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FG Calls for Policy Framework to Boost Internet Access

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Nigeria Internet Users
  • FG Calls for Policy Framework to Boost Internet Access

The federal government, through the Federal Ministry of Communications has called for a policy framework that will enhance access to the internet for all citizens.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications, Mr. Musa Istifanus, who made the call during the 2019 Nigeria DigitalSense forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4d) and Nigeria IPv6 roundtable in Lagos recently, said citizens must not be denied access to the internet because of its many benefits.

The Permanent Secretary, who was represented by the Director, e-Government at the ministry, Olufemi Olufeko, said there was need for an ideal policy framework that would enhance internet access for all citizens.

Addressing the theme, ”Policy Framework for Connecting Nigerians for Improved Internet Governance”, Istifanus said: “Access to ICTs, including Internet, will enable and accelerate development in key areas of life. He said internet should be for everyone, everywhere, and made accessible to all without any restrictions. This is evident in the recent adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Therefore there is need for an ideal policy framework which provides for an enabling rather than a restrictive environment to foster dynamic, efficient and flexible interconnection to networks.

“The framework should encompass three broad areas expansion of Infrastructure, skills development and entrepreneurship, and open up governance structures around the internet to a multi-stakeholder approach.”

He said the policy should focus on expansion in both access infrastructure and content infrastructure, that would seek to promote investment in network and content; promote transparent and affordable licensing procedures; enhance fair price on Right of way; flexible technology; and ensure policies are technology neutral, and flexible enough to encourage new ways of delivering access.

“We need policy principles, skills development and entrepreneurship policy that will focus on human capacity both to run networks and also develop content and service to promote a strong local ecosystem of infrastructure, content and services,” Istifanus said.

He explained that the internet would only be fully adopted, and its benefits universally shared, when there is a compelling local content promotion on all locally developed products.

He equally spoke on the need to develop human capacity and open up governance structure around the internet through a multi-stakeholder approach.

He, however, said government has made efforts to deepen broadband penetration across the country, but frowned at countries who still put restriction to Internet access.

According to him, Nigeria set a five-year National Broadband Plan 2013-2018 with target of a minimum 30 per cent broadband penetration but surpassed its target to achieve 31.48 per cent in December 2018 and has currently reached 33 per cent broadband penetration.

Executive Director, DigitalSense African Media, organiser of the forum, Mrs. Nkem Nweke, said the event was created 10 years ago for Nigerian internet stakeholders to converge annually to raise and address germane issues concerning the ICT sector.

According to her, building an inclusive digital economy and society require development of human and institutional capacities.

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.

Economy

Fall in Economic Activities in Nigeria Created N485.51 Billion Fiscal Deficit in January -CBN

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Dollar thrive in Nigeria

The drop in economic activities in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria led to a N485.51 billion fiscal deficit in January, according to the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

In the monthly economic report released on Friday by the apex bank, the weak revenue performance in January 2021 was due to the decline in non-oil receipts following the lingering negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on business activities and the resultant shortfall in tax revenues.

In part, the report read, “Federally collected revenue in January 2021 was N807.54bn.

“This was 4.6 per cent below the provisional budget benchmark and 12.8 per cent lower than the collection in the corresponding period of 2020.

“Oil and non-oil revenue constituted 45.4 per cent and 54.6 per cent of the total collection respectively. The modest rebound in crude oil prices in the preceding three months enhanced the contribution of oil revenue to total revenue, relative to the budget benchmark.

“Non-oil revenue sources underperformed, owing to the shortfalls in collections from VAT, corporate tax, and FGN independent revenue sources.

“Retained revenue of the Federal Government of Nigeria was lower-than-trend due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“At N285.26bn, FGN’s retained revenue fell short of its programmed benchmark and collections in January 2020, by 41.3 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively.

“In contrast, the provisional aggregate expenditure of the FGN rose from N717.6bn in December 2020 to N770.77bn in the reporting period, but remained 14.4 per cent below the monthly target of N900.88bn.

“Fiscal operations of the FGN in January 2021 resulted in a tentative overall deficit of N485.51bn.”

The report noted that Nigeria’s total public debt stood at N28.03 trillion as of the end-September 2020, with domestic and external debts accounting for 56.5 percent and 43.5 percent, respectively.

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Economy

NNPC Supplies 1.44 Billion Litres of Petrol in January 2021

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Petrol Importation - investorsking.com

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) supplied a total of 1.44 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol in January 2021.

The corporation disclosed in its latest Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) for the month of January.

NNPC said the 1.44 billion litres translate to 46.30 million litres per day.

Also, a total of 223.55Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of natural gas was produced in the month of January 2021, translating to an average daily production of 7,220.22 Million Standard Cubic Feet per Day (mmscfd).

The 223.55BCF gas production figure also represents a 4.79% increase over output in December 2020.

Also, the daily average natural gas supply to gas power plants increased by 2.38 percent to 836mmscfd, equivalent to power generation of 3,415MW.

For the period of January 2020 to January 2021, a total of 2,973.01BCF of gas was produced representing an average daily production of 7,585.78 mmscfd during the period.

Period-to-date Production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contributed about 65.20%, 19.97 percent and 14.83 percent respectively to the total national gas production.

Out of the total gas output in January 2021, a total of 149.24BCF of gas was commercialized consisting of 44.29BCF and 104.95BCF for the domestic and export markets respectively.

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Economy

NNPC Says Pipeline Vandalism Decrease by 37.21 Percent in January 2021

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Gas-Pipeline

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said vandalisation of pipelines across the country reduced by 37.21 percent in the month of January 2021.

This was disclosed in the January 2021 edition of the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR).

The report noted that 27 pipeline points were vandalised in January 2021, down from 43 points posted in December 2020.

It also stated that the Mosimi Area accounted for 74 percent of the total vandalised points in Janauray while Kaduna Area and Port Harcourt accounted for the remaining 22 percent and 4 percent respectively.

NNPC said it will continue to engage local communities and other stakeholders to reduce and eventually eliminate the pipeline vandalism menace.

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