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FG Vows to Halve Internet Cost by 2025

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The Federal Government has vowed to half the cost of data and Internet services by 2025.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, who made the in Abuja, also stated that the high cost of data for mobile communications was due to vandalism of ICT infrastructure and Right-of-Way concerns.

Pantami stated that with the broadband penetration drive of his ministry, the cost of data would be reduced by more than 50 per cent by 2025.

He also said that the government planned to commence digital skills training for farmers, residents of rural areas and other beneficiaries.

According to him, this was part of the moves aimed at making Nigeria’s economy fully digitalised.

Pantami said that his ministry had interfaced with state governors on the cost and other concerns associated with Right-of-Way for ICT infrastructure, adding that this had led to cost reduction.

The minister, who spoke during a training for journalists organised by his ministry and the National Information Technology Development Agency, also noted that the military had been providing support in terms of security for ICT infrastructure.

The minister said, “We are making efforts to cut down the cost of data. Our target is for 180 million Nigerians to have access to broadband by 2025.

“In our drive to make Nigeria a digital economy, we will organise digital skills training for farmers, for people living in rural areas who can read and write, as well as others.”

He said the government was also working on a policy that would promote those who have skills in the ICT sector than others who only own certificates but lack requisite skills.

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 market.

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Airtel Africa Partners Standard Chartered to Increase Access to Financial Services

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Airtel Africa, Standard Chartered Partner to Deepen Financial Access

Airtel Africa Plc on Thursday announced that it has partnered Standard Chartered Bank to drive financial inclusion across key markets in Africa.

The leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services on the continent said the partnership would help increase access to mobile financial services in 14 African countries it presently operates.

According to the statement signed by Simon O’Hara, Group Company Secretary, Airtel Africa and released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the telecommunications giant said the two companies will work together to develop new innovative products necessary to enhance accessibility of financial services and better serve the African people.

The company added that its Airtel money’s customers will be able to make real-time online deposits and withdrawals from Standard Chartered bank accounts, receive international money transfers directly to their wallets and access savings products amongst other services.

The telecoms giant said the new partnership supports its efforts at deepening its Airtel Money offerings across 19 million customer base.

Speaking on the new partnership, Raghunath Mandava, CEO, Airtel Africa, said: “Our relationship with Standard Chartered boosts financial inclusion across the continent, giving millions of people access to valuable banking services. We continue to invest heavily in cashing in and cashing out locations for our customers and increase our distribution. This means that our customers can now send or receive digital payments via Standard Chartered Bank directly to their mobile phones, as well as cash-out their funds at our exclusive kiosks and branches at their convenience. This highlights Airtel Africa’s commitment to providing affordable, innovative, best-in-class solutions to enhance the daily lives of our customers.”

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Motorola Solution Launches Two-Way Radio in Africa

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Motorola Solution Launches Two-Way Radio in Africa

Motorola Solution has launched a new two-way radio device for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in sub-Saharan African countries.

The new MOTOTRBO DP540 is a two-way portal radio for small and medium businesses that want to make use of digital technology to communicate with great ease and efficiency.

In the present economy, small and medium enterprises crave ease and fast communication devices that are affordable in order to address their business needs.

According to Motorola Solution, the company has developed a perfect tool that users who are in need of a digital radio that offers all the benefits of digital technology can use.

Laurent Tribout, Director, Motorola Solutions indirect sales for Sub-Saharan Africa, when giving speech on the product, said “the new device, available through certified Motorola Solutions resellers in sub-Saharan Africa, is based on the ETSI Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Standard, proven worldwide in affordable digital systems with low complexity.

“In today’s economy, small and medium businesses are constantly under pressure to deliver more, and deliver fast, all while keeping a conscious mind on reducing costs. With this in mind, we’ve developed a communication solution that holds all the necessary features in one affordable device

Tribout also said that “One of the risks of migrating from analogue to digital technology is the transition period, which can potentially interrupt business operations.To make this transition smooth and easy, the MOTOTRBO DP540 can operate on both digital and analogue modes. In this way, radio users can operate and communicate on their new MOTOTRBO DP540 radios while on the job, as the business transitions to digital technology.”

“Many mission-critical work areas, healthcare workers rely on two-way radio communication for many of their daily tasks. Whether it’s coordinating patient arrivals, or briefing an ambulance team on the way to a scene.”

“The compact, ruggedly-engineered device is built to withstand harsh conditions and resist corrosion even in the saltiest environments such as seaports and harbours. It boasts superior audio output and unique features, such as voice announcement customization, allowing users to customize the default voice announcement languages using their own audio files. MOTOTRBO™ DP540 is also built for multi-language working environments, with special audio profiles designed to deliver enhanced audio quality when speaking languages with distinct rolled “R”s such as French or Afrikaans.”

“The portfolio of MOTOTRBO devices, including the new DP540 model, is equipped with a Voice-activated Transmit (VOX) feature, which allows users to operate their radio without the need to press the Push-To-Talk (PTT) button, along with compatible earpieces designed for handsfree operation, healthcare workers and other essential workers can keep their hands free and clean.”

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NLC, Telecoms Union Give MTN Two Weeks to Amend Anti-Labour Practices

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NLC, Telecoms Union Issued MTN Two Weeks to Amend Anti-Labour Practices

The Nigeria Labour Congress in collaboration with the Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN) has threatened to embark on two weeks of industrial action if MTN Nigeria failed to amend its anti-labour practices.

According to the union, MTN Nigeria must discontinue with expatriates doing what Nigerians can do. Also, the union accused the telecommunications giant of using Nigerians as mainly casual workers and contract staff, yet overworked them.

The union said “We have called you here to let the world know about the unfortunate events in MTN Nigeria which if not quickly apprehended and mediated may portend great danger to the industrial relations clime within MTN Nigeria. We shall also be using this opportunity to inform the management of MTN of the consequences to industrial peace within its organisation if our demands are not met within 14 Days from this day.

“The Chief Executive Officer of the company whose priority should be organisational growth and sustainability which ought to make workers’ welfare, concerns and grievances paramount has abandoned this vital responsibility. He has rebuffed several calls by the workers and their Union representatives to meet with him on critical issues facing workers in the company.

“MTN practices an unwholesome, insensitive, and discriminatory structure in the emoluments of some categories of workers. Workers on the same job level earn disproportionately. In many cases, members of a team earn more than their team leads and even more than their direct managers,” the union alleged.

It added, “Non-payment of severance benefits at the point of departure of employees after long years of dedicated and uninterrupted services to the company has become a deep frustrating practice to the live long guarantees for workers in MTN.

“The company claims it has not been paying exiting employees severance benefits, hence, it cannot be a matter for negotiation with the union despite the fact that social dialogue demands that all matters without exception concerning workers in the workplace are subject to negotiation.

“The rate at which companies in the telecommunications sector import excessive manpower to the country to do jobs Nigerians are not lacking in competence is alarming. It is becoming pervasive in MTN Nigeria as well.

“We have several expatriates in the company who do exactly what Nigerians do. Most of these expatriates are trained by Nigerians and we still wonder how the permits for these individuals were approved.”

The union warned that if MTN Nigeria failed to comply with its demands or source for another alternative to satisfy their business interest, it would embark on two weeks of industrial action starting from August 24, 2020 to disrupt the company’s operations.

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