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NCC Concludes Plan for Subsidy Payment to Infrastructure Firms

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  • NCC Concludes Plan for Subsidy Payment to Infrastructure Firms

The Nigerian Communications Commission says it has concluded arrangement for the payment of subsidy to telecommunications operators known as Infrastructure Service Providers.

Executive Vice-Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said this on Friday when he received a delegation from the United States Trade and Development Agency, according to a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday.

Danbatta said that the payment of the subsidy to the infrastructure companies was part of its plans to boost broadband penetration and make it pervasive nationwide.

He said that the subsidy would augment the InfraCos’ capital expenditure.

The licensed six InfraCos are MainOne Limited for Lagos Zone, Raeana Nigeria Limited for South-South Zone, O’dua Infraco Resources Limited for South-West Zone, Fleek Networks Limited for North-West Zone, Brinks Integrated Solutions for North-East Zone, and Zinox Technologies Limited for the South-East Zone. The seventh licence for North Central Zone is being processed.

While providing updates on the commission’s broadband infrastructure development project, Danbatta said the InfraCo scheme had a public-private partnership arrangement with a subsidy component that was being worked out for the licensees to fast-track deployment in their respective zones.

He said, “The licensees are expected to play some roles and NCC too is to play some roles to encourage broadband infrastructure deployment by the licensees. Currently, we have seen the licensees’ CAPEX, we have negotiated the CAPEX and we have arrived at percentage of subsidies based on the negotiation that we have had with them.

“However, the subsidy will be paid to them by the commission upon attainment of reasonable milestones by the licensees in their zones of deployment.

“We are trying to build intra-city and intercity networks that will be able to connect citizens all over the country irrespective of where they are and what their circumstances are. To that extent, we have decided to provide access points in all the 774 Local Government Areas in the country, trying to provide access to close to 190 million Nigerians, a lot of whom live in rural communities.”

USTDA team leader, Thomas Hardy, commended the NCC for achieving and surpassing the country’s broadband penetration target of 30 per cent in 2018.

He said that the agency’s mission was to see areas where it could help to support the digital transformation goals of the country by working with the NCC and other organisations to open up the opportunity for greater trade, greater economic development and closer bilateral cooperation.

The USTDA team led by its Acting Country Director, Mr Thomas Hardy, was received at the instance of the NCC Board members and senior management of the Commission, where Chairman, NCC Board, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, called on USTDA to work with the commission towards addressing deployment challenges being faced by some InfraCo licensees in the South-South geo-political zone due to the swampy nature of the region.

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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Experts to Provide Insights on Tech & Digital Transformation at MSME Dialogue 3.0

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The third edition of MSME Dialogue will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10am (WAT). Experts at the virtual event will provide insights while discussing the theme: Powering MSMEs with Technology and Digital Transformation.

The event, which is organized by MSME Africa, is expected to have owners and managers of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Business owners from different sector in attendance.

MSME Dialogue which holds every quarter, seeks to address, burning and relevant  issues about entrepreneurship and running a small business as well as proffering solutions to those issues.

The event aims to provide the right knowledge and know-how for MSMEs, Entrepreneurs, and Startups to enable them to grow and thrive and features subject matter experts, seasoned entrepreneurs, professionals, and players within the MSME Ecosystem.

The speakers expected at the event are: Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Interswitch Group, Rex Mafiana: CEO, FPG Technologies, Fatma Nasujo, Global Head of Operational Excellence at Sokowatch, Kenya, David Lanre Messan, CEO, FirstFounders, Bisoye Coker, CEO/Co-founder, Kiakia FX. The session will be moderated by Solape Akinpelu: CEO/Founder, HerVest.

According to the convener of the event who is also the founder of MSME Africa, Seye Olurotimi “Every business owner who is serious with their business would agree with me that technology and digital transformation are important factors for business growth and success. We all can’t all run or won Tech startups but we can always drive our businesses and operations with Technology and Digital Tools”

“Tech-driven Businesses are making waves and turning in almost unbelievable results against all odds. Businesses who have embraced technology, automation and digital transformation are enjoying unquantifiable advantages. It is because of this that I am calling on business owners and managers to join us at the 3rd Edition of MSME Dialogue, on Saturday April 24, 2021 at 10am ( WAT), as we bring in experts to provide insights on this theme” Olurotimi added.

MSME Africa is a multi-faceted resource platform for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Africa providing capacity development, news, opportunities, business articles and other resources for MSMEs, entrepreneurs, and startups.

Olurotimi said the platform was poised to build the biggest network and community of MSMEs in Africa in the nearest future.

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Ericsson Launches Automation Hub in Nigeria

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Ericsson announces plans to create an Automation Hub in Nigeria to support operators for improved consumer experience.

Ericsson Automation Hub is an open innovation platform, inspired by lean startup methodology in which the Ericsson team works in close dialog with customers, users and partners to showcase and reach the high potential that network automation allows in configuration, provisioning, assurance and orchestration of network services.

This will enable service providers to gain the ability in their environments to govern, manage and orchestrate hybrid networks holistically and in real time and as a result, offer an enhanced consumer experience.

Fields to be covered include but not limited to 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, Network Slicing and Orchestration, Hologram Calls, Complex Standalone, Business Support System (BSS) and Operations Support System (OSS), Cloud and Core product cases, Automated Acceptance Tests demonstration and enhancements as well as complex charging scenarios for 5G and 4G networks.

Lucky La Riccia, Vice President and Head of Digital Services at Ericsson Middle East and Africa at Ericsson says: “As Industry 4.0 accelerates in Africa, automation in operations is proven to boost customer experiences. Ericsson continues to support the telecom industry players in setting #AfricaInMotion, and with the Ericsson Automation Hub in Nigeria, we will focus on driving business outcomes for our partners in Africa as they aim to leverage digital transformation to turn complexities into opportunities while offering a greater experience and value to consumers.”

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Chevron To Invest In The Offshore Wind Sector

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Chevron’s venture capital arm and Moreld Ocean Wind have agreed to invest in Ocergy Inc.’s development and commercialization of floating offshore wind turbines.

The investment by Chevron Technology Ventures is it’s first in offshore wind. The size of the investments wasn’t disclosed. Floating turbines would be useful in ocean areas that are too deep for fixed turbines.

A senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd, Anthony Logan said: “To my knowledge, this is the first investment by a U.S. oil major in offshore wind”

Logan said, floating wind turbines will become important as the U.S. electrical grid increasingly depends on offshore wind power.

“If you can get into those deeper waters, chances are you can build a system of offshore wind production that isn’t vulnerable to low wind or no-wind events.”

The investment will also fund the development of an environmental monitoring buoy that will gather data and support biodiversity, Ocergy said in a news release Tuesday. The company has previously invested in onshore wind. Moreld is owned by HitecVision, a private equity investor that specializes in European renewable energy.

Chevron’s deal with Ocergy doesn’t mark a strategic pivot to renewable energy, but part of a $300 million-a-year plan to invest in early-stage technologies that may play a future role in the energy transition. The company is unwilling to erode returns by investing aggressively in an unfamiliar business where it doesn’t have a competitive advantage and sees oil and gas as its core products for years to come.

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