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Telecoms

Danbatta, Other Eminent Nigerians Endorse Book On Telecoms Law, Regulations

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The book, “Nigerian Telecommunications Law and Regulation” unveiled on Thursday

A new book on Nigeria’ telecommunications industry’s legal and regulatory ecosystem has been endorsed by eminent Nigerians including the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta.

The book, “Nigerian Telecommunications Law and Regulation”, which is co-authored by Quasim Odunmbaku, a telecoms regulatory professional at the NCC and Rotimi Akapo, a lawyer, who specialises in Telecommunications, Media and Technology (TMT) practice, is written in 18 chapters and over 600 pages.

At the virtual public presentation of the book on Thursday, February 25, 2021, Danbatta, who was the Chairman and Lead Presenter at the event, said that law and regulation are two critical pillars, which influence the speed and impact of innovation in the telecoms sector.

“As important as these two factors are, they typically lag behind technology – it, therefore, behoves on all legal and regulatory practitioners in the sector to keep abreast of developments so that knowledge gaps do not stifle innovation and/or deny consumers of the optimum value,” he said.

Represented by the Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management at NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, the EVC acknowledged that there is a noticeable paucity of well-researched books and reference materials on the legal and regulatory regime governing telecommunications and indeed the ICT sector in Nigeria.

“I am, therefore, delighted that the authors of “Nigerian Telecommunications Law and Regulation” have taken up the challenge and have produced a comprehensive reference material which touches on practically every aspect of the subject.”

The official public presentation of the book was done by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, who incidentally, was a former ECSM at NCC, and had worked closely with one of the authors.

Dare described the book as “a compendium that will greatly enrich the level of knowledge needed to enhance telecoms growth.”

Some of the faces at the virtual book presentation on Thursday….

The reviewer of the book, Dr Mohammed Suleh-Yusuf, after an insightful review of the book, said, “The book is highly useful to practitioners and lay readers alike. It serves as a window into what shapes the industry and ensures readers are familiar at the surface, to the basic rules and norms that influence the industry.”

Other telecoms stakeholders have overwhelmingly endorsed the book, describing it as good reference material and comprehensive guide, reference material and source-book on the policy, legal and regulatory framework governing the Nigerian telecommunications sector, which, many stakeholders said, will fill a critical contemporary knowledge gap for legal practitioners, investors and the academia.

Head of Sub-Saharan Africa Operations, Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), Akinwale Goodluck said at the presentation, “As an industry practitioner, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and recommend it very strongly for everyone with an interest in the Industry. It also provides invaluable insight for other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to learn from the Nigeria experience.”

Immediate past President, Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Olusola Teniola, and incumbent ATCON President, Ike Nnamani, aligned in their views, saying the authors have challenged the industry by putting together an encyclopaedia behind the growth of the Telecommunications industry from the perspective of legal, regulatory, economic, social and technological impacts.

Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, said “the book carefully dissects the policies, rules, regulations and industry best practices which makes the Nigerian telecommunications industry the success story that it is today, despite numerous challenges.”

Other stakeholders, who rated the book very high both in contents and relevance to industry practitioners include Chairman, Section of Business Law, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ayuli Jemide; Director, Legal & Regulatory Affairs/Company Secretary, Airtel Networks Limited, Shola Adeyemi; Principal Partner and Head, ICT Law & Regulation, Sceptre Law, Lagos, Otu Etuk; Prof. Abiola Sanni of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, among others.

The stakeholders were in accord that the book, which sets out with great clarity and in the greatest detail the history, current status and how to navigate the policies and regulation of the Nigerian telecommunications sector in the real world, is a must-read for regulators, investors, scholars and industry practitioners.

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Telecoms

Danbatta Highlights Place Of Digital Infrastructure, Literacy In Nigeria’s Public/Private Institutions

Danbatta was presented an appreciation award by the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano (AKTH).

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L-R: Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, being presented with an appreciation award by Prof. Abdulrahman Sheshe, Chief Medical Director, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Kano, during the courtesy visit.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has said that robust digital infrastructure and literacy are keys to reaping the transformational benefits of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) across the public and private institutions in the country.

Danbatta stated this when he received a delegation of the Top Management Committee (TMC) of the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano (AKTH), who paid him a courtesy visit at the Kano Zonal Office of the Commission at the weekend.

The AKTH team also presented an award to the EVC “as an expression of the hospital’s appreciation for the enormous contributions of the EVC and the Commission to the development of health institutions in the country over the years.”

During the visit, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of AKTH, Prof. Abdulrahman Sheshe, who led the delegation on the courtesy call, said, “The objective of our being here today is to appreciate your contribution in person and as EVC of NCC to the growth and development of the teaching hospital.”

Sheshe said that through the support and donations from Kano people like the EVC and institutions like NCC, the hospital has increased its bed capacity from 250 to 700, as well as performing 57 successful transplant surgeries.

“You have also made enormous contributions in this regard and that has helped us to get new dialysis machines through your assistance and these machines are being put to use, aside from other state-of-the-art equipment already in place,” he said while appreciating the EVC.

The CMD, however, sought NCC’s support in the area of a Health Information Management System (HIMS) and digital capacity for staff.

In his response, Danbatta thanked the hospital management for the visit and the award, noting that the Commission supports federal institutions with necessary ICT equipment across the country and is ready to assist AKTH in this regard.

“As a Commission, we are working to bridge the infrastructure divide, which is an element of the entire digital ecosystem. We do this via a lot of ongoing regulatory initiatives.

“And, through our training arm, Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), we provide digital literacy to critical sectors of the economy, including the health sector, we also intervene through our Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme,” he said.

Danbatta noted that the digital divide can be bridged by making computers available and ICT services accessible to people and key sectors of the economy.

“Infrastructure that can host this massive flow of information and knowledge is broadband infrastructure and this is top-most in the agenda of the Commission. Indeed, ICT is transforming every sector of the economy and the earlier we embrace the vast opportunity brought by ICT the better,” the EVC pointed out.

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MTN Provides Update On USSD Dispute, Announces Expansion Of Channel Network

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Following the temporary suspension of sales of MTN products through its banking channel partners on April 2, 2021, services were restored on Sunday, April 4, 2021, with customers able to access all services.

This followed the agreement that MTN would revert to its previous cost of sales structures with banking partners until a new long-term agreement can be reached on a sustainable pricing structure going forward.

MTN said that following the intervention of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigeria Communications Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria, since April 6, 2021, it has been participating in a series of meetings to align on longer-term pricing structures.

The company said that the streamlining it undertook is the international standard and best practice as the scale is built along distribution channels and expressed confidence that partners in the banking sector will work with it to ensure this process concludes as quickly as possible to the benefit of the entire industry.

The telecom giant expressed thanks to its customers for their patience and expressed its regret at the inconvenience imposed on them while banking channels were offline.

“In order to further expand the range of channels available to customers, MTN has activated a number of new channel partnerships with fintech partners and these will remain in place, significantly expanding the channels available to our customers and increasing our sales and distribution network,” MTN said in a statement on Thursday.

DigitalTimesNG understands that the new channel partners include Sparkle, Konga Pay, Barter By Flutter Wave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon, BillsnPay, MTN On-Demand, MTN Xtratime airtime loans (*606#), myMTN Web http://mymtn.com.ng and Momo agent *223#.

“We would also like to thank the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigeria Communications Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria for their rapid intervention and we look forward to a mutually acceptable solution that empowers all ecosystem participants,” MTN further stated.

 

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Wakil, Asaju, NCC Directors Conferred With NIEEE Fellowship

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Engr. Bako Wakil (left) and Engr. Oluwatoyin Asaju (right), two directors of the NCC conferred with the Fellowship of the Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (FNIEEE).

The duo of Engr. Bako Wakil and Engr. Oluwatoyin Asaju, two directors of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has been conferred with the Fellowship of the Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (FNIEEE).

Wakil, is the Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, while Asaju is the current Director, Spectrum Administration Department at the Commission.

Wakil and Asaju, both certified engineers, received the Fellowship Award at the 8th Fellowship Conferment and Awards/Dinner of the Institute, held on Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Abuja.

A Master of Science degree holder in Information System Engineering, South Bank University, London, (1997) and a Bachelor of Engineering holder in Electrical/Electronic Engineering, University of Maiduguri (1989), Wakil is a Microsoft-Certified Professional (MCP); Member, Nigerian Society of Engineers (MNSE); Member, Institute of Incorporated Engineers (MIIE) and a COREN-registered engineer.

As a professionally experienced and certified engineer with vast expertise in diverse areas of engineering, Wakil has participated in a number of ITU conferences such as World Radio Communications Conference (WRC)-03, WRC-07, World Telecommunications Standardisation Assembly (WTSA-12), ITU Telecom World 2011 and also participated in a number of ITU Study Groups (SG) meetings.

Engr. Asaju, in the same vein, holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering (1985), Master of Business Administration (1998) and Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Science (2004) all from the prestigious University of Ilorin.

A beneficiary of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) postgraduate scholarship programme, Engineer Asaju earned a Master’s Degree in Telecommunications Regulation and Policy (MRP) with distinction from the University of West Indies in 2007.

As an experienced Engineer and Administrator, Asaju has participated in many local and international conferences where he has made significant contributions in diverse areas of engineering.

He is a member of several professional bodies of international repute, including the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN); Fellow, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE); Member, Nigerian Institution of ICT Engineers (NIICTE); and Member, Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (NIEEE), amongst others.

In the meantime, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has added his voice to those of colleagues, friends, professional associates and well-wishers of the awardees to felicitate with the duo on the new engineering fellowship status.

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director Public Affairs at the NCC quoted Danbatta as saying that the awards are in recognition of the valuable and selfless service to the society and their widely acknowledged authority in the field of engineering, describing the two directors as professionals who have made remarkable contributions to the regulatory achievements of the Commission.

“I felicitate with Engr. Wakil and Engr. Asaju on the engineering fellowship. As a Fellow of the Institute, I understand that it takes competence, dedication, and integrity in service to bag any engineering Fellowship. These awards have again demonstrated that the awardees are of outstanding character and have excelled in the field of Engineering.

“On behalf of the Board and Management of the Commission, we rejoice with our Directors; we are proud of their achievements and we wish them the best as they continue to excel in their service to the Commission and the engineering profession in Nigeria,” Danbatta said.

DigitalTimesNG understands that Wakil and Asaju joined the services of the Commission in 2005 and have moved through the ranks, serving in different capacities before their current positions as Directors Technical Standards & Network Integrity Departments and Director, Spectrum Administrations respectively.

Established in 1984 as a group of COREN registered electrical engineers, the NIEEE strives to promote professional competence and excellence among members through innovative contributions and the development of sustainable solutions to challenging engineering problems by deploying efficient technologies and systems for the benefit of mankind.

 

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