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FG, ATCON Eye 70% Broadband Penetration Target

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The Federal Government (FG), the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and other stakeholders in the telecoms industry have intensified efforts to achieve over 70 per cent broadband penetration in Nigeria by 2025.
Speaking at a conference organised by ATCON aimed at national strategic mobilisation for the actualisation of the national broadband target of 70 per cent, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Garba Umar Dambatta, said Nigeria has one of the largest telecom markets in Africa with an estimated population of over 200 million people.
In his presentation at the conference, with theme,  “Realising the new set target of 70 per cent broadband penetration”, he said although the penetration is economically very challenging, it is an interesting asset to attract foreign direct investment to the Telecommunication industry.
“Therefore, enabling full connectivity and broadband access for a minimum of 70 per cent of the rapidly growing population is a vision/target that the Nigerian National Broadband plan (NNBP) seeks to achieve and surpass within the time frame of year 2020 – 2025,” he said.
At the launch of the NNBP in 2020, the Broadband penetration, which was largely driven by mobile technology, was slightly below 40 per cent. By December 2020, penetration of 45.93 per cent had been attained. As at April 2022, the penetration stands at 42.79 per cent.
According to the NCC boss, the reasons for fluctuation are quite obvious, saying that it was what informed the strategic initiatives of the Commission to deepen the penetration of fixed broadband infrastructure, which will guarantee very steady broadband services and provide higher capacity.

ATCON President, Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani, said the strategic objectives of the event are to complement the various strategic activities already embarked upon by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and all the agencies under the Ministry to achieve the set target of Broadband penetration in Nigeria with great speed.

He stated further that it is to leverage on the wide spectrum of ATCON’ sub-groups for effective participation in the new Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 by giving them the opportunity to access the plan and suggest various ways to speed up the realisation of the established target by the government and also serve as a veritable platform to galvanise the needed input that reflect the thinking of the telecom and ICT sector.

In his remarks, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwolu, said the National Broadband plan aligns with and is critical to his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda.

He explained that the NNPB does not connect only with the Making Lagos State a 21st Century Economy but resonates with all the other pillars knowing fully that technology is an enabler and cuts across all sectors.

“The impact on the Education and Technology pillar cannot be quantified, which is why as part of our metro smart city initiative, we have undertaken to connect schools and higher educational institutions to the internet. We have so far connected hundred public schools,” he said.

On fibre infrastructure, Sanwo-Olu said his government has embarked on the deployment of High Density Duct pipes towards achieving its main objectives of creating a technology enabled and sustainable smart city.

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Multiple Fibre Cuts Bar MTN’s 87m Customers From Calls, Data

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MTN Nigeria has blamed the recent network issue experienced by its customers nationwide on multiple fibre cuts.
Recall that MTN customers were unable to make calls or use their data last Wednesday.
According to the company, the problem started at about 1.39 PM on Wednesday.
In its reaction via X, MTN Nigeria blamed the network issue on multiple fibre cuts, even as it assured that its engineers are working assiduously to restore normal services.
The statement reads: “Dear Customer, you have been experiencing challenges connecting to the network due to a major service outage caused by multiple fibre cuts, affecting voice and data services.
“Our engineers are working hard to resolve this with services gradually being restored in some areas.

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Alake Confident Nigeria’ll Overcome Economic Hardship

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The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake has said that Nigeria would soon overcome its current economic hardship.
Alake gave the assurance in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Segun Tomori on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said  the hardship was because Nigeria was going through a gestation period of economic restructuring and reforms.
He said that President Bola Tinubu was determined to revamp  Nigeria’s  economy and put on a pedestal for sustainable growth through his Renewed Hope agenda.
According to him, the President has a track record of changing the economic tides of a region, just as he did when he was the governor of Lagos State.
“Going down memory lane to the experience in Lagos state, the then governor  Tinubu in 1999,  met a state that was almost insolvent, with a monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N600 million.
“ And a wage bill of over N1.1 billion monthly, with little or no resources to cater to infrastructure and other sectors of the economy.
“President Tinubu took similar measures in Lagos as he is taking in Nigeria, to turn the tide and financially re-engineer the state.  Today, the state is the fifth largest economy in Africa, bigger than most African countries.
“What we are going through is the gestation period of reforms and policies for economic restructuring and like the President will say, it is like throes of pregnancy, that a pregnant woman goes through.
“After delivery, she heaves a sigh of relief,” he said.
The minister urged  Nigerians to be patient with the government  as the current economic  situation  would soon stabilise with positive  results from on going reforms.
“For the first time, Nigeria has a  president well-versed in public finance. I am  confident in this administration’s capacity to diversify the economy, plug leakages, and redirect the economy to a path of sustainable growth.
“ The future of this country is extremely very bright. What we need to do is to exude confidence in our ability and capacity to weather the storm of restructuring, economic and societal restructuring.
“As we restructure our economy, putting in physical infrastructure, we must also restructure our minds and mental capacity to be at par with physical development.
“ So that we can efficiently and judiciously enjoy the benefits of physical development.
“With the cooperation of Nigerians, the tide will turn very soon, and we all will be proud, he

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Only Professional Builders’ll Handle Global Centre’s Modern Cities  – President

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The President/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Centre for Empowerment and Care for Life Challenges (GCECLC), Amb. Vincent Ejikeme Agbo has said that only professionals would be used for the massive global center real estate housing and industrial development in the country.
The CEO who said this in a chat with the media shortly after their press conference in Port Harcourt recently, reiterated that the group will not compromise standard  both in the use of  standard building materials or professionals in the building sector.
Amb. Agbo noted that the use of quacks builders and building materials are the major causes of building collapse in the country, adding, “the 5,000 housing units that would be built in the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory in the first phase of the GCECLC building project would be the same quality with that of the developed countries”.
He said the building materials would be supplied directly by the main companies, adding, “GCECLC, a non governmental organizations (NGO) has already gotten the license from Dangote group of companies to supply cement at a giveaway price for the building project, seeing the importance of the project to the masses.
“We want to bridge the gap in the Nigerian building sector and this would enable everyone in the country to own a quality building in an environment where the system is working”.
In his contribution, the Vice President of the NGO, Amb. Shittu Isiaka Salami said the group is working with all the building construction agencies to ensure  that quality jobs are delivered because, “we have zero tolerance for building collapse”.
Amb Isiaka called on qualified building engineers and contractors to come and do business with the NGO in the project that is aimed at fulfilling United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) 9 & 11.
The Public Relation Personel/ the marketing contact person for the building project, Amb. Larry Goodwill Ajiola advised interested building engineers and contractors to register for the project, adding that non professional contractors would not be given a chance to build.
Amb  Ajiola said contractors should give priority attention to the project when money is given to them as, “no excuse would be tolerated in the first and second phases of the building project aimed  at decongesting the urban settlement.
Amb. Ajiola who is also the CEO of I Cnntact- Connect Limited, Port Harcourt, said the project is a welcomed development, especially to the less privileged ones that never thought they could own a house of their own.
He noted that the long span of payment between 10- 30 years makes it affordable to all serious minded citizens, adding, “GCECLC has risen to give hope to the hopeless in the country, especially now that Nigerians are passing through hardship.
“It is a welcomed development to Rivers state and the other 36 States. It is contributing to the welfare of the masses. Everyone will benefit since you will pay small small. I have confidence that the project is already a success”.
One of the invitees, Mrs Ifeoma Usoro commended the NGO for  moving into this financial intensive area for their love to help the poor masses and requested for the building engineers to be given more time to conclude registration modalities.

Lilian Peters

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