Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun has said that the appointment of the14th Olowu of Owu kingdom complied with the Obas and Chiefs Law, 2021 and the customs and traditions of Owuland Abiodun made the assertion at the presentation of the staff of office to Oba (Prof) Saka Matemilola, Oluyalo Otileta VII.
in Totoro area of Abeokuta on Saturday.
The governor urged the people of Owu Kingdom to rally round and co-operate with the new traditional ruler so that Owu Kingdom could continue on its path of progress and development.
Abiodun, who expressed confidence in the ability of Matemilola to steer the ship of Owu Kingdom to greater heights, urged him to consider his appointment as a call to service.
“I am confident that you will concentrate on the task of accelerating the pace of socio-economic development in Owu Kingdom and Egbaland by mobilising your people in such a manner that their efforts will complement the initiatives of our administration.
“I believe that your vision for Owu Kingdom is aligned to ours as we continue to ensure focused and qualitative governance and to create the enabling environment for a public private sector partnership.
“We consider such partnership as fundamental to the creation of an enduring economic development and individual prosperity of the people of Ogun,” he said.
He expressed appreciation for the support that his administration had continued to receive from the people since he assumed office as governor of Ogun. “We appreciate those who out of genuine desire for the economic growth and their people have offered plausible policy options, encouragement and candid advice to us like the Balogun Owu, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
“He has been with us through thick and thin’’, Abiodun said.
Speaking after his installment, Matemilola commended the leadership of the Otileta dynasty for carrying out a credible and fair selection process in spite of many challenges.
He acknowledged the “uniqueness” of the stool of the Olowu of Owu kingdom and its responsibilities.
“To rule over such a unique domain with a rich history and heritage requires great leadership qualities and capabilities “As I step into my new role as Olowu, U will be following in a long line of remarkable Olowus who have all made lasting impacts on Owu kingdom,” he said.
The new Olowu, who acknowledged the immense expectations of his subjects, promised that with their support and help of God, he would move the kingdom to greater heights.
“We have already mapped out an ambitious agenda designed to usher in unity, peace, prosperity and pride in Owu people.
“We also have a clear strategy on how we intend to go about them,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the throne of Owu kingdom became vacant on Dec. 12, 2021 following the death of the immediate traditional ruler, late Oba Adegboyega Dosumu who ascended the throne in 2005. NAN reports that Obasanjo, the Balogun of Owu, who unavoidably absent at the ceremony , was represented by his wife, Bola Obasanjo.
Among dignitaries at the ceremony were two former governors of the state, Chief Olusegun Osoba and Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, and former governor of Delta state, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Others were traditional rulers, captains of industry and politicians including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Gbadebo, the Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, as well as the Olu of Warri, Emiko Ogiame, Atuwatse lll.
Pope Francis will visit Kazakhstan as planned in September for a religious congress, the Vatican confirmed on Monday, two days after the pontiff revealed he would ease his international schedule.
The 85-year-old has been suffering from knee pain that forced him to cancel a string of events in recent months, including a trip to Africa.
Returning from a six-day visit to Canada on Saturday, he admitted it was time to slow his pace of international travel and said he may have to think about retiring — but not yet.
“Accepting the invitation of the civil and ecclesial authorities, Pope Francis will make the announced Apostolic Journey to Kazakhstan from September 13 to 15,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni wrote in a short statement.
He will visit the capital Nur-Sultan, for the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, the Vatican said.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, the pope said Kazakhstan would be “a quiet trip, without so much movement”.
Francis was elected in 2013 after pope Benedict XVI became the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to retire, citing his declining physical and mental health.
Asked on Saturday about whether he might follow Benedict’s example, the pope said: “The door is open.
It’s one of the normal options but up until now I haven’t knocked on this door.
“But that doesn’t mean the day after tomorrow I don’t start thinking, right?
But right now I honestly don’t.
An indigenous oil firm, First Exploration and Petroleum Development Company Limited (First E & P), on Thursday donated a solar powered water project to Koluama 1 community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
The Project is expected to provide the people and their environ with portable water to reduce cases of water borne diseases.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the oil firm executed the project with KEFFES Rural Development Foundation.
KEFFES is an acronym for Koluama 1 and 2, Ezetu 1 and 2, Foropa, Fish Town; Ekeni, and Sangana oil-rich communities located along the Atlantic coastline in Bayelsa.
Speaking at the hand over ceremony, Mr Gerald Makiri, representative of First E and P, said the solar project was a pilot test and that it would be replicated in all the host communities.
“Fela in his popular song says: ‘water no get enemy’, so, we are hoping that this water will bring unity to this community.
”We are hoping that as you drink from the borehole, sickness will varnish, there will be more prosperity to Koluama 1, the women, youths, boys and girls,“ Makiri said.
Receiving the project, Mr Matthew Sele-epri, Chairman, KEFFES Rural Development Foundation, thanked First E and P and NNPC for the kind gesture but asked that three additional points be built in the pilot scheme in Koluama 1.
Sele-epri, who was represented by Moses Theophilus, Kenibara VII, traditional ruler of Moko-Ama Sangana Kingdom, also appealed that the project should be replicated in all KEFFES communities.
He noted that it was the first in KEFFES rural communities.
”If you can recall that all our communities are surrounded by water but portable water to drink is a problem.
“And today as God may have it, First E and P have been able to deliver on the social development obligation and so we want to appreciate First E & P for this kind and proactive intervention.
“We are still demanding that this should be replicated in all the communities and all the KEFFES host communities because that is the only way we can see the goodness of this,” he said.
Sele-epri said the project should be replicated in all the communities, adding that it would not be good to expect the whole community coming to Kouama 1 to fetch water. (
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita, held talks, on June 17, 2022 in Rabat, with the Director General of the Organization of the Arab League for Education, Culture and Science ( ALECSO), Mohamed Ould Aamar .
The talks took place on the sidelines of Ould Aamar's participation in the 7th UNESCO International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VII), co-organized by the Moroccan government and UNESCO in Marrakech, under the High Patronage of Her Majesty King Mohammed VI.
Held under the theme "Adult Learning and Education for Sustainable Development: A Transformative Agenda", the conference brings together stakeholders from around the world to define the future of adult learning and education for the next decade.
The event aims to examine effective adult learning and education policies from a lifelong learning perspective in ways that contribute to the achievement of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We are delighted to partner with VII Academy to present an interactive, engaging, and educational course on documentary photography and photojournalism.DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, November 22, 2021 / APO Group / -
As an extension of the company's Miraisha program (https://bit.ly/3FC2cGi) that focuses on promoting future job opportunities and livelihoods in Africa by offering extensive workshops and other educational support, through this partnership, Canon ( Canon-CNA.com) seeks to empower young and aspiring African talents with a passion for documentary and photojournalist storytelling through a twelve-week program in association with the VII Academy. The workshops will be led and tutored by world-renowned photographers, namely Nichole Sobecki and Stefano De Luigi.
To strengthen the foundation of photojournalism, the program will impart to students the practical tools necessary for the production of individual images and short photo essays suitable for publication in an editorial and digital context.
Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) today announced its partnership with the VII Academy to launch its twelve-week collaborative course on documentary photography and photojournalism. Under the umbrella of Canon's Miraisha program (https://bit.ly/3HGzRAh), the twelve-week course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of composition and camera control, simple narrative narrative, as well like basic business and freelance work. skills, all within an ethical and practical framework for photojournalism. The three-month program will include lectures on photojournalism concepts, group tutorials, assignments, and feedback sessions in order to develop the student's ability to work in an editorial and digital context on individual images and short photo essays.
“We are delighted to partner with VII Academy to present an interactive, engaging and educational course on documentary photography and photojournalism for African youth. The Miraisha program was carefully designed to provide relevant opportunities to young Africans across our continent, as well as equipping them with the right tools and training necessary to carve out a career path in life. Across all of our Miraisha offerings, our goal remains the same: empower African talents, promote future job opportunities and livelihoods. At Canon, we believe it is imperative to nurture and nurture passionate talents through initiatives that focus on honing their skills. As part of this twelve-week program, we aspire to instill in students the right skills, from the fundamentals of photography, such as taking individual photographs, to advanced levels, such as producing a short photo essay powered by a journalist. Over the weeks, students will gradually progress from how to control the camera to visual style and composition, through funding and budget, finally culminating in an exhibition of student work, ”commented Amine Djouahra, Director of sales and marketing for Canon Central and North Africa.
Divided into three months, the program will cover lectures on relevant concepts in documentary photography and photojournalism, as well as a group tutorial each week, thus ensuring that students are well prepared for their assignments. The workshops will be in charge of the world-renowned photographers of the VII Agency, Nichole Sobecki and Stefano De Luigi. Nichole Sobecki, who has lived in Nairobi for the past decade, the primary focus of Nichole's work is humanity's tense, intimate, and ultimately unbreakable connection to the natural world. She is currently exploring the vital role the Congo Basin plays in our planet's ecological balance as a National Geographic Explorer. Stefano De Luigi currently lives in Paris and began his career working for the Grand Louvre Museum as a photographer from 1989 to 1996. His numerous awards include four World Press Photo Awards (1998, 2007, 2010, 2011), the Eugene Smith Fellowship (2008 ) and the Getty Scholarship for Editorial Photography, just to name a few.
The initial weeks are tightly structured with regular assignments and feedback sessions for students to develop an editorial and digital approach to their photography assignments. These first weeks of the course will introduce students to basic concepts of photojournalism, as well as explore elements of professional practice such as personal branding, portfolio presentation, social media management, as well as cover technical aspects of the camera such as aperture, depth of field, shutter speed. , lenses, ISO and composition and aesthetics. The intermediate weeks of the program will focus on assignments ranging from landscape shots to street photography, portraits and sports for students to understand and develop a logical workflow for their production, including captions, image manipulation, archiving and backup your work. The course will conclude with two professional practice sessions that introduce the basics of self-employment, covering financial planning, budgeting, proposal writing, personal branding, and business development. Therefore, the program is complete to provide an intensive course on documentary photography and photojournalism to students who are interested in pursuing the editorial and digital path.
Questions mounted Friday about the health of 95-year-old Queen Elizabeth II after she had tests and spent a night in hospital, despite royal officials saying she was resting at home.
Buckingham Palace had said on Wednesday morning that she pulled out of a planned engagement in Northern Ireland and had been advised to rest on medical advice.
But royal officials were forced to confirm late Thursday that she had in fact had “some preliminary investigations” in hospital on Wednesday, and stayed overnight, after The Sun newspaper broke the news.
She returned from King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London to her Windsor Castle home west of London and was said to be “in good spirits”.
Britain’s Press Association news agency said the hospital visit and stay was not initially disclosed because it was expected to be short, and to protect her privacy.
She stayed overnight for “practical reasons”, said to be because it was too late to make the 26-mile (42-kilometre) trip back to Windsor.
The Queen has previously been treated at the exclusive private clinic, which is known for treating the royal family, including in 2013 for gastroenteritis, when she also stayed for one night.
The development follows several busy weeks during which the monarch undertook more than a dozen public engagements, including hosting a reception Tuesday for global business leaders at Windsor Castle.
Royals author Robert Hardman told the BBC there would be “a mild degree of irritation at the palace this morning” that news of the queen’s overnight hospital stay had become public.
“There’s a concern to maintain the dignity of the office,” Hardman said, adding officials had likely feared “huge banks of cameras and 24-hour news setting up outside the hospital”.
However, veteran BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said royal officials “have not been giving us a complete, reasonable picture of what has been occurring”.
“Rumours and misinformation proliferate (and) thrive when there is an absence of good, proportionate, trustworthy information.
“We must hope that we can rely on what the palace is now telling us,” he added, calling assurances that the queen was in good spirits “a handy phrase that the palace dusts off at moments such as this”.
Richard Palmer, royal correspondent at the Daily Express, also called the phrase a “palace cliché”.
“Royal sources had been keen to encourage the impression that she had just overdone it but may struggle to convince the public now,” he noted.
Queen Elizabeth II is head of state in the UK and 15 other realms around the world, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Preparations are already under way to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee next year, marking her 70 years on the throne.
The palace said she was back at her desk on Thursday afternoon undertaking “light duties”.
The disclosure, however, will inevitably raise fears for her health and the toll of her public duties given her advanced age.
Her late husband, Prince Philip, died in April just a few weeks before his 100th birthday, months after spending four weeks in hospital receiving treatment for a pre-existing heart condition.
The monarch, who still rides and drives on her private estates, has been especially active since returning from her remote Balmoral estate in northeast Scotland at the start of October.
Last week, she was seen for the first time at a major public event using a walking stick, but royal officials said it was not linked to any specific health condition.
She is still expected to join other senior royals for a series of events linked to the upcoming UN climate summit in Glasgow next month.
“She hates people making a fuss of her in general but particularly to do with health,” added Hardman.
“But it’s a reflection of the enormous affection and concern the whole country has for her, and the fact that every news bulletin and newspaper is leading on it reflects that.”
Source Credit: TheGuardian
Partnership is essential to meet food and nutritional needs and ultimately achieve Zero HungerACCRA, Ghana, October 21, 2021 / APO Group / -
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) welcomes a contribution of 499 million JPY (4.5 million USD) from the government of Japan, for a public-private partnership project that aims to bring quality nutrition and health services available to 250,000 people in Ghana.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service, WFP will partner with three Japanese private sector companies, The Ajinomoto Foundation (TAF) / KOKO Plus Foundation (KPF), NEC Corporation and Sysmex Corporation, to produce nutritious foods and micronutrient supplements. and provide nutrition education to the most vulnerable women, children and adolescent girls in rural areas of the country suffering from food insecurity.
“Partnership is essential to meet food and nutritional needs and ultimately achieve Zero Hunger,” said Anna Mukiibi-Bunnya, WFP Acting Representative in Ghana. “Thanks to the continued generosity of the Japanese people, we will collaborate more with public and private sector partners to generate innovative solutions to hunger in Ghana. "
In one district of the Northern Region, 7,500 vulnerable pregnant and lactating women, children and adolescents will receive nutrition education and counseling, as well as nutritious food. Women will also be enrolled in activities that will allow them to earn more money and maintain their ability to continue purchasing nutritious, locally produced food after the project ends. In addition, 250,000 people in 90 districts will be continuously educated and counseled on good nutritional practices as part of a widely deployed social and behavior change communication component.
"This project is fully aligned with the Government of Japan's priority for universal health care and the African Health and Well-Being Initiative (AfHWiN) as presented in TICAD VII," said said Tsutomu Himeno, Japanese Ambassador to Ghana at the project signing ceremony. “The Government of Japan will continue to support such collaborations to address the burden of malnutrition in Ghana as a whole. And it is the wish of the people and government of Japan that this project makes a valuable contribution in the areas of nutrition and health coverage in Ghana.
Overall, in Ghana, WFP is helping the government implement innovative solutions to hunger, including an e-commerce project for small farmers, social protection programs such as school feeding as well as programs livelihoods for people living with HIV and beneficiaries of nutrition interventions.
The COVAX international vaccine initiative requires $4.2 billion over the next two months to ensure that “sooner rather than later”, World Health Organization (WHO)-approved inoculation can get underway in Africa, UN chief António Guterres said.
While expressing his “hope that we will be able to do it before the second quarter”, he acknowledged that several countries have made “an enormous effort” to ensure vaccinations for their own populations while at the same time, the COVAX financing requirements have yet to be fully met.
During the UN-AU meeting, the UN chief observed that the partnership “has never been stronger” and expressed encouragement over the presidential support of Niger, Tunisia and Somalia as well as the Security Council.
He commended the AU, African Member States and the African Commission chair for spearheading a swift and coordinated continental response to the COVID-19 pandemic and for establishing a solid partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
But he reminded that “we cannot let our guard down” and must continue to pursue “essential public health efforts to combat transmission, reduce mortality and ease the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic”.
Against the backdrop of terrorist and violent extremist groups exploiting the instability and vulnerabilities heightened by the pandemic, particularly in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, the UN chief pointed out that “we are facing new conflicts”.
Mr. Guterres reaffirmed the UN’s strong commitment to AU peace support operations, and its intention to develop a support model that draws on lessons from existing UN and AU operations in complex conflict environments.
The UN strongly supports the AU’s flagship initiative on Silencing the Guns in Africa, which, he noted, aligns with the global ceasefire appeal that he hopes to further advance.
Despite “significant strides” in UN-AU joint actions in peace operations – as illustrated in Libya, South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia – he underscored the need to discuss how best to advance the call for a global ceasefire to marshal forces instead against the killer virus.
Citing a recent independent assessment that reaffirmed the importance of a strong UN-AU partnership “to address peace and security challenges” and to support the development of the continent, Mr. Guterres acknowledged that there is also room for improvement.
The partnership of the two organizations would benefit from a number of concrete steps, including a further institutionalization of cooperation at every level.
Additionally, the collaboration between the Security Council and the AU’s Peace and Security Council should be strengthened, according to the top UN official.
“We must also ensure, through the use of assessed contributions, predictable and sustained financing of AU peace support operations, mandated by the Security Council, under Chapter VII of the Charter”, he upheld, adding his hope for progress on this next year.
Furthermore, the UN chief underscored that “much more should be done to engage women and youth” in the peace and security agenda and that Africa’s youth need “the right skills and means for a better future”. UN Photo/Hervé SerefioProtecting civilians is a key mandate for many UN peacekeeping operations, including in the Central African Republic.
Addressing a debate on cooperation between the two international organizations, Secretary-General António Guterres credited UN political missions and peacekeeping operations in supporting an array of activities, from a ceasefire agreement in Libya to an AU Military Observer Mission in the Central African Republic; and a truce in South Sudan that has generated “cautious optimism” across the country.
“Our two Organizations also worked with the Economic Community of West African States in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, before and after elections, and joined efforts to facilitate in September the establishment of the 18-month transition in Mali”, he detailed.
Despite these positive steps, “challenges loom large”, the UN chief stated, citing new conflicts, a raging climate emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic, which is “exacerbating fragilities”.
Moreover, trust – which “underscores the importance of good governance and respect for human rights” and is “crucial to peace and security” – is being eroded.
Against the backdrop of growing restrictions in civic space and increasing threats to minorities around the world, he underlined that “dealing with the pandemic must not take attention away from maintaining peace and security”.
Mr. Guterres also pointed to terrorists exploiting the pandemic across the Sahel and in the Lake Chad Basin, reminding that African peace operations have Chapter VII authorization.
He reaffirmed his “full support” to AU-led initiatives for solving grievances through dialogue, and repeated his appeal for a global ceasefire, and for nations to joint together instead to fight COVID-19.
The top UN official advocated for trust building between the two organizations along with stronger collaboration among the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council.
To foster resilience and prepare for future challenges, more inclusive and effective institutions must be built “to prevent conflict, reinforce good governance and boost service delivery”, he said, adding, “in short, we need a renewed multilateralism”.
The Secretary-General concluded with a quote from Nelson Mandela: “It seems impossible until its done”.
The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, lauded the leadership in the Council of the A3 +1 – namely Niger, Tunisia, South Africa and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – and noted that UN-AU cooperation is a “prerequisite” for progress on Africa-led, peace and security across the continent.
He attested that “shared values” help guide the way forward, stressed that global challenges require the international community’s support and advocated for increased “operational coordination” on peace processes as well as for the Silencing the Guns Initiative.
In closing, he urged for “burden sharing” on peace and security to include the predictable financing for AU-led or authorized peace support operations.
Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa – which also holds the Council presidency this month – said he was honoured to jointly serve on the Council and chair the AU, as it provided a unique perspective on UN-AU cooperation with Africans taking responsibility for “complex challenges”.
Pointing out that the peace-development nexus is clear to most African leaders, he urged expedited deliberations on funding for African-led peace operations, with prospects looking positive in some settings, while maintaining that silencing the guns and eliminating illicit financial flows are part of the same large stabilization agenda.
However, President Ramaphosa identified worrisome humanitarian needs linked to both ongoing conflict and the spread of the pandemic, calling for solidarity to address multiple threats, successfully and inclusively.
The Nigerian Communication Commission Corporate Headquarters
News Analysis by ObikeUkoh, News Agency of Nigeria
Since the establishment of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), it has been consistent in deepening and protecting the rights of consumers.
Indeed, one of the core mandates of the NCC is to protect the rights of telecom consumers in Nigeria.
At an interactive session recently in Abuja, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, enumerated the efforts of the commission in the protection of the rights of telecom consumers.
Danbatta who was appointed NCC Executive Vice Chairman in November 2015 , and reappointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in June 2020 and confirmed by the Senate on July 21, 2020, reiterated the commitment of NCC to protect Nigeria’s telecom consumers.
“The consumer is king; hence our consumer-centric regulatory initiatives to ensure consumer protection; information and education have continued to top our agenda.
“To further empower consumers, in 2016 we introduced the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 Short Code, which gave consumers the power to opt-in or out of unsolicited messages on their respective networks.’’
The executive vice chairman said that it was because of the importance attached to consumer protection that the NCC declared 2017 as “ The Year of the Consumer,’’ and set out with various projects to bring telecom consumers closer to the commission and their various network operators.
“The commission also upgraded the NCC-Free number 522 as secondary complaints mechanism to further empower and resolve consumer complaints.
“We also issued directives on data roll-over and another on forceful subscription of data services and value-added services (VAS).
“The two directives have ensured effective protection of telecom consumers, Danbatta said.
He recalled that in 2019, the commission revised the NCC Consumer Complaints and Services Legal Agreement (s) with the operators in order to ensure prompt response to consumer complaints, and also reviewed the Consumer Code of Practice Regulations at a Public Inquiry.
“We initiated the Mobile Services Management Systems, in collaboration with other agencies aimed at protecting consumers from the negative effect of substandard devices on the networks and the health of telecom consumers.
“The Mobile Services Management Systems project, when fully implemented, will help in combating the proliferation of fake, counterfeit and cloned communication devices in the telecommunications industry.
“Similarly, we have developed regulations on E-Waste,’’ Danbatta added.
According to him, the regulations will ensure that we are also able to rid our environment of indiscriminate disposal of malfunctioning and disused gadgets, which are capable of posing health risks to consumers.
“I also need to mention our commitment in protecting the lives and property of telecom consumers by getting rid of improperly registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards. We conduct periodic audit of the networks to ensure the MNOs do not harbour improperly registered SIM cards on their networks any further,’’ he emphasised.
Danbatta announced that 19 Emergency Communications Centres (ECC) have been activated across the country.
“ The 112 national emergency number allows Nigerians in distress to get help in emergencies.
“The 112 number has become a major channel of communication during this COVID-19 period as over 1,200 COVID-19 related calls were made to the 112 national emergency toll free number between March and June 2020 from the various ECCs across the country.
When Danbatta spoke at the 2017 Lagos International Trade Fair and Exhibition, he reiterated the commitment of the commission in its fight against the abuse of customers’ rights and privileges.
He emphasised that consumers of telecommunications services deserved to get value for their money and be treated as very important stakeholders in the scheme of things as far as service delivery is concerned.
Danbatta maintained that his administration is fighting to protect consumers from unfair practices through availability of information and education to make informed choices in the use of ICT services.
“Our objective is to engage, empower, educate and inform the consumers about their rights and responsibilities, opportunities and solutions that are available in the industry.
“The essence of this is to reassure the consumers that the issue of protecting them from unfair practices is no mere talk.
“We have put the service providers on special notice about our current monitoring of user experience on issues of poor reception, wrong billings and deductions, automatic roll over among other issues, and if they fail to improve services to the detriment of the consumers, will face appropriate regulatory actions and sanctions,” he said.
The performance of NCC has not gone unnoticed, as Yahaya Garba, Commissioner for Federal Capital Territory of the Public Complaints Commission (PCC), during a visit in July 2019 to NCC headquarters in Abuja, commended the commission for effective protection of telecom consumers’ rights.
“For us at PCC, we would like to commend the NCC in recognition of its efforts in implementing the National Telecommunications Policy, regulating the telecom sector and protecting the rights of consumers and operating companies alike,” he said during the visit.
Garba particularly stated that PCC initiated the visit to get familiarised with the NCC’s functions and operations with regards to telecom consumer protection, deepen areas of collaboration and solicit ICT capacity building for PCC staff by the telecom regulator.
The NCC Executive Vice Chairman Danbatta, emerged the winner of the 2019 Zik Prize, in the professional leadership category.
Prof. Pat Utomi, member, Advisory Board of the Award, via a webinar on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, said that Danbatta and Mr Kennedy Uzoka, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa (UBA) are the winners in that category.
“Prof Umar Garba Danbatta is a square peg in a square hole. An academic professor, Danbatta has, through the NCC, led the charge to drive Nigeria’s industrial revolution and knowledge-based economy leveraging telecommunications,” he explained.
According to Prof. Utomi, telecom contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria has grown by 70 per cent from 2015 to 2020, whilst broadband penetration has leaped from 8 per cent to 42 per cent, in the same period.
“His leadership has enhanced transparency and innovation in the sector, such that recently, NCC was acknowledged by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as one of Africa’s foremost regulator,” he observed.
In a letter of nomination in July 2020, jointly signed by the Chairman of the Board, Sen. Jubril Aminu and Utomi, the NCC boss was described as “an outstanding public servant, whose initiatives and reforms had contributed to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) playing a leading role in the socio-economic development of Nigeria.”
Zik Prize was set up in 1994 in honour of Nigeria’s first President, late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.
Besides deepening the protection of consumers’ rights, the NCC has also deepened the purse of the nation.
Danbatta, who spoke at the interactive session, said that the revenue was realised through spectrum fees and operating surplus, which he noted helped to boost the revenue generation drive of the present administration.
Danbatta also said that NCC had continued to collaborate with academics to support the development of the innovative services and life-changing solutions with the use of information and communications technologies to promote indigenous content.
“ The commission has so far released N336.4 million as research grants to the academia and has endowed professional chairs in two Nigerian universities.
“More importantly, we have empowered the Nigerian youth by promoting their ingenuity and innovation in the development of locally-relevant technology solutions.
“ The latest of such was the 2020 NCC Virtual Hackathon, where we gave N9 million in grant to three top promising tech startups for solutions, aimed at addressing the impact of COVID-19 and diseases in thematic areas of health, community, productivity, economy and transportation.’’
Danbatta, however, restated the commitment of the NCC to continue to protect consumers and ensure they have value for their money, and appealed to consumers to report any infraction by mobile network operators to NCC (NANFeatures)
**If used, please credit the writer as well as News Agency of Nigeria