The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is adjusting regulatory instruments and management tools to ensure regulations are fi...
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is adjusting regulatory instruments and management tools to ensure regulations are fit for future imperatives of a robust telecoms sector. Among the adjustments is our ongoing review of the Telephone Subscriber Registration Regulations, meant to strengthen the framework for digital identity. The Spectrum Trading Guidelines is also being reviewed to ensure more efficient use of spectrum. The NCC is laying institutional foundations through co-operation with other regulatory institutions and international organisations such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The Commission is also developing and adapting governance frameworks to enable the development of agile and future-proof regulation as well as equally adapting regulatory enforcement activities to the “new normal”, imposed by the COVID-19. All these adjustments to regulatory instruments and management tools are to ensure alignment with the rapid technological changes and innovations that are emerging at a high speed and with sophistication and therefore fit for future imperatives of a robust telecoms sector
The NCC is tackling illegal and harmful content on over-the-top (OTT) platforms. It had to opt for "a middle ground that promotes safe use of digital service platforms without necessarily stifling the exercise of the citizen’s right to free expression as guaranteed in the Nigerian Constitution.” The NCC censors technology platforms in three scenarios, namely, restriction of person-to-person communications; restriction of Internet access generally; or restriction of access to specific content, which governments find objectionable.
The national broadband subscription and penetration for the month of September, the end of the third quarter of the year is 76,365...
Broadband Penetration and Data Subscription, September 2021
The national broadband subscription and penetration for the month of September, the end of the third quarter of the year is 76,365,158 and 40.01% respectively. This showed an insignificant increase over 76,289,063 subscribers recorded at the end of the second quarter of 2021, and 0.04 basis points over 39.97% penetration at the end of the same period. However, when compared to the immediate past month, the broadband penetration fell short of the 78,255,250 subscription and 41% penetration recorded in August by about 2.5% and over 100 basis points, respectively. This shows that the broadband subs cription and penetration in Nigeria is growing at a decreasing rate. This rate of growth is not encouraging given the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, which targets at least 90 per cent of the population and penetration rate of 70 per cent, and may jeopardise the efforts of the government to deliver data download speeds of about 25Mbps and 10Mbps to people in urban and rural areas, respectively by 2025.
Part of the reason attributed to this is the Federal Government’s policy of linking the National Identification Number (NIN) to SIM cards which started since December 2020. The government has just extended this policy for the sixth time, to the end of 2021, this might further dampen efforts at increasing broadband subscription and penetration. So far, about over 66 million Nigerians have been captured under NIN registration, each having an average of three to four SIMs, some of which are inactive. This is far behind over 210 million people in Nigeria. This big gaps amidst the decreasing growth in broadband penetration suggests that it might be very difficult to achieve the elaborate plan of at least 90 per cent of the population and 70% penetration by 2025.
Internet Data Subscription, September, 2021
There is also minimal increase in the number of active internet data subscription in the month of September, 2021. With a total of 139,922,679, the number of internet data subscribers surpassed that of August with 52,632 or 0.04% subscribers, and June, the end of the second quarter by 107,766 or 0.08% subscribers (see figure 1, below).
Analysed according to the subscribers on each of the licensed service providers utilizing the GSM, the data shows that, MTN got about 41.7%, 0.2% less than 41.9% it recorded in August and 0.9% less than its share of 42.6% at the end of June, the end of the second quarter on 2021. With a share of 27.8% in September, Globacom gained 0.2 more than its share in August and 0.7% more than its 27.1% second quarter share. 9Mobile lost 0.1% and 0.2% of its August and June shares of 4.3% and 4.4%, respectively. Airtel maintained its 26.2% share in august, with a 0.1% gain over June data subscription.
The data shows that while Globacom increased its number of data subscribers by 0.2%, MTN lost that same percentage of its data subscribers. 9Mobile’s data subscribers reduced by 0.1% while Airtel’s remained the same. In other words, only Globacom made an inroad into data subscriptions in September, 2021.
In line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021, signed into law recently by the president Mahammadu Buhari,...
In line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021, signed into law recently by the president Mahammadu Buhari, the NNPC Limited has been incorporated as a limited liability company by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The Act requires the Minister of Petroleum Resources under section 53(1) to cause for the incorporation of the NNPC Limited within six months of the enactment of the PIA in consultation with the Minister of Finance on the nominal shares of the Company.
Since the passing into law of the PIA, 2021, the president had in September ordered the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, to take necessary steps to ensure that the incorporation of the NNPC Limited in accordance with the provisions of the PIA 2021. Consequently, the preside had also approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited, whose tenure are to commence from the date of incorporation of the company with Senator Ifeanyi Ararume named as the Chairman of the Board.
With the incorporation of NNPC limited, all assets and liabilities of the NNPC will be transferred to NNPC Limited, government has also indicated interest to fulfill relevant sections of the Act, one of which is the intention to set in motion the process of immediate commercialization and privatization of not only the operation of, but also a possible future private ownership of shares in the NNPC Limited. NNPC limited also retains all Guarantees against government and NNPC as well as their employees and Conditions of Service.
So far, the government has shown readiness to implement that Act. It is expected that this swiftness will subsist. The PIA Act especially as concerned with the NNPC limited holds a lot of promises which can only come through if well implemented. The NNPC Limited is expected to compete with the best of other national oil companies globally, and take its pride of place among corporate giants of repute not only in Nigeria but also in the global oil and gas industry.
Investment opportunities worth about $3.097 billion currently exist in the country’s condensate refineries’ space. This was reveal...
Investment opportunities worth about $3.097 billion currently exist in the country’s condensate refineries’ space. This was revealed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at the 15th Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream Week. the NNPC stated that Nigeria’s demand for petroleum products is expected to grow from 15.1 million MT in 2020 to 17.3 million MT by 2025, requiring that the refining capacity of the country must grow to about 1.52 million barrels per stream day (MBPSD) to meet its petrol requirement in the next four years.
The NNPC is currently refining about 445,000 BPSD and when completed, the Dangote Refinery will about 650,000 BPSD. These will only amount to about 60 per cent and nameplate capacity, respectively, would supply 76 per cent of that requirement, leaving a shortfall of about 17 million litres of PMS daily. Through the private sector driven co-location at the existing facilities in PHRC and WRPC, respectively, the NNPC is adding 215,000 BPSD of refining capacity. Modular refineries are also adding capacities, such as the 5,000 BPSD Waltersmith refinery, which will be upgraded to 50,000 BPSD. The condensate refineries are expected to add the remaining 250,000 BSPD through the partnership. The co-location and condensate refineries will close the PMS supply-demand gap and create positive returns to the investors.
The NNPC therefore expects an investment of about $3.097 billion in condensate refineries to close this gap to improve the supply and distribution of petroleum products, revamp LPG infrastructure and build CNG plants.
The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has approved new standards (energy meters, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, inverters, b...
The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has approved new standards (energy meters, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, inverters, batteries, and charge controllers) for renewable energy. This is part of the federal government’s efforts towards actualizing the economic diversification agenda in the renewable energy subsector across the country, to standardise the solar power industry to substantially increase its share in the global energy mix, in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The aim of which is to attract more investments in the sector as well as increase access to power supply across the country and reduce the use of expensive and ecologically harmful diesel generators.
The SON is deploying a multi-stakeholder approach with consultations and inputs from relevant public-private entities to develop a more regulated and standardised market, which will encourage further investments into Renewable Energy (RE) and Efficient Energy (EE) sector. The agency is supported by the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), a technical assistance programme co-funded by the European Union and the German Government and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Power.
The organisation noted that due to its flexibility and affordability, solar power has fast become the most popular form of renewable power.
The NESP is aimed at improving the framework conditions for investments in the application of renewable energy and energy efficiency and rural electrification. This will provide guidance towards the achievement of the objectives of the strategy set for the implementation of renewable energy policy, that will foster investments in the domestic market for Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) and improving access to electricity in Nigeria.
Though flexible, the solar power is also affordable. It relies heavily on standardization. Standards play an essential part in testing, energy conversion, reflectance or materials properties, fabricating arrays, integrating into the smart grid and assuring workplace safety. About 37 standards were selected and approved in November 2020 under this subsector. This depicts the increasing relevance of the renewable energy. The solar power has fast become the most popular form of renewable power.
35 New ISO Standards for the Oil and Gas Industry Underway
The SON is also set to unveil about 35 new ISO standards for the nation’s oil and gas industry. This is important given the role the oil and gas sector play in Nigeria. This makes important that Nigeria key into the global trends to remain competitive at the international market.
The SON has set up Technical Committee (TC) meeting for the adoption of 35 ISO Standards for Nigerian use. The meeting is meant to capture details on standard requirements for metal corrosion inhibition, enhance regulation, certification, and speedy service delivery in the sector. This TC meeting will also help to harmonise practices in various sectors of the economy. The ISO standard will add a lot of value to the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry thereby generating revenue for the economy.
The 35 standards adopted include, ISO 3233-1 2019 part 1-3 paints and varnishes Determination of percentage volume of non-volatile matter, IS0 19097-1 2018 part 1 -2 Accelerated Life Test method of Mixed Metal Oxide Anode for Catholic Protection, ISO 13847: 2013 Petroleum and natural gas industries- pipelines transportation systems to name but a few.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has decided to address the lack of effective utilisation or the abysmally poor uptake...
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has decided to address the lack of effective utilisation or the abysmally poor uptake of the SNS caused by the perceived high rates and charges by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) who are owners of the major infrastructure being used by SNS providers to deliver services to end users. This stand to revitalise this segment of the nation’s telecommunications sector, which still has less than 3000 people using the service in the country since its introduction some fifteen years ago. The NCC has thus, decided to enforce the use of SNS assigned to telecom operators in other to ensure sustainability, profitability and fair competition in the segment.
In the forum on the ‘Determination of Call Termination Rate for Special Numbering Service Providers in Nigeria ‘, the stakeholders discussed issues and complaints emanating from the SNS segment of the telecoms market, the most important being the perception of high cost of delivering services to end-users in the SNS segment. The NCC pledged to ensure the utilisation of the numbers by the licensees in a way that delivers value to the scarce and finite nature of the numbers of final consumers and ensures sustainability of the industry.
There are different categories of special numbering schemes used in Nigeria, including, Toll free numbers (National and International), Vanity Numbers, Premium numbers, Golden numbers, Shared-Cost numbers, Personal numbers. Vanity numbers (0700) gives corporate bodies opportunities to brand their telecom numbers using alphanumeric identities which bear resemblance of their corporate names, thus making it easier for customers to remember. The prefix ‘0700’ has been allocated by NCC for Vanity numbers. Presently the Commission has licensed multiple service providers to issue out vanity numbers. Issuance of numbers is co-ordinated by NCC to avoid duplication by the various service providers.
Toll-Free numbers (0800) have the same arguments that are presented above for the 0700 vanity numbers are applicable to the 0800 numbers. The NCC has reserved some codes for future special numbering schemes, (see NCC- Development of a New Numbering Plan for Nigeria). The numbers are not allowed to be assigned to operator as OPERATORS CODES in the mobile or fixed services.
The last monetary policy committee meeting of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ended on the 23rd of November, with the commit...
The last monetary policy committee meeting of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ended on the 23rd of November, with the committee deciding to retain thus;
- the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 11.5 per cent
- the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR
- the CRR at 27.5 per cent
- and the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.
This is the sixth time the CBN will maintain the status quo since it reviewed its monetary policy stance in November 24, 2020 from the previous regime which held sway before September 22, 2020, viz;
- MPR of 12.5 per cent;
- Asymmetric corridor of +200/-500 basis points basis points around the MPR;
- CRR of 27.5 per cent; and
- Liquidity Ratio of 30 per cent.
The MPC believes that the existing monetary policy stance has continued to support the growth of the economy, and that if allowed would continue to consolidate the MPC mandate of price stability that is conducive for sustainable growth. Specifically, the committee noted that that GDP has consistently grown from the last quarter of 2020 to 4.03 per cent during Q3 of 2021 from the 5.01 per cent in the second quarter of 2021, while inflation has declined for the 6th consecutive month to 15.99 per cent in October 2021.
The MPC weighed other options. It noted that while tightening the MPR would further help to curb inflation aggressively, it will increase interest rates and constrain output growth. Similarly, while loosening will lower policy rates, ease liquidity pressures, and stimulate additional credit creation which will boost output growth, such a stance will further widen the negative real interest rate gap and compound the price distortions in the money markets which could fuel inflationary pressures. Either of the stances will amount to procyclical policies. The CBN therefore decided that there was no need to either tighten or loosen the Bank’s stance.
In the last six months inflation rate has continued to reduce and the economy has shown consistency in the growth trajectory in the last one year. It is expected that this monetary policy stance will consolidate on this favourable macro-economic environment which appears to have a good outlook in the coming year. However, the expected removal of subsidy and the likely increase in electricity tariff might lead to hoarding and drive prices up thereby truncating the growth trajectory. In other words, the activities of the energy sector will determine changes in the monetary police in the coming year.
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said as part of the estimated $1.5tn that would be invested in the downst...
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said as part of the estimated $1.5tn that would be invested in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry from this year till 2045, Nigeria and some other developing nations will get about $450bn worth of new refinery projects and expansion of existing units.
OPEC recognized that last year’s COVID-19 pandemic driven oil demand shock led to the closure of numerous refineries worldwide, and that the likelihood of further closures in the coming years is high. It therefore deemed it fit to bridge the supply gap so as to bring stability in the oil market. This will restore the losses suffered as a result of closure of many refineries during the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore contribute greatly to the post-pandemic economic recovery. OPEC expects about 6.9 million barrels per day of new refining capacity between 2021 to 2026, mostly in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Africa. It expecting Africa’s potential refining capacity to start increasing in 2022 at just below 0.4mb/d, before reaching just above 1mb/d in 2026. Additionally, OPEC is collaborating with 10 non-OPEC countries under the “Declaration of Cooperation” umbrella.
The organisation had earlier mapped out a cumulative oil-related investment requirements amounting to $11.8tn in the 2021-2045 period, about 80 per cent, or $9.2tn of which will go into the upstream, while $1.5 and $1.1tn will be invested in the downstream and midstream, respectively.
The Nigerian government has launched the Opening Extractives Programme (OEP). OEP is a global five-year scheme meant to accelerate...
The Nigerian government has launched the Opening Extractives Programme (OEP). OEP is a global five-year scheme meant to accelerate progress of beneficial ownership transparency in selected resource-rich countries. The programme is a global initiative to support national governments to deepen implementation of beneficial ownership (BO) transparency. As one of the countries selected for the pilot countries for beneficial ownership, OEP will help Nigeria dismantle the several roadblocks erected by companies operating in the sector in the past, and unveil the beneficial owners (BO) or real owners of assets in the Nigeria's oil, gas and mining sectors. It will accelerate open disclosure of future oil and gas assets' ownership in the country. It is part of the ongoing reforms in the extractive industries meant to stem corruption and money laundering in the sectors. The implementation of OEP will strengthen natural resource governance in the country, and also help resource-dependent nations, like Nigeria to earn more money from their resources as information is made easily accessible.
One of the dangers to the collective development aspirations of developing nations, especially Nigeria was secrecy in corporate ownership of assets in the extractive industries. Anonymous companies remained a major obstacle to fighting money laundering and corruption as they enable political actors carry out their criminal acts thereby preventing Nigeria from getting the full benefits of its natural resources. Anonymous companies have tentacles across the globe. Opacity in any part of the globe is a threat to openness all over the world and regardless of the location, the world is at risk of the dangers posed by this anonymity. Therefore, lifting the veil of secrecy over the ownership of extractive assets is very vital. This is even more important, given the country's history of Nigeria in the fight against corruption, insecurity, terrorism financing, money laundering and illicit financial flows which have become the bane of the society. The new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) now mandates the upstream industry regulator to disclose beneficial owners of licences, leases and others. The PIA has therefore brought about the much-desired assurances and trust for investors in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Although Nigeria has in the past committed to opening a register of all beneficial owners of oil companies operating in Nigeria, signing of open government partnership and deployment of open data instruments, the launch of OEP has institutionalized beneficial ownership reporting, thereby moving away from the experimental stage and providing for sanctions for defaulters. OEP has helped the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) develop the first set of templates for gathering information and data on who the real owners of Nigeria's extractive assets are. This completely new area of work for NEITI described as a “game changer” has helped to push the boundaries of transparency and accountability in the extractive industries. Part of the challenges encountered so far in the use OEP include outright refusal of some companies to fill the NEITI audit templates specifically designed for BO reporting, discrepancies between beneficial owners' data and the one provided by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), etc.
In order ensure that the menace of secrecy in ownership of oil and gas nstitutions is halted, NEITI has signed a Memoranda of Association (MoUs) with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU). It has also fully automated its data collection process. The implementation of this global standards for the promotion of an open and accountable system in the management of extractive resources will make a significant impact on Nigeria.
On its part, the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has fully committed to working with NEITI to deepen Nigeria's implementation of contract transparency and beneficial ownership disclosures in the country in a bid to ensure that the revenues from natural resource assets support national development and help reduce poverty. NURC has implemented beneficial ownership reporting system, it is a statutory requirement which demands full disclosure of beneficial ownership information. It has developed the Nigerian Oil and Gas Asset Beneficial Ownership Register (NOGABOR) portal by the commission's ICT team and is live. The commission is also engaging the oil and companies to ensure their mandatory compliance. It has also committed to collaborating on maintaining information on beneficial ownership, maintain data on companies that own extractive licences as well as create a better and healthy business climate. This is to grant citizens the opportunity to be aware of who they are doing business with or competing against and also to encourage appropriate stakeholder engagement as part of Nigeria's open government action plan.
OEP will be jointly implemented by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Open Ownership. So far, the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), and a body of 29 major oil companies, have pledged commitment to the OEP.
Four deserving Nigerian tech startups, Clearflow System Hub, Aelaus Engineering Teams/Hyech Electronics Solutions, Kalibotics, and...
Four deserving Nigerian tech startups, Clearflow System Hub, Aelaus Engineering Teams/Hyech Electronics Solutions, Kalibotics, and CyberNorth Tech, have been awarded N5 million each by the NCC for their novel digital solutions, aimed at finding innovative digital solutions in addressing the challenges of insecurity and to stem the growth in national e-waste rates, while advancing the frontier of Internet of Things (IoT) in Nigeria.
The first two startups, Clearflow System Hub; and Aelaus Engineering Teams/Hyech Electronics Solutions, emerged winners on IoT category on kidnapping and banditry, Kalibotics and CyberNorth Tech, emerged winners on assistive robotics for effective e-waste management solutions. According to the NCC, the awards were in furtherance of its commitment to encourage development of new indigenous technologies and contents, that are oriented in cutting-edge research to stimulate sustainable economic growth. It also aligns with the objectives of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) 2020, NCC's Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) 2021-2025, Executive Order 5 of 2017, and Section 1 (f) of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003 which focuses on promotion of Nigerian content in contracts, science, engineering and technology.
Meanwhile, the NCC has reiterated its resolve to ensure increased broadband penetration in line with the Federal government’s targets of 70% broadband penetration among 90% of the country's population. It also seeks to achieve broadband speeds of 15Mbp and 25Mbps in rural and urban areas respectively over the next five years. The commission is determined to provide a robust broadband infrastructure which facilitate the effective deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Mobile Technology and services associated with it in Nigeria. The commission is 97% ready for 5G deployment, and has also fixed a date for the auction of some spectrum slots in 3.5GHz band