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NLC Pickets MTN, Others for Maltreating Workers



Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said that it picketed the corporate headquarters of MTN and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), because of their anti-labour activities and inhuman treatment of workers.


Comrade Ayuba Wabba, president of NLC, said that the action was planned to coincide with the International Day for Decent Work; adding that the labour movement must fight hard, henceforth, to ensure decent work ideal was established and followed in Nigeria.


The NLC president, who regretted the high level of anti-labour practices in the two organization and others across the country, stated that casualisation of workers by multinationals and other indigenous companies is a crime against humanity and will be resisted by labour.


Citing the case of NTN Nigeria, he pointed out that while the company is refusing unionisation, its counterpart in South Africa, Kenya and Ghana are unionised and they have better working conditions.


He said the congress has received several complaints about the anti-labour practices in these companies.


Wabba said “We have identified two organisations, the Abuja Environmental Protection Board where casualisation has been on and workers have been denied the rights to unionise among other issues.


“Secondly is MTN. Every three months, they sack the workers and give them a new contract. This is not acceptable, our laws does not accept that, and those workers need to be liberated.


“We need to tell them that they need to respect international labour laws, they need to also respect our own labour laws but importantly, they must respect human and trade union rights.


“Workers have dignity, workers are not slaves and therefore, all workers must be treated with the best of attention. Injury to one is injury to all. Injury to the workers at MTN and AEPB is an injury to all Nigerian workers.”


Wabba said: “In South Africa, MTN workers are unionized all by the Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU), their affiliates from the telecommunication sector. Same with the one in Kenya and that of Ghana, our question is why should the MTN workers in Nigeria  be the people that will be treated worse?


“This campaign is a global strategy endorsed by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) all over the world that we must stand up for MTN Nigeria workers and they must have their rights, they must also have a condition of service that is commensurate with MTN workers in South Africa, in Kenya and the other parts of the world.


“Why should there be a difference  between the condition of MTN workers here in Nigeria and what obtains elsewhere around the world”.


He, however, warned that labour would come back to picket MTN outlets nationwide if these issues were not tackled.


‎He added: “We have tried to engage the management, and we have mutually agreed that a process of dialogue to discuss this issue and also to discuss the issue of MTN workers in Nigeria in general will take place and that they are going to revert back to us in the next one week and then the process of  dialogue. The whole idea is making sure that Nigeria MTN workers should not be second class workers when compared to other MTN workers around the world.


“We must insist that they must continue to work in dignity, they must continue to work in honour and therefore, they are not be enslaved. We have told them very clear that the corporate headquarters is in Lagos and so this is a starting point and we will be ready in the near future if this issue is not addressed, to actually picket MTN offices all over Nigeria because we have done that in the past and  we thought that MTN workers deserve a better deal.


“If we need a revisit, certainly we will be there, if we need further step to expand the scope of coverage of this action we will do it. If we are going to need the support of our other counterparts from Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa, ITUC global will give us a signal and we will do a global campaign to actually address the issue”.


Wabba who led the picketing, earlier at the corporate Headquaters of AEPB and MTN gave the management one month to address the anti labour practices, or the congress would return to picket the organisation.

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NCC to Regulate Use of Satellite Communications



Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that the commission would create a legal framework to regulate the use of satellite communications services and networks.


Danbatta represented by Austin Nwulune, 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.

He said: “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.”


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.


Danbatta said: “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.’’


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.


Yetunde Akinloye, 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.


She said: “Licensees are required to provide a copy of the approved code to consumers on request.’’


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NCC Launches TV Commercial on DND for Unsolicited SMS



Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has launched a nationwide television commercial to further equip subscribers against unsolicited text messages, as part of its efforts to educate and empower telecom subscribers.


The Commission had on March 15, 2017, launched a major campaign of awareness to enlighten subscribers about issues and solutions available to them that will enable them enjoy their services.


Among these solutions is the Do-Not-Disturb Code which enables subscribers who do not want to receive unsolicited text messages to simply text STOP to 2442 in any of the networks.


Subscribers who want particular types of messages have opportunity to choose a particular message type by texting HELP to 2442, to avail themselves of the different options to choose.


The television commercial which features popular comedian Helen Paul and Kanywood’s most popular actor, Ali Nuhu, will break in the broadcast media on Monday, March 26, 2018.


It will feature in major national television networks and local television stations in all the states of the federation.


Also featured in the television commercial is the 622 complaints platform, a toll free number operated by the NCC, where consumers whose complaints are not resolved by the service providers, can report to the Commission for immediate resolution.





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Swift Rolls out Free WI-FI Services Across Lagos



(L-R): Chief Marketing Officer, Swift Networks, Victoria Onwubiko; Managing Partner, AT3 Resources, Tosin Adefeko; Managing Director, Swift Networks, Charles Anudu and Chief Operating Officer, Swift Networks, Chuma Okoye at the press conference announcing the launch of Red Cheetah free broadband service in Lagos.

Swift Networks, Nigeria’s leading broadband service provider is partnering with leading global brands to offer free broadband Wi-Fi service in Lagos.

According to the company, Red Cheetah, is a new brand under the stable of Swift Networks which will offer free Wi-Fi services, starting with an initial 10,000 hotspots distributed all over the state, supported by advertising revenues from leading global brands and partners.

They said that Red Cheetah is expected to help deepen Nigeria’s broadband penetration and aspiration for universal internet access for greater social equity and inclusion.

Charles Anudu, CEO, Managing Director, SWIFT Networks, speaking at the product launch said “The Red Cheetah service model once more follows in SWIFT’s tradition of demystifying and making technology to work for Nigerians so that they can hook up to the digital world to explore, work and entertain more efficiently.

“We are excited to pioneer this cutting edge service model and will rapidly extend it to more cities in Nigeria and the continent.

“The security of every user’s access is enhanced by the Red Cheetah App which establishes a distinct and secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to the internet for each device on the platform.

“I strongly believe that this dogged work of over two years is the ideal model that will empower Nigerians to live their most productive lifestyles in a digital world.

“I am extra proud that everything about Red Cheetah is Nigerian and shows what we can achieve when we commit to solving the problems of our society taking our context into consideration”.

Chukwuma Okoye, Chief Operating Officer, SWIFT, said “Our plan is to roll out an initial 10,000 Red Cheetah hotspots in Lagos which will be the largest Wi-Fi footprint of its kind anywhere in Africa and will cover many verticals including schools, airports, buses, taxis, shopping malls, bars, clubs, restaurants, open markets, hospitals and in fact any place where Nigerians need to research, catch up on work and play.

This revolutionary service powered by SWIFT is fast, secure, reliable and supported by legendary sponsor brands with strong commitment to corporate social responsibility to Nigeria”,

Red Cheetah hotspots went live in Lagos earlier this month at certain locations including MMA-2, Hard Rock Café, Shiro restaurant, Festival Mall, some Tastee Fired Chicken and Bukka Hut outlets, over 200 BRT Buses, Smart Cabs, Eko Hospital, VGC Club, among others.

The rollout is ongoing and more locations are being added on a daily basis towards our 10,000 hotspot target in Lagos.

The company said that Prospective Red Cheetah users must first download the Red Cheetah app for Android free from the Google Play Store or and complete a mandatory one-time online registration process.

Users are allowed to register multiple android devices as every device must be independently registered to access the internet via Red Cheetah.

The first Red Cheetah app release is for the Android operating system only while the other operating systems will follow shortly.

Users will be expected to view adverts at intervals from the sponsors and partners who make the free service possible.


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