Zinox Technologies Ltd., Nigeria’s foremost indigenous Information Technology powerhouse, is set to connect the entire South East region to the information super-highway, with the rollout of broadband connectivity in the 95 local government areas in the region.
The foregoing was disclosed by Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta.
The NCC boss made this known on Tuesday while speaking at the Anambra State Broadband Infrastructure Development Stakeholders Forum.
Zinox, a globally-renowned tech giant, is one of the infrastructure companies (InfraCos) licensed by the Federal Government to roll out metropolitan fibre-optic infrastructure across Nigeria. The InfraCos are expected to fill critical infrastructure gaps and enable high-speed broadband service in the various geopolitical zones, with Zinox licensed to deploy the services in the South East region as part of the soon-to-evolve broadband revolution in the country.
Speaking at the stakeholders’ forum, Danbatta reiterated the role of Zinox in the emerging digital revolution in the South East. Further, he hailed the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano for waiving the contentious Right of Way charges.
Right of Way charge is a levy paid by telecommunication companies to state governments, permitting telecommunication companies to dig up the roads and install telecommunications hardware such as optic fibre cables that carry internet traffic.
Danbatta said: “Under this initiative, the South-East Infraco licensee (Messrs. Zinox Technologies Ltd.) will be required to provide at least one Point-of-Access (PoA) in each of the 95 LGA’s that constitute the region and interconnect them with 1,314m of Optic Fibre Cable (OFC).
“Right-of-Way (RoW) charges is a major limiting factor to provision of broadband services in Nigeria, as it slows down network deployment with the cost of the limited capacities ultimately passed to the subscribers. I must applaud His Excellency and Anambra state, who is one of the two states that have not just reduced the Right of Way charges offered to operators, but waived it completely. For this, we are eternally grateful. This action, is sure, to put Anambra State on the global map of Digital Economy.’’
The multi-billion Naira project by Zinox has been hailed by economy watchers and other analysts as a potential game-changer, with the capacity to create jobs and other employment opportunities for millions, place the South East on the path of rapid development and unleash the sheer latent capacities of the youths and budding human capital in the region – a fact acknowledged by the NCC EVC.
“Result of study has shown that for every 10 percent increase in Broadband penetration, there is a corresponding 1.38% increase in GDP,’’ said Danbatta.
‘‘This RoW waiver, will also make Anambra State more attractive to network operators and attract investment in the infrastructure needed to support economic wellbeing of your Excellency’s economic jurisdiction. Giving up the RoW fees today is like separating seed that you will sow to guaranty a prosperous future (Digital foundation) in numerous thematic areas: Commerce, Education, Agriculture, Finance and Trade Education Health and Social, Business and Industry, Transport and energy, Safety and Security etc.,’’ he concluded.
Zinox was licensed based on the NCC’s Open Access Model (OAM) in line with the National Broadband Plan (NBP) of (2013 – 2018) now revised to (2020 – 2025).
By the provisions of the NBP, Nigeria is expected to attain significantly improved data download speeds: a minimum of 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population by 2025 at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data (2% of median income or 1% of minimum wage).
NOVA Merchant Bank’s growth trajectory continues as it declares N3.52bn profit
The Bank declared a profit after tax of N3.49bn in 2020 compared to N1.65bn in 2019 which represents a 112% increase.
NOVA Merchant Bank Limited has released its audited results for the financial year ended December 31st 2020, recording impressive growth across its major financial lines.
The Bank declared a profit after tax of N3.49bn in 2020 compared to N1.65bn in 2019 which represents a 112% increase. All the key financial parameters recorded major improvement over the prior year performance; Gross Earnings showed a quantum leap of 130% growth over 2019 and Profit Before Tax at N3.52bn recorded a 135% growth over the 2019 figure of N1.5bn. On a similar note, the Bank recorded a decline in the Cost to Income Ratio from 55% in 2019 to 44% in 2020.
Customer deposits stood at N89.6bn in 2020 compared to N40.5bn in 2019 while loans to customers grew by 71% to N50bn in 2020 compared to N29.3bn in 2019.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Nath Ude, said, “Our full year 2020 performance is especially gratifying as we achieved such growth amidst the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting macro-economic headwinds.”
“In 2021, we will continue to build on our strong foundation to significantly scale the business by focussing on exceeding the expectations of our customers through innovative financial solutions while expecting our non-bank subsidiaries to start contributing effectively to the group in line with our strategic intent,” Ude further stated.
The Chairman, Mr Phillips Oduoza stated, “I am particularly delighted to see how the Bank has maintained its growth trajectory and improve its efficiency during such a challenging period.
Oduoza added, “The Bank is well-positioned to benefit from the expected upsurge in economic activity and profit from the emerging opportunities this presents as the global economy emerges from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”
NOVA Merchant Bank offers an integrated suite of financial solutions covering Wholesale Banking, Investment Banking, Asset Management, Wealth Management, Trade Services, Transaction Banking, Cash Management and Digital Banking.
Syngenta, WACOT partner to boost Nigeria’s food security
WACOT and Syngenta would collaborate with farmers and others to sustainably improve the most important factor in agriculture – yield.
Leading food and agro-processing company in West Africa, WACOT Limited, and leading global agritech company Syngenta Crop Protection are partnering for impact to further boost Nigeria’s food security and ensure sustainable development of the agriculture sector.
This would see Syngenta Crop Protection working closely with WACOT over the next five years to help improve the sustainability, quality and safety of Nigeria’s agriculture with world-class science and innovative crop solutions.
Although Nigeria’s agriculture sector is the country’s highest employer of labour, accounting for 70 per cent, it has suffered low output resulting in poor returns for farmers and massive food import.
The partnership agreement with WACOT Limited, which operates in all 36 states in Nigeria and supports production of crops including rice, maize, sorghum, soybean, cotton and vegetables, will therefore help further Nigeria’s drive towards attaining self-sufficiency in food.
Through this partnership with WACOT, Syngenta would collaborate with farmers and others to sustainably improve the most important factor in agriculture – yield. This will take the form of WACOT supporting the Nigerian farmer on cost-effective agronomic practices, advanced crop protection methods through the usage of yield enhancement products and biological compounds to consolidate the growth of the agriculture sector in the country.
Commenting on the partnership, CEO of the Agri division of TGI Group, the parent company of WACOT Limited, Ramesh Moochikal stated that it desired for Nigeria to attain self-sufficiency in crop production and would look to enter into strategic partnerships to achieve this goal.
Moochikal said: “We are most pleased with this partnership that would further help us achieve our dream for Nigeria – food security and self-sufficiency. Nigerian farmers are hardworking, and we know that if we can make them aware of better crop production practices and make results of our research and development efforts available to them, things will improve, and the agri sector as a whole would benefit.”
Also speaking, Syngenta Crop Protection West Africa Head, Franck Tokore said the company was proud of its relationship with WACOT and would continue supporting Nigerian farmers.
He said: “We are delighted to be renewing our partnership with WACOT. Through this partnership, we provide quality solutions to farmers in Nigeria and help support food security and livelihoods in Africa’s most populous country. By supporting farmers in Nigeria to sustainably increase their yields, we are also helping them be more competitive globally, hence reducing the need for imports. Nigeria has huge potential, which we strive to unlock sustainably through this partnership”.
Syngenta is one of the world’s leading agriculture companies, comprising Syngenta Crop Protection and Syngenta Seeds. It aspires to help safely feed the world while taking care of the planet. Its technologies enable millions of farmers around the world to make better use of limited agricultural resources responsibly.
Over the years, WACOT has consistently focused on contributing to food security in Nigeria. It has developed a strong portfolio of Agri inputs to fuel the country’s self-sufficiency in agriculture.
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