Backbone Interoperability is Future –
says Phase3 Telecom
The Chief Operating Officer of
Phase3 Telecom, Mr Olusola Teniola, argued in Lagos recently that for
Nigeria to achieve her vision of universal broadband services, the
nation’s transmission backbones must align and be interoperable.
He made this known while
contributing to a discussion on ‘Broadband Ecosystem: Issues for
Regulators and Operators’ at the eWorld Broadband Forum 2012.
Teniola stated that Phase3 Telecom
envisaged this challenge and subsequently decided to design an open
access network in partnership with Dancom, a subsidiary of The Dangote
Group, right from inception. The partnership offers over 3,000Km of fibre
which is the basis for the company’s provision of services to all
operators today in the Nigerian marketplace and beyond.
Key to Quality Service: ATCON boss
Performance measurements, sanctions and compensation to consumers for
A Lagos based telecommunications
engineer and President of Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria, Mr
Titi Omo-Ettu told NCC’s stakeholders Forum that the Commission has done
well by carrying out quality of service drive-testing which the Executive
Vice Chairman, Dr Eugene Juwah said has commenced. Mr Omo-Ettu counseled
the Commission to use the measurements to identify specific performance
of telephone networks and evoke sanctions if it is needed to upgrade
quality of service.
He argued that sanctions are part of
regulation and payment of fine to government should no longer be
fashionable but be replaced by payment of compensation to consumers if a
network performs consistently below standard.
Mr Omo-Ettu said there cannot be
justification for intolerable poor quality which has plagued the Nigerian
network and pledged his Association's support for players who provide
high quality, professional and consumer-centric services.
Power Industry Review Labour Issues now
top Power Reform Hassles
Reports from Abuja indicate that
Nigeria’s Minister of Power who superintends government’s power reform
may not have good stories to tell Nigerians in a long while. During last
week, he sacked three senior management executives of Power Holding
Company of Nigeria, PHCN, whose conduct, he said, amounted to sabotage.
That was after many skilled engineers and technicians, in the words of
workers, had been posted to positions where they would only collect
salaries for doing nothing, apparently also because of their
Workers of PHCN where the executives
work however had a different opinion as they went protesting while
foreign investors who were brought into the country to show Nigerians
that the world is responding to the reforms were left confused over the
stability of the industry they were prospecting to invest in.
A few weeks ago, the Minister had
ordered a shut down of Kainji Hydro Electric PowerStation for reasons of
‘flooding’. Checks with those who should know however revealed that the
reason offered for the shutdown could not have been true at a time when
Nigerians were praying for rains.
Official statements which emanated
from the Ministry last week revealed that the flooding story was actually
a lie told to Nigerians in order to tell ‘a story the public could
In Nigeria, problems of public power
system had defied all manners of intervention over the years and it would
appear a solution is not yet in sight.
Meanwhile, virtually all speakers
who gave advice to the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC at its
Stakeholders Forum on 2013 - 2017 Strategic Management Plan last week
mentioned power as one key issue which would pose strong challenges for
further development in telecommunications in Nigeria. Those who spoke
included four Mobile operators, three other broadband infrastructure
operators, three professional and trade Associations and an Agency of
Federal Government, the Consumer Protection Council.
Google to get judgement this week
Google will know this week whether
the antitrust charge against it in at the European Union Commission will
be dropped or further investigated.
This was the pledge of EU
competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia who said in January this year
that he would decide on a course of action after the end of March or
The European Commission commenced an
investigation into Google in November 2010 upon charges raised by its
rivals, especially Microsoft that Google was abusing its dominant
position in the market for Web search engines.
Open Dialogue to Open Access as NCC
takes input from Industry
The Nigerian Communications
Commission, NCC, went away with tons of recommendations on immediate
future of industry development when, last Friday, it hosted stakeholders
to a forum which provided input to its Year 2013-2017 Strategic
The Commission was counselled to
regulate access to, and prices of, existing backbone and last mile
distribution infrastructure such as to create competition and provide
further incentives to new entrants to deploy only unavailable
infrastructure. The objective should not be to stifle growth in
infrastructure development but to ensure that efficient competition is
fostered and infrastructure builds are appropriately directed to meet
areas where those needs truly exist, whilst services requirement in areas
with existing backbone infrastructure could be immediately addressed.
Speakers from across all sectors of
the telecommunications industry, except the CDMA operators, took turns to
make input in the form of presentations to an audience which included
Members of House of Representatives Committee on Communications, Industry
players, top executives of the Commission, the Consumer Protection
Council and the media.
Telephone operators were unanimous
in their request for a streamlining of the USPFUND and protection for
infrastructure in meeting the rapid universal access objective of
government, just as consumer and industry advocacies canvassed reform in
penalty for poor service to compensate consumers rather than payment of
fine to Government. They also mentioned poor public electricity which
they said is responsible for 70% of total industry stress and distress.
Dr Eugene Juwah, Executive
Vice-Chairman of NCC hinges the Commission’s hope for resolving the
difficult issue of poor quality of service on a recent approval and
gazetting of the Quality of Service Regulations by the Federal Ministry
of Justice. This, according to him, will strengthen the NCC to take some
severe measures when service providers are found wanting. He also
revealed that the Commission recently engaged the services of seven
Drive-Test contractors to carry out quality of service drive-testing in
the six geo-political zones and Lagos.
Although the Commonwealth
Telecommunications Organisation, CTO, was not present to make its
presentation, it sent input which advises NCC on the need to conceive a
National Broadband Infrastructure with special extended focus on ICT’s
for the elderly, disability and the youth.
Child Online Protection Nigeria plans
the way out
There are clear indications
that Nigeria may take steps to wade into the opportunities that internet
provides for citizens and take decisive measures to protect children from
harmful effect of permissive access.
A Technical Working Group
which will craft the way to such protection has as its theme ‘The
Internet is a very useful tool and indeed causes more good
than harm. Nonetheless there are still threats we need to protect our
It is known that the committee work
is relying heavily on the path which the European Commission is already
gone far into and may ape the latter’s Public-Private Partnership and
CyberschuulNews.com upgrades Access Resources
An on-the-web publisher of
investment-focused technical and industry information for the
telecommunications sector, www.cyberschuulnews.com
has upgraded its access and delivery capabilities. The publication
opened up new synergies using tested protocols and open access compliant
Publisher Titi Omo-Ettu told an
online audience comprising synergy partners that ‘the idea is to work
tirelessly for ourselves for the sake of everybody out there’.
He said the publication which
delivers free of charge and regularly so far for 10 years has done 463
weekly editions now has the capability to increase its delivery and reach
‘in every direction’.
OPINION OF A READER
Kudos to Ur media
Re: 463- A Quick Glance at Nigeria’s
Power Reform Score Card and what the Papers are saying
Wonderful reporting of the critical
appraisal of the Power sector and its reforms in Nigeria.
This is a complete expose' that
speaks the minds of Nigerians. It is indeed a lamentable situation .
We are back to talk-shop rather than
workshop. Media talks of achievements rather than the situation speaking
for its self. The worrisome aspect of it is that ministers are appointed
on popularity rather than on professionalism ,
competence and administrative pedigree. Well let us continue to trust God
This is a great work
Well done CyberschuulNews.com
From : email@example.com
CyberschuulNews Editorial, March 29,
A Quick glance at Nigeria’s ‘Power Reform’ Score Card and what the Papers
In recent time, the failed and
failing attempt by Nigeria’s Electricity reform handlers shifted to
giving an account of their efforts on television. A very annoying
programme which bores viewers and insults sensibilities is made to look
like the next alternative to providing reliable electricity for Nigeria
is to count efforts and to tell lies using pictures on television.
One sector which takes the reform
seriously and expects improvement is the Telecommunications industry.
President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria
once said the direction of travel of the reform is suspect and also said,
in frustration recently, that its Association would sue the Federal
Government to Court and press for damages if by end of year 2013, there
is no reliable power for the industry.
Reports coming out of the power
industry and especially the mindless announcement of shifts in dates,
postponement of milestones, and outright falsehood in telling the public
what were the exact reasons of recent setbacks, shows that all is not
well with the so-called reform. Will Nigerians just keep quiet and go to
sleep everyday in darkness?
Happily, local newspapers are not
keeping quiet. Punch, a few weeks ago, and Guardian, just yesterday spoke
what meant that Nigerians are watching and waiting. Of course, the reform
managers have also been using their agents to also write rejoinders and
opinions all of which Nigerians read.
Needless to blame Minister of Power,
Prof Bath Nnaji though. He pointedly told the Senate during his screening
for the position of Minister that he could not guarantee steady
electricity for Nigeria until four years after his meeting with them. By
making that confession thus showing that he had no clue to solving the
seemingly intractable problem, he shifted responsibility to the Senate
which, in spite of that, made him Minister of Power.
It has become necessary that
Nigerians constitute themselves into working groups and put questions to
those who are managing the power reform rather than leave all the
oversight to the National Assembly.
Power sector’s cheerless report
GUARDIAN EDITORIAL, Wednesday, 28 March 2012
IN September 2005, several months
after the enactment of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, it came to
light that the then President Olusegun Obasanjo had already expended some
N29.2 billion (US$220 million) drawn from unappropriated excess crude
earnings for accelerated construction of gas-powered medium-size power
stations. Dubbed National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), the power
stations were to be sited close to the source of supply of natural gas
and put under the control of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company
(NDPHC). The number of power stations rose from the initial seven to 10
with some of them being located outside the Niger Delta. The expanded
NIPP plants were intended to contribute 4,770MW to the power generation
capacity target of 10,000MW by the end of 2007.
The scope of the NIPP included
ancillary works such as gas development and transportation facilities to
deliver gas to the thermal plants and power transmission facilities
including over 1,000 kilometres of high voltage transmission lines as
well as relevant consultancy and supervision services. The final
estimated cost of the project turned out to be $5.75 billion. The NDPHC
Managing Director James Olotu disclosed early this month that
contributions by the three tiers of government representing some 96 per
cent of the project cost have so far been made and were kept in an escrow
account from which completed milestone segments of the project were paid
Seven years on and five years behind
schedule, the NIPP is far from completion. The revelation by Olotu that
just half of the project fund had been spent shows that, barring cost
overruns, the execution of the NIPP is at best halfway. Work on the
project appears to be haphazard. Obasanjo rushed to commission one
generating unit of the Olorunsogo power plant (OPP) two days before he
left office in May 2007 at a time when there were no transmission lines
to evacuate any power generated to consumers. Till date only one of the
four OPP turbines with 450MW capacity can be fired at any given time
owing to inadequate gas supply. While three installed OPP turbines lie
idle, there is no hard news about the power plants sitting atop gas wells
in the Niger Delta region. For example, the Sapele power plant has been
shut down while the Gbaran power plant that is officially acknowledged to
have no gas supply limitation is merely projected to produce 250MW by
this year-end. Olotu also said that some NIPP stations (they were not
identified) could generate 3,686MW by December if there was adequate gas
supply. From Olotu’s press briefing, only the OPP generates 112.5MW for
sure. He further disclosed that the NIPP gas project would be completed
in 2012 just as all 10 NIPP plants, hoping against hope, would be ready
by the first quarter of 2014, nine years after their inception.
Olotu’s project implementation
timetable is suspect given the level of unspent project fund. For a
project that has no funding constraint, the non-accelerated execution of
the NIPP stations is traceable to both government’s
deliberate choice of contractors without good track record for ulterior
reasons and lack of sincerity to fix the country’s urgent power needs.
For instance, while there are unutilised dollar funds for NIPP pipelines
in an escrow account, government has turned round to use the parlous
state of the power sector, for which it is responsible, as reason to beg
for multilateral loans of $7.906 billion for pipelines, a development
that would probably allow the unspent funds in the NIPP escrow account to
be siphoned away. In all sincerity, the NIPP pipelines are superfluous.
Government has not been imaginative in its approach. For example, the
Shell-owned Utorogu-Egbin gas pipeline not to mention the West African
Gas Pipeline passes near Omotoso power plant. For many years the Egbin
Thermal Plant has been operating below capacity, which makes it possible
to tap excess gas capacity of the pipeline to feed both Omotosho and
Olorunshogo power plants at little cost.
Olotu spilled the beans when he
cited fears by gas suppliers that gas supplied would not be paid for as
reason for the inadequate gas supply. The emerging picture is that PHCN’s
utilities merely pile up gas bills which are reluctantly settled
ostensibly after Shell tactfully cuts off gas supply under various
pretexts ranging from pipeline maintenance to the flushing out of wet
gas. It stands to reason that the numerous power outages and wide
fluctuations in power generation are product of government tardiness in
paying for gas consumed by its power utilities. That amounts to
condemnable insensitivity on the part of government.
Government fumbling is not limited
to the Greenfield NIPP stations. The privatisation of PHCN utilities that
was meant to have been effected since December 2006 has been pushed to
October 2012. Though the power sector reform programme envisaged
government retention of the national transmission grid, government
neglected to take appropriate steps to strengthen the transmission
backbone in tandem with planned increases in generating capacity. As a
result, there occurred transmission system collapse in August 2010 when
generated power belatedly reached 38 per cent of the national target of
10,000MW set for 2007. Maximum generation capacity ever attained that
could be wheeled to consumers is 4,400MW but actual power generated, as
earlier noted, fluctuates often and could drop to 2,500MW. So a chance
spurt in power generation by the NIPP and PHCN utilities would be of no
benefit as the transmission infrastructure is incapable of sustainably
wheeling the electricity to distribution utilities and consumers.
Shamelessly, the top echelons in the Ministry of Power have lately been
celebrating what looks like professional incompetence with planned
erection of a super grid network and award of contracts for four
transmission substations a fortnight ago with completion date sometime in
2014. The power distribution end itself requires full-scale upgrading and
modernised billing systems that reflect actual consumption. Power
Minister Bart Nnaji, who has been associated with the power sector for
many years, should accept responsibility for the collective
All in all, the Federal Government
should promptly end its stranglehold over the power sector by arranging
to hand over majority stake in the NIPP and 18 PHCN-successor utilities
in their present condition to willing and tested establishments. As
regards electricity tariffs, Nigerians are not averse to paying
appropriate price for power consumed. But they take exception to bloated
estimated bills and the so-called crazy billing for which PHCN utilities
are notorious. As long as the Federal Government performs its
constitutional duty of ensuring sound monetary practices (which is
currently not the case) electricity bills would be affordable and stable.
Nnaji’s curious games with power sector
PUNCH Editorial, March 5, 2012
FOR the 135 firms pre-qualified to
bid for Power Holding Company of Nigeria successor companies, a
liberalised power sector remains an uncertain prospect. Not only has the
transaction timetable been revised a second time, the government has also
deepened its commitments to workers of the state monopoly. From the
original date of May 29, 2011, advertised by the Bureau of Public
Enterprises as deadline for the privatisation of the companies, there was
a shift to April 2012, and last week, a further postponement to October
What is happening? The latest
revision, according to BPE’s Acting Director of Electric Power, Mallam
Ibrahim Babagana, is to “address concerns” raised
at a Transaction and Industry Review Conference in Abuja, last November.
“We have been working diligently to create a bankable package of
transaction and industry documents based on your feedback,” he said in a
letter to prospective investors. But it is unclear why the processes
could not have been accommodated within the April, 2012 time frame, since
BPE had up to five months in-between.
The Minister of Power and
Presidential Task Force on Power Chairman, Barth Nnaji, added to the
growing apprehension among stakeholders by announcing the decision of
government to regularise the employment of “everybody that is certified
as a bona fide casual worker (of PHCN).” In November 2011, he had
approved a 50 per cent salary increase for all PHCN staff. He had equally
directed the PHCN management and chief executives of the successor
companies to draw up staff training programmes stretching from six to 12
months, whereas the same companies had been slated for privatisation
within the period.
There is also a flawed understanding
of incentives that really matter to investors. At the Senate, recently,
Nnaji argued that electricity tariffs must be substantially increased to
attract private capital – a reasoning that has led the Nigerian
Electricity Regulatory Commission to raise the tariffs by over 200 per
cent in the past year, even when over 50 per cent of electricity
consumers have no meters. The government continues to ignore sound
reasoning that an investor determines its pricing and what keeps
investors away is regulation.
The implications of the measures for
the envisaged ownership transfer are as troubling as Nnaji’s negative
disposition toward the handover of Egbin Thermal Plant to its
Nigerian-Korean buyers. Regularisation of the employment of informal
workers and upward review of salaries are booby traps for future owners
and managers of the companies, as they constitute financial burdens that
could jeopardise industrial harmony right from their take-off as
privatised firms. That is enough alarm for some prospective
But Nnaji has pleaded for
understanding. “In spite of odds we’ve made some progress and the thing
about electricity is that people can feel the progress instantly. If we
are not doing well, people can feel it. We are not where we want to be.
So, what we want to do is to leapfrog.”
That the power sector reforms
suffered another hiccup is not especially surprising. Appointed as
Special Adviser on Power to the President in June, 2010 and, soon after,
as Minister of Power, Nnaji cannot escape censure for the performance
targets missed as well as the lingering uncertainties in the critical
phase of the power sector reforms. Privatisation of unbundled units of
PHCN and gas-to-power/National Gas Master Plan are the key components of
Federal Government’s Roadmap for Power Sector Reform, launched by
President Goodluck Jonathan in August, 2010.
Whereas the Roadmap assured
stakeholders in Section 2.1, “Fuel-to-Power,” that “In the period up to
April, 2011 it is expected that there will be enough gas supplied to
power producers (circa 1,636 mmscfd) to support the targeted increase in
actual generation capacity to 7,000 megawatts,” all that the entire
nation has today (as generation capacity) is 4,200MW (according to the
Ministry of Power) and gas supply remains grossly inadequate.
Nnaji undoubtedly professes reform
but he has yet to perform to inspire Nigerians. The reforms have been
facing stiff opposition from entrenched interests. Labour groups have
been flexing muscles. Then, there are the powerful anti-privatisation
lobby groups that appear to be gaining more influence with the Jonathan
administration, which has never demonstrated enthusiasm for privatisation
anyway. And since the privatisation process has not been transparent
enough, the politics of it has become darker.
But unsustainable labour concerns
cannot be an excuse for further delay. Neither can opposition from
entrenched interest groups as the reforms are backed by law. The final
decision must still be made. And it must be made soon. Nigerians have
seen the many American, European and South East Asian business delegations
that have visited Nigeria in the past and recently to state their
preparedness to invest in the power sector. Besides, BPE had
pre-qualified 135 firms, even without the tariff levels canvassed by the
Minister. The successes in the telecoms sector have shown that investors
would come in if the business environment is right.
The stakes are really high indeed.
No more delays; Nigeria is in dire need of stable electricity supply.
Indeed, the effects of the stalled process are glaring: worsening
poverty, unemployment on the rise, increase in violent crimes,
inhospitable business climate and declining foreign direct investment.
Nnaji needs to reconnect with the dream and drive that gave birth to the
Roadmap and proceed with determination and vigour. Electricity is the
energy source Nigeria needs to revitalise industry, get private citizens
productively engaged, and brighten the socio-economic landscape.
Misrepresenting Nnaji’s Commitment to
by Ikeogu Oke, March 21, 2012
“The reforms have been facing stiff
opposition from entrenched interests. Labour groups have been flexing
muscles. Then, there are the powerful anti-privatisation lobby groups
that appear to be gaining more influence with the Jonathan
– From “Nnaji’s curious games
with power sector reforms,” The Punch Editorial, March 5, 2012
Nothing I can recall, since my
nearly two years of reading informed and not-so-informed commentaries on
the Nigerian Power Sector Reform, approaches the above quote for the
insight it provides as to why the reform might occasionally suffer what
the editorial, from which it was culled, referred to as “hiccup.”
My decision to back the reform, as
reflected in the various interventions I have made in its support through
articles such as this, was in fact informed by my own realisation about
two years ago that there are individuals and interest groups among us who
would stop at nothing to frustrate the reform for their selfish ends.
(Mine was, simply, a decision to help improve the human condition by
identifying with the forces of light in a high-stake struggle against the
forces of darkness, with my country as the theatre of that struggle and
my countrymen as the primary beneficiaries should the forces of light
prevail). So when the editorial referred to above makes reference to
“entrenched interests” and “lobby groups” arrayed against the reform, it
is a fact that I am rather intimately aware of, a courageous observation
deserving of acclaim.
However, I must disagree with the
editorial when it goes on to say that “Nnaji cannot escape censure for
the performance targets missed as well as the lingering uncertainties in
the critical phase of the power sector reforms,” even though it makes no
effort to censure those who, as implicated in the above quote, it
identifies as stumbling blocks to the realisation of the goals of the
reform, to progress.
I am constrained to say that the
type of game the editorial plays with “empathy” and censure evokes a
scenario where one sees a bright bird strong and eager to take to the
skies but is being prevented from doing so by pinions tied to its wings
and legs by enemies of the idea and fact of flight – evoked here as a
metaphor of freedom – and then proceeds to blame the bird for not flying,
or not flying high enough, while virtually ignoring the need to censure
the cynical act of those behind the restrictive pinions. Needless to say
that such an attitude to fairness leaves so much room for
The other way to look at the
situation is that, having inherited about 2, 800 megawatts as the quantum
of electricity generated in the country when he was appointed Special
Adviser to the President on Power and Chairman of the Presidential Task
Force on Power in June 2010, Prof. Bart Nnaji, who was later appointed
Minister of Power by President Goodluck Jonathan in June 2011, has – with
the support of the President and others backing the reform – raised that
quantum of generated electricity to 4, 200 megawatts, the approximate
figure by circa December 2011.
Now, this raises prospects, which
one does not need to be an optimist to affirm, that if the right things
are done persistently, it would be possible not only to achieve the
targets of the reform but also to free – and here is an allusion to my
above metaphor – Nigeria and Nigerians from the shackles of darkness and
those who fashion and trade in it, or profit by its deployment, thereby
pinning the rest of us to the bog of personal discomfort, systemic
dysfunction, industrial under-productivity, lack of employment
I wonder which Nigerians the
editorial speaks for when it says that “Nnaji … has yet to perform to
inspire Nigerians.” As a Nigerian, I feel inspired by the “Yes, we can”
implication of the said increase in electricity generation, amounting to
about 50 per cent improvement, in less than one year of Nnaji’s
stewardship as Minister of Power. And I can point to many other Nigerians
who share this feeling. But I also believe that whether or not we succeed
in producing enough electricity for our citizens under and beyond the
present circumstances cannot be attributed to the actions of any one
individual however highly placed. Rather, it would be the result of our
collective will, or the lack thereof, to stand up to the forces that
would rather continue to shackle us to darkness through all sorts of
stratagems they have devised to frustrate the Power Sector Reform and the
attendant privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, to which
I believe Nnaji and the Jonathan administration are strongly committed,
though the author of the above quote alleges, curiously, that the latter
“has never demonstrated enthusiasm for privatisation.”
Among those right things, of course,
is making gas consistently available for generating electricity in a
country like ours most of whose electricity is generated from gas
turbines, and which has a surfeit of the natural resource. For gas – and
many of us Nigerians may not be aware of this – is as essential to
generating the electricity we consume, from power stations such as Egbin,
Ughelli, Sapele, Afam, Olorunshogo, etc, with their gas-fired turbines,
as water is to irrigation, or light to photosynthesis, or newsprint to
the production of newspapers. Without one, there cannot be the other.
Nnaji has explained publicly
that the recent drop in electricity generation and supply in the country
can be traced to a drop in gas supply owing to leakage and maintenance at
some facilities that supply gas to some of the country’s power stations.
One newspaper even quoted him as saying he would deliver more electricity
if provided with adequate gas, a resource whose provision falls beyond
his purview as Minister of Power, as does the implementation of the
timetable for the privatisation of the PHCN.
Regarding the shifts in the
timetable for the privatisation of the PHCN, the impatience with which
the editorial points out the effects as “worsening poverty, unemployment
on the rise, increase in violent crimes, inhospitable business climate
and declining foreign direct investment” is understandable. However, I
think what Jesus said about the Sabbath could apply to such a timetable,
namely, that it is made for man and not the other way. Of course, I am
not making a case for its adjustment indefinitely. Rather, there is the
need to urge us to consider whether it might not be better to have
adjusted the [original] timetable slightly in order to get the
privatisation of PHCN right, rather than stick to it and repeat the types
of mistakes associated with the privatisation of NITEL.
•Oke, a former employee of the
National Electric Power Authority which metamorphosed into the Power Holding
Company of Nigeria, wrote in from Abuja via firstname.lastname@example.org.
GISPA President thumbs Up MainOne in
President of Ghana Internet Services Providers
Association, Mr. Ernest Brown, expressed satisfaction with the quality of
services and products provided by MainOne Cable Co and its quest to
eradicate the communication challenges that restrain businesses operating
in Africa from being truly global.
This was at a breakfast meeting
which MainOne hosted for its Internet Service provider customers in Accra
MainOne country Manager in
Ghana, Mr. Joseph Odoi, said that with an increase in Internet
penetration from 5.2 per cent in 2010 to about 10 per cent in 2011, there
was true justification for MainOne to thank its customers for their
New Challenges listed for Improved
Two top ATCON members have
identified a few critical challenges which the implementation of
broadband roadmap imposes on those who participate in its implementation.
These include a transformation of business models, careful planning, and
a discriminatory use of investors’ solutions.
These came out at the recent eWorld Forum
on Broadband ecosystems which focused on issues for regulators and
Mr Olusola Teniola, Chief
Operating Officer of Phase3 Telecom argued that those who will
participate in delivery of cost effective implementation of broadband
plans must be ready to change existing business models, policies and
operations to better ones just as those planning the entire system must
be deep, careful and focused.
Mr Titi Omo-Ettu, President of
ATCON, also suggested that in circumstances which Nigeria has found
herself, the industry must be discretionary in accepting solutions
because Nigeria cannot accept solutions which will eliminate its people
from production and active participation in service provision. He said
Nigerians must not want to enjoy services that they, Nigerians, cannot
provide. He said emphatically that those who offer solutions that does not translate to employment of Nigerians ‘should
be told to take their solutions elsewhere’.
Titans of Tech Conference 2012 to Focus
on Digital Economy
The annual Titans of Tech Conference
& Exhibition for 2012 has been confirmed for April 19 and 20, 2012 at
the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The theme of the conference, “State
of ICT Infrastructure in Nigeria and Challenges of a Digital Economy”.
Coordinator of the Conference,
Mr. Don Pedro Aganbi, Managing Consultant, Technology Africa, said in a
public statement that the Titans of Tech, now in its seventh year, would
provide a platform for government to present its plans/policies and the private
sector to provide insights into challenges, opportunities, available
solutions and options in deploying infrastructure to support the emerging
Participants at the high-octane
forum will include local and International Infrastructure Providers
firms, policy makers in Government including Ministry of Information and
Communications, Ministry of Science & Technology, National Assembly,
Nigerian Communications Commission, NITDA, Ministry of Education, among
others. Other include ICT Solutions Providers, top Executives in the
public and private sector organizations, decision makers in Banks and
non-bank financial institutions, leading oil and Gas industry operators,
international Funding and Development Agencies and ICT consultants and
Flooding took Kainji off Nigeria’s
as the Hydro Power Plant was shut down for 4 days
Information came out of the
Minister for Power’s office in Abuja during last week that an
unidentified source of flooding at one of the largest and most popular
power generating plants, the Kainji Hydro Station, had led to a shut down
of the plant. It was restored on Monday 4 days after shut down.
The hydro power station was designed
to generate 760 Megawatts when it works at design capacity. Officials who
spoke on the matter did not know exactly how much the station was
contributing to the National Power Grid at the time of shut down. They
know however that it dwindled to 450 Megawatts in the past and ‘might have
gone below 300’.
Informed analysts have wondered if
the story is anything to worry about. One said ‘that station's
contribution to the power delivery might just not be anything to worry
about since it has been sick all along. Besides, in matters like a shut
down of a power station, you tell the people a story they can believe,
not exactly a story of what happened exactly’.
It would appear this particular
setback was not envisaged when Prof Bath Nnaji told Senators during his
screening for the office of a Minister that it would take 3 years for
Nigerians to have stable electricity.
Green Energy: Bharti to Stop Using Generators in
India’s Bharti Airtel which acquired
16 African operations in recent years has announced that it will
eliminate dependence on diesel generators at its tower sites by 2013. It
will instead use a mix of hybrid battery banks, solar and wind energy to
supply its towers.
The company claims it has reduced
the number of sites relying solely on diesel generators across its
African operations by 60%.
TELCOS Not Keen On Manufacturing Until
Power Supply Improves
The Association of
Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria said in Lagos during the week
that manufacturing is a business case and not a patriotism issue.
President of the Association, Mr
Titi Omo-Ettu, told a visiting group of young entrepreneurs who had asked
for his view on the prospects of going into manufacturing telecom
According to Mr Omo-Ettu, it would
be suicidal for investors to plan a manufacturing plant on the use of
standby generating plants. “The risk is even higher if the product of
manufacture is precision equipment which digital electronic components
are. Manufacturing must have a business case. It is not a patriotism
matter”. ‘I suggest that you should, meanwhile, join us in mounting
pressure on the Government to provide stable and adequate electricity at
He also told the visiting team that
they should not be deceived by the untrue statements of Government
officials who tell Nigerians that they travel overseas to invite
‘Once government fixes public power
system, investors need not be lobbied, they are waiting by the borders
because they know that the market is here, going by our numbers and the
vibrancy of our people. It is time we told these officials who tell our
people they are going overseas to attract investment to stop wasting our
money and to stop deceiving our people. You do not go to anywhere to
attract investment because what attracts investment is the environment,
not discussions. Besides, it is investors who discuss with themselves.
Government officials do not have anything to discuss with investors.
Theirs is to make the system work at home, provide an attractive environment,
police our borders, protect local investments and defend our people and
our corporate integrity’ said Omo-Ettu
NCC Warns Banks on Illegal Use of
The Nigerian Communications
Commission re-issued its repeated warning against the illegal use of
5.470 - 5.725 GHz band by banks that might not be aware of what they were
doing. It advised all banks to clarify from their service providers that
the frequency band was not being deployed for their services.
The Commission said any person,
operators or companies who failed to comply with this directive may have
to face the consequence of sanction, imprisonment and forfeiture of
equipment used in operating the illegal service.
Lagos State Law on Disability gets
A Lagos Sate Law which prescribes
that all employers of labour having staff strength of 100 persons shall
have at least 10 per cent of such staff consisting of qualified and
competent persons with disability has been hailed by the Association of
Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON. The law also requires
that Companies having dealings with the public shall have among their
staff trained persons to attend their customers who are persons with
ATCON says it is a fine piece of law
which is capable of migrating Nigeria further into civilisation and
pledges to support its implementation.
The Association however expresses
hope that the Office of Disability Affairs which the Lagos State is about
to establish to implement this Law will be up to good and not turn out to
be an exuberant organisation whose attention will only be to extort,
abuse, or focus only on a particular industry or on a set of employers in
the manner of an earlier but very unfair legislation, of the same Lagos
State, which had to be challenged in Court and put in its proper