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NCC, NigComSat sign MoU on 5G technology

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This Nigerian Communications Commission and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the takeoff of the Fifth Generation (5G) technology in Nigeria.

The MoU by the two Federal Government agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy signed in Abuja is expected to lay the foundation for the acquisition of foreign spectrum suitable for the deployment of the 5G technology in the country.

NCC Board Chairman, Prof Adeolu Akande, said the time had come for the country to key into the 5G technology.

He said, “In recent times, precisely from the last quarter of 2019, several administrations have begun to license Spectrum for commercial deployment of 5G.

“As we speak today, 5G services have already been deployed in United States of America, South Korea, United Kingdom, China, South Africa, Kenya and many more.”

According to him, telecommunication evolution has led to improvement in user experience witnessed from the 2G to the 3G and later 4G.

“The global impact of 4G brought about increases in mobile usage and network performance. 5G will build on this momentum, bringing substantial network improvements, including higher connection speeds, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities,” he added.

Speaking on the how the MoU would work for the new technology, NCC Executive Chairman, Prof. Umar Dambatta, said, “It will facilitate the release of contiguous bandwidth in one of the most suitable Frequency Spectrum band(s) for early deployment of fifth Generation Network (5G) services in the largest market in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Among the frequency spectrum bands allocated to 5G by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the C-band (3.4GHz – 3.9GHz) stands out because its balancing point between coverage and capacity provides the perfect environment for 5G connectivity.

“The C-band is most suitable and appropriate for immediate deployment of 5G services taking into consideration availability of device ecosystem with 60-70 per cent of global commercial 5G network deployment currently in the band, thus the importance of this Spectrum for early deployment of 5G services in Nigeria cannot be over emphasised.

“For optimal 5G service performance, an average of contiguous 100 MHz of spectrum in the C-band is required by an Operator. However in Nigeria, only 120 MHz of the band (3.4 – 3.52) GHz is available for mobile services while the remaining 680 MHz (3.52 – 4.2) GHz of the band is used by NigComSat (NG-1R) satellites.

“The commission initiated negotiation with NIGCOMSAT which in our estimate could make some adjustment to its satellite operation and release part of its spectrum holding in the band to facilitate the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.

“The impeccable team at NigComSat proved us right. Ladies and gentleman, permit me to use this medium to appreciate the Management of the NigComSat under the distinguished leadership of my sister – Dr. Abimbola Alale – for demonstrating that the interest of our dear country is paramount to our organisational or personal interest.

He added, “The two agencies discussed on how to relocate the operations of NG-1R to the standard C-band 300MHz (3.9GHz – 4.2GHz) potion of the band, which is more suitable in terms of Satellite service offering because end user terminal are cheaper there, while leaving the non-standard C-band 400MHz (3.5GHz – 3.9GHz) portion of the band for 5G use.”

“The cost of relocating the NG-1R is expected to be offset from the proceeds of the auction of the 5G Spectrum.

“The two agencies have developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) detailing all the aspect of this undertaking.”

NigComSat Chief Executive Dr Abimbola Alale comended the committees set by the two agencies for doing a thorough job.

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FG’s latest external loan requests for 15 state projects – Presidency

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The Presidency has clarified that the the Federal Government’s latest external loan requests are for a total of 15 projects in the six geo-political zones of the country.

It stated that the projects would be financed with more than $4bn from multilateral institutions, under the 2018-2021 medium term (rolling) external borrowing plan.

Spokesman for the Presidency, Garba Shehu, in a statement said President Muhammadu Buhari had requested the Senate to approve sovereign loans of $4.054bn and €710m as well as grant components of $125m for the proposed projects.

According to the letter by the President, the sovereign loans will be sourced from the World Bank, French Development Agency (AFD), China-Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chartered/China Export and Credit (SINOSURE).

Shehu said the President’s request to the Senate listed 15 proposed pipeline projects, the objectives, the implementation period, benefiting states, as well as the implementing ministries, departments and agencies.

A breakdown of the ‘Addendum to the Proposed Pipeline Projects for the 2018-2021 Medium Term (rolling) External Borrowing Plan’ shows that the World Bank is expected to finance seven projects including the $125m grant for ‘Better Education Services for All’.

The Global Partnership for Education grant is expected to increase equitable access for out-of-schoolchildren and improve literacy in focus states.

The grant, which will be implemented by the Federal Ministry of Education and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), will strengthen accountability for results in basic Education in Katsina, Oyo and Adamawa states.

Other projects to be financed by the World Bank are the State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results as well as the Agro-Processing, Productivity, Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project.

The benefiting states for the agro-processing project are Kogi, Kaduna, Kano, Cross River, Enugu and Lagos with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as the implementing ministry.

The objective of the project is to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium-scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chains in the participating states.

Similarly, the World Bank is also financing the Nigeria Sustainable Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project in Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Imo and Plateau states, for the next five years.

The project, when completed, is expected to improve rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene nationwide towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for water supply and sanitation by 2030.

Under the external borrowing plan, the World Bank supported projects include Nigeria’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (COPREP), under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The project, which has an implementation period of five years, will respond to threats posed by COVID-19 through the procurement of vaccines.

Furthermore, no fewer than 29 states are listed as beneficiaries of the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Arid Zone Landscape project, which is expected to reduce natural resource management conflicts in dry and semi-arid ecosystems in Nigeria.

The benefiting states for the project to be co-financed by World Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB) are Akwa Ibom, Borno, Oyo, Sokoto, Kano, Katsina, Edo, Plateau, Abia, Nasarawa, Delta, Niger, Gombe, Imo, Enugu, Kogi, Anambra, Niger, Ebonyi, Cross River, Ondo, Kaduna, Kebbi, Jigawa, Bauchi, Ekiti, Ogun, Benue, Yobe and Kwara.

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Photos: Kia dazzles Nigerian fans, unveils Sonet, Seltos compact SUVs

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Lovers of compact sport utility vehicles built with sophistication in Nigeria have two new stunning products to celebrate, coming from Kia Motors. They are the all-new Sonet and the high-tech Seltos.

The two models assembled in Nigeria and unveiled in Lagos on Friday to the motoring journalists are expected to substantially raise the market share of Kia in the compact SUV segment, which is fast becoming the toast of many new car buyers globally including Nigeria, especially young trendy people.

Details later…

 

 

 

 

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Southern govs okay VAT collection by state governments

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Governors of the southern states have agreed that collection of value-added tax (VAT) should be undertaken by state governments.

Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, disclosed this on Thursday while reading a communique at the end of a meeting of the governors in Enugu.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service and some state governments are currently in court over VAT collection.

Rivers and Lagos state governments have enacted laws empowering their respective states to collect the tax (VAT).

Last week, the Court of Appeal directed states to maintain status quo on VAT collection pending the determination of an appeal filed by the FIRS.

Akeredolu said that the governors affirmed that the collection of VAT fell within the powers of state governments.

“We resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the state,” he said.

He also said, “The meeting reaffirmed its earlier commitment to fiscal federalism and emphasised the need to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.”

Akeredolu urged states in the south to leverage the competence of their houses of assembly and representation at the national assembly to pursue the goal.

He said that the meeting reviewed the state of the nation and the progress made in the implementation of the ban on open grazing of cattle in the south of Nigeria.

He said, “The meeting expressed satisfaction with the rate at which states in the south of Nigeria are amending or enacting the anti-open grazing law.

“This aligns with the uniform template and aspiration of governors in the south and we encourage the states that have yet to enact the law to do so expeditiously.

“The meeting agreed to encourage the full operationalisation of the already agreed regional security which will share intelligence and collaborate toward the safety and security of the region.”

The meeting was attended by Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.

Others are Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Douye Diri (Bayelsa) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).

The deputy governors in attendance were Bisi Egbeyemi (Ekiti), Rauf Olaniyan (Oyo), Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi), Ude Oko-Chukwu (Abia), Philip Shuaibu (Edo), Prof. Ivara Esu (Cross River) and Placid Njoku (Imo).

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