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Why Telecom services in 10 states maybe affected

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There are palpable fears that 10 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, may experience a total outage of telecoms services in the next few days, following the shutdown of several base stations by the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service.

telecommunications towers

The affected states, which are sharing borders with Kogi State, are Nasarawa, Benue, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara and Niger States.
The Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), which raised the alarm yesterday in Lagos during a press conference, said as on Friday last week, the number of telecoms sites (base stations) affected was 70, but that as at yesterday, the number of affected sites had risen to 150, and more sites are likely to be affected in the next few days that will lead to total outage of telecoms services in the nine states.

Chairman of ALTON, Mr Gbenga Adebayo, said the total outage would not only affect telecoms services but would also affect banking services like Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and Point of Sales (PoS) that are used for financial transactions since such financial services are delivered on the platform of telecoms infrastructure.

He said the imminent outage would also affect national security issues in the nine states and Abuja, should there be any delay in addressing the issue.
Adebayo, therefore, called on the presidency, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to call Kogi State government to order before its action would cripple telecommunications service offerings in the country.

According to Adebayo, he was surprised at the action of Kogi State Internal Revenue Service because letters had been written from the ONSA instructing all states to desist from shutting down telecoms base stations, but should rather resort to dialogue since telecoms infrastructure is rated as critical national infrastructure that should not be tampered with at the slightest provocation.

Adebayo said, “ALTON wishes to express its concern about the shutting down of telecommunications facilities in Kogi State as a result of disputes arising from unusual taxes and levies demanded by the Kogi State government through its Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, Kogi State Environmental Protection Board, championed by the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KIRS).

“This situation arises as a number of critical telecommunications sites belonging to our members have been closed and sealed up by Kogi State Government in an attempt to increase its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) collection.”
Explaining what led to the shut down, Adebayo said the state action followed an ex-parte court order obtained by the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service over unsubstantiated allegations that telecoms operators were in default of tax payments to the state government, which is not the truth, and access to these critical telecoms sites has been denied.

He explained, “As a result

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TCN vows to deliver 20,000Mw by 2021

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The Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mallam Usman Gur-Mohammed said the company is on track to deliver its 20,000 megawatts (Mw) target by 2021.

Speaking yesterday in Kano, he said President Muhammadu Buhari has done a lot of work to support the company in the areas of transmission and expansion programme, which brought about the transmission network from 5,000 Mw in 2017 to 8,100 Mw it currently is.

According to him, the firm has achieved the level that has never been achieved in the history of the power sector. “As l speak to you now, our frequency control is the best in West Africa. This has never happened; we focus mostly on expansion, not looking at the quality of the power. But now we are not focusing on expansion and the quality of the power,” he said.

He spoke while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after inaugurating the 1×60 MVA 132/33KV transformer at Dan’agundi transmission substation Kano.

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Nigerians react to Atiku’s plan to privatise NNPC

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Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has said that the National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will be privatised if elected as president.

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar

According to Atiku, this is expected to stimulate economic growth. He added that since his vision is to make Nigeria a $1 trillion economy by 2023, he would equally privatise power and other critical national assets.

Addressing the business community with his running mate, Peter Obi, during a conference on “Getting Nigeria’s Economy Working: A Pragmatic Approach,” in Lagos, he argued that NNPC and the power sector must be disbanded through privatisation if they must be efficient.

He assured of his commitment to privatising the two national assets and others “even if they will kill me.”

The former Vice President spoke against the argument that the oil and gas sector might turn out to be the economy’s Achilles’ heel, in view of entrenched corruption and drain on national resources.

“Privatising NNPC would be to our advantage. We are not going to lose anything, but we will rather gain a lot,” he said.

Besides, he added, if former President Olusegun Obasanjo had accepted his suggestion in 1999 and 2007, challenges in the power sector would have been fixed since 2005.

“Nigeria would have been self-dependent on power since then because it does not need a centralised transmission plan, which is very costly, but a decentralised electricity system where each state or region is powered from the source of energy prevalent in the region.

“But the former President preferred the gas turbines, which I noted, was a long-term system, as it is now obvious.”

He lamented the high rate of unemployment in the country, especially among the youth, saying: “Youth unemployment is a time bomb, and very scary,” a situation he said, was responsible for increasing crime and criminal activities in the country.

“The rate of unemployment at 23.1 per cent is the highest ever recorded in the history of Nigeria. The situation is worse for women and young people – with unemployment in the youth population at 33 per cent by 2050, 40 per cent of the world’s poorest people will be in just two countries: Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. We must take action to avert that.”

He insisted that creating jobs would not be a challenge, as he had already employed between 45 to 50,000 people in his private companies.

He said he would invest heavily in information and communication technology to fight corruption, and automate government processes to reduce human interface with money, while also instituting greater transparency and efficiency in governance.

Corroborating his views, Obi noted that there is nowhere else in the world where fighting corruption is an economic policy.

“The country is more corrupt today than it was yesterday. Once the principal is not corrupt, you would have reduced corruption by at least 70 per cent. If governance becomes automated, all leakages in ministries, departments, agencies (MDAs) will be eliminated,” he stated.

On restructuring, Atiku said he was supporting the move to ensure a reduction in the size of government, insisting, “I will ensure that I hand over some responsibilities to other components of government. That is why I am impatient to see that the country is restructured.”

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Science & Technology

Apple releases iPhone battery smart case, last up to 39 hours

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Apple extends iPhone battery life up to 39 hours with the smart case

 

The battery Apple ships inside each new iPhone is big enough to just about get you through the day under normal usage conditions. For most people, that’s good enough, but you need access to a charger every night.

If you require longer battery life there are many unofficial options, but now there’s also an official one in the form of a Smart Battery Case.

As MacRumors reports, Apple just rolled out a new battery case for the iPhone XS$999.99 at Verizon Wireless, XS Max, and the iPhone XR$749.00 at Apple Store.

The case will cost you $129 regardless of the model, with white and black color options available. Inside the case is a soft microfiber lining to protect your phone, while the silicon exterior is described as a “silky, soft-touch finish.”

Placing your iPhone inside the case is easy thanks to a soft elastomer hinge.

How much the case extends battery life depends on which iPhone you own. iPhone XS owners get up to 33 hours talk time, 25 hours video playback, and 21 hours internet use.

iPhone XS Max owners will enjoy 37 hours talk, 25 hours video, and 20 hours internet, but it’s iPhone XR owners who get the biggest boost from the case.

Your XR will get 39 hours talk time, 27 hours of video, and 22 hours of internet.

As this is an official case, Apple ensured it is compatible with Qi-certified chargers as well as being charged faster if a USB-PD compatible charger is used.

All Lightning accessories are supported and the intelligent battery status displayed on your iPhone will recognize and take into account the charge left in the case automatically.

All three versions of the Smart Battery Case are available to order from Apple’s online store with delivery in one business day. Apple’s retail stores should also be receiving stock.

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Science & Technology

NCC to intervene in 9mobile crisis

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The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said it has taken steps to address the crisis rocking 9mobile in the interest of subscribers, investors and the Nigerian economy. He said the NCC would do everything possible to ensure that the issue is resolved amicably.

Danbatta explained that although the issue between Teleology Holdings and Teleology Nigeria was yet to reach the NCC for mediation, he, however, said proactive steps had been taken by the Commission, in line with its regulatory mandate to avert destabilisation of the telecoms industry.

Danbatta said the commission had already made some moves to address the situation in the interest of 9mobile subscribers and the telecoms industry.

“The bone of contention is between Teleology Holdings Limited and Teleology Nigeria, over some disagreements, but as a regulator that is both customer and investor-centric, we have set up some measures to resolve the issue between the two parties.

“We need stability in the telecoms industry and we will do everything possible to protect the interest of both the 9mobile subscribers and its investors and ensure there is no disruption of services,” Danbatta said.

Industry stakeholders who are keenly following the development at 9mobile advised NCC not to allow Teleology Holdings to pull out of the deal.

“Teleology must not be allowed to truncate the 9mobile transition deal. It must complete what it started and deliver on the promises he made to Nigerians when it rolled out its business model on how to manage 9mobile and bring it back to profitability within few years of taking over,” an industry expert who did not want his name on print said.

Teleology Holdings Limited, in a statement, had alleged that Teleology Nigeria Limited had declined to execute a management services contract with the former, which led to its pulling out of the deal last week. According to the statement, “Such a management contract is the typical arrangement with which multinationals operate in Nigeria and is the template with which EMTS engaged Etisalat prior to its (Etisalat) departure.

“It is the same template with which Bharti Airtel is engaged with its local joint venture, Airtel Nigeria and with which MTN Group of South Africa is engaged with its local joint venture, MTN Nigeria.

“It is on the basis of such management agreements that such multinationals are legally able to impact on the operations of the local operator including sourcing of relevant expertise and financing as well as paying dividends to offshore shareholders.”

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