The Minister for Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, has unveiled the new National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) digital centre, reviewed logo, vision, and mission statements, assuring that the new projects will help to upgrade Nigeria’s cyber security.
Speaking during the Phase III Virtual Commissioning of Digital Economy Projects for a Digital Nigeria, the minister noted that the project is in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria.
“The reason behind changing the agency’s logo is that the world’s IT has changed from ICT to digital economy. It is no longer about IT policy but rather digital economy policy for a digital Nigeria, because the IT policy has become obsolete” Pantami explained.
He noted that before the Coronavirus pandemic, the World Economic Forum had predicted that before 2022, 60% of the world economy would be digitalised. However, the pandemic has fastracked this prediction, making it obvious that the same could be achieved before 2021.
“This has motivated us to double our efforts, so that some of the targets we initially set for 2023 have already been achieved now. In telecoms , for instance, issues like that of the right of way for critical digital infrastructure has been lingering for years, but we have been able to resolve this in our first year,” he stated.
More details: The digital centre unveiled contained a computer emergency response and readiness centre, and digital media studio.
The Computer Emergency Response and Readiness Centre is targeted at upgrading Nigeria’s cybersecurity in line with the administration’s plan to promote security.
“Today there are many challenges with regards to security based on what is happening online, so with the Computer Emergency Response And Readiness team, we will be able to be the watchdog of Federal Government of Nigeria, monitor potential cyber-attacks on our country, come up with policies and strategies to prevent such attacks on our country or at least reduce it,” Pantami said.
He added that such impending attacks will be communicated to the affected institutions on an advisory level, in line with the digital security pillar of the national digital economy policy.
The digital media studio, he said, would aid virtual conference, e-learning, and e-governance, and help the administration promote economic development and better security.
After doing a test run of the digital studio, Pantami commended the NITDA DG for completing the project which was initiated a year ago.
Also present at the virtual event was the Executive Vice Chairman NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, Chairman, Governing Board of NITDA, Dr Abubakar Saidu, DG of NITDA Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, and the SA on media to President Muhammadu Buhari Bashir Ahmad.
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The Backstory: In October 2019, the ministry of communication was re-designated into Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Earlier in the year, the department of digital economy was created under the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
MTN Nigeria declares largest ever revenue by a listed Nigerian entity for FY 2020
The strong revenue growth was basically due to its data-led segment as sales from the segment expanded by an impressive 51.5% Year to Year.
MTN Nigeria recently announced another ground-breaking full-year turnover in the financial year of 2020, the highest ever recorded by a Nigerian listed entity.
Specifically, the telecom giant’s revenue expanded by 15.1% year-to-year to N1.3 trillion in the review period. The strong revenue growth was basically due to its data-led segment as sales from the segment expanded by an impressive 51.5% Year to Year.
- Voice sales rose relatively by 5.6% year to year as the global switch to data-enabled communication subsisted.
- MTN Nigeria Plc also announced a N5.90/share final dividend on impressive growth in its free Cash Flow for the financial year of 2020.
- Notably, MTNN’s 4G network now covers 60.1% of the population compared to 43.8% in 2019.
- According to MTN Nigeria, the suspension of new SIM registration enforced in mid-December did not have a material effect on the voice segment, which managed a 10.6% YoY revenue growth in Q4’20 (vs 7.0% YoY in Q3’20).
In contrast, data revenue growth notably moderated to 37.5% YoY in Q4’20 compared to 55.5% YoY in Q3’20.
In a research report released by CardinalStone, the most valuable telecom company’s margin was adversely affected by currency devaluation;
“Margins were adversely affected by the effect of naira devaluation and expenses associated with new sites’ roll-out to boost 4G network coverage in FY’20.
“On the former, we note that MTNN expanded the scope of its service agreement with IHS Holding Limited and changed the reference rate for converting USD tower expenses to NAFEX (vs CBN’s official rate previously). Thus, over the full-year period, the company’s operating margin contracted by 1.9 ppts YoY to 31.7%,” the report stated.
The company’s margin was also negatively affected by the higher cost of borrowing and the ultra-low rates prevailing at Nigeria’s debt market;
“Net finance cost increased by 25.4% YoY on the impact of higher borrowings and lower interest on investment in government securities.
“Borrowings rose by over 26.3% to N521.2 billion in FY’20, after the company notably issued its N100 billion Commercial paper in June 2020. The effect of higher borrowings combined with a tax increase (a consequence of lower investment allowance and exempt income) to keep after-tax profit growth subdued at 0.9% YoY.”
That being said, in spite of its impressive growth in revenue the Stock was trailing by 3.28% trading at N174 per share.
Oil marketers say petrol will sell for N230 per litre in March
Oil marketers have insisted that petrol will sell for as much as N230 per litre in March.
Oil marketers, on Sunday, said that Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol is to sell for as much as N230 per litre in March.
This is coming against the background of insistence by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it has no plans to increase the price of petrol in March.
There has been a reported reappearance of queues at filling stations in some parts of Lagos and Abuja as panic buying and petrol hoarding occurs in some filling stations.
According to a report by New Telegraph, the National Operations Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mike Osatuyi, declared that the whole nation had crossed the bridge and that there was no hiding place for a hike in fuel price.
What the IPMAN top officials are saying
Osatuyi said, “I have just returned from a meeting in Abuja. What I have observed is that many stations have closed down and there are queues in many places in both Lagos and Abuja. Nigeria has crossed the bridge, there is no hiding place, the N1.2 trillion, which was hitherto annual spending on subsidy, will be borne by the market.
“As it is, the prices of crude oil have gone up to $67 per barrel and, with this, the price of PMS will be between N220 per litre and N230 per litre. I was told by someone that the Group Managing Director of NNPC told them that the official price is likely to be N206 per litre.
“As it is now, all the stations that have shut down their gates must have heard information before they took that action. I want us all to wait by tomorrow we will all see clearly what will happen. There have been annual spending of N1.2 trillion on fuel subsidy and now that the subsidy has said to be abolished, that money must come from somewhere.
‘’The money must be coming from somewhere. “NNPC is not an NGO (non-governmental organisation), there is no budgetary provision for subsidy again and instead of wasting it on subsidy, it should be deployed to other sectors,’’ he said.
On what can be done to cushion the negative effects of higher fuel price, Osatuyi said: “This plan to cushion the negative effects of higher fuel price should be the next important thing. The government can do the free conversion of vehicle from fuel to gas. This should be done to help Nigerians who will definitely be affected by this fuel price hike.”
On his part, the IPMAN National Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu, condemned the panic buying and return of long queues at some filling stations within Abuja.
While assuring Nigerians that the normal supply of petroleum products would soon be restored with the commencement of loading at various depots, Yakubu said the increase in the global price of crude oil has affected the price of petrol.
He said, “We want to assure the buyers that government and marketers are doing everything possible to ensure that the products are available in every filling station within a few days starting from today (Sunday).’’
What you should know
- The state oil giant, NNPC, had in a press statement on Sunday, assured Nigerians that despite the increase in the price of crude oil, it has no plans to increase the ex-depot price of petrol in the month of March. This is coming after it gave a similar assurance earlier in February, that it was not going to increase the price of the product in February.
- NNPC explained that the decision was to allow ongoing engagements with organized labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship, to be concluded.
- This uncertainty has led to hoarding of the product by depot owners and some retail marketers, which has led to the return of queues in some filling stations.
- The Federal Government had in March 2020, announced the removal of fuel subsidy and full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry, which will allow market forces to determine the price of the product.
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