Connect with us


Danbatta Bags Telecom Man Of The Year Award



Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC receiving the "Regulator of the Year Award" from Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, former EVC of the NCC.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO Nigerian Communications Commission, received the Telecom Man of the Year Award at the Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecom Awards (NTITA) 2017 held recently in Lagos


Speaking to Newsmen after the Award, Prof. Danbatta, stated that, reputation they have achieved thus far, was through hard work, through flexibility and the way and manner they have regulated the industry, through attainment of targets they have deliberately setup for themselves.


He added, that they were able to achieve this reputation, through engagements with stakeholders in the industry, in the way and manner they develop frameworks, guidelines and as well as how they issue directions.


He noted, that these were the three ways they regulate the industry and that they normally do this conscious of the effects these would have in the stability of the industry and the resilience of the industry as well as in the prosperity of the country, by ensuring that they take all factors into consideration, which they hope would culminate in the social and economy transformation of the country as well as Nigerians in general.


Prof. Danbatta, also stated how the commission hope to achieve more than 30% broadband in 2018, “Well by Dec 2018, so we are looking at one year virtually, and I will like to leave it to Nigerians to watch and bear witness to the various initiatives that would be putting in place in order to ensure that we hit the target,


“I don’t want to preempt what we are going to do but I hope, when I speak to you this time in 2018 you will bear witness to what we have done.”


He also stated Plans the commission has to review the broadband plan, “As you are aware, the Nigerian broadband plan has been designed for the years 2014 to 2018 and as with most plans, this one too has a life span and as with most plans there’s a period for a review, monitoring and evaluation is an important component of any plan, especially a strategic one like the Nigerian broadband plan.



“I believe that the ministry of Communications is about to put a review process in motion, that would culminate in a hub, providing forces to muscle the answers that would arise from the implementation of the plan and I hope this will result in establishing areas where we need to do more, maybe in another plan,


“Many areas of the plan may been accomplished but this will require a review committee to look at the plan and to come out with what exactly is the level of the implementation of the plan and what do we need to do more perhaps in another plan.” He stated


NCC also went home with the “Consumer Initiative Project of the Year Award” and the “Regulator of the Year Award” at the Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecom Awards (NTITA) 2017.




Continue Reading


NCC Moves to Regulate Use of Satellite Communications Services



Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said the commission would create a legal framework to regulate the use of satellite communications services and networks.

NCC Danbatta represented by Mr Austin Nwulune, the Director, Spectrum Administration Department, NCC said this at the Public Inquiry on the Commercial Satellite Communication Guideline and the Draft Consumer Code of Practice Regulations (as Amended).

According to him, the draft commercial satellite communications guidelines are aimed at creating a legal framework to regulate the provision and use of satellite communication services and networks.

“In whole or in part within Nigeria or on a ship or aircraft registered in the country.

“The intention behind the development of the guidelines is to ensure a well-developed and organised satellite communications market in Nigeria. “With appropriate legal framework that meets international best practices, encourage innovation and guarantee public safety, ‘’ he said.

Danbatta said the guidelines would ensure effective management of scarce frequency resources, especially bands where frequency is shared between satellite and terrestrial systems.

He said the guidelines would also encourage use of satellite connectivity to unserved areas that lack terrestrial transmission infrastructure backbone.

The NCC boss said on the draft Consumer Code of Practice Regulations was an amendment on the previous regulations made in 2007.

He said the guidelines would provide a more robust framework, effective and efficient processes /procedures to be followed by licensees in developing their individual consumer code to govern the provision of services and other related consumer practices.

“This to ensure that consumers are adequately informed of the type of services being offered by operators, thereby aligning with the commission’s function of protecting the interests of consumers  against unfair practices.

“Furthermore, these regulations have been amended to reflect best practice in the industry,’’ he said.

Danbatta said the public inquiry forum was part of the commission’s rule-making process  aimed at ensuring wide consultation in the development of regulatory instruments in accordance with NCC Act, 2003.

He said over the years, the process had proven invaluable in sourcing the opinions and inputs of stakeholders toward the development of sound regulatory frameworks for the Nigerian telecommunication industry.

Mrs Yetunde Akinloye, the Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC while speaking on the overview of the amended Consumer Code of Practice Regulations said all codes must be submitted to the commission for approval.

Akinloye said approval should be granted within 30 days of submission of a code, unless the commission informs the licensee to amend the submitted code.

She said an approved code shall be published in two national newspapers within 30 days of approval.

“` Licensees are required to provide a copy of the approved code to consumers on request,’’ she said.

Continue Reading


Verve Partners with UBA, Provides Cost Effective Prepaid Cards Support to Zambian Government



Verve International has signed a partnership agreement with United Bank for Africa (UBA) to deliver cost effective prepaid cards to farmers under the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture’s FISP program.


According to the partnership deal, UBA will issue Verve Prepaid cards in the next season of the Farmers Input Support Program (FISP), an agricultural subsidy initiative of the government to help farmers purchase agricultural inputs like fertilizer, seed and chemical at subsidized costs.


Through the program, the government intends to boost food production in the country by funding the cards issued to each farmer with $170 while the farmers contribute $40 towards purchase of farm inputs.

While many farmers in the country have benefited from the program since it started in 2015, the government plans to extend it even further with more than one million farmers expected to receive over two hundred and ninety million dollars ($290M) in funding during the 2017/18 season.


In order to help the Government, combat the challenges of high cost of card issuance and transaction as well as the issue of accountability and transparency which have plagued the scheme for long, Verve has been contracted to provide its superior technology and affordable cards solution through Commercial Banks andother Financial Institutions in Zambia.


Mike Ogbalu III, CEO, Verve International, Sharing his thoughts on the landmark partnership, said, “Partnering with UBA on the FISP program is a huge milestone for us.


“We are really excited to work with Smart Zambia, UBA and other banks, farmers, agro-dealers and other stakeholders to ensure that the subsidy programme runs efficiently and achieves its objective of boosting food production in Zambia. 


“Food security is very crucial for every nation, as such, deploying Verve’s cost-effective prepaid card solution will help farmers in Zambia access the FISP subsidy quickly, conveniently and without hassle, thereby significantly improving agricultural activities and boosting food production in the country.”


The Company said that the introduction of Verve cards is expected to reduce card issuance costs by 30%-50% while also saving significantly in transactional fees.


With its improved security feature Verve will effectively solve the FISP transparency and accountability issues.


The government will also be able to access all the information it needs to ensure a smooth and seamless operation of the scheme and also eliminate leakages.


Besides saving cost and ensuring greater transparency, Verve’s involvement in the FISP program also means more farmers can benefit from the subsidies, as costs would be greatly reduced, thereby leading to a significant boost in food production in the South African country.


Through this partnership, Zambia joins a growing list of African countries where Verve’s EMV compliant cards is used and accepted.

This also clearly reinforces the payment brand’s market positioning as the preferred Pan‐African card in domestic and cross border transactions in and outside the continent.


Verve has over 35 Million Cards and tokens issued across 8 African countries and growing.


In addition to regional acceptance across Africa, Verve cards can also be used outside Africa as it is accepted in over 185 countries across the globe.



Continue Reading


NCC Warns Telcos against Fraudulent Services



Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has again warned Network Operators in the country against fraudulent and dubious services aimed at cheating telecom consumers.


Abdullahi Maikano, director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, gave the warning at the 92nd edition of the Consumer Outreach Programme held in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State for stakeholders.


Maikano who was represented by Alhaji Ismail Adedigba insisted that NCC is determined to protect the telecom consumers in ensuring that they get good quality of service, value for money spent, timely and fair redress of complaints and protection from unwholesome practices of some Service Providers.


The NCC, he stressed would continue to ensure “the protection of telecom consumers from market exploitation and empowering them to make rational and informed decision when making choices of services”.


The Consumer Outreach Programme, he said was identified as one of the most cost effective mechanism that provided and guaranteed consumer protection.


“Besides serving as a pro-active way of protecting consumers from making wrong choices, it also serves as a preventive measure that protect consumers from being exploited and against fraud,” he said.


In addition, he said the forum also served as a feedback mechanism for the commission in making regulatory intervention for the benefit of the consumers, service providers as well as the industry.


The Director of the NCC urged the stakeholders to take advantage of the forum to be well informed so that no one takes undue advantage of them.


Also speaking, Alhaji Ismail Adedigba, deputy director Consumer Affairs Bureau, said the programme was to enable tripartite meeting between regulators, operators and consumers to resolve pressing consumer’s issues as it relates to provision of telecom services.


According to him, in 2017 declared by the NCC as a Year of Telecom Consumer, the Commission stepped programmes aimed at empowering and protecting Telecom Consumers with focus of awareness of toll free line to loge complaints etc.


In a lecture title “Information and Education as a Catalyst for Consumer Protection”, Network Providers were reminded that telecom consumers were the market, and protection of the consumers’ amount to market protection

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.