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FG Orders NCC To Reduce Data Costs

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The Federal Government has ordered the Nigerian Communication Commission(NCC) to work out modalities that will reduce costs of data for Nigerians.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, gave the directive yesterday in Abuja, shortly after the new Executive Commissioner (Stakeholders Management) of the NCC, Barrister Adeleke Adewolu, was administered the oath of office.
Pantami said his office has been inundated with complaints from concerned Nigerians about the high cost of data being charged by telecommunication companies.
He told the management of the NCC led by its Board Chairman, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, to work out the modalities with other stakeholders that would lead to reduction in data cost in the next five working days.
The Minister said: “ I am urging the management of NCC to work towards reducing the price of data in Nigeria. It is too costly and people are complaining everyday.
“If you go to other countries, even countries that are not as largely populated as Nigeria, data prices are not this high. I am also a victim of some of the infractions that are so common in the industry. You load your data, but you barely used 20 per cent of it and the entire data is wiped off.
“The last time I commented on the issues of illegal data deduction, this is one of the issues that worries me badly today. Eng Wakil making a presentation on behalf of EVC, he tried to defend the operators on one hand and the commission on the other, but I was not fully convinced with the explanation.
“Please go, sit down and review that issue. It is very important and I want to get your feedback with that report in the next five working days with the decision on it because the complaint from Nigerians is beyond what I can handle. As it is today, people are complaining. And it happened to me I recharged my data line and used it, and I believe that what I used was not up to 20 per cent of what I purchased when it was wiped off, so that is an issue that is very important .
“I directed NCC to reduce the price of data downward as well, it is very important, go and look at other African countries that do not have population like ours, even 20 per cent of our population, go and see the price of data there. As a regulator, the main agenda of NCC is to protect the customers, our priority should be the interest of Nigerians.”
The Minister commended the NCC leadership for its achievements in the areas of five per cent broadband penetration and the de-activation of pre-registered and unregistered SIM cards, stating that they should go a step further by ensuring that penetration of 3G and 4G are expanded in Nigeria.
He urged the new board member to key into the programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari, which are anchored on fighting insecurity and corruption and lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty as soon as possible.

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NCC Reassures On Protection Of Customers

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The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) has assured telecommuication consumers that they would continue to get the right value for their money
It also said that it would continue to address challenges in the industry.
The NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Umar Danbatta, gave the assurance at NCC Day at Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Tafawa Balewa Square.
He said as the regulator of the industry, the commission is aware of the huge responsibilities of safeguarding the interests of all the stakeholders.
Represented by the commission’s Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mr. Ismail Adedigba, the NCC boss said the forum was specially organised to strategise with the consumers to seek and proffer solutions to various telecom issues confronting them.
He said: “The NCC as the telecom regulator is aware that this feat of telecom being central to our daily life could not have been achieved without the consumers and as such identifies the consumer as a very important stakeholder in the telecom industry.
“This is evident in the Eight Point Agenda  of the commission where the empowerment and protection of the consumers from unfair practices through availability of information and education to make informed choices in the use of ICT services is emphasised.”
Danbatta  said the NCC as a regulator has devised ways for subscribers to lodge complaints when they are dissatisfied with the services provided by operators, adding that the commission will also apply appropriate regulatory measures and sanctions against erring service provider.
He said one of the issues affecting telecoms consumers which the commission has proffered solution to is the issue of telemarketing, commonly known as unsolicited text message.

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Human Capital Dev, Key To Mining Sector – Minister

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The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite says human capital development is key to growing the mining sector.
He said this yesterday in Abuja when he visited the  Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) to inspect some of its facilities.
The minister said developing human capital in the mining sector was necessary to build the right expertise to do things like certification of minerals locally, rather than going to South Africa and other countries to do same.
“If we do certification of minerals here, things will be easier and people can even come from other countries to have their minerals certified in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is a great country, and I am sure we have the resources in terms of human capital, let us train our people so we can achieve this.
“I have no doubt that we can do it, and I know that the NGSA is doing well and I will like us to keep it that way,’’ the minister said.
Adegbite also expressed concern that the engineering profession was currently dominated by men, saying that there was the need to encourage women into the profession.
According to him, girls in universities should be given career talk to encourage them to take to the profession.
The minister also tasked Nigerians on the need to be patriotic and to always have the interest of the country at heart, as this was critical to ensuring its greatness.
“Let us all have Nigeria’s interest first and foremost at heart, if we do that, Nigeria will be greater, and we will all leave peacefully.
“When Nigeria is great, it is able to provide for more.
“All this banditry we are having all over the place is because the growth that Nigeria has experienced has been exclusive, a lot of people had been left behind.
“And when people are left behind, the result is desperation and this had led to banditry, kidnapping and others vices,” he said.
Adegbite charged the management of the agency to feel free to come up with ideas on how to move the agency forward.
The minister also inaugurated the agency’s Mineral Museum and Customer Service Centre.
Earlier, NGSA Director-General Dr Abdulrazaq Garba said the museum was established for the archiving of Nigeria’s scientific breakthroughs and geological heritage.
Garba said the agency‘s geological museums and collections were a great national asset that contributed to culture, research, scientific education and public engagement.
He added that it had also formed an intrinsic part of research carried out in the past and played a key role as a source of evidence in exploration of the nation’s natural resources.
Speaking on the recent persistent earth tremors experienced in parts of the country, especially around Abuja, Garba said proactive measures were being taken to predict, detect and monitor earth movement and earthquake related activities.
According to him, the agency has procured and deployed earthquake monitoring equipment in form of high sensitivity volksmeter II in some parts of Abuja and Kaduna.
The Director General said the agency was collaborating with various institutions both locally and internationally with a view to adding value to its activities.

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MOSOP Plans Template On Oil Production In Ogoni

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The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), says it will soon set up a template for discussion around the issue of oil production in Ogoniland.
President of the movement, Mr. Legborsi Saro Pgagbara, who disclosed this at the 24th Ogoni Martyrs Day in Port Harcourt, recently said the resumption of oil production in Ogoniland must involve a broad based discussion with the people.
“Our points remain that any resumption of oil production in Ogoni must involve a broad based discussion with the Ogoni community taking into account that the oil industry and Ogoni had been in dispute and the issues surrounding this dispute have not been settled” he said.
The MOSOP president also stressed the need for the people to find a united platform that will protect their interest.
Also speaking the president of KAGOTE, Dr Peter Mede, said his organisation and MOSOP were working together to advance the common interest of the Ogonis.
Dr Mede also said KAGOTE was in support of the move by the Federal Government to conduct a forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
He said the 24th commemoration marked another milestone in the Ogoni struggle and used the occasion to pass a vote of confidence on the Lgborsi Suro Pgagbara led MOSOP.
The chairman of the occasion and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Ben Naanen, said the Ogonis lost a whole generation to the struggle.
He, however, commended MOSOP for keeping the memories of Ogoni heroes alive.

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