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NCC hosts South Korean delegation over implementations of Information Technology Centre

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In a bid to further strengthen Nigeria’s role in the ICT field, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has received a delegation from

In a bid to further strengthen Nigeria’s role in the ICT field, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has received a delegation from South Korea.

The South Korean delegation was also visiting to explore joint efforts to implement the Information Access Centre (IAC).

The delegation is headed by prominent South Korean technology leaders who have held talks with NCC officials to share knowledge and expertise on establishing the IAC.

The Information Access Centre (IAC) will develop important knowledge and tools, especially in the field of communications, to promote innovation and development in Nigeria’s digital sector.

L- R; Executive Principal, Department of Global ICT Cooperation/ Global ICT Project Team, Mr Un Jong, JI, Executive Commissioner Technical Services, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Engr Abraham Oshadami; Group Head Corporate Services DBI, Ms Viola Askia Usoro; Senior Manager Department of Global ICT Cooperation/Global Digital Transformation Team, South Korea, Mr Kim Dohum, during a Courtesy visit to the Commission Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday 17 April 2024.

While at the NCC, the two sides exchanged views on strategies and best practices for the effective implementation of the Information Access Centre (IAC)

The delegation from South Korea praised the NCC’s efforts to promote transparency and access to the telecommunications industry and expressed its willingness to support the establishment of the IAC.

Through this collaboration, the partners expect significant improvements in the dissemination and access of information, which will ultimately contribute to the growth and development of Nigeria’s telecommunications sector.

 

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NCC promotes data-driven decision-making as internet usage surges in Nigeria

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has underscored its dedication to a data-centric regulatory framework, emphasizing the pivotal role of this strategy in minimizing bias and enhancing transparency.

By adopting data-driven processes, the NCC aims to stimulate innovation and growth, not only within the Commission but also across the broader telecommunications sector.

This commitment marks a significant step towards a more objective and progressive regulatory environment, fostering a landscape where informed decision-making prevails and industry advancement is prioritized.

In a notable surge, Nigeria’s internet data usage has soared over the past year, according to recent NCC statistics. From March 2023 to March 2024, the country has witnessed a substantial increase in digital consumption. This upward trend underscores Nigeria’s escalating dependence on digital connectivity, marking a significant shift in how citizens engage with the online world.

In just a year, data usage surged dramatically from 562,960.57 terabytes in March 2023 to a remarkable 753,388.77 terabytes by March 2024. This consistent upward trend featured notable milestones, including 587,865.58 terabytes in June 2023, 655,879.86 terabytes in August 2023, and an impressive 713,200.60 terabytes in December 2023. The steady climb in data consumption highlights the growing digital demand and the relentless expansion of online activity.

The steady increase highlights the growing digital presence of Nigerians, emphasizing the need for a strong and transparent regulatory framework to sustain this expansion. This surge underscores not only the widespread adoption of digital technologies but also the critical importance of implementing clear and effective regulations to support and guide this digital growth. A well-structured regulatory environment will ensure that the burgeoning digital ecosystem thrives, benefiting the entire nation and fostering continued innovation and connectivity.

 

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NITDA reconstitutes committee to implement Nigeria’s blockchain policy

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has reconstituted the National Blockchain Policy Steering Committee (NBP-SC) to validate trends in blockchain technology and incorporate new stakeholders for inclusive adoption and implementation.

The Director-General of NITDA, Malam Kashifu Inuwa, inaugurated the committee on Tuesday at a three-day co-creation workshop to implement the policy in Abuja.

Represented by the Director of IT Infrastructure Solutions at NITDA, Mr Oladejo Olawunmi, Inuwa recalled that the committee was initially inaugurated on May 16, 2023. He, however, did not state why the committee had to be reconstituted a year later.

Inuwa noted that the agency constituted the committee to oversee the implementation of the National Blockchain Policy (NBP) and ensure its alignment with the overall goals and objectives of the policy. Members of the committee were drawn from government agencies, institutions, the private sector, academia, and the industry involved in the blockchain ecosystem.

Leveraging blockchain technology

The NITDA DG said that blockchain technology has been evolving and has increasingly transformative applications, hence the need to leverage the dynamic potential it possesses.

“Presently, we are at the initial stage of blockchain technology implementation and because of that, many people are not aware of the potential of the technology.

“Blockchain technology is so vast and can used in any industry and that is why the policy was developed to ensure we tap into the full potential of blockchain technology. The continuous evolving nature of blockchain technology and its increasingly transformative applications across diverse sectors necessitate a commensurate evolution in our leadership.

“We realised that there was a need to infuse some more members into the committee to ensure that we have full membership from the public and private sector to prevent anything that occurred in the past,” Inuwa said.

Inuwa said the strategic reconstitution of the committee would bring together a fresh wave of experienced professionals and leading minds in the blockchain space. According to him, their diverse expertise will be instrumental in crafting a robust implementation plan for the National Blockchain Policy.

Blockchain potential for economy

Inuwa cited a report by Price Waterhouse Coopers, an audit firm, titled “Time for Trust: The Trillion-Dollar Reason to Rethink Blockchain,” which projected that blockchain technology could boost the global economy by $1.76 trillion by the year 2030.

He emphasized that Nigeria needs to be strategic and take advantage of the offerings from the potential in blockchain technology.

“Together, we can leverage its potential to propel Nigeria’s socio-economic engine, and enhance the transparency and efficiency of governance. Blockchain can empower our citizens and businesses with secure and inclusive digital solutions in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s administration,” Inuwa said.

What you should know

The Federal Executive Council, during its meeting on May 3, 2023, approved the National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria. This followed the presentation of a memo by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami.

According to the government, the vision of the policy is to create a blockchain-powered economy that supports secure transactions, data sharing, and value exchange between people, businesses, and the government, thereby enhancing innovation, trust, growth, and prosperity for all.

The implementation of the National Blockchain Policy is expected to have a positive effect on both the public and private sectors of the country.

The approval of the policy had raised hopes among cryptocurrency stakeholders in Nigeria that the government was getting close to crypto regulation with the blockchain policy. However, recent developments show that the potential regulator, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would not have anything to do with crypto.

Source:Nairametrics

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Organisers expand tech award to 11 African countries

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The organisers of the CIO & C-Suite Awards Africa, Edniesal Consulting, announced on Tuesday the expansion of its awards to 11 countries, aiming to recognise and celebrate executive leaders driving technological innovation across the continent.

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CIO & C-Suite Awards and CIO Club Africa, Oluwakayode Adigun, said the latest edition would surpass the previous edition.

According to him, the 5th edition of the awards will now cover Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, Tunisia, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, Zambia, and Nigeria.

The awards celebrate the achievements of CIOs, CTOs, CDOs, CISOs, and IT heads delivering exceptional results in their industries.

“Last year, we visited five African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, South Africa and Senegal. Then, after the feedback we had from different quartets, this year we decided to visit more African countries. So, this year, we are doing 11 and Nigeria,” he stated.

The awards ceremony will be held on November 30, 2024, at the Civic Centre in Lagos, featuring a conference and two sessions with industry leaders and innovators from across the continent.

Awards will be presented in various categories, reflecting different aspects of technological innovation and leadership excellence.

However, Adigun stated that the 5th edition would go beyond awarding the regular technical leaders.

The chairman stated that the awards would highlight leaders who have made significant contributions to their industries by leveraging technology for extraordinary business outcomes and fostering innovation.

He expounded, “We are looking at different executive positions that are involved in implementing innovations around technology.  What we are trying to achieve as an objective is to create a niche and ecosystem for the African community where we can have innovations that can compete with global companies like Microsoft and Cisco.”

Speaking of partnerships, Adigun said, “It’s been a journey. We didn’t do this alone, we have partners, sponsors and collaborators across diverse sectors of society. We have banks, fintechs, and manufacturing companies in and out of Nigeria working with us.”

The Convener of the CIO & C-Suite Awards and CIO Club Africa, Abiola Laseinde, remarked that the expansion to other countries underscores Edniesal Consulting’s commitment to promoting technological advancement and leadership excellence across Africa.

Laseinde stated that the event includes networking opportunities, entertainment, business partnerships, and prospects.

She emphasized the global recognition of digital technology leaders’ transformative impact across different industries.

According to her, winners at the event will gain exclusive membership to The CIO Club Africa (TCCA), which focuses on upholding ethical standards, fostering growth, and facilitating knowledge sharing.

“TCCA actively organizes round table meetings, seminars, and conferences to educate the public and sustain industry excellence,” Laseinde stated.

The convener emphasised the integrity and professionalism embedded in the selection process.

“Everything we do in terms of selection is incredibly laced with integrity and professionalism. If you are going to project your winners, you expect them to compete favorably with others from other parts of the world. As we speak, ours is entrenched in a fantastic governance structure,” Laseinde stated.

“We have processes and standards that guide the selection, which has given us the confidence to expand. We are not the ones who select the winners; we have incredible judges with high expertise who assess every submission,” she added.

The Chief Digital Transformation Officer at Polaris Bank, Dele Adeyinka, asserted that the program has helped propel participants to be more innovative.

Source: ThePunch

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Telecoms: How NCC’s strong regulation boosts revenue for govt, banks

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said the suspension of issuance of the three telecoms licences namely: Interconnect

The effective regulation off the telecommunication (telecom) sector by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has strengthened the operators towards effective e-services that boost government and financial services revenue through taxes and levies.

A look at the performance of Nigeria’s major banks and the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) last year revealed that both sides raked huge revenues through e-service windows facilitated by the telecom operators amid challenging/ environment.

The various windows of taxes, levies and service charges became imperative as the increasing reliance on mobile phones, internet services and other connectivity makes it imperative to ensure that the industry operates within regulatory frameworks that promote efficiency, competition and environmental sustainability.

According to the findings by THEWILL, revealed that the Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) component of FAAC introduced by the Finance Act of 2022, increased significantly from mere N11.4 billion in 2021, to N391.28 billion.

The financial services institutions are huge beneficiaries of the revenue boost created by the various taxes, levies and service charges in consuming the e-services offered by the telecom operators as value chain enablers.

Using the five major banks as benchmark, Zenith Bank Plc, Access Holdings Plc, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, GT Corporation (GTCO) and FBN Holdings recorded combined electronic banking income of N371.39 billion against N291.34 billion achieved in 2022, representing a 27.4 percent increase.

The biggest beneficiary is UBA which raked in N157.12 billion in 2023 against N93.15 billion in 2022, showing a 68.6 percent rise. Access Corporation achieved N101.61 billion compared to N59.65 billion in the previous year, representing a jump of 70.3 percent.

FBN Holdings recorded e-channel income of N66.04 billion against N55.09 in 2022, while Zenith Bank achieved N51.81 billion compared to N45.73 billion in 2022 – representing 19.8 percent and 11.7 percent respectively.

The least is GTCO which grew its e-banking income bv 8.16 percent from N37.73 billion in 2022 to N40.82 billion in 2023.

Electronic banking income represents income taken on transactions processed via electronic channels such as ATM, PoS, mobile banking as well as credit and debit card transactions.

“These transactions rely on the effective performance of the telecom companies as service enablers and conveyors of information between the banks and their clients without which no results can be achieved,” said Engr. Michael Muonye, a telecom service expert.

He added, “If the services of MTN, Airtel or any other service provider is down, the banks cannot do e-service transactions or use their various channels such as mobile banking. Telecom is a very vital sector and this explains why the NCC is strict in its regulation of the industry through policies and relevant oversights.”

Industry experts say, the telecom firms, as the enabler and central to the buoying digital economy, are the inevitable drivers of the rapidly expanding fintech ecosystem and the aggressive financial inclusion strategy.

“Beating the telecom operators into the path of professionalism, efficiency and playing by the rules is one measure the NCC has pursued without reservation to put the telecom industry in the position it should serve the purpose required of it,” said Mike Akhigbe, a telecom specialist in a chat with THEWILL.

According to Akhigbe, the NCC leadership from the outset paid close attention to the telecom operators and ensured they did not misbehave or take undue advantage of Nigeria’s thirst for effective telecom services; and this has created an enabling environment for the citizens to enjoy the benefits of the telecom industry.

The Commission is responsible for creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry as well as ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout the country.

The mandate has led to the expansion of Nigeria’s digital economy with the inbuilt windows for revenue opportunities across the sectors through taxes, levies and charges as the telecoms act as enablers in expanding the digital economy.

The NCC often engages with stakeholders in the telecom ecosystem with a view to pursuing proactive regulatory interventions targeted at ensuring an enabling operating environment and improving investment climate in the Nigerian telecom industry. This also enhances revenue drive for the government and the corporate bodies.

A similar event, which took place recently in Lagos, was an assemblage of key industry stakeholders with the central objective to analyse the current state of the sector, process the issues, and chart new pathways to a more effective and sustainable regulatory regime for the stability and growth of the Nigerian telecom industry.

The NCC Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Dr. Aminu Maida, used the opportunity to unveil key drivers for the telecoms industry.

This was part of activities to mark his first 100 days in office following his appointment as the new boss of the nation’s telecom regulatory body by President Bola Tinubu.

Maida, who unveiled the strategic blueprints at an interactive meeting with the media in Lagos, also stressed his commitment to driving a good total customer experience for telecoms consumers in the country.

According to him, all efforts will be deployed to ensure that the sector contributes more, especially in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the economy, job creation and more revenue to the government, adding that he would need the support of the media to be able to achieve that.

He noted that one of the key things “we have to recognize is that within the digital economy space the NCC plays a very huge role, because the communications infrastructure especially in this digital age is the backbone of the digital economy and of course the backbone of any nation.

The utilisation of the telecoms sector as a platform for the economic and social development of Nigeria manifests in the tax revenue windows that the effective regulation of the sector by NCC guarantees.

 

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Rack Centre delegation pays courtesy visit to NCC to strengthen partnership

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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rack Centre, Lars Johannisson, led his management team on a courtesy visit to the Headquarters of

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rack Centre, Lars Johannisson, led his management team on a courtesy visit to the Headquarters of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Abuja on Tuesday.

Johannisson, who assumed duty as the CEO at Rack Centre in January this year, was at the NCC to see how his company and the telecommunication regulatory body in the country can build on the existing relationship and collaboration.

Executive Commissioner Technical Services of the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) Engr Abraham Oshadami represented the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, Dr Aminu Maida to receive the delegation from Rack Centre at the Headquarters on Tuesday.

Founded in 2012, Rack Centre is the only carrier neutral Tier III Constructed Facility Certified data centre in Africa and focuses solely on providing best in class data centre colocation services and unrestricted interconnect between carriers and customers.

Rack Centre is host to the leading IXP on the African continent, the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN).

With 73+ ASNs and a wide range of local and global networks, enterprise, CDNs, and cloud and content providers, the exchange unlocks access to a population of over 380 million people on the west coast of Africa.

 

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Tesla to sack over 6000 employees, cut global workforce by 10%

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Tesla Inc. is set to enact significant job cuts, affecting more than 6,000 employees across its operations in Texas and California, aligning

Tesla Inc. is set to enact significant job cuts, affecting more than 6,000 employees across its operations in Texas and California, aligning with CEO Elon Musk’s directive to reduce the global workforce by over 10%.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the cuts will impact 2,688 workers in Austin, Tesla’s headquarters city and a crucial site housing a major factory. Based on a WARN notice filed with the Texas Workforce Commission, these reductions will commence over a 14-day period starting June 14.

Concurrently, Tesla plans to lay off 3,332 employees across various locations in California, as indicated by separate WARN notices filed in the state.

Before the implementation of these layoffs, Tesla had boasted a workforce of over 140,000 globally. However, the company’s recent announcement of layoffs exceeding 10% suggests that the actual number of affected individuals may surpass 20,000, according to insiders familiar with the situation.

At the close of last year, Tesla employed more than 22,000 individuals in Austin alone. The production facility in Austin primarily focuses on manufacturing the Model Y and Cybertruck, though of the specific breakdown of impacted roles, including factory positions, remains unclear.

Despite these workforce reductions, Tesla’s shares saw a 2% increase in New York trading at 3:18 p.m. However, the stock’s performance throughout the year has been less favorable, with a 42% decline marking it as the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 Index.

The move to cut jobs comes amidst a broader context of transformation and challenges within Tesla. As the company navigates its shift towards Elon Musk’s vision of a robotaxi future, internal reorganization and strategic realignment are underway, reflecting Tesla’s ongoing evolution in the automotive industry landscape.

Tesla’s decision to reduce its workforce is not an isolated occurrence in the corporate landscape. In a trend mirrored by other industry giants, several companies have recently announced plans for significant job cuts.

Sports brand Nike, for instance, disclosed intentions to terminate approximately 700 employees’ jobs, as reported by Nairametrics. Similarly, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing division of Amazon, unveiled plans to slash hundreds of jobs as part of broader cost-saving initiatives.

Joining this wave of downsizing efforts, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, declared its intention to reduce its workforce by 12,000 employees globally, constituting 6% of its total employee base. Concurrently, Microsoft also announced its plans to lay off 10,000 workers within the same timeframe.

These announcements point to a broader trend within the corporate sector, as companies navigate evolving market dynamics and seek to streamline operations in response to various challenges and strategic imperatives.

 

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