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NCC: How Telecoms Investment in Nigeria has Grown

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday announced that foreign direct investment (FDI) and local investment in the nation’s telecommunications sector reached 75.6 billion dollars as of 2021.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, made the announcement officially during an interactive session with stakeholders in the communications media ecosystem in Lagos.

He said this was one of the landmark developments that had shaped the trajectory of growth in the telecoms sector since he became the chief telecom regulator in August 2015.

According to Danbatta, in 2018, investment profile in the sector stood at 68 billion dollars,  increased to 70.

5 billion dollars in 2019, and 72 billion dollars in 2020.

Danbatta said that, at the end of 2021, the figure rose to 75.6 billion dollars, noting that the latest figure was the current official investment profile computed in the industry, up from the initial 70 billion dollars investment in the last few years.

“Investment in the telecommunications sector in Nigeria is computed from two sources: the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the financial data obtained from service providers by the Commission.

“While the CBN collects and calculates an element of the telecoms sector to include FDI, portfolio and others, the Commission collects investment figures from telecom licensees described as domestic investment arising from capital expenditure (CAPEX), which form part of the total investment in the industry,” he said.

The NCC boss noted that through effective regulatory environment put in place by the Commission, the telecom sector had recorded tremendous growth from an initial investment profile of 500 million dollars as at 2001, when the sector was fully liberalised.

Similarly, Danbatta said the telecom sector had continued to be a major contributor to Nigeria’s economy through an impressive sectoral contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) quarterly.

He noted that this was up from about 8.5 per cent in third quarter of 2015, contributing N10.126 trillion to the nation’s GDP in 2022 alone.

Citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Danbatta said the telecoms sector contributed N10.126 trillion as an aggregate quarterly contribution to GDP in 2022.

“In the first quarter, the sector contributed 12.94 per cent equivalent to N2.246 trillion while the second quarter witnessed an all-time high GDP contribution by the telecom sector to the nation’s economy, standing at 15 per cent and valued at N2.593 trillion.

“The sector’s contribution to GDP in the third quarter was 12.85 per cent and in the fourth quarter, it grew to 13.55 per cent, which are valued at N2.436 trillion and N2.851 trillion respectively.

“The growth trajectory continued this year as telecoms and Information services sector in Nigeria delivered a handsome N2. 508 trillion in terms of financial value contribution to the nation’s GDP, representing 14.13 per cent in the first quarter of 2023, ”he said.

Danbatta added that telecoms contribution to national GDP had grown significantly since his assumption of office as the executive vice chairman of NCC in August, 2015, according to available data from NBS.

He said that from 8.50 per cent in 2015, it grew to 9.13 per cent in 2016 and to 8.66 per cent in 2017, adding that in the last quarter of 2018, telecoms contributed 9.85 per cent to national GDP while it added 10.60 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“Also in the second quarter of 2010, it added 14.30 per cent to GDP; 14.42 per cent in the second quarter of 2021. The highest quarterly contribution to GDP by the sector to the economy was 15 per cent in the second quarter of 2022.

“The sector has become a major enabler of economic development in Nigeria, as it continues to positively impact all the facets of the Nigerian economy.

“As the regulatory authority for the telecom sector in Nigeria, we are happy that the sector has recorded phenomenal growth statistics in the past two decades of the liberalization of the telecoms sector, “he said.

He said the commission would continue to push upward to greater heights by encouraging expansion of frontiers to put Nigeria’s imprint on the global map of digital economy.

According to Danbatta, broadband subscriptions on Third Generation (3G) and Fourth Generation (4G) networks increased to 92.2 million, representing a 48.28 per cent broadband penetration in the country.

He also noted that following the issuance of 3.5GHz spectrum licenses for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) networks in Nigeria, 5G subscriptions had grown to over 60,000 in many cities of the federation.(NAN)

Science & Tech

Tinubu @72: Minister Visits Inmates in Kuje Correctional Service

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Dr Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, on Friday visited the inmates of Nigerian Correctional Service, Kuje to  commemorate 72nd birthday of President Bola Tinubu.

The minister, who was represented by his aide, Nafisa Bello, said the visit was to celebrate President’s birthday with inmates by providing them packs of food to put smile on their faces.

Tijani, who wished the President a happy birthday, said the gesture was a way of commending the President’s resilience, pragmatic leadership and commitment to service.

He said even though the president had instructed that no one should organise a birthday party or place any birthday goodwill advertorial messages in newspapers, it was a special day.

“We are here to celebrate President Bola Tinubu’s 72nd birthday and share love with the inmates. We have distributed food packs, we have met and had good conversations with some of them.

“We wish the president a happy birthday, long life and property,” minister said.

One of the inmate, Chiwendu Hart, who spoke on behalf of all the inmates described the gesture as an act of love, adding that they were not in the correctional service for punishment but correction.

He thanked the Federal Government and the correctional officers for rehabilitating and integrating the inmates to come out and live a crime free life.

According to him, the Nigerian Correctional Service has set up degree courses, ran by the National Open University (NOUN) and some skills to keep the inmates busy while undergoing trials.

He said that he had graduated and had a Masters in theology and waiting to enroll for his PhD.

“I am a beneficiary of NOUN, I came here with secondary school certificate but today, I am a graduate and have my Masters in theology.

“Even if after you leave the correctional centre, you can still come back and finish up the courses or the skills you started with.

“Once we leave here, we will go out there and explore what we have learnt in order to live a good life.”

He urged the Federal Government to equip some of the vocational programmes with study materials, tailoring machines, carpentry and shoe making tools.

He wished the President a happy birthday. (NAN)

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NDPC to Sustain Journalists’ Engagement for Better Data Protection Reportage

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The Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) says it will sustain the engagement of journalists for continuous propagation of data privacy and protection message.

The National Commissioner of NDPC, Dr Vincent Olatunji, communicated this when he received officials of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) on Monday in Abuja.

Olatunji recognised that times were changing; hence journalists needed to be abreast with the dynamism in the data privacy and protection ecosystem.

He said the media had remained a great asset towards nation building and continuous engagement would ensure that they played their role maximally.

“We are aware of the freedom of expression granted to you the press by the constitution, but we felt that it is important to train you to understand that part.

“I see this collaboration as a continuous thing, more importantly, now everything is changing, we need to deepen your knowledge on data privacy.

“We cannot do awareness under this building; we need media to assist us to disseminate this information so that people can comply with the data protection policies.’’

He said that the commission was collaborating with relevant institutions in ensuring that data privacy and protection policies were adhered to.

Olatunji said that the commission was working with Committee of Vice Chancellors to further deepen knowledge about data protection.

“We are also working with National Board for Technology Education for Polytechnics and others.

“All these efforts are geared towards ensuring that the message of data protection is spread and there is virtually nothing we can do without you.’’

The national commissioner encouraged NITRA members to pursue training as certified Data Protection Officers, adding that it was a lucrative area with readily available jobs.

According to him, when the training is combined it with knowledge of journalism, there is more advantage more than other data processing officers.

“It is a huge ecosystem that has something for everybody to benefit; so, we need to collaborate and ensure you catch up with the changes in data privacy ecosystem,’’ he said.

Mr Babatunde Bamigboye, Head, Legal, Enforcement and Regulations, NDPC, said many data controllers continuously breached data rights of citizens unknowingly.

Bamigboye, however, said that in spite the need for freedom of speech, there was the place of privacy and rights of the people, which the commission was committed to.

He told the journalists that it was important to learn some emerging ethics that would aid balancing the rights and privacy of individuals while reporting.

President of NITRA, Mr Blessing Olaifa, congratulated Olatunji on the adoption of Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023, adding that it had empowered the commission to enforce data protection in Nigeria.

“We congratulate you on your appointment by the President Bola Tinubu; it is a measure of your hard work and tenacity for the industry growth.

‘We also congratulate you on the passage of the Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023; that has given you the impetus to operate in a way that people are now aware of data.

‘Before now, people were not much familiar and interested in data, some thought it was only data in their phones, but they are aware about information they give about themselves to institutions,’’ she said.

Olaifa, while commending the NDPC on its drive towards engaging the media in its activities, said it was necessary consolidating on the collaboration for more results.

“This is in view of the fact that the sector is dynamic and we need more capacity building to fine-tune our knowledge and upscale our skills while reporting,’’ he said. (NAN

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AU, ALPA Target 3000 Beneficiaries for Hepatitis Treatment in Nasarawa

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The African Union, Scientific, Technical and Research Commission (AU-STRC), African Scientific Research and Innovation Council (AU-ASRIC) have partnered with African Liver Patient Association (ALPA)  to offer free hepatitis treatment to Nasarawa State indigenes.

The Senior Scientific Officer of AU-STRC, Dr Mohammed Kyari, disclosed this  to  the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Model Comprehensive Health Centre, Shabu, Lafia.

Kyari said that the project targeted a total of 3000 persons to benefit from the free hepatitis care, tests and treatment in Shabu, Lafia.

He said the project followed a sensitization and education of communities at all levels including testing which was targeted at the age group 12-80 years old.

Kyari added that the project was a build up from the research conducted by the AU- STRC and ASRIC from 2018 to date with a priority area on “prevention and control of diseases”.

“ The hepatitis testing using the serological rapid diagnostic tests with results in 15 minutes and treatment will commence immediately for positive cases,” he said.

According to him, vaccination will be administered on those that are negative, then further testing will be administered on those tested positive through a viral load confirmation.

Kyari also said that the treatment would focus more on the elimination of mother to child transmission and timely administration of birth dose vaccines for newborns and also by raising awareness.

He added that the project was a pilot phase on the implementation of the ASRIC Flagship Project on Village free of Hepatitis in Nasarawa State, which will hold from the 6th -20th December, 2023.

“ The project is also in line with the implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024) pillar on building technical and professional competencies.” Kyari said.

NAN monitored events at the Model comprehensive health centre, Shabu, which is the location of the hepatitis free village in Lafia, Nasarawa State and the theme is “ Hepatitis Free Village”..

NAN also reports that there are a total of seven Egyptian doctors on site attending to the residents of Shabu community and about 2500 persons have since benefited from free treatment by receiving free drugs and vaccination.

Among the medical personnel from the Egyptian Liver Research Institute and Hospital (ELRIAH) working on hepatitis eradication in Lafia are Dr. Ahmed Salem, Dr. Ayman Abdelfattah and Prof. Ahmed Farahat (NAN)

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