The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has announced the constitution of a committee to review the framework for the licensing of Infrastructure Companies (InfraCo) and recommend sustainable funding options for effective implementation of the proposed national fibre project.
The constitution of the committee was sequel to the requirements of the new Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025) and reports of relevant committees set up by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), which include the Inter-Ministerial Review Committee on Multiple Taxation on Telecommunications Operators over Right-of-Way (RoW) and the Technical Sub-Committee on Right-of-Way for Deepening Broadband Penetration in Nigeria.
A statement by Commission dusclosed that these requirements and reports relate to the imperative of reviewing the InfraCo framework to cater for the delays in take-off, change in exchange rate, supply chain and other challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said so far, the committee set up by the Commission has met with all the six licensed InfraCos as well as the preferred bidder for the North Central zone.
It added that the committee is also looking at the challenges facing the InfraCo project, the need for accelerated deployment of fibre infrastructure, means of mitigating the exorbitant RoW charges, among others.
The statement noted that the Commission is also working actively with the Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC), as constituted by the Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy based on the recommendations and requirements of the NNBP 2020-2025.
Providing updates on the status of the InfraCo project in his office in Abuja at the weekend, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said: “The InfraCo project is dear to the government because of its ability to enhance robust and pervasive broadband infrastructure to drive service availability, accessibility and affordability.
“We are keen on ensuring the project delivers maximum benefits for the economy at large and that is why the ongoing review is very critical to the overall success of the project in line with the new realities of the time.”
Dambatta clarified that the current status of the InfraCo project, as provided above, is contrary to reports suggesting that the Commission is inching towards executing the counterpart funding in respect of the project.
AKAD RECORDS is a music discovery company, dedicated to discovering, supporting, and promoting visionary African artists from around the globe.
Its pioneer act, Lil Dee has been signed to the record label while the new company also aims to sign one of the hottest producers around.
CEO of the company, Akinwale Ademokoya offers a sneak peek into what this new record label has to offer; with the release of the hot new single by its artiste Lil Dee titled “OWO” featuring Jaywon.
As a Management Company, Akad Records will make its mark in West, East, and South Africa through their proposed offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and the company’s launching is a boost for the music industry in Africa.
The Group Chief Executive of Akad Records, Akinwale Ademokoya, said this announcement was a watershed in the history of music in Africa. “With the launch of AKAD RECORDS, we are now positioned as a uniquely Pan-African label,” he said. “We will coordinate releases to synchronize in unison from Lagos to Lesotho and from Nairobi to Niamey.”
Adding that he was very excited about the opportunities of a “borderless Africa.”
“I am excited to make a movement that is borderless and that exports Africa’s best talents to the world,” Akinwale said. “The world is about to experience a new superpower.”
Expressing his excitement about the company, Akinwale also said this is a long time dream come through “This is something I have been excited about for a long time,” he said. “We are joining forces with some international players in the industry who are already doing it big and we will keep pushing to make beautiful music.”
“At Akad Records, we believe in dreams, we believe in success, we believe in greatness, together [WE OWN THE CITY]”
Akad Record is ready to begin a new journey by delivering the best of Africa to the rest of the world.
ABOUT AKINWALE ADEMOKOYA
Akinwale Ademokoya (born 27 February, in Ibadan) hails from Ilesha Osun State is a Nigerian entrepreneur, social activist, Lover of good music, and creative industry professional. He is the founder and President of the Akad Records Entertainment. He is well known as the Founder of AKAD GROUP, an Entertainment extremist.
His love for entertainment over the decade was one of the factors that triggered the emergence of Akad Records. He also has his hand on other entertainment business activities which include but not limited to Hotels, clubs, and Lounge.
Access Bank’s Group CEO, Herbert Wigwe has won this year’s African Banker of the Year.
Access ranks as one of Africa’s top-tier banks and Wigwe has been at the helm of the bank’s growth and expansion, including the oversight of the takeover of Diamond Bank, a bank that was much bigger than Access Bank less than 15 years ago. Access Bank also won Agriculture deal of the year, in their role to help Olam develop their rice operations in Nigeria.
Winners of the 2020 edition of the African Banker Awards were announced on Wednesday at a virtual Awards ceremony in London.
The Awards are considered the Oscars of the African banking community and given the impartial selection and judging process are the most respected in the field.
The big winners this year were Nigerian-based group Access Bank and also women in the banking and finance sector. Following on from what was seen as a lack of inclusion last year, the organisers put an emphasis to reward institutions that ensured that women and financial inclusion at the forefront of their agenda.
Women were also the big winners at this year’s awards. The Central Bank Governor of the year went to Caroline Abel, from the Seychelles and the Finance Minister of the Year went to Nigeria’s Zainab Ahmed. The organisers had noted that despite difficult circumstances Ms Ahmed had managed to push through a set of difficult reforms as well as successfully engaging international partners to help the country navigate an extremely challenging economic environment.
African Banker Icon was given to Vivien Shobo, who was the CEO of ratings and advisory firm, Agusto & Co up until last December. She was recognised for playing an instrumental role in developing Nigeria’s credit markets and also for helping grow a truly world-class organisation that is competing against much better resourced international players.
Tunisian pioneer Ahmed Abdelkefi won the Lifetime Achievement Award. This businessman and financier was the founder of numerous businesses operating in leasing, brokerage and investment banking. He also founded private equity group Tuninvest, and then launching Africinvest, without doubt one of Africa’s most successful Africa-owned PE firms.
The split of the other winners was quite even. TDB won Bank of the Year. Incidentally, its CEO, Admassu Tadesse, won Banker of the Year at last year’s ceremony. The organisers added a number of awards this year to reflect the AfDB’s High Fives Agenda. The energy deal of the year went to a renewable energy bond structured by Nedbank and infrastructure deal of the year went to the Port of Maputo in a transaction led by Standard Bank. The SME bank of the year went to Nigeria’s Bank of Industry.
Commenting on this year’s awards, Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker said: “It’s been a momentous year in every sense. Banks will have to play a lead role in kick-starting post-Covid growth and sustaining the real economy. Governments and regulators have done an excellent job with limited means and both our winners Caroline Abel and Zainab Ahmed have demonstrated strong leadership there. Banks will need to work with institutions and partners to ensure liquidity doesn’t dry up. To quote our Lifetime Achievement Winner: Keep moving forward: adapt, innovate, take risks. That’s your job. Today’s crisis is neither the first and it will not be the last.”
The Awards took virtually on the sidelines of the African Development Bank Annual Meetings which are now officially open.
The awards, which are held under the high patronage of the African Development Bank, are sponsored by the African Guarantee Fund as Platinum Sponsor, the Bank of Industry as Gold Sponsor and Moza Banco as Associate Sponsor.
Sen. Rochas Okorocha, the immediate past governor of Imo, has lamented the humiliating treatment meted out to him by his party the All Progressives Congress (APC), in spite of his sacrifices and financial contributions to the party.
Okorocha, the senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, told newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday that he got evil reward from APC for his commitment to the course of the party especially in the South East.
He noted that he had to go contrary to his kinsmen and political associates just to ensure that the party was placed on a sound footing in Imo and in the South East, but was surprised that he reward was suspension.
“If you recall I was called all sorts of names like ‘Okoro Hausa’ and that I was building mosques and all that were associated with it.
“But I kept deaf ears because I felt that I was on the right course with my people.
“I was instrumental to bringing Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman of the APC and he cannot deny that fact.
“I took the troubles of APC in the South East and the APC I see now can easily tell Gov. Emeka Ihedioha to come to its fold if only he can fight Rochas.
“That is really an unfortunate situation and it has weakened my spirit and my faith to the party because I thought we are family working to advance the course of this nation.
“But the way it is going, it does not look like there will be a solution. And there seems to be silence everywhere.
”I don’t even know my stand about my suspension because for some time, I don’t know what is happening in APC.
“But for the silence all over, it just looks as if it is normal.
“So, I am just waiting and thinking of what next to do but I am still a member of APC and I love the party and will support it,” Okorocha said.
According to Okorocha, there is need for a change in the party’s leadership to ensure the party does not collapse after the exit of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Okorocha added that Buhari’s reputation appeared to be the binding factor of APC in addition to the fact that the North was arguably the major decider in Nigeria politics.
“I have never thought of leaving the party; I feel that time will take care of most things but my only worry is that the party may disappear with the exit of President Buhari.
“For the moment, Buhari seems to be the strongest pillar upon which this party is built.
“If nothing is done to correct the injustices in our party at the national level, then, I fear that this party may disappear with Buhari’s exit.
“Our party is already busy thinking about presidency in 2023 and not supporting the issue of governance which is what we have right now.
“The score of our party or its assessment depends on what we have done with governance and what we have done with politics.
“These are some of the problems we have and thinking that being APC is a platform to catch political power.
“People have begun to zone where the president will come from and where he will not come from, leaving the issue of governance; so, these have been some of the challenges we have as a party but I hope they will be addressed.
“But that cannot be complete unless we do some surgical movement in the leadership of the party,” Okorocha added.
He noted that Nigerians would judge their leaders on the basis of what they had done as a government before they could decide what to do with them in 2023.
The former Imo governor further said that he was not in a hurry to make decisions on the next line of action following his suspension from the party.
He, however, revealed that his inlaw, Mr Uche Nwosu, would return to APC from AA if he eventually reclaimed his governorship mandate.
On the allegations of misappropriation of funds during his tenure as the governor of Imo, Okorocha challenged Gov. Ihedioha to try to surpass his record rather than the negative campaign against his administration.
He also said: “I challenge any government to do 50 per cent of what I achieved in Imo. I left N48.5 billion for the new government to take off.
“It is either the government of Ihedioha is confused or it is not relevant, if not, no normal thinking person will begin to witch-hunt me after all that I achieved in Imo.”
He blamed his travails on some unnamed top leaders of the APC whom he accused of conniving with opposition elements in the state to undermine him politically.
Okorocha commended the judiciary for upholding his election describing the tribunal’s ruling as a “proof of his innocence” after INEC accused him of obtaining victory through duress. (NAN)