecoms stakeholders were enlightened on dangers associated with cybercrimes.

He advised telecom consumers not to open unknown emails or post Personal Identification Number (PIN) online as bank would never ask them for their personal detail via internet or over the phone.

Danbatta disclosed that the commission had also educated parents on their roles regarding child online protection.

“The sensitisation programmes are targeted at parents, aimed at equipping them with the right knowledge they need to limit the exposure of their children to the negative aspects of internet use.

“To protect subscribers from unsolicited text messages or voice calls, the commission evolved  “do not disturb”  (DNB), directing all mobile network operators to dedicate a short code to enable subscribers to take informed but independent decisions on what messages they wish to receive.”

He pointed out that NCC as regulator had come with initiatives to enable consumers lodge their complaints when dissatisfied with the services provided by their operators.

“The Commission will apply appropriate regulatory measures and sanctions against such service provider.

“NCC identifies consumer as a very important stakeholder in the telecoms industry, which is evident in our 8-point agenda where empowerment and protection is properly captured,” he added.

The Vice Chairman said that the NCC Special Day was aimed at educating and informing subscribers on the use of communication services and their rights as telecoms consumers.

In his address, the President of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Mr Emma Nwandu, said that the role of NCC as a regulatory agency in the telecommunication sector was commendable.

According to him, telecommunication industry has witnessed a great revolution in the socio-economic life, which has equally accentuated the pace of socio-economic life as individuals and as a nation.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu
(NAN)

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Entertainment

Copyright Society slams N10bn lawsuit on NCC

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The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), has slammed a lawsuit of N10 billion on Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), for alleged unlawful suspension.

According to a statement signed by COSON’s spokesperson, Tolulope Balogun, the lawsuit was to seek damages of eight billion naira and two billion naira respectively.

“COSON had gone to the Federal High Court to seek damages of eight billion naira from the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), for the undemocratic, unlawful and unconstitutional suspension of the approval and operating license of the plaintiff.

“Also there is another two billion naira for the significant loss of reputation and goodwill suffered by the plaintiff.

“This is arising from the massive publicity sustained by the NCC against COSON following the undemocratic, unlawful and unconstitutional suspension of the approval and operating license of the Plaintiff and the unlawful directive that the bank accounts of the plaintiff be frozen,” Balogun said.

He said the 63 paragraphs Statement of Claim in suit No /425/2020 was filed a Lagos lawyer, Mr. James Ononiwu of Whitedove Solicitors.

In the suit, COSON averred that it was a fact that the Copyright Act in Section 39 (2) gave the Defendant the power to approve collecting societies.

“However, nowhere under the law is the NCC given the power to suspend, revoke or in any way restrict the approval given to a collecting society or embark on an audit of a collecting society or direct the freeze/restriction of the bank accounts of a collecting society without an order of court.” the statement read.

COSON, in the statement said that the NCC had become a monster deploying the wide powers it has unlawfully assumed to decimate the stakeholders it was set up to protect.

COSON added that by NCC’s actions, the commission has been the law maker, the accuser, the judge and the jury in its own case without COSON being offered any opportunity for fair hearing.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ekemini Ladejobi
(NAN)

 

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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