Mobile telephone subscribers in Abuja have decried the demand for payment before registering SIM cards at some registration centres.
Some subscribers made the complaints in separate interviews with our source.
A civil servant, Mrs Sarah Odey, said that she was asked to pay the sum of N100 before she could register her SIM card of one of the major service providers in the country..
Odey said that the agent registering for the network provider at Nyanya Plaza in Nyanya, FCT insisted that she must pay before her SIM could be registered.
“I was asked to pay N100 by the agent registering for the network at Nyanya Plaza before he could register me.
And when I refused to pay, he asked me to leave the queue and the man next to me paid and was registered she said.
“I want the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to do something about this act of corrupt network agents defrauding the public.’’she added.
Odey called on the commission to investigate this act of fraud and arrest the accomplice.
A clothes seller, Mr Johnson Attah, also said that he paid the sum of N100 before he was registered at Ado junction in Mararaba axis in Nasarawa State.
Attah noted that he paid the money as soon as he was asked to pay because of the stress of registering his SIM card.
He explained that he registered in 2012, only to receive an SMS that he should come and register his SIM card.
“I went to the office of the provider?to register my SIM but the queue was so long and at the end of the day I was unable to register it. I paid the N100 because of the stress I encountered while trying to register my SIM card but some persons in the queue refused to pay and as soon as I registered, I was sent a message that my SIM had been registered” he said
Attah told Tide source that it was unfair for the?providers to demand for money before SIM cards could be registered, “I am calling on the regulator to tackle this issue of payment”.I thought this registration was meant to be free, why are they demanding for money before SIM could be registered?” he querrid.
A food seller, Mr Oladipe Sulieman, noted that he went to register because NCC ordered that any SIM card that was not registered after June 30 would?be banned.
Sulieman said, “I paid N100 before my SIM was registered. This country is turning to another thing; nothing is free.’’
Responding, the Director, Public Affairs NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo, said that registration of SIM cards was free, and that was the official position.
Ojobo urged subscribers to go to their different networks’ offices and register their SIM cards, adding that they should?not pay any money for?registration of SIM cards.
He gave assurance that the commission’s Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement Department would investigate the issue, adding that anyone found wanting would be arrested and prosecuted.’’
Reports say that the development may not be unconnected with the June 30 deadline given by the NCC for the closure of registration of old SIM cards.
DSS Drags 19-Year Old Girl To Court Over Cyber Stalking
The Department of State Security (DSS) has dragged a 19-year old girl, Miss Charlotte Delhi, before the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa over alleged involvement in the sharing of the nude video of a former Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Education, Dr. Walton Liverpool, on the social media.
The Tide learnt that the intent was to extort N15 million from the former Permanent Secretary.
The DSS, in suit number FHC/YNG/33C/2021, filed a one-count charge against the defendant, alleging that she engaged in cyber stalking with intention to blackmail, contrary to section 24 (2)c and punishable under subparagraph (b) of the cybercrime (prohibition , prevention etc) Act, 2015.
”That you, Charlotte Delhi on the 14th day of September, 2021 in Yenagoa committed the offence within the jurisdiction of this honorable court for the purpose of extorting the sum of N15 million from Dr. Walton Liverpool”, the charge read.
The charge further revealed that the suspect intentionally posted a video showing the naked appearance of the victim on a WhatsApp group tagged “Off Liverpool” with a Iphone7 plus mobile phone and GSM. No. 08084267342″.
Miss Delhi, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Both the prosecution and defence counsels disagreed on the issue of application of bail but agreed that the trial should be made to enjoy accelerated hearing.
Though the prosecution counsel and Principal Legal Officer of the DSS, Barr. Victor Uchendu, admitted that the defence counsel handed him the application for bail process, he said the key witness to the case was not in good health condition and therefore, sought for adjournment.
“I was served the bail application two hours before the court sitting and there was no time for me to study the weighty allegations”, he said.
On his part, the defense counsel, a former Attorney-General of Bayelsa State, Barr. A.S. Arthur, argued that the defence team would have loved the presiding judge to hear the application for bail based on the age and gender of the defendant, claiming that the defendant has been in detention for over 13 days and that the DSS has denied her access to her lawyers.
The presiding judge, Justice Isa Dashen, however, adjourned the case to Thursday, October 21, 2021 for hearing.
The court also ordered that the defendant be remanded in the State Correctional Centre in Okaka.
The Tide, however, gathered that the claim by the defendant that she is 17 years old is false as her birth certificate shows that she was born on October 10, 2002 which makes her 19 years old against her claim of 17 years.
By: King Onunwor
Commission To Partner NITDA On Digital Training
The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs (NCFRMI) has said that it will partner the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on the digital literacy training of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The Federal Commissioner of NCFRMI, Mrs Imaan Ibrahim, said this in a statement issued by the Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations of NITDA , Mrs Hadiza Umar in Abuja on Monday.
Ibrahim who addressed the Director General NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, noted that more than four million Nigerians were internally displaced, and hinted that the number was doubling up at an alarming rate.
According to her, the IDPs needed support in training, technical knowledge and tools to promote digital inclusion and national development.
The commissioner also said that apart from insecurity, natural disaster like flooding had contributed to the increase in number of IDPs.
“We are happy that NITDA is moving to train our teaming youths at the IDP camps and persons of concern. The training will contribute to the diversification of the economy that will enable the elevation of 100 million people out of poverty in 10 years as projected by President Muhammadu Buhari”, she said.
In his response, Inuwa hinted that the agency was putting measures in place to train about 10,000 IDPs on digital literacy.
He said the training was to ensure seamless reintegration of citizens who were displaced from their homes as a result of insecurity.
Giving insight about the training, he said that digital literacy was part of the implementation measures of the agency’s Strategic RoadMap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021-2024), which was inaugurated to enable a fast-growing digital economy for the country and citizens.
“Education being an important identifiable tool of elevating from poverty in the present administration has been actively employed by NITDA positively. Employing digital literacy and skills strategy, one of the seven pillars of NITDA SRAP is in line with the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS)”, he said.
Following a methodological approach, he said, it was necessary to achieve a smart initiative, a combination of capable people, due process and deployment of adequate technology.
He added that NITDA had continuously engaged in several trainings across the six geo-political zones of the country, with the use of different platforms like virtual trainings, online platforms, and physical trainings.
“NITDA will set up a Digital Transformation Technical Working Group (DTTWG) comprising of members from both organisations to enable the execution of identified aspects for partnership”, he said.
NCC Set For 5G Deployment
The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, has confirmed the commission’s readiness to kick start full implementation of the 5G deployment in the country.
Danbatta said this at the annual African Tech Alliance Forum (AfriTech 2021) held in Lagos with the theme: “Embracing Changes and Digital Transformation in the New Normal.” recently.
Stressing on “NCC as a Digital Transformation Crusader and Nigeria’s in-Road to 5G Deployment,” he noted that since the advent of COVID-19 pandemic, that there has been a change in the dynamics of people’s interaction, especially on the Internet.
According to him, almost every means of communication has become virtual in one way or the other.
The NCC boss, however, stated that the paradigm shift in communication has so far, led to significant increase in network connectivity requirements.
He argued that such was as a result of unprecedented upsurge in Internet traffic, occasioned by the use of a plethora of web applications such as Zoom, Microsoft teams, WebEx, Goto, Webner among others.
”This has made remote work, virtual meetings, virtual studies and virtual healthcare delivery, among others, the new normal”, he said.
According to him, even though, the network infrastructure in Nigeria has demonstrated some capacity to contain the surge in internet traffic, a lot of work had being done by the Commission to boost network capacity.
The effort, he said, will aid in sensitising the public and ensure accessibility to affordable connectivity during the period of the pandemic and beyond.
The NCC boss, who spoke via the Director, Spectrum Administration, Engr. Oluwatoyin Asaju, and the Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde said the NCC was working with operators to implement a number of initiatives to ensure network expansion due to the network traffic demand.
These, he said, include ongoing plan to auction spectrum in 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) band to operators for the deployment of 5G network in Nigeria.
“Consistent with our mandate as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (NCA-2003) and other guiding legislations, we have been working to ensure the penetration of broadband services in line with Federal Government’s targets, as contained in Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020 to 2025″, he said.
Also, he pointed out that the agency was set for the auction some spectrum slots in 3.5GHz band.
“The other day I was at the National assembly, I informed the senate that we were 95 per cent ready for 5G. Today as we speak, I am delighted to tell you that we are already at 97 per cent completion,” he said.
In addition, he listed other initiatives being put in place by the Commission to improve broadband connectivity in Nigeria, and added that the surge in Internet traffic induced by Covid-19 has continued to challenge National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) and other arms of governments.
“Emerging technologies such as 5G, which NCC is driving aggressively in Nigeria, Internet of Things (IoT); Cloud Computing; Quantum Computing Augmented/Virtual Reality, and similar emerging technologies are playing a critical role in improving remote communication over the internet with great user experience”, he said.
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