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ATCON Urges FC to Adopt Technologies in Future Elections

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Association of Telecommunications Companies in Nigeria (ATCON) said that Nigerian government can leverage telecommunications technologies for a less cumbersome electoral process with a view to conducting better elections and deepening the country’s democracy.

 

Olusola Teniola, president, ATCON, said that Internet of Things (IoT) and AI can be fully leveraged over the ubiquitous 4G network in the country.

 

In an interview with Daily Times, Teniola, said that what is important is the adoption of full automation of the electoral process where minimal human interference is the norm.

 

With IoT, according to Teniola, all devices can be used to select the candidate that the electorate support from their phones, tablet or smart feature phones, and if need be, from terminals connected to a broadband network that users may have access to.

 

He, however, lamented the inability of the current finance industry in Nigeria to satisfy and commit to high risk, long term capital requirements of the telecom industry.

 

The ATCON number one officer says infrastructure deficit alone stands at conservatively, USD$10 billion per year for at least the next thirty years.

 

Teniola expressed the need for intelligent investment and capital to fill this gap, noting that it was high time that a fund or bank that provides specific capital towards telecom infrastructure was created to encourage further telecom network roll-outs and capacity improvements.

 

Commenting on the recent revelation by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that Nigeria is home to 75 per cent of eWaste in the world he said the sad narrative may not change as long as Nigeria is predominantly an import-dependent country as far as our consumption of technology goes.

 

He further stressed that it was very important that the government strengthens its monitoring and control functions to ensure eWaste is drastically reduced; explaining that collaboration among stakeholders would address the issue.

 

On the nagging issue of multiple taxes and levies paid by telecom operators, Teniola expressed confidence that having a unified, harmonious and ‘law-abiding’ regulatory environment will ensure that the numerous demands made by stakeholders no longer exist.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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N330Bn fine: NCC Orders MTN to Balance of N55Bn by May 31

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MTN Nigeria Communications Limited has till May 31 to pay the balance of N55bn out of the N330bn fine imposed on the telecommunications company by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for SIM card registration infraction, the regulatory agency has said.

 

In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, the regulatory agency clarified that MTN had paid a total of N275bn, leaving a balance of N55bn that must be paid by the end of May.

 

The statement said, “Following a negotiated reduction of the N1.04tn fine on MTN Nigeria to N330bn and in line with the staggered payment arrangement, MTN has, so far, paid N275bn to the Federal Government.

 

“Part of the fallout of the negotiated terms of payment of the fine is the listing of MTN on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and this is being done.

 

“What this means, according to the staggered arrangement, is that May 31, 2019 would be the deadline for the telecoms company to pay the sixth and final tranche of the balance of N55bn.”

 

It added, “After six months of negotiation and re-negotiation over the fine which led to the reduction to N330bn, it was agreed that MTN would pay a balance of N280bn in six tranches. This was in addition to the “goodwill” payment of N50bn earlier made by MTN to the government.

 

“Specifically,   MTN began the payment structure with the payment of N30bn into NCC’s Treasury Single Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, 30 days from the date of the agreement dated June 10 2016.

 

“Subsequently, MTN paid N30bn on March 31, 2017; N55bn on March 31, 2018; N55bn on December 31, 2018,  and on March 31, it paid N55bn.

 

“The balance and final tranche of the payment will be paid by May 31 in line with the structure of the staggered payments agreed by MTN and the Nigerian government.”

 

The NCC. on October 20, 2015, imposed a fine of N1.04tn on MTN for infraction of the provision of the NCC Telephone Subscribers Registration Regulations 2011; for failure to disconnect 5.2 million improperly-registered Subscriber Identification Modules lines within the prescribed deadline, because the lines had economic activities on them without proper registration.

 

In an agreement reached by the parties involved in a way to avoid decision likely to cripple business interest of the operators  the commission regulates, it was also agreed that MTN would apologise to Nigerians, subscribe to the compulsory observance of Code of Corporate Governance for telecoms industry as well as undertake immediate steps to ensure its listing on the NS

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MTN Has Paid N275Bn for SIM Card Registration Infractions- NCC

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Tuesday said that MTN has paid N275 billion SIM infraction fine as balance of N55 billion was due this month

 

Prof Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC, who spoke on the state of MTN fine payment at the valedictory service organised for Mr Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications, in Abuja; said following a negotiated reduction of the N1.04 trillion fine on MTN Nigeria to N330 billion and in line with the staggered payment arrangement, MTN has, so far, paid N275 billion to the Federal Government.

 

Danbatta said that part of the fallout of the negotiated terms of payment of the fine is the listing of MTN on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), and this is being done.

 

“What this means, according to the staggered arrangement, is that May 31, 2019 would be the deadline for the telecoms company to pay the sixth and final tranche of the balance of N55 billion.

 

“After six months of negotiation and re-negotiation over the fine which led to the reduction to N330 billion, it was agreed that MTN would pay a balance of N280 billion in six tranches.

 

“”This was in addition to the “goodwill” payment of N50 billion earlier made by MTN to the government.

 

“Specifically, MTN began the payment structure with the payment of N30 billion into NCC’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 30 days from the date of the agreement dated June 10 2016.

 

“Subsequently, MTN paid N30 billion on March 31, 2017; N55 billion on March 31, 2018; N55 billion on December 31, 2018 and on March 31, it paid N55 billion.

 

“The balance and final tranche of the payment will be paid by May 31, 2019, in line with the staggered payments structure agreed by MTN and Nigerian government.

 

It will be recalled that the NCC on October 20, 2015, imposed a fine of N1.04 trillion on MTN for infraction of the provision of the NCC Telephone Subscribers Registration Regulations 2011;

 

For failure to disconnect 5.2 million improperly-registered Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) lines within the prescribed deadline, because these lines had economic activities on them without proper registration.

 

He said that in the agreement reached by the parties involved in a way to avoid decision likely to cripple business interest of the operators the commission regulates.

 

It was also agreed that MTN shall apologise to Nigerians, subscribe to the compulsory observance of Code of Corporate Governance for Telecoms Industry; as well as undertake immediate steps to ensure its listing on the NSE.

 

Danbatta also said the commission had succeeded in empowering Nigerians “to control, manage and own telecommunications companies in Nigeria by owning shares in MTN Nigeria.”

 

He explained that, through the MTN’s listing on the NSE, the commission had translated into action, an important function which is to promote local investment and ownership in the telecom sector.

 

According to him, “MTN listing on the stock exchange, we have given reality to that important function of the commission.

 

“Through this listing, Nigerians will be empowered to control, own and manage one of dominant telecommunications companies in the country.

 

“With MTN shares available in the capital market, Nigerians will buy shares and by purchasing the shares of MTN, they will be financially empowered and be socially transformed.

 

“We consider this a very important milestones in translating the function of the Commission into reality, as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act 2003.”

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Smile Telecoms Appoints Farroukh as Group Chief Executive Officer

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Smile Telecoms, a Pan-African telecommunications group with operations in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, today announces the appointments of Mr. Ahmad Farroukh as Group Chief Executive Officer and Ms. Irene Charnley as Deputy Chairman, respectively, effective 1 June 2019.

Ahmad Farroukh, who currently serves as Smile’s Group Executive Director Operations, is a seasoned and experienced telecoms executive with a distinguished record of commercial and operational success.

Mr. Farroukh’s vast experience extends to executive management positions at Investcom Holdings and the MTN Group (where he served as CEO of MTN Nigeria, MTN South Africa and Group Chief Operating Executive, responsible for 19 countries) and immediately prior to joining Smile, as CEO of Mobily, Saudi Arabia’s second largest telecommunications operator. Given the extent of the opportunity and the significance to Smile, Ahmad will spend the majority of his executive time in Nigeria.

Hailed as one of Africa’s most successful business leaders, Smile Telecoms founder and shareholder, Irene Charnley has led the Company’s innovation and pioneering of Africa’s first 4G LTE network infrastructure, using low band spectrum in 800MHz band. thereby revolutionizing the way people in Africa accessed high speed internet. After 12 years at the helm, Ms. Charnley will now serve as Deputy Chairman for the Company and will fulfil a strategic role.

Commenting on the announcement, Mohammed H. Sharbatly, Smile’s Co-Chairman and Group CEO of Smile’s majority shareholder, Al Nahla Group of KSA, said “The Africa telecoms market is as dynamic as it is challenging, and Ahmad is suited to lead Smile’s next exciting phase of growth, as we have transitioned from a spectrum rich upstart to the fastest, most reliable data gigabyte factory in Sub-Sahara Africa.

“We are equally delighted that Irene will continue to serve the company she founded as Deputy Chair, and we look forward to her ongoing strategic direction and guidance.”

“The next phase for Smile will focus on delivering excellent operational returns, achieving profitability and creating value for all stakeholders, and I believe that Ahmed is best suited to lead the Company forward in this regard”, added Irene Charnley.

“Africa is experiencing explosive data growth, and I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the operations of one of the continent’s best 4G LTE networks at this exciting time.

It has also been a revelation after over 20 years in the industry to witness the power and versatility of Smile’s proprietary technology applications platform, which was developed in-house and provides a huge competitive and cost advantage,” concluded Ahmad Farroukh.

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