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Firm Faults House Committee On N20bn Payment

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A firm, Cable Channels Nigeria Limited (CCNL) has denied allegation that it collected N20 billion from the Federal Government for the procurement and distribution of FreeTv decoders to Nigerian homes for Digital Switch Over (DSO).
CCNL, a consortium of re-broadcast companies and promoters of FreeTv in Nigeria told reporters during a briefing in Abuja that there was no iota of truth in the allegation of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Digitisation.
Its Chairman, Sir Kunle Osisanya Afolabi, said it was disheartening that members of the House Committee failed to use the facilities at their disposal to unearth the truth about the operations of the company to enable them appreciate the impact it has made in the industry over the years.
Sir Afolabi, who spoke against the backdrop of the report of the Ad-hoc Committee and the controversy it has generated among industry players, insisted that even before the launch of DSO in December 2016, CCNL has remained a major industry player as a licensed Cable TV Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS) operator in the country with vast knowledge and experience spanning more than 30 years.
He said: “CCNL is the official Nigerian licensed content aggregator for the DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) and DSAT Free-to-view platforms with the responsibilities to manage; market and promote to the final consumers as a part of the Nigerian National DSO Strategy.
“We have distributed about 630,000 FreeTv boxes in Abuja and Jos and their environs out of the 750,000 subsidised boxes as of today.
“The truth is that we have not being paid a dime for the over 150 channels that Nigerians are enjoying in their homes and we have been using shareholders’ funds to sustain our businesses in the belief that, by the time things take shape in the industry, our shareholders will also benefit.
“It is therefore misleading insinuations that CCNL was a new comer in the industry and has been paid huge amount of money to the tune of about N20 billion. This is not true and it is unfortunate that members of the National Assembly could not use their foot-soldiers to authenticate the reality about our predicament.
“Let me also emphasise that those dishing out some misinformation about the history of the industry in Nigeria do not know anything about the industry. But we believe the regulatory bodies will assert themselves and do the needful for the growth and development of the industry.
“We also believe that all hope is not lost regarding the digital switchover, but we want the present problems facing the industry to be iron out as soon as possible.”
Flanked by the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Mr Rajiv Mekkat and other management staffers, Sir Afolabi said trouble started in the industry when some members of the ecosystem wanted to take on the roles of others.
According to him, at the inception of the digitisation process, all MMDS re-broadcast operators spread across the country were forced to digitise their services at costs well over N10 billion.
“In the transition from analogue to digital, these MMDS rebroadcast operators (12 of them) who had transited to digital since 2009 and operating under their collective business name Cable Channels Nigeria Limited were licensed to undertake their very familiar business of content aggregation.
“The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) decided to give the cable operators the aggregation licence in order to accommodate their invaluable experience in content aggregation business, their knowledge of the distribution network which they have been doing for over three decades, their relevance in the new television configuration, to help save some jobs of their workforce, to recoup, even on a long time basis some of their losses in giving up their investment for the country to go digital in compliance with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) directive and mindful of the many benefits freeing up of the spectrum would have on the economy of the country and many other reasons.
“However, CCNL is the only stakeholder in the comity of DSO operators’ chain that has not been funded till date. We rather paid licence fee and generate funding for our operations,” he said.

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Housing/Property

Expert Harps On Quality Building Materials

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A real estate consultant in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, Dr Derefa Fiberesima, has charged builders in Nigeria to come’ up with buildings that would stand the test of time, using quality building materials.
Fiberesima gave the charge in a chat with The Tide, yesterday in Port Harcourt.
He noted that the use of quality building materials would not only ensure the integrity of the building, but that materials suitable for the tropical weather conditions in the country would also be chosen.
Fiberesima observed that the buildings put up by the colonialists were still standing strong, saying: even stronger than new buildings erected in present day Nigeria’’.
He lamented that the quality of building materials used in the present day Nigeria was not suitable for the Nigerian weather condition.
He explained that the consequences of using substandard building material were dire and charged the Lawmakers need to accelerate the passage of the enabling Act for the enforcement of the National Building Code to adequately address building collapse crises in the built industry in the nation.
Fiberesima cited the example of corrugated iron roofing sheets widely used in roofing in Nigeria as one that gets easily rusted due to a acid rain and heavy sunshine especially in Rivers State adding that the heavy noise due to rain dropping on it could also be very disturbing to occupants of the building.
He also pointed out that there were health implications when asbestos building materials are used, which he lamented was not widely known to Nigerians.
He enjoined the government to take a look at the housing policies of other climes and articulate in Nigeria’s housing policies.

 

By: Tonye Nria-Dappa

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Housing/Property

FMDQ Committed To Tackling Housing Deficit –Onadele

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The FMDQ Securities Exchange (FMDQ) Plc has said it remains committed to tackling the housing infrastructural deficit facing Nigeria through mobilisation of funds from the capital market.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Bola Onadele, disclosed this during the Capital Market Correspondents Assoctaion of Nigeria (CAMCAN) 2019 annual workshop in Lagos at the weekend.
Speaking on the theme: “Bridging the infrastructure gap in Nigeria: The Capital Market Option”, Onadele stated that infrastructure is central to the development of the economy and pointed out that FMDQ is poised to providing workable means of housing provision in the country,amongst other programmes to address infrastructural gap in Nigeria.
Onadele who was represented by Associate Executive Director, Corporate Development, FMDQ, Kaodi Ugoji, noted that the Exchange had set up a housing development project team to work directly with the office of the Vice president.
Onadele further added that the Exchange has been working with stakeholders and government to develop products that will drive the capital market and the Nigerian economy in the last four years.
“Sukuk bond has been a success no doubt but there is a need to expand sukuk bond which the Federal Government introduced. Infrastructure is one thing we need to shore up to achieve our goal as a country.
He gave assurance that the Exchange’s holding company would bring efficiency to help in the development of infrastructures.
“We will continue to innovate ways as well as blueprint to drive development in the capital market and the economy at large”, he said.

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Housing/Property

Staff Housing Loan Boss Cautions Public Servants Against Corruption

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The former Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, Dr Hannatu Adamu Fika, has called on public servants in the country to shun corruption and contribute to making Nigeria great.
Fika made the call in an interview with newsmen during a dinner party organise in her honour to celebrate her retirement in Abuja.
She said that challenges in life were normal but one needs to be upright in carrying out his or her responsibility as a pubic or civil servant.
“When you build a house for a public servant, you have added value to his or her life.
“I want to call on public servants to be transparent and shun corruption in the course of their work for the development of the country.
“However, I will continue to urge the staff I have worked with to continue to follow the line of doing the right thing so that we can have a corrupt free public service in Nigeria.
“Those in the Housing Loan section should not relent to touch true lives of pubic servant in the area of provision of housing.
“I have exited but am not tired; I am moving into another stage where the Centre for Leadership and Economy Development, an affiliate with UN have given me the Chair Person of their governing board.
“I am now going to concentrate on issues of women and youths development, “ she said.
However, Fika said she would continue to pray that the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Programme known as FISH grows from strength to strength.
“So that civil servants  who are hard working but their salaries cannot take then home would be able to benefit through that system so that they can have their own homes”.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in charge of Niger Delta Ministry Ms Didi Walson-Jack, said Fika is intelligent, willing to advice and always on top of her subject matter.
“She has created impact in the public service through provision of housing for public servants and other wonderful things she did to help them,” she said.
Our correspondent reports that the occasion attracted some former permanent Secretaries, Heads of Civil Service of the Federation, FG Staff Housing Loans and many friends and well wishers.

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