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Network operators earmark $8.5bn to bridge telecommunication gap

To bridge the telecommunication infrastructure gap in the country, Nigerian mobile network operators have earmarked $8.5 billion. The companies intend to invest this amount to meet the demand for telecommunication services across Nigeria.

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Telecommunication companies, Telecoms, Call tariffs, Taxes and levies, Then and now: Nigeria's telecommunication history , Nigerian Telecoms Connectivity Offerings Impact Nigerians More than Ever

To bridge the telecommunication infrastructure gap in the country, Nigerian mobile network operators have earmarked $8.5 billion for investment purposes. In specific terms, the companies intend to invest this amount to meet the demand for telecommunication services across Nigeria.

The network operators will invest the $8.5 billion in the next two years to improve telecommunication services and expand their reach. This investment represents an increase of $1.6 billion over the past two years.

According to the Global System for Mobile communication Association (GSMA), the mobile Internet gap in the country is estimated at 30 percent. The association in its Mobile Economy West Africa 2019 Report, also disclosed that 29 percent of the Nigerian population are mobile Internet users.

In addition, the GSMA report revealed that about 41 percent of the Nigerian population have access to mobile network broadband, even though they do not subscribe to mobile Internet services.

“The improved macro-economic outlook for the sub-region, following the economic recession in Nigeria in 2016, bodes well for demand for telecoms services. Along with increasing investments in 4G networks, this will support capex growth over the medium term.

“From 2019 to 2020, mobile operators in the sub-region will spend $8.5bn on network infrastructure and services – an increase of $1.6bn over the previous two years.”

Social and economic benefits of the internet

The association’s analysts said there are social and economic benefits for individuals and communities who have access to the Internet. They added that the benefits are (but not limited to) improved business efficiency and increased access to life-enhancing services.

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Meanwhile, the GSMA report stated that at the end of 2018, there were around 100 million mobile Internet users in the region, representing an increase of 19 million over the previous year. This makes mobile the primary platform for accessing the Internet in West Africa.

Nigeria surpasses the average index score for Mobile Connectivity Index

Nigeria was among four countries that scored higher than the sub-Saharan Africa average index score in the Mobile Connectivity Index, the GSMA report disclosed.

The association stated that most countries in West Africa scored below the average index score for sub-Saharan Africa. However, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Cape Verde, and Ghana surpassed the average index score.

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Cote d’Ivoire is the most improved country in sub-Saharan Africa, having recorded significant improvements in infrastructure, affordability and content development. This improvement earned Cote d’Ivoire 9.2 points over three years in the Mobile Connectivity Index.

Challenges network operators face in deepening digital inclusion in West Africa

In GSMA’s assessment, network operators face several challenges when enhancing digital inclusion in West Africa. According to the report, cost of operation, inconsistent and distortive government regulation are some of the challenges.

“Extending coverage remains economically challenging given the high costs of increasing coverage and issues related to consumer demand. Inconsistent and distortive regulation from governments restricts public and private investment in connecting the unconnected.

“Overcoming these barriers will require focus, innovation and collaboration between the public and private sectors around solutions for extending network coverage into rural areas and stimulating demand for mobile Internet services among underserved populations.”

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Army denies shooting at Lekki protesters, says Lagos asked for military

The Nigerian Army has once again denied it fired gunshots at protesters who were gathered at the Lekki toll plaza.

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#EndSARS: Nigerian Army set to commence Exercise Crocodile Smile VI
The Nigerian Army has stated that the alleged massacre of protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza is untrue, unfounded, and aimed at causing anarchy in the country and that their presence was requested by the Lagos State Government to restore normalcy.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Osoba Olaniyi, on Tuesday evening, as the world draws attention to the Lekki shootings last week.
In the statement, the Army said: “The attention of Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video on social media in which it was alleged that civilian protesters were massacred by soldiers at Lekki Toll Plaza.
“This allegation is untrue, unfounded and aimed at causing anarchy in the country. At no time did soldiers of the Nigerian Army open fire on any civilian.
The Army said that the 81st Division never got involved in the #EndSARS protests. However, Lagos State called the Army after a 24-hour curfew was imposed due to reports of Police stations being burnt.
“From the onset of the ENDSARS protest, there was no time personnel of 81 Division Nigerian Army Lagos were involved. However, the decision to call in the military was taken by the Lagos State Government (LASG) after a 24 hours curfew was imposed.
“This was as a result of the violence which led to several police stations being burnt, policemen killed, suspects in police custody released and weapons carted away.
“The situation was fast degenerating into anarchy. It was at this point that LASG requested for the military to intervene in order to restore normalcy. The intervention of the military followed all laid down procedures for Internal Security operations and all the soldiers involved acted within the confines of the Rules of Engagement (ROE) for Internal Security operations,” the statement read.
The Army insisted that they did not shoot any civilian and that there is glaring and convincing evidence to attest to this fact. They maintained that the allegations of shootings is the “hand work of mischief makers who will stop at nothing to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army.”

What you should know

Nairametrics reported last week that several social media accounts had revealed that peaceful protesters were allegedly being shot at by the military at the Lekki toll holdout. The Nigerian Army, however, denied deploying soldiers to attack #EndSARS protesters who assembled there.

The Lagos State Government ordered an investigation into the Lekki Toll Plaza shooting that was allegedly done by some men of the Nigerian Army on Tuesday evening. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had also stated that Lagos State would not burn on his watch, as he tried to calm things down after hoodlums wreaked havoc post-Lekki shootings, and announced that the Judicial panel set up by the state would include the incident.

Nairametrics earlier reported that Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had insisted that there were only two confirmed deaths during the shooting incident that happened a week ago at the Lekki Tollgate.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 27th of October 2020, 113 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 62,224 confirmed cases.

On the 27th of October 2020, 113 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,326 samples across the country.

To date, 62,224 cases have been confirmed, 57,916 cases have been discharged and 1,135 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 614,480 tests have been carried out as of October 27th, 2020 compared to 612,154 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 27th October 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 62,224
  • Total Number Discharged – 57,916
  • Total Deaths – 1,1135
  • Total Tests Carried out – 614,480

According to the NCDC, the 113 new cases were reported from 12 states- Lagos (51), FCT (15), Plateau (11), Kaduna (8), Oyo (8), Rivers (8), Ogun (4), Edo (2), Imo (2), Kwara (2), Delta (1), Kano (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,935, followed by Abuja (6,008), Plateau (3,614), Oyo (3,433), Rivers (2,781), Edo (2,654), Kaduna (2,625), Ogun (2,014), Delta (1,813), Kano (1,743), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314),  Kwara (1,069), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (923), Abia (898), Gombe (883).  Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).

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Imo State has recorded 616 cases, Benue (486), Nasarawa (479), Bayelsa (403),  Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (140), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

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The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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ENDSARS

Oyo sets up N500 Million fund each for youth entrepreneurs, compensation for victims of police brutality

Governor Seyi Makinde plans to disburse N500 million fund to youth entrepreneurs in Oyo state.

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Oyo sets up N500 Million fund each for youth entrepreneurs, compensation for victims of police brutality, #EndSARS: State Governors should have necessary powers to control the Police Force - Seyi Makinde, Seyi Makinde Proposes N3 Billion plan for water supply

Oyo State Government has directed that a N500 million MSME fund be set up to fund youth entrepreneurs in the State with bright business ideas

This was disclosed by Governor Seyi Makinde while speaking at the Post-Protest Meeting with Traditional Rulers and other Stakeholders, held at Agodi, Ibadan.
According to the Governor, the fund will provide further employment and improve the economic landscape in Oyo State.
The Governor also approved N500 million as compensation to victims of police brutality and injustice. This fund is to encourage anyone who has suffered any form of injustice in the past or as a result of the #EndSARS protests.
He said, “I have directed that a N500 Million MSME fund be set up. This fund will be disbursed to youths who have bright entrepreneurial ideas that will provide further employment and improve the economic landscape in Oyo State.”
Let me also state that we have set up an initial Five Hundred Million Naira (N500million) Compensation Fund for victims of injustice.
“So, I encourage everyone who has suffered any form of injustice in the past or as a result of the #EndSARS protests, to please take advantage of the platforms we have provided to log their cases.
“We have an email service and a direct reporting portal on the Oyo State Government website. A judicial panel for Oyo State will be inaugurated in the next one week to look into cases of injustice.”
He stated further, “We know that the protests have been a result of simmering anger among the youths. We are aware of the economic situation, especially the reduced income of many due to the COVID-19 pandemic and also the general unemployment situation in the country. Let me reassure you that we will continue to prioritize actions that will positively impact the youths.”

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