MATTERS ARISING: Sack Oteh, Reps insists
The House of Representatives has stuck to its guns, insisting that President Goodluck Jonathan should sack the director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Arunma Oteh. The House of Representatives had last year launched investigation into the near collapse of the Nigeria’s capital market and both chambers of the National Assembly had in their separate resolutions asked the president to remove Oteh as the DG SEC, citing her lack of requisite qualification as reason.
The new development came a few days after the president forwarded bills for amendment to the 2013 appropriation Act and subsidy Re-investment Programme to the National Assembly, specifically raising issues on the clause that seem to prevent SEC from spending funds in 2013 fiscal year.
Etisalat, Ericson seal 5-year mobile management dealThe Etisalat group has announced that it has entered a five year multi- country managed service with Ericson to manage its entire mobile networks. Etisalat it is aiming to develop offerings based on value added services to its growing subscriber base, taking into account the specific requirement of each consumer and providing solutions tailored to their expectations. This agreement enables Etisalat to focus more on their core business of delivering innovative offerings to their customers.
Etisalat CEO, Nagi Abboud said “with the evolution of the competitive landscape in our market we need to adapt our operating model to provide a better service to our end users. Adopting this business outsourcing model is therefore an important step in our group strategy execution that will be for the benefit of our subscribers, who remain our top priority, and this will as well open new growth opportunities to our employees.”
On his part, Head of Ericson in the Sub Saharan Africa region, Lars Liden said “a managed service is a proven business model to support operators in growth mode and it is one of the most dynamic areas in our industry. Our work together will support Atlantique Telecom in defining a new generation of operators in Africa.
The contract covers network operations, field maintenance, network optimization and spare part management for Etisalat’s multi-vendor mobile networks; including access, core and transmission, as well as value added services.
Nigerians Tainting The Nation Brand
Leader of the delegation of Norwegian Intelligence Service and Customs officials, Mr. Kai Arild Holm, has disclosed recently in Lagos that no fewer than 1,585 Nigerians were arrested and detained in Norwegian prisons between 2000 and 2012 over drug trafficking offences.
Disclosing the development during the team’s visit to National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA in Lagos, Holm said the visit to the anti-narcotic agency was to enhance collaboration with Nigerian authorities in counter narcotic smuggling, money laundering and human trafficking.
According to him, “in 2012, we arrested 432 Nigerians in Norway and deported 95 over drug trafficking. We need your help in dealing with the problem of West African criminal network in Norway. Most Nigerians arrested over drug trafficking are based in Europe. They engage in drug trafficking and the launder the money back home.”
A new brand of surveillance
Security agencies in collaboration with banks and other financial institutions in the country are monitoring accounts belonging to foreign embassies, politically exposed persons and other high net worth individuals as their accounts were those that could be used to launder money and finance terrorism.
Accounts placed under surveillance include those of former heads of state; state governors; local government chairmen, senior government, and political party officials and their family members. Also being monitored are accounts of former governors, ex- local government chairmen, ex-senior government officials and their counterparts in the judiciary.
The monitoring strategy was based on the Central Bank of Nigeria risk-based supervision framework and It was learnt that the officials were expected to file reports on their monthly transactions with the CBN and appropriate security agency(cies) for analysis and action.
NCC Crashes Voice Tariffs
Nigerian subscribers’ demand for the cost of voice tariffs to be lowered has been answered with a new mobile termination rates (MTRs) also known as interconnect rates introduced in March by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) with effect from April 1, 2013.
According to the regulator who retained Asymmetrical Rate, which favours newer operators, the new entrants and small operators irrespective of the originating network charge N6.40kobo from April 1, 2013; N5.20kobo from April 1, 2014 and N3.90kobo from April 1, 2015.
The termination rates for voice services provided by other operators irrespective of the originating network shall be N4.90kobo from 1st of April, 2013; N4.40k from 1st of April, 2014; and N3.90k from 1st of April 2015.This new determination rate shall take effect from 1st of April 2013, and remain valid and binding on licencees for the next three years until further review by the Commission.
A statement from Mr. Tony Ojobo, director, public affairs, NCC, reads NCC “After comprehensive consultations with various stakeholders, has released a new set of interconnection rates determination for voice services. New entrant is defined as newly licensed operator entering an existing or new market within zero to three years. Small operator is defined, for the purpose of the determination, as an existing operator with a market share of 0 – 7.5 per cent in terms of subscriber base.”
How FG Awards Oil blocks
Against the backdrop of the controversies generated over which region controlled more of Nigeria’s oil assets intensify, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has said that such controversies are baseless considering that oil blocks are awarded based on bids offered for them globally.
The Director, DPR, Mr. Osten Olorunshola, who made the clarification recently in Lagos, said, “The Federal Government does not allocate oil blocks and marginal fields to individuals and corporations based on region or where they come from. So, DPR does not ask if an individual is from the North or South when allocating the fields.”
On ownership controversies, Olorunshola, insisted that “The DPR has no records of 83 per cent Northern ownership of oil blocks anywhere,” adding that Nigerians currently own 52 per cent of the country’s 173 active oil blocs, while foreign oil companies own 48 per cent.
According to Olorunshola, out of the total of 388 oil blocks in the country, only 173 of them have been awarded to individuals and corporations, while 215 blocks were yet to be awarded. Broken further, of the 173 so far awarded, Nigerians owned 90 blocks while foreigners owned 83 blocks. He, however, lamented that all the 90 blocks awarded to indigenous players account for only six per cent of the country’s total crude oil production, while the 83 awarded to foreign oil companies account for 94 per cent of the total output. “It appears that people just want to own oil blocks and put it on their complimentary cards. We are not happy with that. It is absurd that six per cent of oil production is coming out of 90 leases.”
Centenary City Will Go Global
Plans have reached an advanced stage by the Federal Government to globalise stakeholding in the proposed Centenary City being designed as one of the numerous activities marking the nation’s 100 years of amalgamation.
The FG through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, recently revealed that it is making effort to ensure that corporate investors could avail themselves of the opportunity of investing in the stock expected to be quoted on the Nigeria and London Stock Exchanges.
Anyim, in his welcome address at a dinner hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan for top Nigerian Chief Executive Officers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said “as part of activities marking the nation’s centenary, it is the desire of the promoters of the city that in the nearest future, the stock of the city would be quoted on the Nigeria and London Stock Exchanges.”
Lagos brand of Court Sittings
Lagos state Governor, Babatunde Fashola has disclosed that Lagos state government is making moves to introduce night court proceedings in the magistrate courts across the state. The Governor, who made this known at the 9th quarterly Executive and Legislative parley in Lagos, said that the aim of the initiative is to strengthen the judiciary sector and further promote the enthronement of law and order in the state.
Fashola recalled that the state recently included Saturday sitting in its court process and the possible introduction of night sitting is all in an attempt to make justice available to the people at the lowest ebb of the society. In his words, “In the fullness of time, as I have been told by the state ministry of Justice, we may begin night sittings as we review some of the laws in the state. Just recently, we commenced the Saturday court sitting processes in Lagos state. The aim is to ensure that in six days instead of five days, residents of the state have access to justice at the lowest level. This level is the first contact of the citizens of the state with the justice system,” he said
Work on 2nd Niger Bridge imminent
Minister of Works, Mike Onolemomen, has recently stated that all is set for work on the 2nd Niger bridge. The minister who disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting held at the palace of the Obi of Onitsha, said the time had come for serious action on the bridge.
The minister while tracing the history of the bridge acknowledged the effort of Anambra State governor, Peter Obi who he said had contributed a lot to keep the project alive through his series of letters and visits to the president. According to him, the project will be completed before the expiration of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in 2015 as part of efforts to deliver on the campaign promises of the present government. He said it was necessary to construct the second bridge across the River Niger in order to ease transportation problems, adding that the project will cover Asaba, Ozubulu and Ogbaru areas. Nigerians are truly hopeful that this project will eventually commence after so many failed promisesMinister of Works, Mike Onolemomen, has recently stated that all is set for work on the 2nd Niger bridge. The minister who disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting held at the palace of the Obi of Onitsha, said the time had come for serious action on the bridge.
The minister while tracing the history of the bridge acknowledged the effort of Anambra State governor, Peter Obi who he said had contributed a lot to keep the project alive through his series of letters and visits to the president. According to him, the project will be completed before the expiration of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in 2015 as part of efforts to deliver on the campaign promises of the present government. He said it was necessary to construct the second bridge across the River Niger in order to ease transportation problems, adding that the project will cover Asaba, Ozubulu and Ogbaru areas. Nigerians are truly hopeful that this project will eventually commence after so many failed promises.
Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was recently elected pope thus becoming the first South American to attain such height in the Catholic kingdom. The 76-year old Pope Francis I, as he would be called replaces Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned last month at the age of 85, saying he was not strong enough to continue as head of the church.
An hour after white smoke from the Sistine’s Chapel chimney signaled the election of a new Pope’s election, some section of the black race expecting a black pope had their hopes dashed as Pope Francis appeared on a balcony in a white cassock to greet crowds in Rome’s St Peter’s Square. 115 cardinals were in isolation for over 24 hours and held four inconclusive votes after which at least 77 of them, or two-thirds, would have voted for Bergoglio to become Pope.
The world cup will be staged in Brazil come 2014, the world will converge again in Rio to celebrate humanity at the Olympics in 2016, yet another key decision has gone South; this time to Argentina. Those awaiting a black pope will have to wait for another time maybe when their will be a black smoke to provide assurance…