NCC Begins Bidding On 2.3 GHz Band Licences
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is to commence a fresh bidding process of 2.3 GHz spectrum band licences, following the recent cancellation of the former bid by President Umaru Yar’Adua.
A statement on Monday by the Head of Public Affairs of NCC, Reuben Muoka, said the board of the telecoms regular presides over by its chairman, Ahmed Joda, met recently to review the issues concerning the result 2.3GHz frequency spectrum licensing process and the issues arising there from.
According to the statement, “The commission notes the published directive of the commission, by Mr. President, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, to conduct a fresh bidding round for the licences, on this frequency band.
“Flowing from above, the programme for the fresh bidding round for licences in the 2.3GHz Band, and other frequency bands, has been initiated by the board of the commission, and full details will be announced in due course”.
Therefore, all stakeholders have been advised to look out for public announcements in this regard, adding that all interested parties should forget the events of the past months and join the commission in fostering a nation where telecom services are accessible and affordable to all.
“The commission pledges its absolute commitment to due process, respect for law, and unequivocal commitment to openness and transparency, and has always been guided by these principles in all its licensing processes.
“The commission also wishes to use this opportunity to solicit for the support and understanding of all stakeholders in the quest to sustain the gains made in the Nigerian telecom industry in the last nine years for the benefit of the Nigerian people and the future of the nation”, the statement added.
It would be recalled that President Yar’Adua has condemned the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for floating the guidelines in the controversial award of 2.3GHz spectrum band licences and consequently, ordered a fresh and more transparent bidding process.
The presidential spokesman, Olusegun Adeniyi, had told newsmen that “having carefully reviewed official reports and representations from stakeholders and after availing himself of competent advice on the recent licensing of the 2.3GHz, Spectrum Band, President Yar’Adua has come to the conclusion that the letters and spirit of the speculated rules and guidelines were not adequately complied with.
“In furtherance of the Federal Government’s desire to assure of its commitment to the observance of due process and a level playing field, President Yar’Adua directed that the NCC should initiate a fresh process for the award of the 2.3GHz spectrum band licences.
“The president further directed that in performing its statutory function of awarding licences for band through a fresh process, the NCC should make every possible effort to ensure that its actions are seen and perceived by all stakeholders to be open, transparent and fully in keeping with the requirements of due process and fair-play”.
Plastic Pollution, Threat To Mangroves In N’Delta – HYPREP
The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) has expressed concerns that plastic pollution was an emerging threat to mangroves in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
It stated it would soon commence the shoreline clean up and mangrove restoration of oil-impacted areas in Ogoniland.
The Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Prof Nenibarini Zabbey, in his address to mark the 2023 World Environment Day, expressed regrets that plastics do not only suffocate and kill mangrove biodiversity, but also impact local livelihoods and compromises mangroves’ capacity to sequester and mitigate climate change.
According to him, a project with a mandate to remediate and restore oil-polluted ecosystems, HYPREP, was positioned to offer solutions to plastic pollution, which synergistically mitigate the effects of hydrocarbon contamination.
“The 2023 WED commemoration, which also marks the 50th World Environment Day celebration, presents a golden opportunity to deploy science, adapt innovation, and develop sustainable policies towards addressing environmental problems.
“HYPREP is about to commence shoreline cleanup and mangrove restoration in Ogoniland. Recently, plastic pollution has been identified as an emerging threat to mangroves in the Niger Delta”, he noted.
In proffering solutions to plastic pollution flex in line with the 2023 WED theme, the HYPREP boss recommended a reduction in plastic production and consumption, and the promotion of sustainable alternatives and reusable products.
ICAN Urges Accountant General To Prioritise Financial Stability
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has called on the new Accountant-General (AG) of the Federation, Dr Oluwatoyin Madein, to ensure financial stability, transparency, and accountability in the country’s financial sector.
According to a statement, the President of ICAN, Dr Innocent Okwuosa, gave the admonition in Abuja, Tuesday, when he paid the new Accountant-General of the Federation a courtesy call in Abuja.
“The position of the Accountant-General of Nigeria carries immense responsibilities, especially now that Nigeria stands at a pivotal juncture, facing a rapidly evolving economic landscape, changing regulatory frameworks coupled with endemic corruption.
“As the Accountant-General, you have the responsibility for maintaining the financial stability, transparency and accountability of the nation as a whole”, he told the AG.
He, however, assured her of ICAN’s continued support to her office to ensure effective management of government finances, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the country’s budget and other fiscal management obligations.
“We understand the enormity of your responsibilities and we will continue to encourage you and all our members in the public service and private sectors to adhere to the profession’s ethics to succeed”, he continued.
Okwuosa also used the opportunity to appraise the AGF of the ICAN Accountability Index, one of the institute’s innovations to contribute to the promotion of accountability and transparency in the Federation.
According to him, it is a novel and first-of-its-kind Index developed to assist the adoption of best practices in Public Financial Management in all tiers of government.
He added that the ICAN-AI had been ratified by several national and international organisations such as the World Bank, the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability and the International Federation of Accountants as an equitable and professional way of monitoring Public Financial Management practices.
In her response, the Accountant-General conveyed her appreciation to the ICAN team for the honour bestowed upon her.
NNPCL To Cut Fuel Import From August
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) says once the Dangote Refinery starts pumping out refined petroleum products from late July or early August, the NNPCL will cut down on its imports of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol.
NNPCL is currently the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria, a task which it had shouldered for several years. Other oil marketers stopped importing petrol due to their inability to access the United States dollars at the official rate.
NNPCL also owned 20 per cent stake in the Dangote Refinery. The 650,000 barrels per day crude oil processing refinery was inaugurated on May 22, 2023 by former President Muhammadu Buhari, who described the facility as a game-changer.
Also at the inauguration, the Founder/Chairman, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said the facility would put an end to the inflow of toxic substandard petroleum products into Nigeria, adding that the refinery would meet 100 per cent of Nigeria’s fuel needs.
Dangote also stated that the refinery would start delivering refined products to the Nigerian market from late July or Early August this year.
According to the spokesman of NNPCL, Garba-Deen Mohammed, immediately Dangote Refinery begins to push out products in August, it would change the NNPCL fuel imports programme.
He said, “NNPC Limited is bringing in products from outside Nigeria as a matter of necessity, not as a matter of choice. We would have preferred that we produce here, refine here and we sell and provide the energy security that the country needs.
“Because of the circumstances that surround our refineries, we cannot allow the country to be grounded. So we have to buy wherever we can get and sell. So if Dangote products are available, why should we not buy from Dangote?
“There is absolutely no reason. And that is the reason why we are interested in the Dangote Refinery. We are co-owners, shouldn’t we do business with our partners rather than do it with other people?”
Muhammad stated that the NNPCL would be supplying crude oil to the Dangote Refinery based on business agreement between both parties, and that this would be in accordance with the international price of crude.
“NNPC owns 20 per cent of that asset and we have an agreement with Dangote that we will supply the refinery with crude. So as soon as Dangote begins to request for crude to pay for it, NNPC is prepared to supply the crude as a business transaction.
“We have been selling crude to different parts of the world for decades, and it is not whether we will sell it to Dangote, for why won’t we sell to Dangote when we are selling to other refineries and countries?
NNPCL Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, recently stated that the supply of 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day by the national oil firm to the Dangote Refinery would start once the facility commenced operations.
to be produced by the Dangote Refinery would not be known at the moment until the refinery released its pricing template.
They expressed hope that the refinery would improve the petroleum products’ supply situation in Nigeria, but noted that the cost of white products would only be determined by the pricing template of the facility.
The Secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, said, “By the time it starts producing, we would see how implementation is going to be and his template.
“We cannot say much about the refinery until it starts. So let us see the mode of production, how it is going to look like in terms of its pricing template”.
Also speaking, the President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, said the pricing template from the new refinery would guide operators on what would be the cost of refined petroleum products from the facility.
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