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Economy, ICT
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in line with its tradition of exploring avenues to engage with telecom consumers, has taken advantage of the opportunity of this year’s edition of the Enugu International Trade Fair to enlighten telecom consumers on their rights and privileges within the telecommunications sector.

Addressing a large audience of telecom consumers during the NCC Special Day held at recently-concluded 32nd Enugu International Trade Fair organised by the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said events of this nature provide the opportunity for NCC, as a telecom regulator, to interact with consumers and attend to their service-related concerns.

In attendance at the NCC Special Day were the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde; Director, Consumer Affairs, Mr. Efosa Idehen; Zonal Controller, NCC Enugu Zonal Office, Mr. Ogbonnaya Ugama, and executive members of ECCIMA.

Represented by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Danbatta, who spoke around the theme of the Fair: “Promoting New Technologies, Business Ideas and Strategies for Rapid Economic Growth and Development in Nigeria,” highlighted some of the regulatory initiatives emplaced by the Commission for protecting, informing and educating the consumers.

These initiatives include the NCC Emergency Toll-free Number 112; the NCC Consumer Complaint Toll-Free Number 622; the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) Short Code 2442, the Regulation on Forceful Subscription and measures put in place to check cases of pre-registered Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards.
Danbatta emphasised the importance of the ongoing National Identity Number (NIN)-SIM data linkage exercise, in order to ensure credible citizen database for improved national security.

He stressed the need for consumers to be cybersecurity-conscious while online and to always ensure efficient management of e-waste for a safer environment, noting that this year’s World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD), which was observed on March 15, 2021 focused on ‘Tackling Plastic Pollution’ in line with the e-Waste Regulation being pursued by the Commission.

Danbatta praised the efforts of Chamber at sustaining the Fair over the years, pointing out that it remains the largest and most important business event South-East of the country. “The Fair is pivotal to bolstering the economic and industrial transformation of the region in view of its enormous business potential,” Danbatta said.

In attendance during the NCC Day at the Fair were Executive members of the ECCIMA. Earlier in his welcome address, the President of the Chamber, Emeka Nwandu, who was represented by the Chamber’s Deputy President, Jasper Nduagwuike, extolled the role of the Chamber in the facilitation and promotion of robust exchange of business engagements in the South-East region of the country over the years through various initiatives, such as the Trade Fair.

During an interactive executive session with the ECCIMA executives at the Commission’s pavilion, Adinde and Idehen fielded questions ranging from consumer complaints management, the recent Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) policy, NIN-SIM linkage exercise and other industry-related issues.

The event attracted many multinational, international and national exhibitors, who took advantage of the Fair to reach out to their customers in the South-East and South-South zones of the country.
The NCC has, over the years, been a regular participant at international trade fairs across the country and has been consistent in its participation at the Enugu International Trade Fair.

Economy, Finance
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) on Monday rated Lagos State as the seventh fastest growing city in the world, with highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in Nigeria.
The commission also noted that out of the 36 states and FCT, Lagos state had N398.7 billion IGR as of 2018, N1.2 trillion budget in 2020 and N5 trillion households consumption in 2019.
Ms Yewande Sadiku, NIPC’s Executive Secretary, disclosed this in Abuja at the formal launch of its ‘Book of States’ by Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo.
The ‘Book of States ‘ is a compendium of competitive advantages and key investment opportunities in each state, to enable investors appreciate the investment potentials in Nigeria.
Sadiku, while presenting the document highlighted various investment opportunities and comparative advantages across the 36 states and FCT to attract potential investors as captured in the document.
According to her, Lagos has the largest concentration of young, skilled and educated workforce including largest tourism and entertainment industry in Africa as well as best city for start-ups in Africa.
Sadiku stated that the project which produced by NIPC in conjunction with the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) was a means to sell Nigeria by highlighting the uniqueness of each of the 36 states and the FCT.
The NIPC boss equally highlighted the competitive advantages of some states including Bauchi, Ekiti, Enugu, Kano, Sokoto and Taraba.
She stated that Bauchi State had N11.7 billion IGR in 2019 with over 4.2m ha of arable land with 2.4m ha untapped adding that it spanned two ecological zones (Sudan and Sahel Savannah).

According to the NIPC boss, Bauchi has high deposit of solid minerals such as gold, titanium, limestone, kaolin and zinc with tourism potentials.
She described Ekiti which has N8.5 billion IGR as the knowledge capital of Nigeria due to the history of producing a disproportionately high number of professors and academics.
“It has a knowledge focused Special Economic Zone and special agricultural processing zone with arable land and irrigation facilitate. It produces cocoa, kolanut, timber, granite among others.
“Sokoto State has rich fertile soil for cultivation of many crops, the largest limestone reserves in Africa, largest phosphate deposits in Nigeria, and is endowed with gold, Nickel, copper and zinc.
“It ranks second in livestock production in Nigeria and is also a major producer of rice, onions, garlic and sesame, and possesses hydro (Goronyo), solar, wind, biomass and gas potentials.
“Enugu State houses the only international airport in the South East of Nigeria, presence of multiple Free Trade Zones in the state, large aggregation of technology, innovation and start-up hubs.
“It has over 16 universities and tertiary institutions, abundant coal, iron ore, limestone, etc, deposits, and a strategic gateway between the agricultural belt of the North and the manufacturing hubs of the South,” she noted.
Sadiku further stated that Kano State had N40.6 billion IGR, largest labour force in Nigeria, major commercial and manufacturing centre in West African Sub-Region and rich cultural and heritage values.
She also said that Taraba which had the largest tea farm in Nigeria was endowed with mineral resources while its IGR was N6.5 billion in 2019.
She noted that the ‘Book of States’ was just one, out of many efforts to promote investment opportunities in the country, adding that the commission was working on other plans.
“The investment passport is another document that will identify, and will be useful in promoting the investment opportunities in the states.
“This is the next thing we are working on along with profiling of specific investment opportunities of each state,” she said.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the amendments made to National Broadcasting Code to reposition the sector has started yielding results.
The minister made this known on Monday in Lagos during an engagement of the Ministerial Task Force on Digital Switch Over (DSO) with relevant stakeholders.
Mohammed disclosed that in adherence to the amended code, he was rightly informed that a big multinational recently cancelled an advertising production slated for South Africa and moved it to Nigeria.
“The result? Practitioners in Nigeria made N10 million from the production, while model fees totalled N5 million.
“This is just the beginning, as we are determined to diligently implement the reforms
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that to stimulate growth and investment in the advertising sector, an amendment was made to broadcasting code regarding production of advertising for local goods and services.
The amended section states, “all television and radio advertisements for airing on all broadcast platforms, pertaining to products and services manufactured, grown, processed, developed, created and originating from Nigeria, shall be wholly produced in Nigeria’’
The minister said the broadcasting code was amended to, among others, boost the local content, curb anti-competitive and monopolistic tendencies and boost advertising revenues.
“As many of you will recollect, we have carried out an unprecedented reform of the broadcasting industry, because we know that there is a nexus between those reforms and the success of the DSO.
“We have amended the Code to curb monopoly and exclusivity of programme content in order to create room for the local industry to grow,’’ he said.
The minister frowned at a situation where pay tv sector of the broadcast Industry in the country had been controlled by foreign interests.
He said indigenous efforts to compete have been frustrated and weakened by the established control of the big monopolies.
“It will interest you to know that to date, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has licensed over 30 Nigerian pay tv companies, but only one is currently struggling to break through. This is not acceptable.
“The monopolies exclude many Nigerians from enjoying or having access to premium content, especially in the area of sports and movies.
“With the amendment to the Code, anyone owning any sports rights must make such available to other parties in Nigeria, who may be interested in acquiring these rights.
“This obviously extends the opportunity for TV sports content to indigenous players,’’ he said.
The minister said under the new amendment, for a programme to qualify as local content, it must be authored, directed and produced by a Nigerian.
He added that at least 75 per cent of the leading actors and major supporting cast must be Nigerians.
Mohamme said a minimum of 75 per cent of its programme expenses and 75 per cent of post-production expenses paid for services provided by Nigerians or Nigerian companies.
He said the initiative would develop the skills, expertise and industry of the local content market.
Speaking on DSO, Mohammed said the federal government considered it as one of its priority projects, because of its potential to create jobs and bring governance closer to the people through better access to information.
He said DSO will bring internet to millions of Homes, provide quality programming, especially those produced locally, to Nigeria’s estimated 24 million television households, with high fidelity pictures and sound.
He said they had rolled out the DSO in five states, Plateau, Kaduna, Enugu, Kwara, Osun as well as Abuja the Federal Capital Territory.
“With the recent approval by the Federal Executive Council of outstanding payments to key stakeholders in the DSO Project, we are moving rapidly to cover the remaining 31 states.
“We are kick-starting the new rollout here in Lagos state on April 29, Kano state on June 3 and Rivers state on July 8.
“We will then follow up with Yobe state on July 15 and Gombe state on Aug. 12.
The minister reiterated that the DSO project is capable of generating one million jobs in three years.
He said as part of efforts to make the DSO proposition viable, he had directed GoTV and StarTimes to stop self-carriage by the end of June 2021.
Mohammed enjoined the stakeholders to support the project to develop the broadcasting sector.