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NCC May Share Levy with Subsidiary Institute

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  • NCC May Share Levy with Subsidiary Institute

Going by recommendations of a committee of experts headed by a former Executive Vice- Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, the Digital Bridge Institute may be transformed into technology innovation hub.

To guarantee steady funding for the DBI which is a training subsidiary of the telecommunications regulatory agency, the experts recommended that NCC gives up a small proportion of the Annual Operating Levy paid by telecoms operators to ensure the actualisation of the vision.

Telecoms operators pay two and half per cent of their annual turnover as Annual Operating Levy. Forty per cent of this levy is set aside as to address the needs of un-served and underserved communities through the mechanism of Universal Access Provision Fund while NCC retains 60 per cent for its operation.

Presenting the report of the experts on Friday, Ndukwe said if a small proportion of the AOL was set aside for the operation of DBI; it would guarantee that the institute played a major role in research and innovations in the Nigerian telecommunications and information technology industry.

The former NCC boss said, “We have captured in the report, the important and critical role the NCC is expected to play in the process by providing the needed funding for achieving the initiatives in the recommendations.

“Our research has confirmed that similar successful training and manpower development institutions around the world do not sustain their operations from fee income on training programme and other internally -generated revenue alone; they are necessarily supported with other forms of funding interventions.”

He added, “Consequently, it is our recommendation that sustainable funding can be guaranteed for DBI if a small proportion of the Annual Operating Levy is permanently earmarked for its operations but within the framework that also ensures proper accountability.

“In this way, DBI will not only be sustainable but will be able to take on added responsibilities demanded of it in implementing the recommendations in this report. For example, it has been proposed that the DBI centre in Kano and the idle centres in Yola, Enugu and Asaba are converted to become operational as ICT innovation hubs.”

The experts said that the main thrust of the strategy for achieving the articulated vision in the report was the creation and development of ICT hubs and innovation centres at specified locations across the country

They added that the hubs and innovation centres would be primarily devoted to software development and engineering.

The Board of NCC led by Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye had, on July 17, inaugurated the panel of experts for the Development of Appropriate Blueprint/Curriculum for ICT Innovation Research Programmes in Nigeria.

Speaking on Friday, Durojaiye said DBI already has ample basic facilities to house ICT research centres in Lagos and Abuja to start with, adding that the commission was desirous of refocusing the DBI to actualise its mandate.

Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbbatta, expressed appreciation to the panel and pledged commitment towards the implementation of the report.

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 long experience in the global financial market.

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Association of Aircraft Pilots Goes After Bristow, Air Peace, Gives Them Two Weeks Ultimatum

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NAAPE Gives Bristow, Air Peace Two Weeks Ultimatum to Reverse Action

The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has issued a two-week ultimatum to Airlines, which have sacked or planning to sack their Pilots and Engineers, to reverse the action or they would withdraw their service across all Airlines.

Earlier in the week, shortly after NAAPE directed all its members working with Bristow to discontinue their service, the management of Bristow Helicopter immediately announced it would sack about 100 pilots and engineers over a period of few weeks to better manage its weak financial position caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement was made on the same day, Air Peace, Nigeria’s largest carrier, disclosed that it would also be letting go about 70 pilots due to a similar reason.

Comrade Abednego Galadinma, the President, NAAPE, who spoke on the situation at a press conference held at Airport Hotel in Ikeja Lagos,  said: “We demand that Bristow and Air Peace should immediately recall all sacked Pilots and Aircraft Engineers until all labour issues are resolved or be grounded by NCAA because of attendant safety concerns created by their action.

“As a result of the known consequences of these illegal actions and our commitment to patriotic fervour, we shall be forced to withdraw our guarantee of industrial peace within the industry if this call is not heeded within two weeks.

”Our union will be left with no other option but to withdraw the services of Pilots and Aircraft Maintenance Engineers across all the airlines.’’

Galadinma added that some of the airlines were operating during the lockdown which means the COVID -19 which they are using as an excuse did not affect revenue from essential services like oil and gas.

It would be recalled that Bristow Helicopter had blamed its decision on the disruption of services in the oil and gas sector.

Therefore, Galadinma said “Operators especially Bristow Helicopters have rendered our members redundant despite assurances by government of support for their businesses in return for operators not laying off staff.

“These operators are already running on lean manpower with disproportionate number being expatriates yet, without regards to our expatriates and local content laws and executive order (5) they gave gone ahead to lay off staff under the guise of COVID-19 pandemic.”

“And they cannot be using COVID-19 as an excuse because the cessation of flight operations did not affect essential services like the oil and gas and Bristow and Caverton were operating during the lockdown. In fact, you’d recall that our members were held by the Rivers State Government during the lockdown, so how can they be using COVID-19 as an excuse.

”it is on record that Bristow Helicopters operated throughout the lockdown supporting oil and gas operations with government approval and guarantees service contracts in the same national interest but are now using COVID-19 to force redundancy on our members.

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CACOVID, Dangote Announce Palliative for Families Across Nigeria

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CACOVID to Provide Palliative for Families Across Nigeria

The Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID-19) led by the Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, on Thursday announced they will be flagging off a palliative scheme for families across the nation.

According to a statement released through the Group official Twitter handle @cacovidng, each family that benefits from the palliative scheme would receive below food items.

Cacovid palliative

The statement reads “At the moment, we’re flagging off the palliative scheme across the country. For every family that benefits from the scheme, we will be handing over the below essential food materials.

“We have Isolation Centers functional across all 36 states of the country, equipped with state of the art equipment that will cater for everybody who comes down with COVID19. These facilities are stocked with the essential tools to aid the management of the pandemic.

“CACOVID is majorly comprised of private sector individuals, with the aim of serving as a buffer for the effects of the pandemic. With this in mind, we can assure that there are no political affiliations needed to benefit from the Palliatives scheme.

The statement noted that the allocations were agreed upon by the Nigerian Governors Forum but the allocation itself is presently being carried out by the PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Group partner.

pwc cacovid allocations

To balance our efforts and ensure efficiency, we’re still running a sensitization campaign to make sure everyone understands that COVID19 is deadly, not propaganda and can infect anybody,” CACOVID-19 stated.

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Bristow Plans to Sack 100 Pilots, Engineers in Few Weeks

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Bristow Helicopters

Bristow to Sack 100 Pilots, Engineers Amid Strike

Embattled Helicopter company, Bristow Helicopter, on Tuesday announced its decision to sack 100 pilots and engineers in the next couple of weeks due to the negative impact of COVID-19 on all its operations.

The announcement was made a day after the company’s engineers and pilots embarked on strike following the failure of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers to reach an agreement with the management of Bristow Helicopter on labour matters.

In a statement released On Tuesday through Topcom, a public relations firm representing the company, Bristow said COVID-19 has affected all its business units, especially the Oil and Gas sector.

In the statement titled ‘Bristow Restructures Nigeria Operation,’ the Helicopter Company said downturn going on in the global oil and gas sector impacted the company’s ability to respond to Pilots and Enginers’ request for salary upgrade from N345 per US dollar exchange rate to N355/us$.

Bristow’s statement read “The combined effects of these ‘arisings’ have resulted in very significant reductions to our business particularly a reduction in the number of contracted aircraft in Nigeria.

Due to these challenges, “Bristow has made the decision to restructure all aspects of its business model (both rotary and fixed wing), including an extensive review of its operation and will continue to drive efficiencies with zero compromise to safety and core value.

While this might be another trick or strategy not to shift ground regarding the request of pilots and engineers that commenced strike on Monday after three-days warning, Bristow appears to be playing its card right. Capitalising on COVID-19 challenges, especially after Air Peace announced it would be letting go 70 pilots due to the same reason.

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