- Permit: MTN Gets N221m Waiver From Kano
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State waived the permit fee of N221m for the deploy ment of fibre infrastructure in the state by MTN Nigeria.
Our correspondent gathered that officials of the Kano State Urban Planning and Development Authority had last week arrested some employees of Huawei Technology Company, working on MTN’s infrastructure expansion in the state, because the telecom firm had not paid the N221m permit fee.
The development put a stop to the project and the telecommunications company reportedly asked the Nigerian Communications Commission to intervene in the matter.
According to reliable sources, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, paid an unscheduled visit to the governor.
During the meeting with Ganduje on Saturday, Danbatta was said to have convinced him about the economic advantages that the state stood to gain from the deployment of more telecommunications infrastructure, as well as the potential quality of service concern that millions of service subscribers would face if the work was further delayed.
The NCC boss reportedly said, “The situation could have adverse effects on quality of service experience among millions of service subscribers in the state and beyond if it is not swiftly resolved.
“Strategic collaboration and partnership with other relevant agencies and stakeholders is a key component of the eight-point agenda that the NCC unveiled last year.”
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kano State Urban Planning and Development Authority, Bashir Adamu, confirmed the waiver of the permit fee, saying that the agency had written to MTN Nigeria to that effect.
“The waiver of permit fee was granted in respect of two federal roads, the Zaria and Maiduguri roads in the state,” Adamu stated.
It will be recalled that a similar intervention by the NCC in Ogun State last year resulted in the unsealing of 47 base stations, while the governor, Ibikunle Amosun, also reduced the ground rent fees owed by IHS Towers from N370m to N120m.
Migration to IPv6 Will Enhance Digital Economy, Says Pantami
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, has stressed the need for Nigerians to migrate from the use of Internet Protocol version four (IPv4) address system to Internet Protocol version six (IPv6), in order to diversify Nigeria’s economy and prepare it for a digital economy transformation.
The Minister who spoke as a special guest of honour at a recent webinar on the state of IPv6 deployment in Nigeria, organised by the IPv6 Council Nigeria, in collaboration with the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), said there was need for migration from IPv4 to IPv6, saying IPv4 was fast depleting in numbers, while the population of internet users in Nigeria is on the rise.
Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are assigned numbers on the internet, which are part of the underlying infrastructure of the internet. The former IP version four, which Nigerians are connected to, is fast depleting and the world is fast migrating to a newer version known as version six (IPv6).
The Minister who was represented by the Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Muhammed Abubakar, said the conference on IPv6 came at a right time, when the federal government was focusing on economic diversification to drive the country’s national digital economy policy for a digital Nigeria and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025).
“IPv6 is an important ingredient of our National Digital Economy Policy and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan.
“The current Internet Protocol that Nigeria has, which is driving the use of internet, is the IPv4, which has a combined capacity of about four billion addresses, and it is already reaching its capacity limit, which calls for the need to migrate to IPv6, with larger capacities.
“The increase in the adoption rate of IPv6 will require the creation of policies and regulatory instrument that will encourage and drive its adoption.
“So the federal government is putting regulatory instrument in place in line with the developmental regulation pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy. This will serve as a guide for both the public and private sectors to drive adoption of IPv6,” Pantami said.
One of the keynote speakers, CEO, MainOne Broadband Company, Ms. Funke Opeke, said Nigeria’s presence on the internet had been low even in the days of IPv4, adding that it calls for growth and increased access to the internet, being a critical foundation of Nigeria’s broadband plan.
“One of the key ways to achieve Nigeria’s broadband target is to leverage IPv6. It is not possible to connect Nigeria ‘s large population of over 206 million people without IPv6 adoption. With IPv6, we can connect people, networks and devices.,” Opeke said.
President of ATCON, Ikechukwu Nnamani, in his welcome speech, said with the projection that by 2030, more than125 billion devices would be connected using Internet of Things (IoTs), which would put about 15 connected devices into the hands of each consumer, all the devices would therefore need a unique IP address to function efficiently.
“The world has run out of IPV4, the initial IP addressing system. AFRINIC the only regional body in Africa that still has some IPV4 for allocation, recently indicated it has less than 1.8 million IPV4 available. The migration to IPV6 is therefore not optional at this point.
“ATCON being a very proactive Association saw the need to train network engineers in Nigeria in order to be able to migrate from IPV4 to IPV6 several years ago and this led ATCON hosting international training on IPv6 with the support of some of its members. This training was done in conjunction with AFRINIC,” Nnamani said.
Specta Records N100bn Consumer Lending Milestone
Online instant lending platform, Specta and PaywithSpecta, a digital credit solution introduced by Sterling Bank has disclosed that it has disbursed over N100 billion in digital loans and about N5 billion digital credits, respectively.
Both solutions make loans and digital credits available in less than five minutes to banked Nigerians, irrespective of their bank, without paperwork and collateral.
But above all, they are also the best in the segment for providing the best lending rates and interest free funding up to 90 days for online and offline purchases.
Divisional Head, Retail and Consumer Banking at Sterling Bank, Mr. Shina Atilola, in a statement made available to the press explained: “Specta has disbursed about N100 billion in digital loans in three years. It is an important milestone worth celebrating by a platform that revolutionised and opened digital lending space in Nigeria.
“PaywithSpecta, the digital credit solution extension of Specta has also exceeded expectations. In a few months, it has provided over N5 billion in digital credits to Nigerians.
“We are proud to be at the forefront of deploying innovative solutions that meet the needs of everyday Nigerians and small businesses. Our profound gratitude to our esteemed retail customers and business owners for their loyalty that has made Specta and PaywithSpecta the country’s undisputed market leaders in digital lending and credit solution segments.”
Specta, an instant lending platform that offers up to five million naira consumer loans in five minutes, was unveiled in 2018 by Sterling Bank Plc.
The lending platform uses proprietary data and analytics to process and disburse consumer loans to borrowers who belong to pre-approved communities in less than five minutes without paperwork and collateral.
The types of loans offered include personal, payday, wedding finance, rent, education, and medical finance loans, among others, to salary earners and business owners.
Following the success of Specta, Sterling Bank recently creed another variant of it known as PaywithSpecta to enable customers to pay for goods in instalments. At the same time, Merchants are credited instantly, thereby helping businesses to increase sales.
PaywithSpecta offers digital credit limits to customers to purchase items in-store at Merchant locations or Merchant online platforms. It also allows Merchants to access credit for their business activities.
Konga Health Debuts June 2021
Konga Health, a highly anticipated digital health care distribution subsidiary of Nigeria’s leading e-Commerce giant, Konga is set to go live by June 2021.
The tech-driven health care company is expected to expand access to quality Medicare for millions and revolutionize the health care value chain in Nigeria.
Feelers from a reliable source indicate that the management of Konga has secured all pending statutory approvals for the formal launch of the company. Further, the source disclosed that the management of Konga has been testing its robust technology, nationwide logistics; as well as its payment platforms in partnership with local and international players in the sector; ahead of the rollout in order to achieve a seamless experience from launch.
Konga Health will expectedly provide huge employment opportunities for medical professionals and other Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the expected debut of Konga Health has also been confirmed by a confidential source at Konga.
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, revealed that the startup will radically improve the speed at which quality drugs are delivered nationwide to pharmacies, hospitals and other health services providers; while also boosting structured last mile delivery to patients and other end-users across Nigeria.
In addition, he disclosed that Konga Health will power an unprecedented level of digital health democracy in Nigeria; adding that the company may possibly launch a globally rated blood bank across the six geo-political regions in Nigeria; using cloud-based digital sensors to monitor secure cold rooms in its facilities.
‘‘I can assure you that it is an ambitious project which serious local and international donor agencies; government at all levels, the public sector and corporate organizations will leverage to deliver quality health programs; backed by reliable data at the least cost to the remotest villages,’’ the source stated.
Konga Health was initially due for launch in September 2019.
However, the management of Konga had pushed back the rollout due to delays encountered with approvals from statutory bodies.
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