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Nigeria shines at ICANN59 as Sunday Folayan is returned AFRINIC chair

ITRealms : Nigeria is currently shining at the on-going public policy forum on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ...

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Etisalat takes Cliqfest to Anambra, introduces Hajj promo'13


Etisalat Nigeria, the fastest acclaimed fastest Mobile Network Operator (MNO) in the country has taken its CliqFest to the customer with the hosting of a seminar for the South East at the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State.

This is coming as Etisalat introduced Hajj promo, slashing its roaming tariff for customers attending the 2013 Hajj.

ITRealms gathered that the seminar attended by students, youths and senior management team of the host institution led by the Rector, Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra, Professor Godwin Onu and his deputy, Dr. Don Mmuo.

Also, Etisalat Cliqfest seminar, was plan by the mobile operator to deepen acceptance of this product among the youths and youth at heart, according to correspondent investigations.

Other dignitaries at Etisalat Cliqfest seminar for South East include the Regional Security Manager, South South/South East, Etisalat Nigeria, Isaiah Chukwuemekaobi; Specialist, Retail Marketing, Etisalat Nigeria, Chukwunonso Obi; Youth Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Idiare Atimomo; and Analyst, Sponsorship, Etisalat Nigeria, Okanu Ibeano.

In a related development, Etisalat has slashed its roaming tariffs for customers attending the 2013, offering a zero charge for receiving calls and Short Messaging Service (SMS).

Director, Business Segments, Etisalat Nigeria, Lucas Dada confirmed this to ITRealms, saying that the amazing promo for its customers travelling for this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia, would run from September 1st to November 30th 2013.

“Its new and existing customers travelling to Saudi Arabia to perform the holy pilgrimage will have the opportunity to enjoy highly discounted rates on local calls in Saudi Arabia, calls to Nigeria, SMS and data services,” he said.

He explained that Etisalat Hajj Promo offers customers on the network great discounts on outgoing calls to Nigeria at N30 per minute, local calls within Saudi Arabia at N30 per minute and N20 per SMS, with a data package for as low as 1  kobo per KB for all pay as you go data plans. In addition, he said, all incoming calls and SMS received in the holy land during the promo period will be totally free of charge.

According to him, the promo which is in its fourth  year was designed to help customers stay in touch with their family, friends and business associates in several places across the globe including Saudi Arabia at a very low cost.


“The Hajj Special enables customers to seamlessly and conveniently stay connected to family and friends while performing Hajj by providing heavily discounted rates on calls to Nigeria, local calls in Saudi, SMS and data services,” he said. Under the promo, customers can also conveniently travel with recharge cards as well as receive e-top up from family and friends in Nigeria.

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Pix: L-r: Regional Security Manager, South South/South East, Etisalat Nigeria, Isaiah Chukwuemekaobi; Specialist, Retail Marketing, Etisalat Nigeria, Chukwunonso Obi; Rector, Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra, Professor Godwin Onu; Manager, Youth Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Idiare Atimomo; Deputy Rector, Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra, Dr. Don Mmuo and Analyst, Sponsorship, Etisalat Nigeria, Okanu Ibeano, at the Etisalat Cliqfest Seminar, held at Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State,

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Technology; Lack of understanding begets lack of growth

Today’s disruptive technology trends are irreversibly changing how we do business from botha workforce and enterprise perspective. 

Always-on connectivity, widespread use of consumer technology, highly pressured CIOs and ever increasing demands on IT are altering the way employees work and businesses run.

According to Gartner’s Strategic Planning Assumption, 40 per centor more of enterprise work will be "non-routine" by 2015, this is up 25 per cent from 2010.[1]For businesses, a failure to recognise and understand these changes is leading not only to increasing IT security challenges, but also missed opportunities for growth.

The Evolving Workforce and Workplace
As the boundaries continue to blur between work and home life, less than two thirds of employees globally feel that they can get their work completed within a traditional 9-5 schedule[2]. Constant connectivity, multiple stakeholders and global business demands are all leading to an “always-on” mentality. This 24/7 connectivity has thus changed the way business is done, and is redefining the concept of “business as usual.” The modern employee expects to be measured and managed on effective output, not hours served behind a desk[3], which indicates a significant shift towards a flexible working model. Research[4] also shows that there is a positive correlation between a flexible, outputs-based working model and worker morale.

To meet business demands and minimise time wasted with poorly functioning technology, employees not only require, but are demanding devices that can stand up to an anytime, anywhere environment. 

At the same time, the rise of consumer technology and the proliferation of “smart” mobile consumer devices have turned employees into technology savvy end users with high expectations of the technology and devices they use in the workplace. If businesses are not able to provide suitable devices and the right applications from which employees can work, the overwhelming majority are likely to fall back on their personal devices and unsecure technology simply to get the job done.

For CIOs, this means providing employees with the right tools to do the job is no longer a “nice to have,” but a necessary part of a productive workforce and essential for the future health and growth of their businesses. Technology needs to enable employees to work efficiently according to their individual demands. If the right technology is not provided, research[5] has shown that employees will take matters into their own hands.

Understanding the Risk
With recent economic conditions and the constantly mounting pressure on CIOs, somebusinessesare takinga ‘wait and see’ approach to managing evolving workforce and technology demands. Whileattempting to focus on short term issues, the risk of ignoring long term trends could be dire for businesses.

By not managing the use of consumer devices, new platforms and services in the workplace, businesses are risking data loss and opening themselves up to significant security threats. In fact, 50 per cent of businesses with a BYOD policy admitted suffering data loss.[6]

Equally as bad is an overzealous, inflexible IT policy that, not only hinders productivity, but also encourages employees to seek unsecure alternatives simply to get around the difficulties posed by the structure. In a recent study by Fortinet[7], 1/3 of workers admitted to either breaking or being willing to break corporate policy to use personal devices, proving that policy, on its own, is an ineffective form of protection.

There is also a significant human capital risk to businesses which underestimate the importance of device desirability and that do not offer employees attractive and efficient technology choices. As well as inhibiting productivity, research shows that poor workplace technology and poor IT service quality can significantly damage employee motivation and morale. There is also evidence that prospective employees will view device options when evaluating potential employers to filter out backward “dinosaur” businesses[8].

The message to businesses is clear: understanding technology demands of the workforce is vital for the long-term growth of businesses. It can both directly and indirectly impact an organisation’s bottom line. Instead of ignoring these trends and developments, businesses have the opportunity to embrace them and capitalise on the benefits they afford.

Orchestrating the Right Solution
But how? Ultimately, it is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. IT policies and employee choice in technology needs to be orchestrated within clear parameters specified by an organisation to achieve growth and efficiencies as well as protect assets.

For example, organisations might consider a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy if they are able to invest in security solutions as well as mobile device management solutions. Another option could be to invest in a variety of device platforms, such as tablets and ultrabooks, that are highly securable and manageable which can then be provisioned to employees based on preference and job role.

By giving employees the right tools, companies encourage increased productivity resulting in greater profitability, higher staff retention and improved recruitment. The new generation of enterprise grade devices combines the desirability of consumer devices with the security and manageability of enterprise hardware and, by doing so, meets both the demands of the employee and the CIO.
The critical message to businesses is to get their heads out of the sand. The impact of today’s technology trends is being felt today and, if ignored, the ramifications in the future could be disastrous.

*opinion submitted by Omolaraeni Olaosebikan, a staff of The Quadrant Company
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Internet Banking: Zenith cautions on software token

The Zenith Bank plc has sounded yet another warning to its teeming customers on the Internet banking, especially on the use of its software token.

This is coming as ITRealms reports that Zenith Bank announced the reduction of transfer limit from N50,000 to N20,000.

In addition, Zenith Bank says that from January 1st 2014, the use of the software token will be discontinued for all internet banking transactions.

In a mail sent to Zenith Bank customers and made available to ITRealms, read thus:

“Dear Valued Customer,

“Please be informed that the daily transfer limit for the software token on internet banking has been reduced from N50,000 to N20,000. Consequently, only hardware tokens will now be used to authenticate transfers above N20,000 on internet banking.

“In addition, from January 1st 2014, use of the software token will be discontinued for all internet banking transactions.

“Kindly request a hardware token if you do not have one already. It is more efficient and secure, and enables you make transfers up to two million Naira, daily. There is no limit to the number of transfers you can make, so long as the maximum daily limit is not exceeded.”


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Thursday, August 22, 2013

ICANN study group meets in Italy on new gTLD


The study group ‘Studienkreis’ of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number (ICANN) has scheduled its 13th meeting for September 12 through 13, 2013 in Pisa, Italy in the context of the global Internet policy.
Founder and chairman of the ICANN Studienkreis, Wolfgang Kleinwächter, confirmed to ITRealms that this year´s meeting would have a different format, stressing that the study group would move from a more “knowledge transfer conference” towards a “brainstorming meeting.”

“We will have no traditional panels anymore but ‘round table discussions’ on issues where we list a number of ‘resource persons’ but everybody is invited to join the discussion,” Kleinwachter said.

He also said that as always, the meeting starts on Thursday with a welcome coffee followed by a session which gives us an overview about the Internet situation - policy, legislation markets, community, ccTLD management - in the host country.
This, he said, would be followed by the opening session address by ICANN chief executive officer (CEO), Fadi Chehadé, as a key note speaker.
The final session on Thursday, the chairman said, would be on diplomacy and policy with lessons learned from the recent Internet Governance related conferences within the United Nations (UN), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and other international organizations.
The cultural dinner is this year hosted by the ccTLD Registry for .it.
While on Friday, the study group will spend the whole morning with ICANNs new gTLD programme. After the lunch break we will have David Maher’s “Annual Internet Development Speech” followed by a dialogue between Avri Doria and Vernita Harris from the NTIA of the US Department of Commerce about the IANA function, the ATRT2 review and other issues related to ICANNs future.

The final session - the look into the future- will be moderated by Peter Dengate Thrush , the former Chair of the ICANN Board based on a “food for thought” speech by Beth Beth Noveck from New York University, who chairs one of ICANNs  new Strategic Panels.
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Youth impact is our mission with Cliqfest, says Etisalat

Etisalat Nigeria has disclosed that its mission of introducing Cliqfest was to impact positively on Nigerian youths.

The Manager, Youth Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Idiare Atimomo made this disclosure to ITRealms, while commenting recently at the 31st session of Cliqfest, which held at Abia State Polytechnic, Aba.

“Etisalat was on a mission to impact positively on Nigerian youths and would stop at nothing to demonstrate its commitment to creating equal opportunities among Nigerian students which will help them develop their talents in a bid to attain success once out of school,” he said.

Atimomo explained that Cliqfest is one of the ways Etisalat tries to connect with customers in the youth segment.

“We understand their telephony needs and have responded to it innovatively with our Easycliq package. Bringing Etisalat Cliqfest to Nigerian higher institutions is just one of the ways we show how much we appreciate our customers and reward them,” he said.

According to him, part of the empowerment seminar, avails participants to learn what will help them develop and improve their skills later in life.

“This is the 31st higher institution we have been to, impacting knowledge and giving out gifts,” Atimomo declared.

At the Abia Poly edition, several students won gifts during a raffle draw, which included Etisalat Gaga Smart phones, Nokia Asha Smart phones, recharge cards among other prizes, just as a brand new Kia Picanto car was won by Chikelu Obijiofor, a HND1 student of Business Administration and Management.


The event was spiced up with musical performances from popular Nigerian artistes like Terry G, Mr. Raw and first runner up of the just concluded Nigerian Idol, Debbie Rise.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Durban47: NGPC considers GAC advice on New gTLDs

ICANN board chair, Steve Crocker:
@ITRealms:-

The New gTLD Programme Committee (NGPC) set up by the board of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has commenced consideration of the advice from the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) following its 47 public meeting in Durban, South Africa.

ITRealms gathers that NGPC met on Tuesday, 13 August, 2013, to give consideration to the GAC's further advice regarding new gTLD applications in the GAC Durban Communiqué  issued on 18 July 2013.

According to ITRealms investigations, GAC advice on new gTLDS came during the ICANN 47 public meeting in Durban, regarding the New gTLD applications in its own Durban Communiqué.

The New gTLD advice in the Durban Communiqué related to Section 3.1 of the Applicant Guidebook is further to the contents of the Beijing Communiqué.

GAC noted that “Section 3.1 of the Applicant Guidebook, applicants have 21 calendar days from this publication date to submit a response to the ICANN Board. Applicants subject to the advice will be notified directly by the New gTLD Customer Service Center and will receive instructions for submitting a response.

“Applicant responses to the ICANN Board should be submitted to the Customer Service Center no later than 23:59:59 UTC on 23 August 2013. ICANN will publish applicant responses and provide them to the Board,” part of the Section 3.1 read.

Further investigations by ITRealms revealed that NGPC is developing a GAC scorecard similar to the one used to address the Beijing Advice as well as during the GAC and the Board meetings in Brussels on 28 February and 1 March 2011.

Expectedly, each GAC scorecard item will be noted with a "1A", "1B", or "2":

ITRealms gathered that "1A" indicates that the NGPC's proposed position is consistent with GAC advice as described in the Scorecard. 

While "1B" suggests that the NGPC's proposed position is consistent with GAC advice as described in the Scorecard in principle, with some revisions to be made. 

Just as "2" implies that the NGPC's current position is not consistent with GAC advice as described in the Scorecard, and further discussion with the GAC is required following relevant procedures in the ICANN Bylaws.

The Durban scorecard as recalled by ITRealms is not yet finalized and, with respect to some of the items, cannot be finalized until after the review of applicant responses.

At its most recent meeting, the NGPC also adopted resolutions prohibiting Dotless Domains in new gTLDs and adopting the BGC's Recommendation to deny Reconsideration Request 13-4.

Even as the NGPC next meet has been scheduled for 10 September 2013, provide a further update following that meeting.

ITRealms
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Friday, August 16, 2013

ICANN Names Alexandra, CommManager for LAC

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Friday, announced the appointment of Ms Alexandra Dans as Communications Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Within this role, Dans will be the primary media contact for journalists across the region.

According to the Director of Global Media Affairs, Mr. Brad White, “Alexandra knows the issues surrounding the Internet and she knows the Latin American media,” Stressing that her background and knowledge will make her a valuable asset for journalists who are covering ICANN specifically or on the Internet generally.

Dans, former Communications and Social Media Coordinator with the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), has a degree in Political Science from the University of Montreal, a Master’s degree in International Communications from the University of Quebec (Canada) and is fluent in Spanish, French and English with basic knowledge of Portuguese. She will be based at the ICANN Engagement Center in Montevideo, Uruguay in the “Casa de Internet” of Latin America and the Caribbean.

“My first priority is to assist media who may be interested in reporting on the ICANN meeting in Buenos Aires in November and to generate interest among those unfamiliar with ICANN,” said Dans. “This will be an important meeting not just for ICANN but for the entire region and particularly for Latin American journalists who cover the Internet.”


ICANN is committed to adding communications representatives in each of its global regions as it continues efforts to internationalize its operations.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Demystifying ICANN by Marilyn Cade

Marilyn Cade
The chief executive officer (CEO) and Principal, ICT Strategies based in the United States, Ms Marilyn Cade has demystified the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Cade who was the past chairperson of the ICANN Business Constituency told ITRealms in Lagos that in demystifying ICANN it is important to break down the processes involved for a novice, especially intending to do business within the ICANN community to understand.

On what ICANN is and does, she said that ICANN among other things coordinates at the overall level, the global Internet's systems of unique identifiers, and in particular to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems.

Also, Cade said, ICANN coordinates the allocation and assignment of the three sets of unique identifiers for the Internet, which are the Domain names, which made up what is popularly referred to as Domain Name System (DNS).

In addition, she said, ICANN sets the Internet protocol (IP) addresses and Autonomous System (AS) numbers as well as provides “Protocol port and parameter numbers.”

Hence, ICANN coordinates the operation and evolution of the DNS root name server system, just as it manages policy development reasonably and appropriately related to these technical functions.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

IiP endorsement, another impetus for MTN – Goodluck

The Corporate Services Executive (CSE) of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck has described the recent endorsement by the United Kingdom-based Investor in People (IiP) is another impetus for MTN.
Reacting to the IiP award, Goodluck told ITRealms that MTN is delighted to receive this recognition.

“It is the highest accolade in people management practices from an independent and internationally recognised body. It has given us additional impetus and determination to continue to deploy best practice people solutions for the benefit of the organisation and all our stakeholders,” he said.

Also speaking, a registered specialist of Investors in People International and a member of the team that carried out the assessment, Ken Baylis said, “MTN is a great example of a company using Investors in People to improve business performance. They have worked hard to improve people management and talent development.”

Equally, ITRealms gathered that the initiative received an endorsement from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), UK. 
According to CIPD executive, Mr. Richard Braybrooke this was one of the most comprehensive in depth approaches to career management ever seen.
CIPD, he said, believes this is the missing ingredient in making a comprehensive talent management approach successful.
Many organisations, Braybrooke noted, are keen to win the competitive war for talent get the organisational systems in place, only to forget the individual's contribution in jointly recognising their career aspirations.
“We are sure that MTNN, who are currently training all their managers and employees in effective career management, will see a marked positive effect on their business bottom line by retaining and developing their talented employees," Braybrooke said.
ITRealms further gathered that MTN’s talent development creed has been demonstrated over the years in the number of Nigerians who have been appointed to strategic positions across various MTN operations.


Karl Toriola was appointed CEO of MTN Cameroun in 2011 and only recently, Mike Ikpoki became the first Nigerian CEO of MTN Nigeria having served as CEO of MTN Ghana for two years.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Broadband Council and 19 wise men

ITRealms with Remmy Nweke:

Introduction:
BARELY a year after assuming office as the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, hinted on the need for a national broadband committee, following consultations her office held since taking over the helm of affairs of the new ministry and calls by stakeholders at various fora.

One of such fora was the broadband forum organized by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on July 26, 2012, tagged ‘Demand as Catalyst for Broadband Services in Nigeria,’ where Mrs. Johnson reiterated Federal Government’s plans to set up a presidential committee on broadband to chart a broadband strategy for the nation.

She also told stakeholders including DigitalSENSE Business News the need for such a committee cannot be overlooked and informed by government’s recognition that ubiquitous internet capacity and a national backbone are critical to ICT infrastructure to deliver data traffic nationwide, cutting across power, transportation and water infrastructure, which are crucial for globally connected and increasingly knowledge-based world, nowadays.

For her, universal access to broadband has become a significant indicator of development and competitiveness among nations, stressing that broadband has the potential of enabling entire new industries and introducing significant efficiencies into education delivery, health care provision, energy management, public safety, government cum citizen interaction and the overall organisation as well as dissemination of knowledge.

Evidence of demand:
“In Nigeria, there is already clear evidence of demand for broadband in many facets of our economic and social lives. There are very few aspects of our lives that are not impacted or affected by the internet. So, the demand is there, in fact so is the supply when you take into consideration the internet capacity that we have landed on our shores. The challenge for us in Nigeria is not the proverbial last mile but the last hundreds of miles, taking that landed capacity to cities, communities, institutions and home,” she declared.

The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, noted the Commission was driving utility model, equal access model and passive infrastructure model as Open Access Model to be adopted for broadband infrastructure deployment in the country.

Between awareness and affordability:
In his contribution, chief executive officer of Teledom Group and former President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, pointed out on strategies to boost broadband services demand, emphasizing the need to look into issues of awareness, access, availability and affordability.

“There is need to create demands through solutions-driven applications in areas of national security, education, health, banking and finance and so on. Broadband solution will address consumer needs, and pool of latent demand in the country for broadband services would be created,” he asserted

For the Chief Executive Officer, Independent Networks Cooperative Association, Mr. Malcolm Corbett, from 1990, demand for bandwidth had been growing globally with bandwidth consumption on various data-enabled amounting to several terabytes.

14-man committee:
By September 2012, a 14-man broadband committee was inaugurated by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in Abuja, tasking members to “perform this task creditably and expeditiously.” Stressing that broadband access and internet technologies are key enablers for socio-economic growth.

He underscored the importance of putting on the thinking cap on how to build a digital economy in this era of knowledge economy, just as he disclosed that the National ICT policy set a target of a five-fold increase in broadband penetration by 2017 and his administration is determined to develop a comprehensive broadband roadmap for the country to achieve this goal.

Highlighting the role of broadband to economic development, the President mandated the Ministry of Education to incorporate ICTs in the nation’s education curriculum beginning from the primary school level to raise global ICT leaders of tomorrow.

Parents must expose wards to ICT:
He enjoined Nigerian parents to begin to expose their children to ICTs so as to encourage them to familiarize with new technologies and the desire to develop software and other applications. Drawing attention to the fact that Nigeria is in the middle of a digital revolution that has seen ICT transform the global economies. Declaring “ICTs have changed the way we live, work and learn. In some countries around the world, including Nigeria, ICTs have even transformed the way citizens participate in governance.”

Broadband, he also said has the potential to facilitate the creation of new industries and introduce significant efficiencies into existing ones in all sectors of the economy, even as he pledged his “administration will continue to give the necessary support and encouragement to ICT practitioners in Nigeria to empower collective effort in attaining the goal of 21st century economy.”

Reiterating commitment in deployment and adoption of ICT as a driver for national transformation, the President commended CommTech Minister, Mrs. Johnson for steering the new Ministry efficiently, disclosed that the ministry was separated from the Information ministry to enable Nigeria leverage ICTs for national transformation. Government, he explained, named two co-chairmen for the committee “to re-emphasis that broadband is not just about ICT infrastructure, but it is about the enablement and facilitation of national socio-economic development.” 
He charged members of the committee to deploy their vast knowledge and competence in discharging their duties as committee members.

Broadband linked to increase in GDP:
Mrs. Johnson remarked that the importance of broadband to socio-economic development cannot be over-emphasised, noting that increase in broadband penetration is directly linked to increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), stressing that empirical evidence shows that 10 per cent penetration in broadband penetration leads to about 1.3 per cent increase in GDP. She also said that ICT is a tool that Nigeria can deploy to leapfrog to a digital economy. She informed Nigerians that the Ministry is working hard to change the face of ICTs in the country and inauguration of the Committee is a reflection of the importance of ICTs to the transformation agenda of President Jonathan.

Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe in his remarks, said that the Committee will work to carry out the task assigned to it speedily and with dedication, promising that the committee would proffer effective ways to achieve universal digital Inclusion in Nigeria by identifying and suggesting ways to eliminate obstacles to digital inclusion in Nigeria.

Ndukwe assured that the committee would also outline an Action Plan to take the issue of digital inclusion into mainstream development plans across all sectors. While commending CommTech Minister for the leadership role which she has been very ably playing in the ICT sector.

In the same vein, Co-Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Jim Ovia stressed that the world has woken up to the importance of ICTs to development, adding that ICTs will transform Nigeria and thanked the President and the Minister of Communication for their role in setting up the Committee, even as he reassured that the Committee would deliver on its mandate within the three months duration.

Terms of Reference for 14-man:
Terms of reference for the 14-man Committee comprised:
1. Articulate acceptable definitions and perspectives of broadband and related issues that are current and dynamic for the country.

2.  Evaluate and analyse the current position of broadband infrastructure and service delivery in the country, if possible define broadband served, unserved and underserved areas of the country and articulate an agenda for bridging the gap between the ‘’haves’’ and the ‘have-nots’ within the country and showcasing possible challenges.

3. Consider and articulate the funds requirement for the ubiquitous roll out of broadband in the country.

4. Consider and articulate other related and reasonably connected relevant plans and agenda that are incidental to broadband development in the country.

5. Expatiate and detail additional strategic and tactical approaches for reinventing the country as a broadband rich digital haven capable of supporting electronic and mobile architecture for commerce and trade, education, health, agriculture, citizens empowerment among others: capable of attracting internal and external investments for development. 

6. Produce a comprehensive National Broadband Roadmap for Nigeria.

We’re also members:
Other members of the broadband committee include Mrs. Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor, country manager, Google Global Service Nigeria, Mrs. Lynda Saint Nwafor, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) MTN, Mr. Philip Chuwueke, Chair, Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) Forum, Mr. Rasheed Adegoke, Chief Information Officer (CIO), First Bank plc, Mr. Stanley Jegede, chief executive officer, Phase 3 Telecom, Mr. Gbenga Sesan, Youth ICT Entrepreneur, Alhaji Bala Mohammed, Commissioner for Science and Technology, Kano State, Mr. Kayode Jegede, SA to Ekiti State Governor on Infrastructure and ICT, Engr. John Ayodele, Ministry of Communication Technology, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and  Mr. Junaid Dikko.

Although the public presentation may have been delayed for over four months, but it was finally in June 20, 2013 tagged Connected Nigeria, the Committee report was presented to stakeholders in Lagos, of which key recommendation was the establishment of the Nigeria Broadband Council (NBC).

19 wise men to implement roadmap:
In less than a month later, FG proclaimed the 19-man Broadband Council to implement the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on Broadband, which recently submitted its report.

Inducting the 19-man on behalf of President Jonathan, CommTech Minister, Mrs. Johnson on Tuesday, July 16, said the Broadband Council is chaired by herself, while members will work on implementation modalities for the newly developed and approved Nigerian National Broadband plan for the period 2013 - 2018.

She said the team represents significant milestone in the implementation roadmap of the national broadband plan. Pointing out that latest Terms of Reference (ToR) include providing periodic reports on the progress of the plan, facilitating the coordination and collaboration of the various stakeholders during plan implementation, ensuring that relevant agencies, institutions, and the general public are actively engaged.

“Where necessary the Council shall highlight adjustment areas where needed in the execution of the strategy and roadmap,” she said, noting that the Council, has both institutional, government and individual representation. Institutional representation, she said, will ensure that requirements of the industry are taken into consideration and such these are ATCON, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) and Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria.

On individual representations, she said, comprised of highly knowledgeable people who are extremely credible in the ICT industry and have shown a great passion to see to the deployment of robust broadband infrastructure in the country including the two former co-chairmen of the recently concluded Presidential Committee on Broadband, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe and Mr. Jim Ovia.

She explained that Google and Microsoft represent a small section of international partners strongly positioned to advance the broadband agenda, while the government institutions that have the direct mandate to deliver broadband to the country were also included namely the Ministry, NCC, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) and NITDA.

Special Adviser, Media to CommTech Minister, Mrs. Efem Nkanga confirmed that the members of the Broadband Council are Dr. Ernest Ndukwe-Chairman Openmedia Group, Mr Jim Ovia-Chairman of Visafone, Dr. Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ms Funke Opeke, Chief Executive Officer, Main One Cable Company, Engr. Titi Omo-Ettu, Managing Consultant, Telecom Answers Associates, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo-Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications of Nigeria (ALTON).

Equally in the council is Mr Ademola Aladekomo, immediate past President, Nigeria Computer Society, Mr. Bayo Banjo-President, Nigeria Internet Group, Mr Lanre Ajayi-President, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr Abdullahi Maikano-Secretary, USPF, Mrs Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor-Country Manager, Google Global Services Nigeria Limited, Mr Junaid Dikko-Director, Etisalat, Mr. Mohammed Rudman-Chief Executive Officer, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria, Mr Ayoola Oke-Managing Partner, Ayoola Babatunde Oke & Co, Engr John Ayodele-Director, Ministry of Communication Technology, Mr Emmanuel Onyeje, Microsoft and Mr Jinmi Sonuga, principal consultant-Business Unusual Ltd.

Conclusion:
The truth is that the setting up of Broadband Council is a welcome development and based on expectations of Nigeria, the council has a lot of work on its table and as the mandate outlined, they have the right to adjust where necessary to the execution of the strategy and roadmap to the letter.

The Broadband Council as seen in other climes is also expected to have a structure to enable it to run and even more efficiently rather than depending on the personnel of the Ministry of Communication Technology.

This opinion is very apt considering that beyond 2015 when the current leadership of CommTech Ministry would last, the affairs of the Council should not be allowed to fade into the public sector syndrome, like was witnessed after the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2005, when President Obasanjo set up a Presidential committee on WSIS that should have repositioned and fast-tracked Nigeria’s development with the political will demonstrated by the former president in implementation of ICT-inclined policies over time.


The sooner the CommTech Ministry led by Mrs. Johnson realises this fact, the earlier the Broadband Council of 19 wise-men will get focused, therefore, shunning the bureaucracy of government and inter-agency squabbles, which has been the bane of development for the sector over the years.

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