Posts tagged as: commission

Nigeria: Telecoms Sector Contributes N15 Trillion to GDP – NCC

Nigeria’s telecommunications sector contributed over N15 trillion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since the liberalisation of the sector, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, made the disclosure at an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday.

Danbatta said the sector’s contribution to the GDP increased from eight per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 to nine per cent in the first quarter of this year.

He said that since his assumption of office about 18 months ago, the industry had been adding between N1.43 trillion and N1.45 trillion to the economy every quarter.

Danbatta said that his administration had been implementing the eight-point agenda it set out for itself to achieve.

He said that the quality of service offered by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) had not been impressive but that there had been an improvement in the first quarter of this year.

According to him, continuing drop in service quality has really created a huge gap between consumers and the MNOs.

He argued that poor quality of service was a reason for drops in mobile subscriptions.

“The commission will review the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set for the operators to meet, with a resolve that any of the MNOs that failed to meet up will be adequately sanctioned,” Danbatta said.

Speaking on the continuous drop in telephone subscriptions in the country, the NCC chief disclosed that the commission discovered that some subscribers were migrating from Third Generation (3G) to 4G/Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.

“So they would rather use WhatsApp to communicate and even make free calls.

“Consumers are moving away from high tariff services to cheaper and free services,” he added.

The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management of the commission, Mr Sunday Dare, said that the commission had already read the riot act to service providers on poor services.

Dare said that this year’s first quarter KPI result was under review.

He said that there was no deadline on improving QoS on the part of the operators but that sanctions were on the cards.

“NCC is not in the habit of giving deadlines but when we get to giving deadlines, then know that we had sounded it long enough for the operators to improve,” Dare said.

NAN

Nigeria

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Nigeria: Telecoms Sector Contributed 9% of GDP in First Quarter

By Adeyemi Adepetun

Nigeria’s telecommunications sector contributed about nine per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in quarter one of 2017. The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this, while giving a report on the sector in Lagos, yesterday, added that since the liberalisation of the industry, it has added about N15 trillion to the economy.

Danbatta, who explained that the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP increased from eight per cent in Q4 of 2016 to nine per cent in the New Year, noted that since his assumption of office as the EVC about 18 months ago, the industry has been adding between N1.43 Trillion and N1.45 Trillion to the economy quarterly.

The NCC EVC admitted that the quality of service offered by the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) has not been impressive, he however, said there was a major improvement in the first quarter.

According to him, the continued drop in service quality has really created a huge gap between consumers and the MNOs, “reason for some drop in subscriptions.”

He said the commission will review the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set for the operators to meet, with a resolve that any of the MNOs that failed to meet up will be adequately sanctioned.

Though the Commission was practically silent on when telecommunications services will possibly improve in the country, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, Sunday Dare, averred that the commission had already read a riot act on poor services, saying that the Q1 2017 KPI results is under review.

Dare said there is no deadline on improving QoS on the part of the operators, “but sanctions are available.” Speaking more on the continuos drop in telephone subscription in the country, the NCC EVC disclosed that the commission discovered that some subscribers are migrating from 3G to 4G/LTE, “so they rather use WhatsApp to communicate and even make free calls. Consumers are moving away from high tariff services to a more cheaper and free services.”

Nigeria

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Zimbabwe: Air Zimbabwe Banned From Europe… So Is It Safe for Mugabe to Use?

Photo: Flickr

Bad news for Zimbabwe’s national airline which is headed by President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law: it has just has been barred from flying to Europe over safety concerns.

News of the ban, contained in a press release from the European Commission, will deal a blow to the struggling carrier’s plans to resume once-popular direct flights to London.

The European Commission maintains an Air Safety List of airlines that they say don’t meet international safety standards and are barred from operating in the European Union.

One of four banned

Tuesday’s statement names Air Zimbabwe – regularly used by Mugabe on his overseas trips – as one of four airlines added to the list “due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European Safety Agency”. All five of Air Zimbabwe’s planes were grounded in April, the Zimbabwe Independent reported. It’s not clear whether all five are now back in the skies.

London flights stopped

Debt-riddled Air Zimbabwe doesn’t currently offer flights to Europe. Flights to London were discontinued in 2012 after one of the airline’s Boeings was seized at Gatwick over an unpaid debt. These days passengers occasionally post updates of problems with internal Air Zimbabwe flights or flights connecting Zimbabwe to neighbouring South Africa. SA-based journalist Audrey Chimwanda at the weekend posted a photo of herself on an Air Zim flight from Joburg to Harare which had just four passengers (though two days later she reported that the return flight was “almost full”). There have also been claims of handwritten boarding passes.

Nepotism charges

Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore was last October given the position of Chief Operations Officer at the airline, with the former pilot tasked with helping to turn around the company’s fortunes. While critics said the appointment was a clear case of nepotism, officials maintained Chikore excelled during the interviews and hadn’t been favoured because of his links to the First Family.

Ban could be lifted

The commission’s statement said: “The EU Air Safety List seeks to ensure the highest level of air safety for Europeans citizens.” It said a total of 181 banned airlines from 16 countries should take heart from the case of Benin and Mozambique, whose airlines had their bans lifted on Tuesday.

“I am glad that we are able to take all carriers from Benin and Mozambique out of the air safety list. It shows that work and co-operation pays off,” commissioner for transport, Violeta Bulc was quoted as saying.

Fit for the president?

The British government has advised its staff against using Air Zimbabwe, according to an update on the British embassy in Harare’s website.

There’s been no official reaction yet from the Zimbabwean authorities to the European ban on Air Zimbabwe, though as former Chronicle editor Mduduzi Mathuthu (@mathuthu) tweeted: “In wake of EU ban we should be asking if Air Zimbabwe aircraft fit to be carrying any passengers, including President.”

It’s understood that a plane was leased from Bahrain for Mugabe in March.

Source: News24

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Zimbabwe: Unsafe Air Zimbabwe Banned From Europe

Photo: Beda Msimbe/Daily News

Air Zimbabwe aircraft.

Air Zimbabwe has been placed on the European Union Air Safety List for failure to comply with safety standards expected from airlines flying into the Eurozone.

The list means the struggling Air Zimbabwe, now being managed by President Robert Mugabe’s son in law Simba Chikore, can no longer fly to Europe until it has improves safety standards.

The EU Air Safety List seeks to ensure the highest level of air safety for European citizens, which is a top priority of the Aviation Strategy adopted by the Commission in December 2015.

While all airlines certified in Benin and Mozambique were cleared from the list after improvements to the aviation safety situation, Air Zimbabwe was added together with Med-View (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine).

“They were added to the list due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European Aviation Safety Agency during the assessment for a third country operator authorization,” said the EU commission in a statement on Tuesday.

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “I am glad that we are able to take all carriers from Benin and Mozambique out of the air safety list. Their reforms have paid off.

“This is also a signal to the 16 countries that remain on the list. It shows that work and cooperation pays off. The Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency are ready to assist them and raise the safety standards worldwide.”

The embattled national airline is struggling to pay millions in air taxes and other obligations. At Independence in 1980 Air Zimbabwe boasted a fleet of 18 aircraft but is now nearly grounded with just three functional planes.

The blow comes as the flag carrier airline recently told parliament that it was on the verge of closing a deal with a foreign investor.

Media reports also indicated the airline was planning to lease two planes from Malaysia but the deal reportedly fell through.

Zimbabwe

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Nigeria: Allow States to Generate, Distribute Power, Says Tambuwal

By Eric Meya

Sokoto — Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has called for a review of the law on power generation in the country, so that states would be allowed to generate and distribute electricity.

The governor who spoke yesterday while opening the 2017 Law Week of Sokoto State branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said the existing practice of states generating power and evacuating it to the national grid was no longer in the best interest of the country.

He also said there should be a review of the method of appointment of states’ representatives to federal agencies such as the Federal Character Commission, National Population Commission and the Revenue and Fiscal Mobilisation Commission.

He canvassed for the separation of the offices of the Federal Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to avoid partisanship and hampering the ability of the latter to prosecute cases without bias.

The governor also supported a review of the revenue sharing formula so that states and local councils would get more allocation.

Tambuwal suggested that the railway service should be removed from the exclusive legislative list so that interested states would be able to invest in it.

He assured the NBA that its members would be included in the proposed general review of the state’s laws, which he described as obsolete.

“The laws have to be properly updated to address present realities. Imagine, some of the laws are still using pounds and shillings,” he stated.

Nigeria

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Electoral Commission Sets Polling Date for Kyadondo East By-Election

By Stephen Kafeero

Kampala — The Electoral Commission has set June 26 as the date for Kyadondo East by-election after Parliament wrote to the electoral body about the vacant seat.

The seat fell vacant after both the Court of Appeal and the lower High Court nullified the election of Mr Apollo Kantinti on grounds that the Electoral Commission did not comply with electoral laws.

Both courts ordered the electoral body to organise fresh elections in the constituency. Mr William Sitenda Sebalu who was the runner up in the February 18, 2016 election and lost to Mr Kantinti by a margin of 326 votes successfully petitioned in both courts.

Mr Kantinti had been announced winner of the Kyadondo East constituency with 9,005 votes while Mr Sebalu, the runner up bagged 8,679 votes.

Both Mr Katinti and Mr Sebalu have expressed interest in the seat.

Singer Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine, who is likely to stand as an independent, has already confirmed his candidature.

Nominations are slated for May 30 and 31 while campaigns start on June 2 to June 23.

Other activities

Meanwhile, the EC is has finalised the May 18 Toroma County by-election. Eight candidates were nominated to contest in the exercise.

The seat fell vacant following the death of Cyrus Amodoi Imalingat in a motor accident. The electoral body will also hold the by-election for Tororo District chairperson on June 29. Nominations will take place between May 24 and 25.

Uganda

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Even ‘Dull’ Things Like Development Need Smart Branding

columnBy Joseph Rwagatare

In the last two weeks, Kigali was host to three important events that seek to shape Africa’s future and its place in the world.

The first was a retreat of the Peace and Security Commission (PSC) of the African Union. Looking at the seemingly intractable conflicts in parts of Africa, especially in Eastern Africa, one would be excused to think that such a commission does not exist, and if it does, only on paper.

They were here for a week. So now you know it does and is supposed to ensure that we can go about our lives in peace.

The retreat is an annual event and shouldn’t really be news, especially considering that we, in particular, live in a tough and volatile neighbourhood. But I think this one was significant.

There seems to be a realisation that bold action is needed to end conflicts. Because of a number of reasons, it cannot be business as usual.

One is the likely reduction in contributions to peacekeeping operations from the traditional donors following the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

It is also an issue of dignity to move away from the view of Africa as synonymous with conflict that are only solved by outsiders.

Another is that conflicts stand in the way of progress and prosperity, and slow down regional integration or block it altogether, and are a drag on transformation of individual countries as well as the continent as a whole. East Africans know this very well.

I don’t know whether they discussed this at the retreat, but in nearly every conflict situation you can detect the role of another country – either fuelling it or preventing it from being resolved.

One of the bold actions needed is to tell these countries and their leaders to stop meddling and put in place mechanisms to enforce this. It is a tough ask but it has to be done.

The second major event was the meeting of the group leading on the reform of the African Union with ministers of foreign affairs from all member countries and ambassadors to the AU.

President Paul Kagame has already presented proposals for reform to his colleagues and they were adopted and only await implementation. The significance of the recent meeting in Kigali therefore was to take them beyond the heads of state to the citizens of Africa for discussion so that they can understand and own them.

This is no small matter because the AU and its decisions have always been seen as the work of government officials and AU Commission bureaucrats far removed from ordinary citizens.

This distance and accusations of bureaucratic insensitivity can also be seen in the issues the European Union is having with some of its members, leading some of them to want to liberate themselves from its control.

In a sense the path the reform of the AU is taking is in the direction of freeing them from detached officialdom. Everyone understands the aim of the reforms: to reduce dependency, increase effectiveness, enhance unity and give Africa a greater voice and more influence. They also understand that they need popular endorsement.

The third event was the Transform Africa Summit whose objective is to transform Africa by adopting modern technology to propel the continent forward. Technological revolutions have always been transformative at every stage of human development.

Earlier revolutions largely passed us by. We cannot afford to be left behind again by the current digital revolution. This time, as President Kagame said, we need to harness the latest digital technology to provide better services and for inclusive and sustainable growth.

In order to do this, the continent must be digitally connected. Connectivity aids in breaking down barriers, closing distance and space, and considerably cutting back on time. It is critical in uniting people and fostering integration.

You might say that there were similar initiatives in the past which didn’t work out as expected and Africa still lags behind. What makes us think that they will this time?

One answer lies in the conception and implementation of Transform Africa. It is built on collaboration between governments, the private sector and academia, and the engagement of young people. Past initiatives were almost exclusively government-led.

Another is that they are driven by a results-oriented philosophy. Rwanda and President Kagame epitomise this way of doing things.

You might even say that Transform Africa, Smart Africa, African solutions to African problems, and so on, are just slogans like others in the past. They are more than fashionable, eye-catching slogans. They are a statement of intent as well as plan of action, and more than that, brand names of an ongoing transformative process.

Yes, there may be a lot of challenges, but some of these recent happenings give one a sense of optimism.

Africa: Even ‘Dull’ Things Like Development Need Smart Branding

columnBy Joseph Rwagatare

In the last two weeks, Kigali was host to three important events that seek to shape Africa’s future and its place in the world.

The first was a retreat of the Peace and Security Commission (PSC) of the African Union. Looking at the seemingly intractable conflicts in parts of Africa, especially in Eastern Africa, one would be excused to think that such a commission does not exist, and if it does, only on paper.

They were here for a week. So now you know it does and is supposed to ensure that we can go about our lives in peace.

The retreat is an annual event and shouldn’t really be news, especially considering that we, in particular, live in a tough and volatile neighbourhood. But I think this one was significant.

There seems to be a realisation that bold action is needed to end conflicts. Because of a number of reasons, it cannot be business as usual.

One is the likely reduction in contributions to peacekeeping operations from the traditional donors following the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

It is also an issue of dignity to move away from the view of Africa as synonymous with conflict that are only solved by outsiders.

Another is that conflicts stand in the way of progress and prosperity, and slow down regional integration or block it altogether, and are a drag on transformation of individual countries as well as the continent as a whole. East Africans know this very well.

I don’t know whether they discussed this at the retreat, but in nearly every conflict situation you can detect the role of another country – either fuelling it or preventing it from being resolved.

One of the bold actions needed is to tell these countries and their leaders to stop meddling and put in place mechanisms to enforce this. It is a tough ask but it has to be done.

The second major event was the meeting of the group leading on the reform of the African Union with ministers of foreign affairs from all member countries and ambassadors to the AU.

President Paul Kagame has already presented proposals for reform to his colleagues and they were adopted and only await implementation. The significance of the recent meeting in Kigali therefore was to take them beyond the heads of state to the citizens of Africa for discussion so that they can understand and own them.

This is no small matter because the AU and its decisions have always been seen as the work of government officials and AU Commission bureaucrats far removed from ordinary citizens.

This distance and accusations of bureaucratic insensitivity can also be seen in the issues the European Union is having with some of its members, leading some of them to want to liberate themselves from its control.

In a sense the path the reform of the AU is taking is in the direction of freeing them from detached officialdom. Everyone understands the aim of the reforms: to reduce dependency, increase effectiveness, enhance unity and give Africa a greater voice and more influence. They also understand that they need popular endorsement.

The third event was the Transform Africa Summit whose objective is to transform Africa by adopting modern technology to propel the continent forward. Technological revolutions have always been transformative at every stage of human development.

Earlier revolutions largely passed us by. We cannot afford to be left behind again by the current digital revolution. This time, as President Kagame said, we need to harness the latest digital technology to provide better services and for inclusive and sustainable growth.

In order to do this, the continent must be digitally connected. Connectivity aids in breaking down barriers, closing distance and space, and considerably cutting back on time. It is critical in uniting people and fostering integration.

You might say that there were similar initiatives in the past which didn’t work out as expected and Africa still lags behind. What makes us think that they will this time?

One answer lies in the conception and implementation of Transform Africa. It is built on collaboration between governments, the private sector and academia, and the engagement of young people. Past initiatives were almost exclusively government-led.

Another is that they are driven by a results-oriented philosophy. Rwanda and President Kagame epitomise this way of doing things.

You might even say that Transform Africa, Smart Africa, African solutions to African problems, and so on, are just slogans like others in the past. They are more than fashionable, eye-catching slogans. They are a statement of intent as well as plan of action, and more than that, brand names of an ongoing transformative process.

Yes, there may be a lot of challenges, but some of these recent happenings give one a sense of optimism.

Nigeria: Nigerian Banks Urged to Adopt Digital Transformation

By Zakariyya Adaramola

ignal Alliance and Cisco have urged Nigerian banks to adopt digital transformation to improve security and enhance innovation without spending above their budgets.

Speaking at the Signal Alliance-Cisco business engagement session in Lagos at the weekend, Adegbola Adesina, Signal Alliance Director of Service Delivery said, the banks should continue to embrace mobility, cloud, analytics, and increase in custom-built application on low bandwidth consuming applications to digitise their businesses.

Adesina said lack of adoption of digital transformation has led many organisations to spend huge sums of money acquiring new devices all in the name of upgrade which may not be necessary.

But Tomi Amao of Cisco said the company had realised that traditional networks simply could not scaleup to meet the increasing demands of the digital business.

Nigeria

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11,309 Seek Elective Positions, Eight for Presidency

By Patrick Lang’at

At least 11,309 people want to contest the six elective seats on offer in the August General Election, a breakdown by the electoral commission shows.

This figure was as of midnight on Sunday, when the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) closed the submission of party nominations winners.

The 11,309 excludes 4,950 independent aspirants who have sought clearance to go it alone in the August 8 polls, bringing the total to 16,259 people gunning for 1,882 posts.

On the list of party-sponsored aspirants, eight people have shown interest to contest against President Uhuru Kenyatta.

This number excludes 11 who want to run for the seat as independents.

HUGE INTEREST

The governor post has also attracted a huge interest, with 180 people gunning for the seats in the 47 counties.

For the 47 County woman rep seats, 260 have been nominated by various political parties to contest.

A total of 1,470 people are seeking the 290 posts of member of Parliament.

But it is the new kid on the block — member of the county assembly — that took the cake.

For the 1,450 wards in Kenya, a total of 9,133 are contesting under the different political parties.

POLITICAL PARTY CANDIDATES

President 8

Governor 180

Senator 258

Woman Rep 260

MP 1,470

MCAs 9,133

Total 11, 309

Independent candidates Total: 4,950

Kenya

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