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Weekend Commentary@ITRealms : Late last month, as a section of the country awaited the triumphant return of James Ibori, an ex-governo...

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dynamic to BigRock: ICANN authorizes bulk transfer of Domain Names


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has authorized the bulk transfer of Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) names from Dynamic Dolphin Incorporated to BigRock Solutions Limited, due to compliance actions taken by ICANN which resulted in the de-accreditation of Dynamic Dolphin Inc, reports ITRealms.

The affected gTLD registries, ITRealms learnt have processed the bulk transfers as directed by ICANN.

ITRealms reports that former registrant-customers of Dynamic Dolphin Inc. should receive notices from BigRock Solutions Ltd. Advising them of the transfer.

“Customer questions about the transfer should be directed to BigRock Solutions Ltd,” confirmed the Global Director for Media, Mr. Brad White.

He further explained that why these transfers were authorized by ICANN, saying that the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) of Dynamic Dolphin Inc. was terminated for failure by the registrar to comply with its RAA. Stressing that Dynamic Dolphin Inc.'s RAA was terminated effective 20 December 2013 and the termination notice was posted on ICANN website.

“As a result, Dynamic Dolphin Inc. is no longer permitted to register or manage gTLD registrations. ICANN authorized bulk transfers pursuant to the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy to ensure that the registrant-customers of this registrar would not be harmed by their registrar's discontinued ability to manage the registrations,” he said.

On the other hand, he enlightened on how the gaining registrar was selected, saying that ICANN followed its De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure to identify a gaining registrar for the gTLD names formerly managed by the de-accredited registrar. Through this process, BigRock Solutions Ltd was identified.

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Pix: ICANN CEO, Fade

Monday, December 23, 2013

Etisalat proclaims longlist for Literature Prize

Celebrated fastest growing telecommunications services company, Etisalat Nigeria, has given the names of the winners of its inaugural edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature, ITRealms reports.

The Prize launched in June 2013, ITRealms gathered is the first pan-African prize that is open solely to debut fiction writers of African citizenship and poised to become one of Africa’s most prestigious literary prizes for African fiction.

The longlist made available to ITRealms in alphabetical order includes Bom boy by Yewande Omotoso, Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kilanko, Finding Soutbek by Karen Jennings, Sarah House by Ifeanyi Ajaegbo, The Great Agony And Pure Laughter Of The Gods by Jamala Safari’s, The Spider King's Daughter by Chibundu Onuzo, The Spiral House by Claire Robertson, The Whispering Trees by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, and We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo,

The judges for the maiden edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature included Chair of Judges, Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola; Professor at the University of Witwaterstrand, South Africa; writer and academic Sarah Ladipo Manyika and Managing Editor of Kwani Trust, Billy Kahora.

The judges as gathered by ITRealms, received entries from across the continent and were faced with the daunting task of selecting the nine books to cross the first hurdle.

For Pumla Dineo Gqola, he had never been more in love with the range, depth and wonder that is literature, by writers in this continent.

“There are some writers that I feel really privileged to have discovered through this Prize," he said.

Also speaking, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Matthew Willsher, said that the list is unique in several respects and would go a long way in helping to accomplish the purpose of the Etisalat Prize for Literature. 

“The list of nominees is unique in that six of the nine finalists are books authored by women; five of the nine finalists are Nigerian citizens while the global perspective is covered by the fact that three of the nine publishers are non-African,” he said.

The judges will be faced with the next task of selecting a short list of three novels at a retreat in Morocco in January. The shortlisted writers who will have 1,000 copies of their books purchased by Etisalat and go on a multi-city sponsored tour will be announced on Wednesday the 15th of January 2014.


The overall winner of the Etisalat Prize for Literature will receive £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück and will attend an Etisalat sponsored fellowship at the prestigious University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of the Last King of Scotland.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

e-Business, catalyst to 21st century economic growth – NIG boss


President of the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), a stakeholder member of NiRA, Engr. Bayo George Banjo has said it that electronic business, also known as e-Business accelerates economic growth in many countries globally, reports ITRealms.

Addressing participants at the two-day 2013 e-Business Conference, in Lagos, Banjo said that with so many developments in the Nigeria information and communication technology sector (ICT) sector, Nigeria is set and has already joined the rest of the world in driving its economy with e-Business.

E-business, he said, is simply an internet technology driven business which has continued to catalyse to accelerated economic growth in many countries globally. 

Most significant developments in the sector which include the African mobile phone personal computers and liquid crystal display (LCD) manufacturing plant set up by RLG, a $10 million factory that will be sited in Osun State, and would be opened before 2013 closes.

Also major achievements previously recorded in the sector include the sale of 2.3 GHz spectrum by NCC, re-delegation of .ng TLD, the budding e-payment services, emerging international fiber cables from MainOne and Globacom to name a few.

These achievements again are what ignited the strong desire in NIG to organize the important annual e-business conference 2013 in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
 
This conference examined critical success factors to e-business adoption in Nigeria such as improved broadband penetration, pervasive e-payment services, skilled manpower, appropriate legal and regulatory framework and the political will of government to implement the right policies among others.  
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Pix; right, NIG president, Banjo & Prof Kaleb Osuntokun, chair, day 1

Thursday, December 12, 2013

ICANN, CTU sign MoU to increase active engagement


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number (ICANN) and Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase cooperation and coordination among both organizations, so as to increase active engagement by stakeholders from Caribbean region, reports ITRealms.

This was the outcome of the recently held Caribbean ICT Week, and the MoU was signed between ICANN president, Mr. Fadi Chehadé and Ms. Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General, CTU.

ITRealms also reports that the signing took place in the presence of Government Ministers of CTU member states including the President of the CTU, Hon. Philip Paulwell, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining of Jamaica; the signing ceremony was followed by a press conference facilitating widespread communication of news of the event to the Jamaica public, and wider Caribbean through electronic media.

"The Internet has become entwined in the fabric of our lives therefore we must take an interest in its development and participate in the fora that chart its course. The continued and equitable growth of the internet is a collective responsibility and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) is prepared to play its part in taking an active role in determining the future of the Internet. This MoU is the demonstration of the CTU's commitment to work in collaboration with ICANN to increasing awareness and usage of the Internet and its resources in the Caribbean," said Ms. Bernadette Lewis at the signing cerremony.

On his part, in the spirit of collaboration, Fadi Chehadé ended his remarks by quoting the African Proverb, which says "If you want to go fast…go alone. If you want to go far…go together."

Mr. Chehadé and Ms. Lewis committed to make this a workable framework by getting their respective teams to start implementing concrete actions in the upcoming weeks. Actions are planned to include capacity building, partnering for outreach events and fostering multistakeholder dialogue at the regional and national levels.

Remmy Nweke
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Audax Solutions introduces tech-focused CSR


An indigenous Information Technology training and consulting firm, Audax Solutions has introduced technology-focused Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports ITRealms.

Confirming this to ITRealms, the chief software evangelist, Audax, Mr. Aniedi Udo-Obong said that the Lekki-Lagos based announced this activities to run throughout the month of December 2013.

According to him, a Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) which is ongoing holds worldwide from December 9th to 15th, 2013. 

He told ITRealms that CSEdWeek recommends an Hour of Code to spread awareness of Computer Science Education.

“It is a one-hour introduction to Computer Science, designed to demystify ‘code’ and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, and an innovator,” he declared.

On Saturday, December 14, 2013, he said, Audax is organizing a free hour of code at the company premises, and is open to registered attendees between the ages of 6 and 106.

The following week, which is from December 16th to 19th 2013, he said, Audax Code School would be organizing a free but sponsored Christmas Boot Camp targeted at primary and secondary school students.

“We believe that teaching children programming skills is essential to developing their problem solving, creative and communication skills helping to foster an interest in technology that can result in a profitable and rewarding future career,” he said.

“It will be absolutely free for about 40 enrollees. We hope to include about 20 participants at the inaugural Code School which held in August 2013,” he declared, urging potential participants to register at the school web-page.


Additionally, he revealed to ITRealms that there would be a Google Code in 2013 would run from December 9, 2013 through January 5, 2014.

Chuks Egbuna/GEE 
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Pix: chief software evangelist, Audax, Mr. Aniedi Udo-Obong

iPad Air in Nigeria says Core Group Africa


The officials of Core Group Africa, have just confirmed to ITRealms that iPad Air is now available in the Nigerian market.

ITRealms also gathered that iPad Air comes to town with stunning 9.7-inch Retina display in a new thinner and lighter design, even as iPad Air is precision-engineered to weigh just less than 500 grams which makes it 20 per cent thinner and 28 per cent lighter than the fourth generation iPad.

iPad Air will be available from 13 December from all Apple authorised resellers for the starting price of N99 000 Naira.

Core Group Africas Director, Rutger-Jan van Spaandonk says they were delighted to announce the official availability of iPad Air in Nigeria.

iPad Air is unbelievably thin and light and we encourage customers to visit their nearest Apple Authorised Reseller to purchase or experience this life-changing product, he said.

ITRealms recalls that Core Group Africa has appointed Apple authorised resellers to sell iPad Air to ensure the product is available through official channel partners, to ensure customers peace of mind that if repair issues arise during the warranty term, their product will be repaired or replaced by an Apple Authorised Repair Centre and that they will have access to the required level of support that is mandatory for Apple Authorised Resellers. 

He further said that iPad Air Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) models would be available in Nigeria in silver or space grey for the 16GB model, while the 32GB model, for the 64GB model and for the 128GB model.

Additionally, iPad Air with Wi-Fi+Cellular will be available in silver and space grey for 16GB model, 32GB model respectively. Just as it has the 64GB model and for the 128GB model.

Customers are reminded that when they purchase iPad Air, they qualify for free productivity and creativity apps. 

Apple have made iWork (Keynote, Pages and Numbers) and iLife (Garageband, iPhoto and iMove) free with the purchase of any new iPad. This means that customers will be able to do amazing things with presentations, documents, spreadsheets, photos, videos and music-all for free. Furthermore, iPad Air owners will have access to the worlds number 1 app and music store through iTunes. The iTunes Store gives customers access to over 475 000 iPad apps, millions of songs and thousands of movies to personalise their iPad according to their lifestyle.

We are thrilled to make this unbelievable product available and ensure that Nigerians can purchase with the confidence that they purchased through official distribution channels. We want customers to have the best iPad experience possible and be able to take advantage of the benefits of purchasing from an Apple Authorised Reseller, submits Van Spaandonk.

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Nokia extends developers rewards programme to Nigeria, Ghana


Phone manufacturer, Nokia, has extended its developers rewards programme to Nigeria and Ghana, under the aegis of developers, DVLUP.

ITRealms gathered that DVLUP is a rewards programme for Windows Phone developers across the globe which enables them to create, book and manage their own application promotions and also build better apps via exclusive App Challenges. 

Also, DVLUP programme launched simultaneously in Nigeria and Ghana on Tuesday, ITRealms reports, is a first from Nokia that allows developers control promotion of their app by introducing technologies unique to Nokia devices, and marketing opportunities afforded only by Nokia rather than depending on most app stores that rely on algorithms and storeowners to control promotional efforts.

The programme, which Windows Phone developers can join for free, centers on winning badges, earning experience points, and leveling up by completing quizzes and challenges related to app development. By creating high-quality apps, developers can also earn additional points and “unlock even greater opportunities” such as promoting their work through the Windows Phone Store, App Social, in-app advertising, as well as by using print, digital, social and out-of-home media.

Head, Ecosystem Developer Experience, Nokia West Africa, Emmanuel Oluwatosin, said that the program is line with Nokia’s plan to support developers across the globe and also get more developers for its Windows Operating System (OS) based devices.
“We are happy that this program is finally coming to Nigeria and Ghana, and we believe that this is a huge and exciting opportunity for developers in both countries to tap into. This is an opportunity for them to make the most of their talents, build more locally relevant apps and promote the apps themselves” he said.

He explained that DVLUP uses gamification techniques to help developers earn badges and experience points (known as “XP”) that can then be used for promotion support for their app. In addition, by building high-quality apps, developers can earn additional points and unlock even greater opportunity for exposure. This gives developers access to promotion in the Windows Phone Store and App Social, in-app advertising, print, digital, social and out-of-home media opportunities.

DVLUP was first launched in US and Canada in November 2012 as a pilot but is now available in more than 20 countries which includes; Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Poland, the UK, the US, and Vietnam, with more countries being added regularly.

Nenye Dom/GEE
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Akpabio, Fayemi, Fashola for NCC’s Telecom Summit’13


The trio of Governors of Akwa Ibom, Ekiti and Lagos States have been confirmed to grace the forthcoming maiden edition of the Telecom Stakeholders Summit being organized by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), reports DigitalSENSE Business News.

Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Summit and Director, Public Affairs of the Commission, Mr. Tony Ojobo, confirmed to DigitalSENSE Business News that the Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Obong Godswill Akpabio would preside over the event, while the Governor Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi would present a keynote. While Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, is the Host Governor, just as Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson would also present a keynote at the event.

NCC, he said, has concluded arrangements for the hosting of the maiden edition of an annual Telecom Stakeholders Summit in Nigeria.

The summit, slated for Lagos at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 with the theme “Transforming a Nation with Broadband: Telecom as Instrument for Sustainable Development.”

According to him, the summit has been designed to bring together, different stakeholders of the telecom industry to interact and discuss issues that affect them from their various perspectives and interests.

“It will comprise a forum, product and services showcase, and gala nite,” he declared.

In addition, Ojobo affirmed that members of the National Assembly and top industry chieftains and experts, including service providers and consumers are expected at the maiden edition of the flagship telecom summit in Nigeria.

The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, was quoted as saying the summit will provide veritable platform for interaction and sharing of ideas across different stakeholders, as well as providing an opportunity for appraisal of the performance of the industry, while projecting for the future.

Juwah noted that the summit evolved out of the need to achieve a more inclusive consultation among the different stakeholders in line with the consultative approach to the Commission’s regulatory mandate.

Further, Mr. Ojobo, said the summit boasts of full representation of the key stakeholders in the industry including the consumers, the government at different levels, the investors, the service providers, the media, the financial industry and international telecom community.


The summit, as said by him, promises to offer intense discourse about the industry, it potentials and its direction while also providing an atmosphere for relaxation and interaction between the diverse stakeholder segments of the  industry, while sending a signal to the world about our unity of purpose, and huge potentials that abound in our country.

Remmy Nweke
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Monday, December 09, 2013

ISPON mourns Madiba: He represents African software

ITRealms:

The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has joined the world in mourning the death of former South African president, Nelson Mandela, who died last Thursday in his country, reports ITRealms.

president, Chief Chris Uwaje in his remarks told ITRealms that Mandela represents and demonstrates perhaps, the most complex and greatest software out of Africa that the human mind had ever vision.

He also said that Mandela represents African software ever conceptualized, structurally defined, strategically codified and wholeheartedly delivered for the application and benefit of human progress.

“Madiba is ‘Knowledge Magic’ pure and simple. This is why ISPON mourns his unforgettable demise,” he explained.

Uwaje further emphasised that if man were God, Madiba Nelson Mandela would not have died!

“With his death, the world and indeed the entire humanity have lost an enigmatic knowledge fountain and a colossus in the wilderness of constructive logic,” he said.

During his short span of service to humanity eclipsed by the twenty- seven and a half (27.5) years of unjustified detention at Robin Island jail, he positively touched the lives of many billion people of all races.

ISPON thus, recognizes Madiba as a great reservoir of concentrated knowledge, an embodiment of constructive logic and an unrivaled master-software algorithm. His dynamic leadership attitude radiates a calculus-minded human model, one that only a Software Knowledge Super architect can codify.

Mandela has progressively but efficiently reduced our ignorance of human co-existence and relations and by extension, lightened-up the global pathway in search of Democracy architecture.

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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Nelson Mandela: Passage of an 'African Spirit'

ITRealms: A Tribute!
Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in Mveso, Transkei, South Africa. Becoming actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in his 20s, Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1942. For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful, non-violent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies. In 1993,
Mandela and South African President F.W. de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to dismantle the country's apartheid system. In 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa's first black president. In 2009, Mandela's birthday (July 18) was declared Mandela Day to promote global peace and celebrate the South African leader's legacy. Mandela died at his home in Johannesburg on December 5, 2013, at age 95.
Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela on July 18, 1918, in the tiny village of Mvezo, on the banks of the Mbashe River in Transkei, South Africa. "Rolihlahla" in the Xhosa language literally means "pulling the branch of a tree," but more commonly translates as "troublemaker."
Nelson Mandela's father, who was destined to be a chief, served as a counselor to tribal chiefs for several years, but lost both his title and fortune over a dispute with the local colonial magistrate. Mandela was only an infant at the time, and his father's loss of status forced his mother to move the family to Qunu, an even smaller village north of Mvezo. The village was nestled in a narrow grassy valley; there were no roads, only foot paths that linked the pastures where livestock grazed. The family lived in huts and ate a local harvest of maize, sorghum, pumpkin and beans, which was all they could afford. Water came from springs and streams and cooking was done outdoors. Mandela played the games of young boys, acting out male rights-of-passage scenarios with toys he made from the natural materials available, including tree branches and clay.
At the suggestion of one of his father's friends, Mandela was baptized in the Methodist Church. He went on to become the first in his family to attend school. As was custom at the time, and probably due to the bias of the British educational system in South Africa, Mandela's teacher told him that his new first name would be Nelson.
When Mandela was 9 years old, his father died of lung disease, causing his life to change dramatically. He was adopted by Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the acting regent of the Thembu people—a gesture done as a favor to Mandela's father, who, years earlier, had recommended Jongintaba be made chief. Mandela subsequently left the carefree life he knew in Qunu, fearing that he would never see his village again. He traveled by motorcar to Mqhekezweni, the provincial capital of Thembuland, to the chief's royal residence. Though he had not forgotten his beloved village of Qunu, he quickly adapted to the new, more sophisticated surroundings of Mqhekezweni.

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Pix: Late Mandela. Courtesy: biography.com

ITU targets 33 schools in Sri Lanka with Connect a School


The international Telecommunication Union (ITU) has selected Sri Lanka as one of the five countries for the ‘Connect a School, Connect a Community’ project, reports ITRealms.

It was also gathered by ITRealms that this follows the completion of a ‘Connect a school, Connect a Community’ project in Akuressa, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) initiated this project with ITU to extend the scope to cover 33 schools on the entire island.

ITRealms further gathered that this project was inaugurated Thursday with the opening of the Computer Laboratory of the Watareka Kanishta Vidyalaya (Primary School), in Homagama, Padukka, Colombo District, by the Sri Lanka Minister of Education Mr Bandula Gunawardena.

Attended by Mr Lalith Weeratunga, the Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka and Chairman of the TRCSL, and Ms Eun-Ju Kim, Director of the ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, along with participating school principals and officials of the Provincial Education Offices, the project would benefit over 8500 students in 33 schools located in areas of low Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development, while also educating children with special needs.

The main objective of the project, ITRealms learnt is to narrow the digital divide between rural and urban areas and provide digital opportunities to their communities.


“Transforming these schools into community ICT centres is expected to help marginalized and vulnerable groups, such as women, indigenous people, persons with disabilities and those living in rural, remote and underserved areas, and to empower them to contribute to their socio-economic development,” officials of ITU told ITRealms.

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

CommTech, Lagos, ALTON enter deal to reduce ROW by 85%

A milestone agreement was recently reached between the Ministry of Communication Technology (CommTech), the Lagos State Government and the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) to reduce Right of Way (RoW) charges by 85 per cent and boost deployment of broadband in the country, ITRealms reports.
Confirming this development to ITRealms, Mrs. Efem Nkanga, the Special Assistant to CommTech Minister, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, said that this deal would remove constraints to the installation, rollout and deployment of base stations and fibre optic cable in Lagos State.

ITRealms gathered that the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson and the Governor of Lagos state, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola with some officials held a closed door meeting at the State House penultimate Thursday, to address the issues of taxes, levies, decommissioned sites and Right of Way (RoW) fees mitigating against quality of service in the state.

It was also gathered that the meeting attracted Governor Fashola, some key members of ALTON, Mrs. Johnson, Commissioner of Science and Tech, Mr Biyi Mabadeje, Commissioner of Works, Mr Obafemi Hamzat and officials from Etisalat, Main One, Airtel, MTN and Globacom, deliberated on the aforementioned issues.

ALTON members, ITRealms learnt had expressed concerns that these issues were making it difficult for operators to rollout much needed Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure in the centre of excellence.


Gov. Fashola remarked that good infrastructure rollout and deployment was in the best interest of residents of Lagos State, making very much needed infrastructure and capacity available; insisting that it is not the wish of the State to prevent operators from rolling out.

“We need you to roll out probably more than you need it. But we do not need it at the expense of our roads, or lives of the people. Infrastructure must be built to very high standards, for example, masts must be built with galvanized steel and not hollow pipes to prevent them from collapsing. You may find that sites that may have been decommissioned by UFRU probably did not meet these standards or had not paid up their levies, when badly build sites collapse it is we who are left to pick up the pieces,” Fashola pointed out.

Although, ALTON members at the meeting while commending the deal, urged for a standardised approach for excavating roads where no ducts existed, even as they maintained, there were no telecoms masts in the state constructed with hollow piles.

“All telecoms masts in Lagos State are built with galvanized steel,” ALTON official reiterated.
Responding to ALTON’s position on prohibitive taxes, levies and right of way fees in Lagos, the Commissioner of Science and Technology for Lagos, Mr Mabadeje read out an agreement by Lagos State to reduce taxes and levies in Lagos by over 40 per cent and Right of Way fees were reduced from N3000 to N500 - a reduction of over 85 per cent.

However, this was on the condition that operators agreed to use approved and qualified contractors who would ensure the integrity of the road after the fibre had been installed in the event that there was no fibre duct on the road.

Operators further agreed with Lagos to a ‘dig once’ policy whereby the first operator to dig the road for fibre installation would install a duct with spare capacity for other operators to use when they wanted to install fibre instead of digging up the road again. Governor Fashola reiterated that all new roads in Lagos State already have ducts and that the operators should submit annual infrastructure plans to Lagos State to allow for proper planning on both sides.


The meeting ended on a high note with ALTON members consenting that this indeed was a significant step forward and in the right direction.

Mrs. Johnson applauded Lagos State for leading the charge in removing many of the barriers and obstacles to telecoms infrastructure deployment in Lagos and expressed her hope that many other states would follow suit in making telecoms and broadband infrastructure available to all.

Remmy Nweke 
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Pix: Gov. Fashola of Lagos State.