The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has urged stakeholders to intensify efforts in the promotion of Nigeria’s indigenous telecommunications sector.
Executive Vice President of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, made this known, Friday, during an event organised by the Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PIAFo) in Lagos.
Danbatta, who was represented by the Head of Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecom Sector (NODITS), Babagana Digima, said that the development of the indigenous telecommunications sector was vital for the growth of the country.
He said the commission’s policy and regulatory framework had always laid emphasises on the development of effective local participation of the telecoms sector value chain.
Danbatta also said the Federal Government had in 2021 launched a national policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content (NPPIC) spearheaded by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, in recognition of the pertinent need to develop indigenous capacity in the telecom sector.
He said to ensure the effective implementation of the NPPIC, the commission articulated several targets and high impact interventions, which were Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based (SMART).
“We have not only identified a number of critical stakeholders in the industry, but we have engaged over 30 different entities ranging from MDAs, Mobile Network Operators and SIM manufacturers and mast manufacturers via Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecom Sector.
“At a higher level, the commission had identified some time-based metrics for NPPIC which it classified into immediate, short term, medium term, and long-term items.
“Some of the activities includes creation of NODITS dedicated to guiding the policy, constitution of local content steering committee and engagement with relevant internal and external stakeholders.
“Others include commissioning baseline studies on the level of indigenous content in the Nigerian telecoms industry, development of regulations, enforcement key performance Indicators and methodologies,” Danbatta said.
He said that transforming the action points into metrics would not only streamline the implementation of the policy but also provide for a SMART system to show progress.
Danbatta said the commission was therefore counting on the efforts of industry stakeholders, watchdogs and partners to create independent metrics that would ensure the achievements of the goals of the NPPIC.He said that NCC was delighted to note that some of the actions it implemented through NODITS had yielded fruits.
He continued that to show the commission’s commitment, the NODITS would be hosting its maiden edition of Nigerian Telecommunications Indigenous Content Expo (NTICE 2022) today and tomorrow.
He said the theme of the event was: “Stimulating Development of Indigenous Content through Innovation and Commercialisation”.
According to him, the main objective of NTICE 2022 was to promote the four focus areas of the NPPIC in the telecommunications sector which were manufacturing, service, people, research and development for innovation.
In his remarks, Mr Omobayo Azeez, Lead Executive at PIAFo and Covener of the event, said that the telecommunications sector had unarguably become one indispensable economic enabler for the country and its people.
He said in spite of the commendable trajectory, the sector remains grossly dependent on foreign inputs which at the end of every operating year resulted into capital flights in excess of 2.16 billion dollars.
Azeez said “when operators had to depend solely on foreign talents, solutions, equipment and accessories, they would also have to deal with the hassle of accessing forex as one of the major problems.
“As such, operators and customers suffer and even our dear Naira is also at a receiving end as it continues to lose value,” he said.
He urged the Federal Government to use its NPPIC to reverse this trend, to enable the telecoms industry and the country grow.
The theme of the event was “Establishing Trackable Metrics for Developing Nigeria’s Indigenous Telecoms Sector”.
Cost Of Living: Lagos Civil Servants To Work Three Days A Week …As Sanwo-Olu Announces 25% Discount On Public Transportation
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, announced a reduction of working days for State public servants as part of plans to cushion the cost of living crisis in the country.
Sanwo-Olu made the announcement in Lagos during the ongoing media parley on economic hardship in the country
“We want to start with our public servants, immediately from next week, Civil servants from the lower level will be working like three times a week and level 15-17 can work four times in a week,” he said.
On the rising cost of food, he said that his administration would open more markets where Lagosians can buy food items at discounted rates.
“We will open Sunday markets in at least 42 identified markets across Lagos State. You will be able to buy food items at a discounted price. You will only be able to buy items worth up to N25,000,” the governor said.
He said his administration was also constructing four food hubs to ensure food distribution in tackling rising food prices.
“Coupled with the one at Idi-Oro in Mushin, four more food hubs are under construction and seven other locations in other local governments have also been identified for more food hubs to be developed,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu has said that the state will resume a 25% reduction on public transportation in the state.
“Almost immediately from this weekend, we’re throwing back a 25% reduction on all public transportation.
“We’re working with the various unions to ensure that we also can support them. But on our BRT, our trains, our ferry services, we’re going to begin to enjoy that almost immediately from this weekend.
“I’ve given an instruction, so they are working on the logistics for that.”
Recall that the Lagos State Government, in a bid to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal, slashed the costs of transportation of all state-owned transport systems by 50 per cent in August 2023. It was, however stopped in November, 2023.
Furthermore, Sanwo-Olu announced a free delivery for pregnant residents across all government-owned hospitals in Lagos.
“There is an arrangement for free delivery including cesarean session at government hospitals,” he said.
On rising cost of drugs and other pharmaceutical products, the governor promised that his administration “will also give rebate on some particular drugs at our state government hospitals”.
The governor noted that his administration was also in discussions with various transport unions to reduce their fares.
“First is to express empathy with our citizens, We are not unmindful of the situation, as leaders, we must be able to solve socioeconomic problems,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He also challenged the private sector to look into what they can do for the citizens by replicating their role during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Police To Lift Ban On Tinted Glass Permits
The Nigeria Police Force said it has conducted a comprehensive review of the issuance of tinted glass permits and is set to lift the ban on it for vehicles.
Previously banned in June 2022, the NPF said the ban then was a proactive move to bolster national security and tackle criminal activities linked to the misuse of tinted glasses.
The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, disclosed this in a statement yesterday.
He said that ICT analysts and Eenforcement officers nationwide would undergo a comprehensive training scheduled for the 29th of February, 2024, as a prequel to the reopening of tinted glass permit issuance.
It read, “In a bid to enhance national security and curb criminal activities facilitated by the misuse of tinted glass, the Nigeria Police Force has concluded its review of the issuance of tinted glass permits, previously banned in June 2022.
“The ban was initiated due to widespread concerns regarding the role of tinted glass in aiding heinous crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery, the illegal transportation of firearms, human trafficking, etc.
“With the proposed lifting of the ban, stringent measures are being implemented to prevent abuse and ensure strict compliance with guidelines governing the issuance and use of tinted glass permits.
“ICT Analysts and Enforcement Officers nationwide will undergo a comprehensive training scheduled for the 29th of February, 2024, as a prequel to the reopening of tinted glass permit issuance.”
The statement also noted that the training will equip ICT analysts and enforcement officers with skills to regulate tinted glass permit registration, address public complaints, and enforce compliance.
It further stated, “The training will equip ICT Analysts and Enforcement Officers with the necessary skills and knowledge to regulate the registration process, guide registrants on the use of the portal where required, attend to complaints from members of the public, and enforce compliance effectively.
“It will focus on the intricacies of the new guidelines, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a delicate balance between public safety and individual freedoms while safeguarding national security.”
Highlighting the details in the to-be-newly issued permit, the statement explained, “The proposed tinted glass permit will incorporate distinctive features aimed at enhancing enforcement efficiency and security.
“These include a QR code linked to a central database for real-time verification, unique serial numbers correlated with vehicle and owner details, as well as a digital hologram ensuring authenticity and integrity, among other measures.
“It is crucial to highlight that the guidelines for the issuance of tinted permits and the use of tinted glass will strictly adhere to the provisions of the MOTOR VEHICLES (PROHIBITION OF TINTED GLASS) ACT 1991 and other relevant extant laws.”
Adejobi said this strategic approach underscores the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to prioritise public safety while upholding individual rights and national security interests.
Earlier in 2023, the police said they would soon reintroduce permits for vehicles with tinted glass across the country.
“The Nigeria Police Force remains committed to providing updates to the general public on the implementation of the reviewed process of tinted glass permit issuance, ensuring transparency and accountability in its efforts to maintain internal security,” the statement concluded.
NOSL Launches “you are not Alone” initiative to promote mental health
Maintaining optimal mental health is vital for thriving in society. To survive daily stress effectively, it is essential to cultivate positive coping mechanisms and embrace mindful living. Giving sufficient time to prioritise a healthy lifestyle becomes necessary in this quest.
To this end, On January 31, 2024, Natural Oilfield Services Limited (NOSL) organised a program ‘You Are Not Alone’ mental health awareness driven in partnership with Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) at the University of Lagos to create an awareness about the significance of mental well-being. This event was a proactive endeavour to initiate open dialogues and provide substantial resources for mental health care.
Mental health challenges have no boundaries. This mental health advocacy had a unique approach by inviting both mental health professionals and students from the University of Lagos to share their expertise and personal stories. This collaborative effort cultivated an environment of truthfulness that promotes acceptance and understanding.
Speaking during the event Dr. Mrs. Abolarin Abimbola expressed, ‘Navigating the landscape of mental health stigma requires collective effort and NOSL’s ‘You Are Not Alone’ is a positive initiative in mental health support. This will help to encourage dialogues and welcome different perspectives, which can reduce discrimination.’
“By unlearning misconceptions, fostering awareness, collaborating, and sharing insights, engaging in the community, every small step can contribute to a more caring world, and amplify its impact to bring a positive change. ”
Also speaking, Dr. G.A Akinbode said, ‘In a world where mental health challenges persist, NOSL’s initiative will act as a guiding force and illuminate the avenues towards a benevolent future. We appreciate NOSL for inviting the students who play an integral part in shaping societal attitudes towards mental health, where mental well-being is prioritised and identified.’
According to him Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) is Nigeria’s largest youth run and youth-focused mental health organization championing the fight against mental health related stigma and creating an environment that makes it possible for people to seek care for their mental health without fear of discrimination.
“NOSL believes that mental health conversation is fundamental. The company is poised to make an ever-lasting impression, an unwavering commitment to long-term sustainability to value psychological well-being and support mental health challenges.”
Dignitaries present at the event were Dr. Mrs. Abolarin Abimbola, Director Special Education and Guidance and Counselling, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Dr. Umar Adisa, Sub-Dean of Faculty of Social Science, University of Lagos, Dr. G.A Akinbode, Head of Department of Psychology, University of Lagos, Dr. U.N Israel, Staff Adviser, Department of Psychology, University of Lagos,
Mr. Abiodun Oguntola, Executive Director, Mental Awareness Nigeria Initiative and Ms. Oluwatomilayo Awodoyin, Clinical Psychologist, Mental Awareness Nigeria Initiative.
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