CyberschuulNews Editions 461 - 465

 

 

Cyberschuulnews 465

 

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 canvasses
Performance measurements, sanctions and compensation to consumers for outages.
 

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 conduct. 

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 believe’. 

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 early April. 

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.

 

 

Cyberschuulnews 464 

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 Management plans.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Up Next:

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 children from’

 

 

 

 

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 coalition model.

 

 

 

 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 tools.

 

 

 

 

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 for Success.

 

 

 

This is a great work

 

 

 

Well done CyberschuulNews.com

 

 

 

From : denisaadania@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Cyberschuulnews 463

 

 

CyberschuulNews Editorial, March 29, 2012
A Quick glance at Nigeria’s ‘Power Reform’ Score Card and what the Papers are saying

 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 for. 

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 failure. 

 

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.

 

taken from http://www.guardiannewsngr.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=81418:power-sectors-cheerless-report&catid=37:editorial&Itemid=612 

 

Nnaji’s curious games with power sector reforms
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 25, 2012. 

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 investors. 

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. 

taken from http://www.punchng.com/editorial/nnajis-curious-games-with-power-sector-reforms/ ‘New

 

Misrepresenting Nnaji’s Commitment to Power Reform
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 administration….”

 – 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 improvement. 

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 opportunities, etc. 

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 ikeogu.oke@gmail.com.

 

taken from http://www.punchng.com/opinion/misrepresenting-nnajis-commitment-to-power-reform/

 

 

 

Cyberschuulnews 462

GISPA President thumbs Up MainOne in Ghana

 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 recently.

 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 patronage. 

 

New Challenges listed for Improved Broadband Penetration 

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 operators.

 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 digital economy. 

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 content providers

 Cyberschuulnews 461

NEWS Analysis

Flooding took Kainji off Nigeria’s Electricity Supply
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 Africa 

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 equipment. 

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 all cost’. 

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 investors. 

‘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 Frequencies 

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 ATCON’s Support 

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 disability.

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 place. 

 

 

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