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Why telecoms poor services persist 

The alleged poor telecommunication services witnessed across Nigeria has been attributed to an investment gap of about N1.98 trillion in the sector.

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Banks are the biggest beneficiaries of USSD charges - Telcos reply Banks CEOs, Poor service: 19,977 subscribers lodge complaints against Telcos, Why telecoms poor services persist 

The alleged poor telecommunication services witnessed across Nigeria has been attributed to an investment gap of about N1.98 trillion in the sector and that is currently hindering some 40 million Nigerians from accessing basic telephony services in the country.

The gap could be attributed to the fact that the industry needs about 80,000 Base Transceiver Stations (BTS means telecoms mast), which require about N1.98 trillion to fix as cost of one is put at N40 million, for quality service to be rendered to millions of subscribers.

BTS is a piece of equipment that facilitates wireless communication between user equipment (UE) and a network. UEs are devices like mobile phones (handsets), WLL phones, and computers with wireless Internet connectivity.

USSD Gbenga Adebayo, Multiple taxes scare investors, stifle economic growth, ALTON warns , Why telecoms poor services persist 

Chairman, ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo

The statistics show that only 30,598 telecoms masts provide service for the nation’s active telephone population (179 million) as Nigeria’s telecoms sector investment is put at $70 billion.

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What it means: The gap of about 49,402 BTS is putting pressure on existing infrastructure, resulting in poor services almost on a daily basis. This challenge has also denied some 195 communities, which host about 40 million Nigerians, access to voice and data services, among other telecoms services.

[READ MORE: Multiple taxes scare investors, stifle economic growth, ALTON warns]

What is obtainable in other climes: While Nigeria boasts of 30,598 BTS for 179 million users, the United Kingdom (UK), with a population of 60 million people and about 250 land square meters has close to 60,000 BTS. As at March 2019, South Africa with a population of 51.7 million people and a 109.8sqm landmass had 30,000 BTS. Also, Kenya with a population of 47.5 million and a 202sqm landmass has 6,800 BTS.

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What ALTON expects: Meanwhile, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, (ALTON) has called the government to stimulate investment in the sector.

Chairman, ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, tasked the government and approval authorities to speed up the process of obtaining site-building approvals required by telecoms operators.

He said, “Government must do a lot more in protecting exiting telecommunications infrastructure because recurring vandalisation of infrastructure is a major disincentive for rolling out more sites. 

“Also, high cost of Right of Way (RoW) for interconnecting underground fibre optic cable infrastructure is a major challenge, which limits the numbers of sites to be built or interconnected. Investment in BTS infrastructure could only happen when there is an enabling environment in Nigeria.” 

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Energy

Togo, Niger, Benin remit N2.04 billion to Nigeria for power supply

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission says international electricity customers remitted the sum of N2.04billion to Nigeria in three months.

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NERC postpones increase of electricity tariffs

Nigeria’s international electricity customers – Togo, Niger, and Benin, remitted the sum of N2.04billion in the first quarter of 2020, as their outstanding electricity bill to the Market Operator (MO) of the sector in Nigeria.

This was found in the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission 2020 first quarter report, which was released recently.

According to the report, a total of N4.05billion ($13.22million) invoices were issued by the MO to international customers including Societe Nigerienne d’electricite or NIGELEC; Societe Beninoise d’Energie Electrique (SBEE); and Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo (CEET).

The commission stated that during the quarter, NIGELEC made a payment of ₦1.61billion ($5.27million) as part of its outstanding bills for the energy received from NBET and services rendered by the MO.

It stated, “Similarly, SBEE paid ₦0.43billion ($1.39million) in respect of services received from MO.

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“It was noteworthy that tariff shortfall (represented by the difference between actual end-user tariffs payable by consumers and the cost-reflective rates approved by NERC) had partly contributed to liquidity challenges being experienced in the industry.

“The settlement ratio to the expected Minimum Remittance Thresholds, having adjusted for tariff shortfall, indicated that power distribution companies needed to improve on their performance.”

But

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Special customers like Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd and others in its environs did not make any payment in respect of the N0.27billion and N0.05billion invoices issued to them by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and the MO respectively, during the period under view.

Meanwhile, the power distributors failed to remit N119.88billion to the sector within the same period.

Whereas Discos were expected to make a market remittance of 46.09% during 2020/Q1, only 32.53% settlement rate was achieved within the timeframe provided for market settlement in the Market Rules,” it added.

What it means: The Discos’ remittance level, regardless of the prevailing tariff shortfall, was still below the expected MRT and they are expected to improve on their performances.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Protests may return if panels do not address all issues in 2 weeks – Former Nigerian Minister

Akinyemi says the #EndSARS protesters would return to the streets if their demands are not addressed in two weeks.

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This was disclosed by Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, during a news interview with ARISE TV this afternoon, as he called on the FG to urgently address the issues raised by the protesters, as these issues extend beyond police brutality and the immediate reform of the Nigeria Police force.
He explained during the interview that the current demands of the youths extend beyond basic needs, which remain the core mandate of the present administration.
He likened the #EndSARS protest to the #BlackLivesMatter demonstration and reiterated that demands of the youth extend beyond stomach infrastructure, as it is more of a call for good governance in a bid to address the concrete issues that the country faces.
He called for strategic actions towards combatting the evils of unemployment in Nigeria; called on the military to employ more military men to soak up the unemployment, and also provide security for the country.
On the issue of restructuring, Professor Akinyemi said restructuring is also key to solving the many problems facing the country.
The Professor of Political Science noted that the way forward for Nigeria will be for the government to utilize the Justice Mohammed Uwais report on electoral reforms and the 2014 National Conference report, which he believes addresses the issues confronting Nigerians.
What they are saying
During the interview, Professor Akinyemi said, “I will say and let me believe I am wrong, the judicial panels have just two weeks to address all these issues before the youths come back to the streets. The government should at least give the youths the impression that you have not set up all these panels to buy time, but that you are genuinely and seriously interested in addressing their issues.”
He reiterated the need for the employment of more police officers,
We told the government, because I was part of that conference, that the United Nations said Nigeria needs 1.5 million policemen. We have only about 350,000 and we were recommending that the Nigerian government should employ 750,000 more policemen.”
What we’ve seen in the past two weeks is that we don’t have enough men in uniform to guarantee security in this country if every part of the country decides to blow up. So you serve two purposes – employment and security, and those are things you can do immediately.
“We have just seen how every Governor was scrambling around in the past two weeks; if you allow each state to have its own state police, you wouldn’t have that experience. I have heard of a situation where the streets took over even governance in almost every state. So, restructuring is that you allow things to be done at the local level.”

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Coronavirus

COVID-19: Jason Njoku and wife test positive

iROKOtv CEO and wife have contracted the novel coronavirus.

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Jason Njoku and Wife testes positive to Covid-19

Jason Chukwuma Njoku, the co-founder and CEO of iROKOtv and his wife has tested positive for COVID-19. However, Mrs. Mary Njoku is feeling well.

Jason,  disclosed this via his Twitter handle stating that “My enemies are hard at work in 2020. Mrs. Njoku and I tested positive for Covid-19. I’m not feeling great, but Mary is well. Literally no idea how I caught it. But we shall see this pass too.”

The media mogul did not reveal if his children caught the virus too.

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