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Foreign Minister Lauds Nigeria’s Strides In Telecom

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The Gambian Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Ousman Bah, at the weekend in Abuja, said Nigeria’s giant strides in telecom regulation are the reason that the nation’s telecom development has become a reference point.
Bah, who led a Gambian delegation, including industry regulators, on a courtesy visit to the management of the Nigerian Communications Commission , (NCC) in Abuja, said the visit was prompted by the success Nigeria has witnessed in the sector, and the need for Gambia to follow the same path of success.
According to him,  the West African nation has completed arrangements to establish an independent regulatory commission for its telecommunications industry like the NCC of Nigeria.
“The current industry statistics is proof that Nigeria is achieving her goals of digitisation of its economy,” he said.
He sought the Commission’s advisory support and strategic collaboration to accelerate economic growth and improve efficiency in both countries,  as well as strengthen all sectors across the African continent.
Director of Legal and Regulatory Services at NCC, Josephine Amuwa, who received the delegation on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, highlighted the impact of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003.
She averred that  the NCA 2003 empowers the Commission to effectively carry out its regulatory mandate, one of which is to create an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry, as well as provide qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout the country.
Amuwa also  spoke about the Commission’s role in ensuring that the mandate of the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) is accomplished, and that has led to implementation of various programmes to the benefit of Nigerians.
“The USPF was also established by the NCA 2003 to ensure that services are extended to the rural communities to ensure that telecoms services are available in unserved and underserved areas, even in the urban areas, to meet government objectives,” she said.
Amuwa also cited the consultative and collaborative approach to telecom regulation as one of the factors responsible for Commission’s successes.
“The Commission adopts a participatory rule-making process where key players in the industry are invited to a public hearing for further deliberations to ensure that the stakeholders’ views are considered in establishing these regulatory guidelines,” she said.

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Firm Launches Citizens’ Demand Website To Deepen OGP

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A Kaduna-based Information Technology organisation, Ihifix Technologies, has inaugurated a citizens’ demand website and mobile application to deepen Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Kaduna State.
The application website, https://citizensdemand.org/ was inaugurated in Kaduna, during the Ihifix Digital Summit for Development, with the theme, “Leveraging Digital Technologies for Sustaining the Gains of OGP”.
The Tide Source  reports that the summit was organised in collaboration with Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development (CALPED) and OGP Technical Working Group on Citizens Engagement.
The event was supported by the Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn, a governance programme of the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The Ihifix Team Lead, Mr Emmanuel Adikpe, explained that the website and mobile application were designed in partnership with CALPED to enable citizens to upload their needs with a view to inform the budget.
Adikpe said applications developed in line with the principle of OGP, were intended to deepen citizens engagement in governance by ensuring that their voices were heard, and needs captured in the state budget.
According to him, citizen participation is critical in ensuring transparency and accountability in governance and a key attribute of good governance, critical to Nigeria’s development.
He also explained that the effort was to deploy digital technology to deepen citizens’ engagement in the governance process, particularly the Community Development Charter (CDC).

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NIGCOMSAT Set To Deploy 5G Satellite

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Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) says  plans are underway to deploy 5G,  using a new satellite known as NIGCOMSAT 2.
It also said the NIGCOMSAT 2  would be launched into orbit by the first quarter of 2023 to enhance coverage.
Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT,  Dr Ambibola Alale, made this known at a stakeholders engagement forum organised by the agency in Lagos recently.
He informed that the satellite would backhaul the services of 5G once telecom operators deploy the fifth generation network services.
In his view, the backhauling meant getting data to a point which could be distributed via the optic fibre or network.
Alale also disclosed that the government planned to provide 70 per cent broadband by 2025, and that NIGCOMSAT would keep working with other technology providers to be able to deliver broadband services to all Nigerians.
The Deputy General Manager, Satellite Control and Operations, NIGCOMSAT, Dr. Anthony Orjinta, during a panel discussion,  said satellite had always been supporting all GSM operators.
“Satelite has always been serving areas that are underserved, because we all know that the cost of deploying terrestrial sites is quite expensive, but fibre deployment is even more costly due to our environment.
“As the 2G, 3G, 4G technologies are evolving, so also are the technologies in the satellite industry.The enhanced capacities that are available in other technologies are also coming along in the satellite space”, he said.
Orjinta stated that originally when the telecom industry started, Nigeria only had voice calls but with evolution, things changed.
He explained that NIGCOMSAT was in the process of launching a new satelite which would be one of the first in Africa and a deal breaker .
Accordingly,  he  has revealed that the satellite would provide back haul services for all 5G operations, while simultaneously delivering services of the same comparative capacity to underserved areas and dark spots that were not economically viable for terrestrial operators.
He also hinted that terrestrial operators would not want to deploy 5G in areas that are not profitable.
“We have had situations where companies put in terrestrial traffic data locations and actually took them off because they were not making enough money”, he said.
The theme of the event was “NIGCOMSAT: The Roadmap for Enhanced Service Delivery”.

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Don Invents Tool For Hardenability Determination

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A University Teacher, Don, Prof. Jacob Aweda,  of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Technology, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), has designed and evaluated  what he called the ‘Jominy End Quencher’ apparatus for the determination of hardenability of steel materials.
Aweda  disclosed this during his paper presentations at the 217th inaugural lecture of the institution titled, “Engineering Technology and Manipulation of Process Parameters”, in Illorin recently.
According to the Don, Hardenability of steel was the property of material that determines the depth of the hardness of material when cooled in a desirable quenchant from its austenising temperature.
The scholar, who lectures in  the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, explained that this was measured through the determination of the depth of hardness of the standard size and the shape of the steel in a controlled standardised environment, which the apparatus was used for.
He noted that in many research centres and tertiary institutions, appropriate testing equipment were either not easily available or obsolete.
“Added to this is the cost of testing, which is enormous, charges are high where necessary equipment are available.This may probably be due to high initial cost of procurement and high cost of maintenance of such equipment.
“If access to research equipment is readily available and at  an affordable cost, the risk of travelling long distances and paying so much for material evaluation will reduce.
“Currently, due to the  non-availability of required laboratory equipment, many researchers  send  test samples outside the country resulting in the reduction of the number of samples required for testing, which may not be a good representative of the overall result,” he said.

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