The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has allayed fears that the commission planned to regulate the social media.
Danbatta dispelled the fear, yesterday, during a session hosted by the NCC at the on-going Social Media Week (SMW) in Lagos.
Our correspondent reports that SMW in Lagos, which is holding from February 22 to today, has the theme, “The Networked Africa: Technology’s Impact on Africa (And How We Can Harness It For Good)’’.
Represented by the Public Affairs Director, NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo, he said fears had been expressed by the public on the publication of the regulatory body, “An Overview of the Provision of Over The Top (OTT) Services’’.
“Fears are being expressed that the NCC wants to start regulating OTT services. These fears are misplaced.
“For the purpose of clarity, OTT services are services carried over the networks, delivering value to customers.
“But these services are without any carrier/service provider being involved in planning, selling, provisioning or servicing them, thereby implying that traditional telecoms companies cannot directly earn revenue from such services.
“These OTT services include services such as Internet Protocol (IP) telephony, live streaming and other social media applications.
“At best, the technology is disruptive and global responses have been mixed. What the NCC paper has done is to elevate the value and quality of discourse on the issue,’’ Danbatta said.
He recalled that at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Global Symposium for regulators which held in Gabon in 2015, some operators expressed concern over the activities of OTT operators and how they affect baseline returns in the industry.
According to him, an operator suggested that “OTT players are eating the operators’ lunch,’’ since they are not regulated and have no investment to increase their cost base.
He added that in a summary report of the symposium, it was counselled that “operators and regulators alike should consider carefully before coming to any conclusions on whether OTT players should be regulated (as per operators) or whether existing regulations should be withdrawn.
“The regulator’s objective should be to catalyse additional opportunities offered by OTT services to the benefit of the consumer.
“Its objective should be to support competition, while avoiding the OTT related risks in the areas of security and data protection.
“One salient conclusion in the OTT Services report published by the commission is that it acknowledged the fears of traditional telecoms service providers that traditional telephony and SMS revenues are under threat from newer, IP-based alternatives like WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, etc.
“The document, however, recommended that the commission should encourage network providers in Nigeria to innovate and explore more efficient business models that would enable them compete favourably with OTT service providers,’’ the EVC said.
Our correspondent also reports that the SMW is the largest, technology, new media and business conference on the continent of Africa.
With attendees from across Africa and around the world, the SMW Lagos explores a wide range of topics including education, business, travel, entertainment, technology, arts, banking and politics.
90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”
We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.
Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW
Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.
- Entertainment4 days ago
Alibaba, Banky W, Others Attend Wizkid’s Debut Album’s 10th Anniversary
- Politics4 days ago
Ayade And The APC Albatross
- News4 days ago
Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation
- Business4 days ago
Travellers To Access $4,000 As CBN Boosts Forex Supplies
- Niger Delta4 days ago
Abducted NLC Chairman Regains Freedom In C’River
- Politics4 days ago
PDP’ II Bring Desired Change In 2023 – Diri
- Women4 days ago
60 -Year – Old Man Commits Suicide After Assaulting Daughter
- Women4 days ago
Women Now Drink As Much As Men