- Nigeria Needs 120,000km of Fibre for Efficient Broadband
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has disclosed that Nigeria needs 120,00 kilometers of optic fibres for her to achieve efficiency in broadband penetration.
He disclosed this at his inaugural lecture titled, “Diversifying the Economy through the Telecommunications Sector.’
The lecture was the 23rd professorial lecture at the Bayero University Kano.
According to the EVC, “We are doing it in a small way courtesy of the universal service provision funds. We are like plugging the gaps at about the rate of 10% per year which means it will take us about 20 years to plug all the gaps.
“This way of doing it is not very effective and we need to fast track this measures that we have put in place. The only way to do it is to resort to technological solutions dedicated to rural areas that will plug the gaps minimum two to three years.
“We have such technology in mind as I talk to you. We have deployed one solution and it’s very effective; it has plugged a number of gaps. We hope that we will be able to replicate this strategy like I said to ensure we plug the gaps in the next two to three years.”
Danbatta also expressed the hoped that citizens in the rural areas will be empower in the digital financial inclusion of the federal government.
The NCC boss continued: “We have licenses we will like to do, it about trillions; the infraco which you are very much aware is out. We divided the country into seven zones. We hope we will be able to license the remaining zones; so far four are remaining to be licensed.
“We hope we can license more fibre optics licenses. These licenses will provide metric fibre networks within cities as the name of the license denotes and we hope; that we will be able to also license more distance entities’
He added that through the three strategies which are within the mandate of the NCC, it could be able to double the amount of fibre in the country, saying it is still work in progress.
Stressing the need to diversify the economy and reducing over dependent on oil and gas, the NCC vice chairman said the spectrum is like crude oil and that it is what drives telecommunication.
He also stated that the FG is making a lot of money from the sale of spectrum licenses.
He added: “The main focus is diversifying the economy and reducing our over dependence on oil and gas. Spectrum is like crude oil, it is what drives telecommunications.
“It is a natural resource that the FG is making a lot of money from. If you build an efficient broadband network; every other thing will follow.”
The Vice Chancellor of BUK, Prof. Muhammad Yahuza Bello, thanked the NCC EVC for his lecture, saying, it was well timed and advised other professors who are yet to give their inaugural lecture on their field of study to get in touch with the inaugural lecture committee as the institution is willing and able to accommodate them within the shortest times, if it means having two inaugural lectures in a week.
“Inaugural lecture by Professors is a global tradition and normally the person who is giving the lecture gives the lecture in his or her area of specialisation”, the VC stated.
Oil Edges Higher on U.S., Europe Demand Hopes
Oil prices rose on Friday on hopes of a fuel demand recovery in the United States and Europe as economic growth picks up and lockdowns ease, but worries about India’s raging second wave of COVID-19 cases kept a lid on gains.
Brent crude futures rose 17 cents, or 0.3%, to $65.57 a barrel, after climbing 8 cents on Thursday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures jumped 31 cents, or 0.5%, to $61.73 a barrel, also after an 8 cent gain on Thursday.
“The market shrugged off last week’s (U.S. oil) inventory build, instead comforted by the continued improvement in gasoline demand,” ANZ analysts said in a note.
U.S. refiner Valero said gasoline and diesel demand were back to 93% and 100% of the levels they were at before the pandemic, with chief commercial officer Gary Simmons saying the company is “pretty bullish on gasoline going forward”.
Improving conditions in Europe also buoyed sentiment. France said schools would reopen on Monday and domestic travel curbs in place since early April restricting people to within 10 km (6 miles) of their homes would end on May 3.
“With the COVID headline shockers from India and Japan fading to the back burner and so far no related risk of mutations spilling back into the U.S. and Europe, (the) buy-in dip has remained the order of the day,” said Axi’s chief market strategist Stephen Innes.
Nevertheless, both benchmark crude contracts are headed for a weekly loss of nearly 2% on concerns about sliding fuel demand in India, the world’s third largest oil importer, where daily infections and deaths from COVID-19 hit new records this week.
Several countries, including Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates, have barred or cut flights from India.
Global Oil Drops as Coronavirus Infections Rises in India and Other Nations
Oil prices declined on Monday during the Asian trading session amid rising concerns that the surge in coronavirus in India and other nations could force regulators to enforce stronger measures at curbing its spread and eventually affect economic activity and drag on demand for commodities like crude oil.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined by 22 cents or 0.33 percent to $66.55 per barrel at 8:19 am Nigerian time on Monday, following a 6 percent surge last week.
The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) declined by 18 cents or 0.29 percent to $62.95 per barrel, after it gained 6.4 percent last week.
The decline was after India reported 261,500 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking the country’s total cases to almost 14.8 million, second to only the United States that has reported over 31 million coronavirus infections.
“With … a resurgence of virus cases in India and Japan, topside ambitions continue to run into walls of profit-taking,” said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at Axi.
Businesses in Japan believed the world’s third-largest economy will experience a fourth round of coronavirus infections, with many bracing for an additional slow down in economic activity.
While Japan has had fewer COVID-19 cases when compared with other major economies, concerns about a new wave of infections are fast rising, according to responses in Reuters poll.
On Tuesday, April 20, 2020, Hong Kong will suspend all from India, Pakistan and the Philippines because of imported coronavirus infections, authorities stated in a statement released on Sunday.
India’s COVID-19 death rose by a record 1,501 to hit 177,150.
Global Markets Near Record Peaks and Will Get Stronger: deVere CEO
As the FTSE 100 hits 7,000 points for the first time since the Covid pandemic, global stock markets are poised to “get even stronger”, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The observation from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as London’s index jumped over the important threshold in early trading in London, gaining over 0.5% to 7024 points.
Mr Green notes: “London’s blue-chip index is up 40% since the worst lows of the pandemic.
“This landmark moment represents the wider optimistic sentiment gripping global markets which are near record peaks.
“We can expect global stock markets to get even stronger as investors look to seize the opportunities from economies reopening.
“They are looking towards economies rebounding in a post-pandemic era due to the monetary and fiscal stimulus, pent-up cash and demand, and strong corporate earnings.
“The current ultra-low interest rate environment and the under-performance of bonds will also act as a catalyst for stock markets.”
However, the CEO’s bullish comments also come with a warning.
“I would urge investors to proceed with caution as there are some headwinds on the horizon, including relations between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, which could be coming to a tipping point in coming weeks.
“As such, in order to capitalise on the opportunities and mitigate risks, investors must ensure proper portfolio diversification.”
Mr Green concludes: “A variety of factors are going to drive global stock markets. Investors will not want to miss out and should work with a good fund manager to judiciously top-up their portfolios.”
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