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FG Boosts Fibre Rollout With National Dig Once Policy 

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To bridge gaps identified in Nigeria’s fibre infrastructure rollout, the Federal Government is hoping to launch the ‘National Dig Once Policy’ in the country, December  2022.
With the December target, the FG said it was giving the final touches to the proposed document.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, made the disclosure in Lagos at the just-concluded fourth edition of ‘Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PIAFo) on Dig Once Policy and Fibre Strategy in Nigeria’ with the theme: ‘Laying the Foundation for Ubiquitous Broadband for Nigeria’s Economic Breakthrough’.
Already, Nigeria is said to have a 120,000km of fibre shortfall, after having deployed over 40,000km.
Pantami, at the event organised by Business Metrics Nigeria, noted that the policy would facilitate seamless deployment of fibre optic as a backbone broadband infrastructure across the country to bridge the digital divide and boost the digital economy.
Represented by the Secretary of the Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC) and Head, Wireless Network at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Usman Aliyu, Pantami said the policy  was recognised in the Nigeria Broadband Plan 2020-2025 as a critical element to attaining 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2025.
According to him, the policy, which seeks to promote the installation of ready-made buried fibre conduit for seamless fibre deployment in the country, had received necessary inputs coming from robust engagements with relevant stakeholders for the effective realisation of its essence.
“Some of the objectives of the policy are provisioning of shared infrastructure for existing internet service providers and entrants; promotion of installation of ready-made buried fibre conduit for broadband deployment; and reduction of the barriers to entry for Internet Service Providers.
“Others are: to promote coordination and reduce the number of excavations and disruptions caused due to fibre installation works; to lower the cost of broadband internet service deployment; to promote the joint installation of infrastructures in a single phase and avoid unnecessary future digging as well as encouraging infrastructure; and to promote a unified and affordable pricing regime across the federation for Right of Ways”, he said.
He also said once the policy becomes operational in Nigeria, there would be a lower cost of repair and maintenance of installed fibre infrastructure and a lower cost of broadband Internet service deployment.
While delivering a paper on Fibre Infrastructure Rollout Ecosystem Development to Reach 60 per cent Fibre to Site at 120,000km by 2025, Ashwani Mishra, ICT Director at Huawei Technologies, recommended ways Nigeria can achieve fibre infrastructure targets by 2025 as stipulated in the NBP 2020-2025.

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Immigration Stresses Hitch-Free  E-Passport  System  In PH

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The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Rivers State Command, has  re-emphasised its earlier stand on the provision of seamless e-passort for applicants.
A top official in  the NIS, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed this in an exclusive  chat with The Tide  in  Port Harcourt  during the week.
Warning against  any attempt to put  the agency in  bad light, the official said such will be resisted by the  system. The source said there was no need for panic, especially at this festive season,  adding that it has a sound digital system to address their needs.
He called on both officers and men of the command to up their game to enable them meet up with the endless demands of their teeming clients
According to him, the Passport personnel have all it takes to deliver tasks on schedule  with  zero complain.
“Passport  system is digitalized. We can meet up with the demands of the people. Our challenge is that people are always in a hurry to collect or do thier new passports”, he said.
He further called on members of the public to learn how to make do with the direct information obtained from the command on passport issues instead of feeding themselves with rumors.
“We are always careful during festive periods like this, because a lot of people want to travel out. So, we bend down and implore the best professional skill we know.”, he said.
Meanwhile, he applauded the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, over his contribution in digitalization of all sectors in the the state.

By: King Onunwor

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RSPHB Hails Rotary Over Maternal Health Support

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The Rivers State Primary Health Board has commended Rotary Club International District 9141 for the donation of fetal Doppler, ultrasound scanner and Incubator to Oyibo Comprehensive Health Centre.
The agency’s medical health representative for Oyibo, Dr. Victoria Ewoh, said the equipment will reduce maternal mortality and complement government effort in boosting healthcare at the grassroots.
She described rotary as a foremost charity organization poised to improve community wellbeing and healthcare delivery.
The equipment, she further assured will be utilized to touch the lives of mothers and children, noting that state government is doing all in it powers to improve on health care delivery in the communities, “ I can assure you that there will be reduction of fetal deaths with these equipments”, she added.
While unveiling the facilities, District Governor of Rotary International District 9141, Mightyman Aye Dikuro said the donation forms part of Rotary mission to advance world, understanding, goodwill, peace and improvement of health, including support for education and alleviation of poverty.
This objective he explained is imbedded in activities of the club all over the world to uplift communities and transform lives.
Aye Dikuro assured that Rotary is ready to partner government in the district which covers Rivers, Bayelsa , Delta and Edo States in reducing health challenges, as he urged the community to ensure they protect the equipment and sustain more projects.
On his part, Chairman of Committee of the clubs that embarked on the project, Timi Bubagha, said the donation was borne out of needs assessment done by the club in the area, as it discovered that that there is need for improved maternal health.
Mr. Bubagha who is the President of Rotary Club Garden City added that the clubs are poised to do more for communities, and urged the officials and community to ensure the items are put to good use.
Community leader and member of Oyibo Chiefs Council, Chief Precious Emeruka lauded Rotary for the donation, as he described it a dream come for the community.
Chief Emeruka praised the State Government for endorsing Rotary Project, and assured that the community would ensure that the items were utilized and secured.

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NITDA’s N12bn Project Will  Enhance  Start-Up Act Implementation – FG

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The Federal Government said the N12 billion project of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) would boost the implementation of the Nigerian Start-Up Act 2022 (NSA).
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, said this at the inspection of the ongoing Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre implemented by NITDA in Abuja recently.
The projects were two buildings inter-connected, one of which would serve as the actual Digital Innovation Entrepreneurship Centre and the second as NITDA headquarters.
Pantami said it is the responsibility of government executives to ensure that any approval by FEC under their supervision is implemented according to the agreement.
“When it comes to capacity, the rooms, the offices, the training centres, all these are in alignment with what the FEC approved twice on November 11, 2020 and April 5, 2021.
“There are several ways our citizens are going to benefit. We have the NSA 2022, an Executive Bill by this administration”, he said.
Pantami added that the building would further consolidate on economic diversification, for which the sector already laid the foundation of contributing 18.44 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product of the country.
The Minister said the project was approved and projected to be completed in 36 months from the date of approval in November 2020.
Pantami also  said N9.56 billion was approved on November 11, 2020, with VAT and other taxes included.

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