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NCC Boss, Others To Bag ZIK Prize

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The Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, is billed to be honoured with the prestigious Zik Prize in the Professional Leadership Category in Lagos.
The award, scheduled for December 6, would be presented to Danbatta by the Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre (PPRAC), at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The PPRAC had, during a virtual conference, named Danbatta and the Group Managing Director of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Kennedy Uzoka, as joint winners in the category.
The Director of Public Affair, NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja quoted the Chairman of PPRAC, Prof. Jubril Aminu, as saying that “Danbatta, Uzoka and other prominent personalities who emerged in different categories of the Zik Awards, were carefully selected, through a rigorous and meticulous process for their notable contributions to national development.”
This year’s event, which also coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Zik Prize series, would be chaired by Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka and the Obi of Onitsha, Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, would function as the royal father of the day.
He said that the organisers cited Danbatta as “a square peg in a square hole”, who through dint of hard work as NCC boss, was acknowledged to have leveraged telecommunications to  lead the charge for Nigeria’s industrial revolution and knowledge-based economy.
“Telecommunications’ contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown by 70 per cent from 2015 to 2020, whilst broadband penetration has increased significantly to over 45 per cent.
“Danbatta’s leadership has enhanced transparency and innovation in the sector, such that recently, NCC was acknowledged by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as one of Africa’s foremost regulators”, the PPRAC said.
“The NCC boss has transformed the commission into a regulator of global acclaim. The establishment and implementation of the NCC’s auspicious strategic 8-Point Agenda, under Danbatta, has given direction to activities of the Commission”, Adinde quoted the PPRAC as saying.
According to Adinde, the organisers also acknowledged that Danbatta had, through far-reaching innovations, such as Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) registration and 112 Emergency Number, helped in efforts waged against insecurity in the country.
They also noted that the “sector’s improved contribution to GDP as well as improvements in Quality of Service (QoS) delivery, broadband infrastructural development, broadband penetration, effective spectrum utilisation, consumer empowerment, technology innovation, had been phenomenal under Danbatta’s leadership”
Earlier, in his nomination letter, jointly signed by Aminu and Utomi, the NCC boss was described as “an outstanding public servant, whose initiatives and reforms had contributed to ICT.
The Zik Prize Center was set up in 1994 in honour of the first President of Nigeria, late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, to encourage and nurture quality leadership in Africa and in the diaspora.
Other winners in this year’s edition of the prize, include the Senate President, Dr Ahmed Lawal and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustafa, who won in the political leadership and public service categories, respectively.
Three governors, Babagana Zulum of Borno,  Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Oluseyi Makinde of Oyo, also bagged the award for good governance.

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‘CAMA Allows Electronic Share Transfer, Virtual Meetings’

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The Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 now permits electronic share transfer and private companies to hold their general meetings virtually, the Head of Legal, Compliance and Governance, Advans Lafayette Microfinance Bank Limited, Jennifer Halim-Ubahakwe, has said.
She said this in a statement titled ‘CAMA 2020 allows electronic share transfer, virtual general meetings’ last Friday.
She described the new CAMA as Nigeria’s most significant business legislation in three decades, saying it introduced new provisions that promoted ease of doing business and reduced regulatory hurdles.
Speaking on the impact of the reduction of filing fees for registration of charges for those aspiring to register their businesses in Nigeria, Halim-Ubahakwe said the provision introduced a significant reduction in the fees payable for the registration of charges.
“It is a good incentive for potential and established businesses in Nigeria, especially for those in the lending market, as it saves cost and allows for ease of doing business,” she said.
Prior to the repeal of CAMA 2004, the fees for filing and registration of charges as applicable to both private and public companies were N10,000 on every N1million (1 per cent) and N20,000 on every N1million (2 per cent) respectively, the statement said.
It said, “By section 222 (12) of the new CAMA, 2020, the total fees payable to the commission with respect to the filing, registration or release of a charge with the commission should not exceed 0.35 percent of the value of the charge or such other amount as the minister may specify in the Federal Government gazette.
“The Act introduces a framework for rescuing a company in distress and to keep it alive, which gives some assurance and comfort to founders and investors as against allowing such entity to become insolvent.
“SMEs can leverage on the company voluntary arrangement and the administration provisions of the new Act.”
“Under company voluntary arrangement, the directors may make a proposal to its creditors for a negotiated arrangement towards the satisfaction of its debt or a scheme of arrangement of its affairs to prevent the company from being wound up.”

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Buhari Approves Replacement Policy On Phone SIM

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The Federal Government has approved a replacement policy for subscribers whose Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) may have been lost, stolen, misplaced or damaged.
Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, and Mr Kayode Adegoke of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), jointly made this known in a statement in Abuja, recently.
Adinde explained that the policy was part of the government’s efforts to reduce the burden on subscribers and simplify the exercise so as to enable telecommunications serve the public.
He said that the Ministerial Task Force, under the chairmanship of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Patami, had set up a technical committee, made up of representatives of the NCC, NIMC, The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), to facilitate the policy.
Adinde added that the committee was also charged with the operationalisation of the process, to ensure an expedited linkage of all SIM registration records with the NIN.
Similarly, the minister had approved some conditions, based on recommendations of the Technical Committee, that required the subscriber to present a NIN, an effective verification of the NIN by NIMC, and adherence with the relevant guidelines and regulations of NCC, concerning SIM replacement.
According to him, the government’s drive to ensure all subscriber registrations were linked with NINs was on course and all stakeholders in the industry are working together to ensure a seamless process.
He said that the governmentsincerely appreciated Nigerians for the understanding and the commitment demonstrated towards ensuring the overall success of the exercise.

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FG To Support Local Innovation, Entrepreneurship

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The Federal Government has
pledged to support local innovationand entrepreneurship to enable the country shift from a consuming nation to a producing nation.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr  Isa Pantami, made the pledge at the Stakeholders Review and Validation Workshop of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy (NDIEP), organised by the NationalInformation Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in Abuja, recently.
He noted that Nigeria had the potential to produce and deploy what it needed, adding that the government was working on providing the enabling environment by introducing the NDIEP.
“When we support our innovators and entrepreneurs, they will increase our products and position Nigerian goods for more exports. Government is providing the enabling environment for indigenous innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive. It is the key to driving the digital economy”, he said.
The minister also called on young innovators to be consistent and focused to enable them actualise their dreams.
The workshop, which was tagged “Developing an Enabling Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy,” had stakeholders from different sectors of the national innovation ecosystem to review, suggest amendments and propose implementation strategies for the policy.
Also speaking, the  Director-General of the Nigeria Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, explained that there were two types of entrepreneurship including Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), and the Innovation-Driven Enterprise (IDE).
Inuwa said that the SME is more on short term and regional benefits, while IDE grows exponentially and can expose an idea to the international market.
“The policy is designed to help us create an enabling environment to start and grow IDEs in Nigeria. By implementing the policy, we will create the IDE mindset and skill set and learn how to do business in our communities”, he said.
Inuwa noted that IDEs such as Jumia created over 5,000 jobs in 2012 when it was established, while the value grew to $1 billion in three years.
He recalled that Boston Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm, predicted that in 2025, Jumia and other potential unicorn companies would create three million jobs in Africa.
He, however, expressed regrets that out of the 615 unicorn companies in the world, only three are in Africa, two in South Africa and one in Nigeria, whereas America has 265, China 204, UK 24, while India has 21.
He noted that the government was committed to mentoring startups to develop the innovation ecosystem and translate their ideas into products for commercialisation.
In his view, the Technical Assistant to the Minister on IT, Dr Femi Adeluyi, said the policy was to leverage on digital innovation and entrepreneurship for job creation, as well as empower Nigerian youths.

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