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NCC Surpasses Revenue Projection, Records N150bn Spectrum Fees In Five Months

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has exceeded its N36 billion projected revenue from spectrum licence fees for 2021.
The commission said that it had recorded over N150 billion from this revenue source within the five months of the year.
Director, Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, made this known in a statement in Abuja.
Adinde said that the figure represents over 400 per cent increase in revenue budget performance in respect of spectrum fees generated by the commission between January 1 and May 31, 2021.
He said that this reflected significant contribution to the revenue drive of the Federal Government.
According to him, the N150 billion spectrum revenue achieved in the first half of the year has been remitted to the government in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003.
The act mandates the Commission to remit proceeds from spectrum resources wholly into the government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
The Commission, in its 2021 Budget, approved by both chambers of the National Assembly in December, 2020, projected a revenue of N36 billion from spectrum fee for the year 2021 but has remarkably surpassed this estimate.
He noted that over the years, the NCC had put in place an effective regulatory regime which had significantly facilitated advancements in the nation’s telecoms industry.
The director also said that it boosted Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and improved the operations of licensees as well as boosted the government’s revenue generation.
Commenting on the revenue performance, the Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that the impressive uptick in spectrum fee was the result of the favourable turn of events for the telecom sector.
Danbatta said that at the time of preparing the estimates for the 2021 Budget of the Commission, it was not clear due to the ravaging impact of COVID-19 on the global economy.
He noted that the 10-year spectrum fees made by some of the major operators directly impacted the projected spectrum fee favourably.
The EVC, however, said that the commission believed that enthronement of effective regulation would continue to improve the general performance of the telecoms sector.
The Tide source recalled that on October 28, 2020, the NCC had generated and remitted N344.71 billion to the government’s Consolidated RevenueFund (CRF) in the last five years.

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Firms Partner On Payment Ease Across Africa

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Interswitch, a digital commerce company, and Compass Plus Technologies, provider of retail banking and electronic payments software, have announced a partnership to further strengthen Interswitch’s payment card processing capacity in Africa.
The strategic partnership would see Interswitch utilise TranzAxis, an award-winning, token-based, cloud-native technology and other innovations developed by Compass Plus Technologies for Verve, Visa and Mastercard credit card processing.
Managing Director, Payment Processing and Switching (Interswitch Purepay), Mr Akeem Lawal, stated this in a statement in Lagos recently.
Lawal said the collaboration forms part of the company’s  comprehensive response to the evolving and constantly expanding demand by the African market.
He stated that the partnership would boost Interswitch presence across the continent as it continues to deliver on its promise as the gateway to Africa’s payment ecosystem.
“We are pleased to announce this partnership with Compass Plus Technologies, which aligns with our commitment to making payments easy and convenient.
“Migrating our card processes to the TranzAxis platform will allow us to further improve our service offerings as we remain focused on providing cutting-edge solutions that optimise service delivery”, he said.
Also speaking, the  Vice President and Deputy Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Compass Plus Technologies, Adil Ahmed, said Interswitch has always strived to drive positive change in Middle East and Africa region.
“We are delighted to partner with Interswitch, one of the biggest processors in Africa, and now that they have TranzAxis to support their ambitions, they will continue to revolutionise Africa’s payments space in the region
“This will further strengthen the Verve payments network, and manage their Visa and Mastercard credit card business more efficiently.
“By utilising TranzAxis, Interswitch can rely on its extensive Application Programme Interface (API) capabilities for seamless integration, which significantly accelerates time to market.
“It also provides operational workflows to segregate system set up in compliance with rules and controls required to scale and meet unique market requirements, “ he  noted.
The Tide’s source reports that the new platform had been deployed in one of Interswitch Group’s technology hubs domiciled in Nairobi, Kenya.
The platform would have the capability to process transactions for Interswitch clients across Africa, with localised instances for each country tailored to meet clients’ unique needs.

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NCC To Lauch 5G Spectrum In August

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The  Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it would  rollout  the Fifth Generation (5G) technology by August.
Its Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, said this at the 90th edition of Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) held in  Lagos recently.
Danbatta said NCC, through the support of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, would ensure the deployment of spectrum to further accelerate the growth of Nigeria’s broadband services.
“The final letters of award have been issued to MTN and Mafab Communications, which emerged winners of the 3.5GHz Spectrum auction conducted on Dec. 13, 2021.
“In line with the information memorandum, the licensees are expected to commence rollout of 5G services effective from August 24, 2022.
“The successful completion of the process leading to the final letters is  confirmation that the rollout of 5G technology services in Nigeria is on course”, he said.
The EVC reiterated that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)  had revealed that 5G network would ensure Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB); Massive machine-type Communications (mMTC) and Ultra-reliable and low-lattency Communications ( URLLC).
He said with the estimated population of 214 million Nigerians, with an average growth rate of 2.6 per cent annually, approximately 76.46 per cent of the population should be under the age of 35.
“In line with the demographic  changes, internet penetration grew from three per cent in 2004 to 73.82 per cent as at September 2022, while broadband penetration increased from less than 10 per cent in 2015 to 40.01 per cent in September 2021.
“The potential for expansion is a great opportunity for 5G deployment as operators are certain of recouping their investment”, he said.
He noted that some challenges of the spectrum identified by ITU included the requirements for more spectrally efficient technologies, which were more than what the current 3G and 4G system required.
According to him, ITU also identified intrinsic  propagation  characteristics of millimetre waves, which may require greater number of base stations.
“It is a challenge that stakeholders must collaborate to address as Nigeria rolls out 5G technology services”, he  said.
Danbatta continued that the goal of the commission was for Nigeria  to be  one of the leading nations with 5G technology deployment that would benefit all stakeholders and contribute maximally to the digital economy policy of the Federal Government.
The  theme of the meeting was “5G Technology: Opportunities and Challenges”.

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‘Immigration’II Go Fully Digital Soon’

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A top Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) Officer in Port Harcourt says the agency will go fully  digital soon in order to serve  the public better.
The officer, who spoke  on condition of anonymity in an exclusive chat with The Tide in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the reason for the planned  switch  to electronic  system  of service is to ensure  that the agency  is not left out in the 21st century  mode of business  transaction.
The officer  noted that the Nigerian  Immigration  is on ground to promote  quick  service  delivery, hence, the decision  to go digital.
According  to him, some of the delay in their  services to the public is due to the semi analogue  system  still  practised  in the agency.
Not exonerating the service of any form of challenge,  he stated that the paramilitary  outfit would do better upon full digitization of the organisation.
On the recent complaint by members of the public about the delay  in the Passport Unit, he said such was misconstrued because the personnel at the unit are doing their best.
He expressed  regrets that some persons will only raise alarm when they did not receive  the special treatment  they requested, and not praise them subsequently when  treated as demanded.
“What they do not  know  is that,  we cannot  please every person the same time. Some of them will come  with a near difficult work and want you to perform  the magic  almost immediately”, he said.
The  officer did not  state  how soon the digital operations  will commence,  but said that it may not exceed this year.
“It has to pass through due process, that is why we may have some delay. But internally,  we are prepared  to take up the new challenge. I think  we are equal to the task”, he said.
The Tide gathered that the Service  in Port Harcourt, especially  the Passport Unit,  is on ground  and is gradually removing  all bottlenecks  associated with the job.

By: King Onunwor

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