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NCC earmarks 23m for 2017 Tennis Cup Tournament

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said the commission has earmarked N23 million for this year’s NCC Tennis…

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said the commission has earmarked N23 million for this year’s NCC Tennis Cup tournament.

Danbatta made this known in Lagos, during the unveiling of the 2017 NCC Tennis Cup and the draw for the participating teams for the tournament.

The NCC boss said that the tournament, which entered its third edition,  had attracted best home and foreign tennis players.

Represented by the Director, Special Duties, NCC, Mrs Iyabo Sholanke, he said that 12 teams had been selected for the competition, which would be held across the country.

According to him, N17 million is the cash prize for the four best teams, while N6 million will be disbursed to the 12 teams towards their preparations for the tournament.

“We have maintained the same prizes of the 2016 edition for the 2017 edition.

“Therefore, the winning team will receive N7 million, the second best will go home with N5 million, the third will receive N3 million, while the fourth will earn N2 million for their efforts.

“The number of participating teams have also increased from 10 last year to 12 for this edition.

“All the teams will receive N500,000 each to support their preparations for the tournament,” he said.

The EVC said that the idea of the tennis tournament was to harness talents for the growth of the sport in Nigeria.

He said the tournament was one of the unifying sporting activity which had generated excitement across the country.

Danbatta said that part of the objectives of the sponsorship was to give recognition to top tennis players, through prize monies and empower them to launch professional careers abroad.

He said that it will also attract sponsorship to teams, which could train them with professional coaches as members of a squad.

According to him, 10 of the top players have received ranking by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) in the past two years.

“It is worth repeating that our choice to sponsor this tournament was guided principally by our commitment to be socially responsible.

“And to invest in the development and sharpening of skills of our citizens, who could develop to the point of making living with this sport and also doing the nation proud by winning laurels

“We are fulfilled with the impact, which this tournament has made in the Nigerian tennis circuit.

“We are proud to have used this opportunity to engage a number of Nigeria youths in a very fruitful and engaging enterprise with a bright future outlook.

“We are proud to have taken tennis to locations where high quality tennis has not taken place in a long time,” he said.

The EVC said that the NCC Tennis Cup was a team tennis competition that was opened to all, including the very best male and female tennis players in Nigeria.

He said that the tournament increased competition among the players, which was an advantage, when it came to preparation for other competitions within and outside Nigeria.

Danbatta said that the tournament was endorsed by the National Tennis Federation (NTF) and had stakeholders in the Nigerian sports and telecommunications industry.

The 12 teams were categorised into two groups of White and Blue.

The teams under White Category are Team Ofikwu, Team Ndoma-Egba, Team Goshen, Team CBN Fututos, Team Yetade and Team Tech-Vibe.

The Blue Group consists of Team Civil Defence, Team Kolatari, Team Muller, Team Opti Web, Team VGC Lions and Team Qualifier.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, applauded NCC for embracing sports initiative.

Dalung called on other government agencies to emulate the NCC by integrating sports in their activities.

NAN reports an organising committee was also inaugurated which is expected to fix a date for the tournament, among other assignments.

 

 

 

 

NCC declares ‘emergency’ on quality of service,

 

By Zakariyya Adaramola

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday declared a state of emergency on the deteriorating quality of telecom service in the country.

 

The Daily Trust reports that the quality of service (QoS) being provided by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other service providers has degenerated in recent time.

 

But the NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umar Danbatta, who declared the emergency in a meeting with telecom operators in Abuja, said the commission had put measures in place to check and monitor QoS on various networks.

 

 “Our task force on QoS and has been interacting with governments at different levels as part of the measures to deal with the poor QoS”, he said.

 

Danbatta also urged the operators and co-location service operators to provide suggestions on how to address the situation.

 

Earlier, NCC’s Executive Commissioner (Technical Services), Mr. Ubale Maska said, QoS has been a great concern as consumers inundate the Commission with complaints.

“It requires everybody’s input if the situation has to be redressed, hence 2017 has been declared the year of the Consumer”.

 

NCC Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity (DTSNI), Dr. Fidelis Ona, explained that the Commission is aware of some of the challenges which include Right of Way (RoW), Force Majeure, difficulty in acquiring new cell sites, multiple taxation and regulation, vandalism, power supply among others.

 

 

 

NCC says no plan to control social media usage

By Zakariyya Adaramola

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said there is no plan to regulate activities of social media platforms like BBM, WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook and others in the country.

NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman Prof Umar Danbatta said in Lagos at the Lagos Social Media Week that fears that Nigeria plans to regulate activities of social media platforms “are misplaced.”

 ‘’Fears are being expressed that the NCC wants to start regulating Over-The-Top (OTT)  services. These fears are misplaced. What the NCC paper has done is to elevate the value and quality of discourse on the issue’’, the NCC boss, who was represented by the commission’s director of public affairs Tony Ojobo said.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) recently published a 23 page document, ‘’An Overview of Provision of Over-The-Top (OTT) Services“, underscoring the growing influence of the OTT services on the operation of traditional mobile telephone networks.

Prof Danbata said people expressed the fear because of the document, adding that NCC only published the document when some operators expressed concerned about the activities of OTT operators and how they affect baseline returns in the country.

According to NCC, “a particular operator suggested that OTT players are eating the operators’ ‘’lunch’’ since they are not regulated and have no investment to increase their cost base.’’

While acknowledging the fears of traditional telecom service providers that traditional telephony and SMS revenues are under threats from newer IP based alternatives like Whatsapp, Skype, Viber, NCC says the document recommended that the Nigerian regulator should encourage local network providers to innovate and explore more efficient business models that would enable them compete favorably with OTT service providers.

 

NCC urges ICPC to go after reckless social media practitioners 

By Zakariyya Adaramola

 The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has called on the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to go after reckless and corrupt social media practitioners in the country.

NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umar Danbatta made the call yesterday when he led senior NCC officials on a working visit to ICPC headquarters in Abuja.

Prof Danbatta said the ICPC should come in to checkmate cases of abuse in the social media realm as this is a part of the process of fighting corruption.

He said some social media practitioners are misusing the opportunity of the unfettered access to information they have hence the need for ICPC to wade in.

“So in this regard, we are enlisting the services of the ICPC Chairman  and his team for a vigorous campaign against these criminals so that the cyberspace can be secured and Nigeria can become  a better place for all”, the NCC boss said.

He also solicited for the cooperation of the anti-corruption commission in the full implementation of the Cybercrime law.

Responding, the ICPC chairman Mr Ekpo Nta admitted that cybercrime and malicious write-ups on the social media are on the increase, promising the commission will stem up its fight towards bringing them down.

We all are victims of misuse of social media where new masquerades are now emerging to soil other people’s integrity and names within the cyberspace. It is very unfortunate but I am assuring you we are also developing responses to counter them”, he said.

 

NCC calls for greater appreciation of digital transformation

By Zakariyya Adaramola

 

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has said that the role of digital transformation in our society should be appreciated beyond the realm of statistics churned out in the telecommunications sector.

 

A statement from NCC’s Director of Public Affairs Tony Ojobo yesterday said Prof Danbatta disclosed this while delivering the 46th Convocation Lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, last weekend.

 

 The NCC boss, according to the statement, also called for more deployment of ICT to facilitate socio-economic development of the country.

 

“We talk about the benefits of ICT and we normally do this by dishing out e-readiness indicators. We say Broadband penetration is 21%, internet penetration 97%. All these are ICT-readiness indicators that do not tell the entire picture.

 

“We can go  beyond that and explain how ICTs have impacted to provide shared and sustainable prosperity; how ICTs have succeeded in reducing poverty; how they improve learning and  make the society more open, more mobile and cohesive. And above all how they encourage the economy to be more competitive and innovative”, he said. 

Speaking further, Danbatta said: “It is in Nigeria’s national interest to harness potentials that exist in the information driven age through the deployment and exploitation of ICT to facilitate socio-economic development and improvement of the human condition.”

He said developing countries like Nigeria are currently grappling with a broadband divide in addition to infrastructure, knowledge and information divides.