40m Nigerians To Access Telecoms Services By 2017

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said provision has been made in its 2017 budget to widen telecommunications services to additional 40 million people across the country.

Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Umar Danbatta, represented by the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo made this known recently during a sensitisation workshop organised by NCC for law enforcement agencies on telecommunications issues in Lagos.

Danbatta said the commission had conducted a survey, which identified about 200 communities nationwide with access gap, stressing that through the Universal Service Provision Fund (ISPF) being managed by one of its departments, 40 million people in these areas would be covered in 2017.

He said the industry’s contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was about 10 per cent and NCC was committed to seeing greater development in the sector.

“In this respect, two Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) have been licensed, while the remaining five companies will be licensed shortly to commence the deployment of more broadband fibre networks beyond the major cities in the country.

“Our model, anchored on robust development of infrastructure, transmission and retail segment, is expected to speed up the cascading of networks of fibre required by individuals and businesses to improve life and catalyse economic growth,” he said.

According to him, these tasks underscore the need for collaborations with security agencies to curtail criminal assault against telecommunications infrastructure.

He said the industry had witnessed rise in the theft of telecommunications infrastructure and vandalism of installed

facilities and equipment, adding that NCC was determined to move fast in its mandate of harnessing the potential of the ICT sector to boost national economy.

Danbatta added that the industry had witnessed usage of preregistered Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) cards, all of which were infractions of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 and other extant regulations governing the industry.

He said that while the commission rolled out various campaigns to raise awareness and made some arrests with the support of the police, there was need for effective strategies to ensure that anyone arrested was prosecuted.

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Nigeria Ranked Third In The World With Poor Sanitation Access– Report

Nigeria is the third country in the world and the worst in Sub-Saharan Africa where most urban dwellers live without a safe private toilet, the latest report on State of the World Toilets for 2016 has said.

According to the report by WaterAid, a renowned international organization that focuses on improving access to safe water and sanitation in towns and villages, 58 million people in Nigeria out of the 700 million urban dwellers around the world live without basic sanitation.

It said: “The problem is so big that 13.5 million people living in Nigeria’s towns and cities have no choice but to defecate in the open using roadsides, railway tracks and even plastic bags dubbed ‘flying toilets’. Nigeria also ranks top in the countries falling furthest behind in reaching people with urban sanitation.

“For every urban dweller reached with sanitation since 2000, two were added to the number living without, an increase of 31 million people in the last 15 years.”

The Country Representative of the agency, Dr. Michael Ojo, noted that adequate sanitation could create jobs and prosperity directly and indirectly, adding that there exists a potential market of more than $2.6bn in sanitation.

Ojo stated that by increasing access to sanitation through stimulating needs via sanitation marketing and responding to existing unmet needs, untapped business opportunities would open up.

“WaterAid’s State of the World Toilet 2016 report also focuses on some of the jobs that are created when the challenge is addressed head-on,” Ojo said.

The report further noted that an investment in improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene was probably the most effective investment Nigeria could make to grow its economy and better the lives of its people.

On other findings, the report stated that India ranked top for having the greatest number of urban dwellers living without safe private toilet and put the number of persons in this category at 157 million.

“It is also a world leader in having the most urban dwellers practicing open defecation – 41 million,” the report noted.

It said war-ravaged South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, is the worst country in the world for urban sanitation by percentage, adding that 84 per cent of dwellers in its urban centres had no access to a toilet and every other urban-resident practiced open defecation.

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Nigeria, third in world with poor sanitation access – Report

Shiites Lament Inability To Access El-Zakzaky

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly known as Shiites, have raised alarm that they are being frustrated by the DSS and Police to have access to their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

This they said has prevented them from submitting their memorandum to the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State government to investigate the bloody clash between them and the Nigerian Army in Zaria on December 12, 2015.

At the resumed sitting of the commission on Monday, counsel to the movement, Festus Okoye, told the commission that all efforts by the Shiites’ legal team or its members to have access to El-Zakzaky were unsuccessful in spite of several meetings they had with the DSS and Police authorities in Abuja.

He attributed the delay by the group to submit its memorandum to the commission to inability of the members to meet with their leader who is believed to be in custody of the Department of State Security (DSS) in the Federal Capital Territory.

On his part, counsel to the Commission, Yusuf Ali (SAN), ?asked the commission to order the Attorney General of Kaduna State and the Attorney General of the Federation to liaise with him to see how they can have access to El-Zakzaky and get briefings from him.

Credit: ChannelsTv