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Etisalat Rewards Winners of ICT Essay Competition




Etisalat has again affirmed its support for the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria by rewarding winners of the 2016 edition of the Etisalat-DigitalSENSE Students’ Essay Competition.

The annual essay competition organised by DigitalSENSE Africa Media, publishers of DigitalSENSE Business News and ITRealms in partnership with Etisalat, is aimed to promote creativity and encourage discourse on Internet Governance for Development amongst Nigerian youths, especially undergraduates.

The three winners include Odonoekuma Onyebuchi Ekuma, a fourth-year medical student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Enugu State, Henry Monday Oguns, a 500-level Petrochemical Engineering student of the University of Benin, Edo State and Egwe Tochukwu Christopher, a fourth-year Law student of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.

Onyebuchi Ekuma who emerged the star-prize winner of the contest was rewarded with a laptop computer and free internet access, courtesy of Etisalat Nigeria whilst Henry Oguns and Egwe Christopher who were the first and second runners up respectively went home with a tablet device and a mobile phone, also from Etisalat.

The trio came tops in the Etisalat-sponsored essay competition with the theme, ‘Internet Governance for Development: Creating Opportunities for All Nigerians’, organised by DigitalSENSE Africa (DSA).

Speaking at the prize presentation ceremony in Lagos on Friday, Head, Environmental Compliance and Public Relations, Etisalat Nigeria, Oluseyi Osunsedo, said the Etisalat-DigitalSENSE Students’ Essay Competition was one of the various platforms through which Etisalat promotes education and supports youth development in Nigeria.

She said, “This competition is part of the annual Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum on Internet Governance for Development as well as the Nigeria IPv6 Roundtable. As a youth-friendly company, we at Etisalat are pleased to create and support platforms that contribute to the development of Nigeria’s education sector and the empowerment of the Nigerian youth.”

Osunsedo added that, “Our drive is to continue to support the development of education in Nigeria. This collaboration with DigitalSENSE Africa is a proof of our commitment to supporting the dreams of Nigerian youths, and helping them to actualize their potentials. Etisalat will continue to provide innovative products and services, a reliable network as well as cutting edge solutions to our subscribers of which the youth are a critical segment.”

Remmy Nweke, Group Executive Editor and Lead Strategist, DigitalSENSE Africa thanked Etisalat for its continued sponsorship of the competition. He said the competition, which also aims to help the youth to explore opportunities on the internet, is open to students between ages 18 and 30. 

Nweke added that a total of 171 entries received for 2016 edition were assessed based on the understanding of the topic, ability to localize it, the presentation, and strict adherence to 600-word count limit.

As part of steps to further motivate the youth to aim for higher heights, Ekuma’s winning essay will be published in ITRealms and he will participate in the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum as Etisalat-DigitalSENSE Student Ambassador.

“I have a special interest in the use of Internet and Information Technology. When I graduate, I plan to take a postgraduate course in Information Technology that relates to medical science. The essay competition is a good initiative. Etisalat and DigitalSENSE should continue to leverage it to reach more Nigerian students”, Ekuma said.

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NCC Hosts UNODC, Vows to Sustain Collaborations Against Cybercrimes




The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will continue to collaborate with other government agencies and international partners towards stemming the tide of cybercrimes.

Mr Sunday Dare, NCC’s executive commissioner, Stakeholder Management, stated this on recently at the Commission’s Headquarters during an interactive session with representatives of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC.

Kamal Toure, the UNODC eLearning Project Officer and Patrick Boismenu, cybercrime expert, were at the Commission’s Headquarters as part of their assessment mission to West Africa to gauge how well Nigeria, Senegal and the Gambia are able to fight cybercrime.

Mr. Dare noted that the Commission performs its regulatory functions in a way that ensures that its licensees take the steps necessary to combat cybercrimes.

He explained that “The role of the NCC here is to do an audit and make sure that we have all the ISPs having active databases and meeting the six months (data retention requirement) as stipulated in the license provision.”

Responding, Patrick Boismenu stated that UNODC is willing to provide assistance in needed areas to ensure that ISPs comply with requirements for data retention because of the crucial role data plays in fighting cybercrimes.

“Our goal is to ensure that cybercrime investigators have access to the tools they need to do their work,” Mr Boismenu explained.

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TCP: NCC Says Consumer Satisfaction, Robust Sector Top Priorities




By Ugo Onwuaso

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is determined to carry out its regulatory functions to ensure that the companies operating in the industry were healthy.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the executive vice chairman of the Commission, made the remark during the 81st edition of the Telecoms Consumer Parliament (TCP) held in Lagos.

He added that “it has taken steps to ensure that the telecommunications sector remains vibrant”.

Mr. Sunday Dare, the executive commission, Stakeholders Management, NCC, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman, said that “the commission would carry out its regulatory functions to ensure that the companies operating in the industry were healthy”.

The Chairman said that the regulatory body had made interventions to prevent disruptions in the consumer’s experience.

According to him, “NCC has commenced aggressive enforcement of the Code of Corporate Governance to ensure that licensees in the industry continue to operate as viable businesses.

“The consumer deserves all the credits for the past and indeed the future successes of this industry.

“The Nigerian telecommunications consumers are at the centre stage of our regulation.

“We at the NCC, being consumer centric regulatory organisation have decided to celebrate consumers of the Nigerian telecommunications industry consistent with the eight point agenda that I set out when I assumed office in 2015.

The number two and six items of the agenda are the core drivers of the NCC year of telecommunications consumer initiative.

“While the number two item of the agenda addresses improved quality of service.

And item six is concerned with protection and empowerment of the telecommunications consumers,” he said.

He also stated that all NCC’s initiatives such as SIM card registration, Mobile Number Portability, Broadband policy implementation, development of 2442 and 622 short codes as well as various consumer awareness campaigns were to ensure consumer satisfaction and protection.

Danbatta added that the commission would continue to look out for and protect the interest of the consumer without compromising the interests of other stakeholders in the industry.

Mr Abdullahi Maikano, director, Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB) of NCC, said that over the years, TCP had proven to be an innovative way of bringing all stakeholders together to discuss and proffer solutions to industry issues.

Maikano said that the TCP had continued to occupy a pride of place in the commission’s activities.

He said that NCC would continue to provide significant resources to ensure that the parliament is held regularly for the benefit of consumers and the industry.

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Banks’ Working for Early Sale of 9Mobile — Fidelity Bank Boss




Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, managing director of Fidelity Bank Plc, has said that all the banks whose money is trapped are working together for smooth sale of the telecoms on or before the end of the year.

This is as the 180 days’ window handed down to the receiver managers of 9Mobile draw nearer.

Explaining industry issues in a recent interactive session with select editors and publishers in Lagos, he said “As you are aware, the creditor banks came together to appoint a new Board and Management for the company, with the Deputy Governor of the CBN as chairman of the Board”.

“The company has good fundamentals with about 22 million subscribers, and it is also very strong in data. Our interest is to ensure the company remains a going concern so that it can attract interested buyers. The banks are working collectively on this,” Fidelity bank chief executive revealed.

It would recalled that at the heat of the $1.2bn syndicated loan default crisis which nearly grounded the former Etisalat, both the telecoms regulator and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), considered the volume of subscribers and intervened.

Part of the intervention was the appointment of Dr. Joseph Nnanna, former Deputy Governor of the CBN to head the chair the board and prepare it for potential investors between 90 to 180 days.

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