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Police Task Communities on Phone Infrastructure

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  • Police Task Communities on Phone Infrastructure

Against the backdrop of increasing attacks on telecommunications infrastructure, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has called on Nigerians to protect those in their locality.

The NPF urged Nigerians to see these telephony infrastructures as a communal assests, stressing that the people should be supplying them with needed information whenever they discover anything unusual.

In Nigeria, cases of vandalism, especially on telecommunications infrastructures has remained a major challenge to operators, hindering further roll out of services in the country.

This is coming on the heels of discovery made by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which discovered about 200 new communities in the country that are yet to get telephony services.

Speaking at a sensitisation workshop organised by NCC for law enforcement agencies on telecommunications issues in the country, in Lagos, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, said that the police would do everything possible to protect lives and properties.

Idris represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of ICT, Folusho Adebanjo, called on the people to see telecommunications infrastructure within their localities as communal assets.

“The law enforcement officers must work with the community people because as they are responsible in performing their duties, the community people must see telecommunications infrastructure as communal assets and report suspected criminal activities to the police,” he said.

Also speaking, the immediate past IGP, Solomon Arase, advocated the need for a multi-layer collaboration among the NCC, Service Providers, Federal; State and Local Government, and policing agencies; evolution of national policy and ICT policy; budgetary support for strategic implementation plan; evolution of E-Corps; evolution of technology literate strategic police managers and implementation of ethical standards.

In his opening address, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Dambatta, said provisions have been made in its 2017 budget to extend telecommunications services to additional 40 million people across the country.

Dambatta, represented by the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo, said that the commission had conducted a survey, which identified about 200 communities nationwide with access gap.

He said that through the Universal Service Provision Fund (ISPF) being managed by a department under NCC, 40 million people in these areas would be covered in 2017.

According to him, the empirical studies have shown correlation between usage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and social development.

He said that access to telecommunications services had caused direct and indirect rise in employment generation across the sectors of the economy.

“As you are aware, the growth witnessed in the telecommunications sector in the last 15 years has been phenomenalby all standards.

“From less than half a million lines on the eve of our democratic revival, today, active connected telephone lines are about 150 million, which has come with a contributing increase in tele-density.“Development in other sectors of the economy had been shaped positively and measurably by the potent realities in the telecommunications sectors.

“We look forward to seeing greater development in the sector, becausewe are irrevocably committed to full implementation of the National Broadband Plan,” he said.

He said that NCC was determined to move fast in its mandate of harnessing the potential of the ICT sector to boost national economy.

Dambatta said that the industry’s contribution to the national Gross Domestic Products (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 the 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 mandate before the NCC in ensuring that the telecommunications sector contributed more to the economy triggered the zeal to perform and the need to halt obstacles to the realisation of its objectives.

The EVC said that the industry had witnessed rise in the theft of telecommunications infrastructure and vandalism of installed facilitiesand equipment.Dambatta added that the industry had witnessed usage of preregistered Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) cards, all of which were infractions of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003and other extant regulations governing the industry.

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

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Oil Slips With Energy Prices in Europe Halts Record Rally

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Crude Oil - Investors King

Oil dipped toward $72 a barrel in New York after prices of energy commodities in Europe halted a record-breaking run.

West Texas Intermediate futures fell 0.6%, having reached the highest intraday level since early August on Wednesday. A rally in European gas and power prices to unprecedented levels was set to end as industries were starting to curb consumption. The surge in energy rates could temporarily boost diesel demand by as much as 2 million barrels a day as consumers switch fuels, according to Citigroup Inc.

Still, the bullish signals for oil are continuing to increase. U.S. crude inventories dropped by more than 6 million barrels last week to a two-year low, according to government figures, as coronavirus vaccination programs permit economies to reopen. Chevron Corp. Chief Executive Officer Mike Wirth warned that the world is facing high energy prices for the foreseeable future.

The investor optimism is showing up in key oil time spreads widening. Trading of bullish Brent options also surged to a two-month high on Wednesday.

Prices have been pushed higher in recent days “by supply outages combined with expectations of switching from gas to oil in the power sector,” said Helge Andre Martinsen, a senior oil market analyst at DNB Bank ASA. “We still believe in softer prices toward year-end and early next year as curtailed production returns and OPEC+ continues to increase production.”

Strong prices for gas, liquefied natural gas and oil are expected to last “for a while” as producers resist the urge to drill again, Chevron’s Wirth told Bloomberg News. Norway’s Equinor ASA said Thursday it also expects European gas prices to remain high over winter.

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Energy

Fuel Scarcity: Petrol Sells N220 Per Litre in Nsukka

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Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise called petrol, now sells for between N200 and N220 per liter at the independent marketers’ service stations in Nsukka, Enugu State.

The News Agency of Nigeria is reporting the hike in the price against the official pump price of N162 per liter.

It said it started about a fortnight ago due to the scarcity of the commodity in the town and its environs.

Some residents of the town expressed deep worry over the development in separate interviews with NAN on Wednesday.

A civil servant, Stephen Ozioko, said the situation had further compounded the economic difficulties in the area.

Ozioko said many private car owners had been compelled to park their vehicles at home and move around in public transport.

He said: “Since the scarcity started, I decided to park my car and take public transport to the office and back home. N220 per liter is exorbitant and I cannot afford it considering my salary as a civil servant. I shall continue to use public transport until the situation returns to normal.”

A building material dealer, Timothy Ngwu, said the development had also led to an increase in transport fare in the area.

Ngwu said: “Some people now trek from Nsukka Old Park to Odenigbo Roundabout because of the 100 percent hike in fares from N50 to N100 by tricycle.

“Before now, transport fare from Nsukka to Enugu was N500, but transporters now charge between N800 and N1000.”

Also, a commuter bus driver, Victor Ogbonna, described the scarcity and hike in the price of petrol as “unfortunate and an ugly development”.

Ogbonna added: “Today, only a few filling stations are selling the commodity in Nsukka town, while others are shut.”

He alleged that some filling stations, which claimed to be out-of-stock, were selling to black marketers at night.

He said: “This is why black marketers have sprung up everywhere in the town, selling the commodity for about N300 per liter.”

NAN reports that virtually all the major marketers in the area have stopped the sale of petrol, claiming to be out-of-stock.

The people called on the government to urgently intervene in order to bring the situation under control and also put an end to its harsh economic effects on the messes.

NAN.

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Energy

DPR Targets N3.2T Revenue by Year-End

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Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR)-Investors king

Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) will hit the N3.2 trillion revenue target by December 2021, according to its Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sarki Auwalu.

Auwalu made the disclosure when he led a delegation of the DPR management team to the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Mr Bello Gusau, in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said that 70 percent of the revenue projection had already been met. “Last year, we exceed our revenue budget. We were given N1.5 trillion but we were able to generate N2.7trillion.

“This year, our revenue budget was N3.2 trillion. By the end of August 2021, we have generated up to 70 per cent.

“So, we with September, October, November and December, it is only the 30 per cent that we will work over,’’ he said

He noted that the government took advantage of fiscal terms within the old and new legislation, thereby creating a level of increased signature bonuses.

“We reorganise the work programme that is normally being done in the DPR to key into the new operational structure as we see it in the bill, now an act.

“That programme is being handled by the planning and strategic business unit as against what we use to have because the entire work programme is supposed to show not only technical but also commercial and viability of oil fields and to guarantee the return on investment for investors.

“We have also created an economic value and benchmarking unit to key into the new fiscal provisions of the PIA,’’ he said.

Commenting on capacity, Auwalu said the country stands at the advantage of exporting skills to emerging oil and gas countries across Africa with proper implementation of the newly passed Petroleum Industry Act.

This, he said, the DPR was ready to partner with the Fund to continue to build capacity in the oil and gas sector

He noted that the Federal Government was determined to create leeway that would encourage investors and drastically improve the nation’s petroleum industry.

He further noted that no fewer than 300 legal battles in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, which had been stalled for the past 20 years in courts, had been resolved through alternative dispute resolution.

According to Auwalu, the DPR is strategising well to ensure effective implementation of the PIA.

Responding, Gusau commended the DPR for enabling the industry and enhancing business activities in the oil and gas sector.

He said that DPR remained the head of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria adding that the Fund was grateful to benefit from the wealth of ideas from DPR.

“The last time we visited, we had a good discussion and issues raised are being implemented like tracking the inflow of funds in signature bonus accounts.

“We extended the meeting and involved ministry of Finance, Accountant General office and even the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Sitting at field development plans and attending significant meetings, helped us to know where and what the industry is trying to do and it also helps to inform our decisions in training and capacity plans,’’ he said

He urged the DPR to continue on its effort to ensure an efficient and productive petroleum industry in Nigeria

He assured collaboration with all as the head of the implementation committee of the Petroleum Industry Act. (NAN)

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