- Nigeria Will Attain 30% Broadband Penetration By 2018, NCC Insists
As part of efforts of the federal government to provide affordable broadband infrastructure and services in Nigeria, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has expressed the desire of the commission to ensure that the country attains 30 per cent broadband penetration before the end of 2018.
Danbatta, who disclosed in Lagos during the 10th anniversary lecture and awards of Business Journal with the theme: “Infrastructure and Economic Growth: Exploring the Strategic Alliance,” stated that as at March, the country’s broadband penetration was estimated at 22 per cent, adding that most of the access was through wireless broadband.
He also noted that as part of the initiative to achieve the National Broadband Plan (NBP) target for broadband penetration, the commission had licenced and auctioned frequency spectrum to some new and existing licensees.
Some of the firms include Bitflux Communication Limited (Bitflux), MTN Communications Limited, Intercellular Nigeria Limited among others.
Danbatta explained that the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have deployed about 52,000 kilometres of fiber optic cables as at April 2018.
Danbatta who was represented at the event by the Assistant Director, Technical Standards, NCC, Edoyemi Ogo, stated that there are about 33,000 2G, 29,000 3G and 4000 LTE sites deployed as at April 2018.
He added that five international submarine cable and landing station services operators have landed cables in the country.
The NCC boss noted that to ensure the continuous rollout of requisite infrastructure, 12 metropolitan fibre cable network companies and 12 national long distance operators had also been licenced.
Danbatta further said there was need to expedite the rollout of the fibre optic infrastructure across the country, adding that the commission had examined the open access model as the model for optic fiber transmission network deployment to bridge the current gap and deliver fast and reliable broadband services to households and businesses.
According to him, “To drive the process for the delivery of fast and reliable broadband services across the country, the commission established a Broadband Implementation and Monitoring Committee (BIMC).
“This committee is charged to drive the broadband infrastructure licencing and deployment using the open access model.
“Furthermore, the commission, through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), is implementing the following access and connectivity programmes for the under-served and un-served areas across the country which include: BTRAIN-Backbone Transmission Infrastructure of over 3,250km of fiber across six geo-political zones-Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) :155 BTS sites.
“On completion, the BTS will provide voice and data services populations in 930 communities. Other initiatives include tertiary institutions knowledge centres at 73 school locations; information resource centres at 73 library locations, e-accessibility project at 14 locations across the geo-political zones, e-health project, at 13 General Hospitals across the six geo-political zones, school knowledge centres at 1,324 schools in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” Danbatta said.
Barclays Tell High Net Worth Investors to Shun Africa and Other Emerging Economies
Barclays to High Net Worth Clients, Stay Off Africa and Other Emerging Economies
Barclays, one of the world’s largest investment banks, has started advising high net worth clients to stay off Africa and other emerging economies.
According to Barclays, despite the recent recovery noticed in emerging-market stocks, investors are better off avoiding the risks that still abound in emerging nations. Barclays Plc, however, advised high net worth clients to focus on U.S equities despite the S&P’s breakneck rally.
The investment bank said emerging economies do not have enough fiscal buffers to spend their way out of the COVID-19 pandemic and will likely continue to struggle in the near-time compared to the US with 12 percent of gross domestic product fiscal-support.
It said the huge US stimulus may halt rebound in emerging-markets stocks as more money is expected to flow into the world’s largest economy and its European counterparts.
“Compared to the U.S., emerging-market economies appear more vulnerable,” said Haider, the London-based managing director and head of global growth markets. “Their central banks have less room to maneuver, their governments may not be able to provide unlimited support and equity markets, given their sector mix, can be more challenged by an economic slowdown.”
Barclays added that even after 33 percent rebound in stocks of emerging markets since the panic selloff subsided in March, stocks are still down by 9 percent from year-to-date while the US S&P 500 stocks are up by 45 percent. Presently, their stocks trading at a 36 percent discount to US stocks, up from 25 percent three months ago.
Crude Oil Rises to $43.1 Per Barrel on Production Cuts Extension
Crude Oil Hits $43.1 Per Barrel Following OPEC’s Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil price is measured, rose by 1.25 percent on Monday during the Asian trading session following OPEC and allies’ agreement to extend crude oil cuts to the end of July.
OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to extend production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day reached in April to July on Saturday.
In the virtual conference, delegates agreed that members, including Nigeria and Iraq presently struggling to attain a 100 percent compliance level must keep to the agreement or be forced to do so in subsequent months.
Nigeria, Iraq and others failed to keep to the cartel’s agreement in May after reports show that Nigeria only managed to attain a 19 percent compliance level during the month while Iraq struggled to attain just 38 percent in the same month.
Russia and Saudi Arabia, the two largest producers of the group, warned members to stick to the agreed quota if they want to rebalance the global oil market.
“While the errant producers such as Iraq and Nigeria have vowed to reach 100% conformity and compensate for prior underperformance, we still think they will likely continue to have some commitment issues over the course of the summer,” said Helima Croft, head of global commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.
“The potential return of Libyan output could also cause considerable challenges for the OPEC leadership.”
Earlier on Monday, Brent crude oil hits $43.1 per barrel, more than a month record-high, before pulling back slightly to $42.83 per barrel.
Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report
- Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report
Gold prices declined by 2 percent on Friday following a better than expected US non-farm payroll report.
The report showed an increase of 2.5 million payroll numbers against a decline of 7.5 million predicted by many experts.
The surprise number boosted investors’ confidence in US recovery as many dumped their haven investment (gold) for the stock market.
“We had significantly stronger-than-expected U.S. payroll numbers – an increase of 2.5 million versus an expectation of a decline of 7.5 million – that 10-million swing has brought forward expectations of the economic recovery in the United States,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.
Spot gold immediately declined by 1.9 percent per ounce to $1,678.81 while the U.S. gold futures slid 2.6 percent to settle at $1,683.
Gold was also being pressured by stronger yields and a slightly firmer dollar, “meaning the opportunity cost to hold gold in the portfolio has gone up,” Melek added.
The surprise didn’t stop there, US Dow Jones was up 614 points despite the protest going on the US and US-China tension.
Also, NASDAQ rose by 29 points while the S&P index added 50 points increase.
Note: Investors generally increase their investments in gold and other haven assets during a crisis to avert risk exposure and do the opposite once they sense a better economy.
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