- 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.
OPEC Expects Increase In Global Oil Demand Raises Members’ Forecast on Crude Supply
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) yesterday lifted its forecast on its members’ crude this year by over 200,000 bpd and now expects demand for its own crude to average 27.65mn bpd in 2021.
This is almost 5.2mn bpd higher than last year and around 2.7mn b/d higher than an earlier estimate of the group’s April production.
According to the highlights of the organisation’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), OPEC crude is projected to rise from 26.48 million bpd in the second quarter to 28.7 million bpd in the third and 29.54 million bpd in the fourth quarter of the year.
The report also indicated a fall in Nigeria’s crude production from 1.477 bpd in February to 1.473, a difference of just about 4,000 bpd before rising again in April to 1.548 million bpd, to add 75,000 bpd last month.
OPEC stated that its upward revision of members’ crude was underpinned by a downgrade in the group’s forecast for non-OPEC supply, which it now expects to grow by 700,000 bpd to 63.6mn b/d against last month’s report’s projection of a 930,000 bpd rise to 63.83mn bpd.
The oil cartel projected that US crude output would drop by 280,000 bpd this year, compared with its previous forecast for a 70,000 bpd decline.
On the demand side, OPEC kept its overall forecast unchanged from last month’s MOMR, stressing that it expects global oil demand to grow by 5.95 million bpd to 96.46 million bpd this year, partly reversing last year’s 9.48mn bpd drop.
Spot crude prices fell in April for the first time in six months, with North Sea Dated and WTI easing month-on-month by 1.7 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
On the global economic projections, the cartel said stimulus measures in the US and accelerating recovery in Asian economies might continue supporting the global economic growth forecast for 2021, now revised up by 0.1 percent to reach 5.5 percent year-on-year.
This comes after a 3.5 percent year-on-year contraction estimated for the global economy in 2020.
However, global economic growth for 2021 remains clouded by uncertainties including, but not limited to the spread of COVID-19 variants and the speed of the global vaccine rollout, OPEC stated.
“World oil demand is assumed to have dropped by 9.5 mb/d in 2020, unchanged from last month’s assessment, now estimated to have reached 90.5 mb/d for the year. For 2021, world oil demand is expected to increase by 6.0 mb/d, unchanged from last month’s estimate, to average 96.5 mb/d,” it said.
The report listed the main drivers for supply growth in 2021 to be Canada, Brazil, China, and Norway, while US liquid supply is expected to decline by 0.1 mb/d year-on-year.
Oil Rises Over Concerns of Fuel Shortages
Oil prices rose on Tuesday, as lingering fears of gasoline shortages due to the outage at the largest U.S. fuel pipeline system after a cyber attack brought futures back from an early drop of more than 1%.
Benchmark gasoline futures prices rose 1 cent to $2.14 a gallon.
On Monday, Colonial Pipeline, which transports more than 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, said it was working to restore much of its operations by the end of the week.
“Right now there’s a generalized anxiety premium being built into prices because of Colonial and it’s keeping a floor under the market,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.
Fuel supply disruption has driven gasoline prices at the pump to multi-year highs and demand has spiked in some areas served by the pipeline as motorists fill their tanks.
Traders booked at least four tankers to store refined oil products off the U.S. Gulf Coast refining hub after a cyber attack that knocked out the pipeline, shipping data showed on Tuesday.
North Carolina, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation issued waivers allowing fuel distributors and truck drivers to take steps to try to prevent gasoline shortages.
OPEC on Tuesday raised its forecast for demand for its crude by 200,000 bpd and stuck to its prediction of a strong recovery in global oil demand this year as growth in China and the United States counters the coronavirus crisis in India.
Meanwhile, the rapid spread of infections in India has increased calls to lock down the world’s second-most populous country and the third-largest oil importer and consumer.
India’s top state oil refiners have already started reducing runs and crude imports as the new coronavirus cuts fuel consumption, company officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
On the bullish side for crude, analysts are expecting data to show U.S. inventories fell by about 2.3 million barrels in the week to May 7 after a drop of 8 million barrels the previous week, a Reuters poll showed.
Gasoline stocks are expected to have fallen by about 400,000 barrels, analysts estimated ahead of reports from the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday and the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.
SEC To Ban Unregistered CMOs From Operating By Month End
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it will stop operations of Capital Market Operators (CMOs) that are yet to renew their registration on May 31, 2021.
This was contained in a circular signed by the management of SEC in Abuja on Monday.
On March 23, SEC had informed the general public and CMOs on the reintroduction of the periodic renewal of registration by operators.
The commission noted that the reintroduction of the registration renewal was due to the need to have a reliable data bank of all the CMOs registered and active in the country’s capital market.
“To provide updated information on operators in the Nigerian Capital Market for reference and other official purposes by local and foreign investors, other regulatory agencies and the general public, to increasingly reduce incidences of unethical practices by CMOs such as may affect investors’ confidence and impact negatively on the Nigerian Capital Market and to strengthen supervision and monitoring of CMOs by the Commission,” SEC explained.
According to the circular, the commission said CMOs yet to renew their registration at the expiration of late filing on May 31, would not be eligible to operate in the capital market.
It explained that CMOs were required to have completed the renewal process on or before April 30, however, the commission said late filing for renewal of registration would only be entertained from May 1 to May 31.
SEC also said that asides from barring the CMOs who failed to comply accordingly, their names would be published on its website and national dailies.
It added that names of eligible CMOs would be communicated to the relevant securities exchanges and trade associations.
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