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NCC sets up committee to review licensing framework of Infrastructure Companies

The NCC has set up a committee to review the framework for the licensing of the current Infrastructure Companies.

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The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has set up a committee to review the framework for the licensing of the current Infrastructure Companies (InfraCo) and the creation of sustainable funding options.

The committee is tasked with resolving the challenges facing the InfraCo project, the need for accelerated deployment of fibre infrastructure, means of mitigating exorbitant RoW charges, amongst others.

This disclosure was made by NCC in a press release, which was signed by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs.

NCC disclosed that the Committee has met with all the six licensed Infrastructure Companies for the six geopolitical zones in the country, as well as the preferred bidder for the North Central zone.

What you should know

  • The constitution of the committee is in line with the requirements of the new Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025) and reports to the committees set up by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
  • The committees include the Inter-Ministerial Review Committee on Multiple Taxation on Telecommunications Operators over Right-of-Way (RoW) and the Technical Sub-Committee on Right-of-Way for Deepening Broadband Penetration in Nigeria.
  • The committee set-up by NCC is expected to collaborate with the Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC), as constituted by the Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy based on the recommendations and requirements of the NNBP 2020-2025.

What they are saying

While providing updates on the development, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said,

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The InfraCo project is dear to the government, because of its ability to enhance robust and pervasive broadband infrastructure to drive service availability, accessibility, and affordability.

We are keen on ensuring the project delivers maximum benefits for the economy at large, which is why the ongoing review is very critical to the overall success of the project, in line with the new realities of the time.”

The EVC clarified that the current status of the InfraCo project, as provided above, is contrary to reports suggesting that the Commission is inching towards executing the counterpart funding in respect of the project.

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What to expect

  • The new committee will address the structural rigidities which InfraCo grapples with, including supply chain disruption and other challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the change in the exchange rate.
  • In the same vein, the committee will address the InfraCo licensing framework. It will also address the delays in the take-off of their respective projects, by creating sustainable funding options for the companies.

Bottomline

The new committee will ensure the InfraCo project yield maximum benefit for the economy, as this will put the commission on the path of deepening broadband penetration in the country via a robust infrastructure.

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COVID-19: CACOVID spent N43.27 billion to support 3 key priorities – CBN

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CACOVID devotes N23 billion to feed Nigerians

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that the Coalition Alliance Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has so far incurred an expenditure of N43.27billion on the acquisition of, not only medical equipment and supplies but also food palliatives for vulnerable Nigerians.

The recent press release noted that the funds raised by CACOVID was used to support 3 key priorities – Medical facilities and equipment, food relief programs and communications plans.

The breakdown of the expenditure in the aforementioned areas are:

  • Medical Facilities and equipment: In collaboration with other stakeholders, CACOVID developed 39 fully equipped isolation centers across the 36 States of the Country including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The sum of N4.19billion was spent in Building Isolation Centers. In addition, medical equipment such as PCR test kits for suspected cases of COVID-19 were procured along with other required medical items at a cost of N9.02billion.
  • Food relief programs: As a way of cushioning the impact of the lockdown on vulnerable citizens, CACOVID provided palliatives in the form of essential food items to 1.7million households, which is equivalent to supporting 8 million Nigerians. A total of N28.76billion was spent procuring these food supplies.
  • Communication plans: CACOVID also worked to improve awareness in rural communities on the COVID-19 virus, and the measures community health workers and other members of society should take when someone in the community is suspected of having symptoms similar to that of COVID-19. In lieu of this, expenses were incurred on Print, TV, radio, and social media as part of CACOVID communication plans.

Why this matters

The recent disclosure is in line with the principle of accountability and transparency, as the organization seeks to lay bare facts regarding expenditure incurred so far; thereby, nipping in the bud, suspicions and unfounded rumor.

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What you should know

Due to the sudden global health challenge (COVID-19), which wreaked havoc on most economies of the world, coupled with declining oil prices and declined government revenue; the Bankers Committee, comprising the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Deposit Money Banks, as well as key stakeholders in the private sector came together to set up an alliance in March 2020, known as the Coalition Alliance Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).

The ultimate objective is working with the government to provide support in areas that would result in improved health and welfare for vulnerable Nigerians.

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FG, Tiimafrica to provide $5,000 one-time grant to young business owners

FG partners Tiimafrica to provide a one-time grant of $5,000 to young Nigerians who run businesses.

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The Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, in partnership with Tiimafrica, has organized a one-time grant of $5,000 to Nigerians between the ages of 25 and 35, who run businesses and have 6 months financial records. 

This disclosure was made by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, in a tweet via its official Twitter handle.

The tweet reads: 

Need to scale up your business? Tiimafrica in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports is giving out $5000 to young Nigerians between the ages of 25-35, who run a business and have 6 months financial records. Visit http://noya.ng or http://youthandsport.gov.ng to register #DEEL.” 

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Why this matters 

The grant is an initiative under the Project Grow 100, set up by the Federal Government through a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and Tiimafrica to help small business owners access the much-needed funds required to take their businesses to the next level. 

The initiative is expected to yield both direct and indirect gains to the economy and strengthen the resilience of young Nigerian business owners through the provision of funds to innovative and creative young entrepreneurs in the country. 

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What you should know 

The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and Tiimafrica outlined that those who would be considered for the one-time grant must meet the minimum requirement below: 

  • Applicants must be between 25 and 35 years old.
  • Eligible applicants must be Nigerian.
  • You must have been running a business within Nigeria.
  • Your business must financial records of at least 6 months.

To register for the $5,000 visit https://t.co/DTkReCuyEm or https://t.co/Er9CwYxHX4

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NAFDAC blacklists Indian manufacturer for falsified Ciproflaxin tablets

The DG of NAFDAC has disclosed that the agency has blacklisted Mars Remedies PVT Limited for manufacturing falsified Ciprofloxacin Tablets

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Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has disclosed that the agency has blacklisted Mars Remedies PVT Limited, India.

According to the press release issued, the agency blacklisted Mars Remedies PVT Limited for manufacturing falsified Ciprofloxacin Tablets BP 500mg (NAFDAC REG. NO C4-0498) for Pinnacle Health Pharmaceutical Ltd, 16/18. Nuru Oniwo Street, Surulere, Lagos.

In view of the unprofessional practice, Prof. Adeyeye explained that all products manufactured by the Indian company will not be allowed into Nigeria with immediate effect.

According to Prof. Adeyeye, the variation in the formulation of the Ciprofloxacin 500mg tablets, which may impact the product quality and shelf-life, was not approved by the Agency before the changes were made.

This constitutes a violation of the NAFDAC Act, noting with dismay that the company has displayed a flagrant disregard for compliance with global standards necessary to assure the production of quality assured products. Therefore, the company has been blacklisted accordingly.

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The Director-General wishes to warn all manufacturers and importers of medicines to adhere strictly to the conditions for which their products were registered by NAFDAC or face similar sanctions.

What you should know

This decision is a follow up to the notice sent to the Indian company, in a letter dated October 9, 2020 and addressed to the Managing Director of Mars Remedies PVT Limited, with the title; “Notice of blacklisting as a manufacturer of substandard and falsified medicines.

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The DG of NAFDAC, in the letter, reiterated the agency’s position of zero tolerance for substandard and falsified medicines preponderance in Nigeria, in fulfillment of the regulatory obligation to safeguard the health of the nation.

She explained that the company illegally manufactured different formulations of Ciprofloxacin tablets, instead of the approved formulation for export to Nigeria, and this is in violation of NAFDAC’s extant laws and regulations.

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