Connect with us

Infotech

NCC grants Glo 21 days extension to resolve interconnect debt owed MTN, halts disconnection

Published

on

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has halted the planned disconnection of Globacom Limited (Glo) from MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN).

The initial disconnection was hinged on Glo’s indebtedness to MTN for over 15 years.

Stepping in as a regulator, the NCC on January 8, 2024 published a Pre-Disconnection Notice informing subscribers of the approval granted to MTN Nigerian Communications Plc. (MTN) to commence the phased disconnection of Globacom Limited (Glo) with effect from January 18, 2024 due to long-standing interconnection dispute between the parties.

However, the telecoms regulator has made a reversal on its earlier notice noting that the parties have now reached agreement to resolve all outstanding issues between them.

In a statement cited by Nigerian NewsDirect, the NCC explained that, “In granting the approval, the Commission was deeply conscious of the potential impacts of the decision on consumers and therefore continued to engage both parties to facilitate a resolution which prioritizes and protects consumer interest and the seamless operation of the national telecoms network.

“The Commission is pleased to announce that the parties have now reached agreement to resolve all outstanding issues between them. For this reason, and in exercise of its regulatory powers in that regard, the Commission has put the phased disconnection on hold for a period of 21 (twenty-one) days from today, 17 January, 2024.

“The Commission acknowledges both parties’ customer-centric approach to the resolution of the dispute, as this will enable MTN and Glo’s customers to continue to enjoy seamless connectivity between the two networks.”

The regulator also directed MTN and Glo to resolve all outstanding issues within 21 days while insisting that interconnect debts must be settled by all operating companies as a necessary component towards compliance to regulatory obligations of all licensees.

“It is OBLIGATORY that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other licensees in the telecom industry must keep to the terms and conditions of their licenses, especially as contained in their interconnection agreements,” the regulator emphasized.

In the same, there had been reports earlier in the week of lines being barred by telecoms operators before the expiration of the disconnection notice issued by the NCC.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had earlier directed telcos operators in Nigeria, including MTN, Airtel, and Globacom, among others, to implement full network barring on all phone lines for which subscribers had not submitted their NINs and those without verified NINs by February 28, 2024.

Following the barring, a subscriber group, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS) threatened court action against the telcos.

NATCOMS President, Mr. Deolu Ogunbanjo said barring subscribers before the stipulated time is unacceptable.

He advised the telcos to reverse their decision or risk court action by the group.

He said a lot of the members affected by the decision of the telcos are business people and the action makes them lose millions of naira every day thus the need for the group to take action against telcos.

Ogunbanjo said the NCC would meet key stakeholders in the sector this week, promising the issue would be raised at the meeting and he will come back to his members with positive news.

He, however, urged subscribers who have not linked their SIMs to do so to avoid barring their phone numbers at end of the grace time even though the group seeks for an extension of the deadline.

Infotech

Focus on building AI not just for Nigeria but global market — Tijani

Published

on

The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr ‘Bosun Tijani has charged participants to focus on building Artificial Intelligence(AI) indications for the global market.

The Minister spoke at a 4-day stakeholders’ strategy workshop with the theme “Developing the High-Level Strategy and Implementation Plan for a National AI Strategy in Nigeria.”

Speaking, the Minister reminded participants of their collective responsibility in harnessing the power of AI for the betterment of humanity and urged them to embrace a future where connectivity and innovation serve as catalysts for national and global development.

While highlighting the profound impact of digital technology on human interactions and societal norms, he emphasised the need for inclusive participation in shaping the trajectory of AI development.

“Digital technologies are also quite transformational because of their scope. Not only do they connect, but they allow us to transform nearly every aspect of our lives as humans,” he added.

The Minister emphasised that inclusive dialogue and cooperation are  essential elements in shaping a future where AI serves the collective good.

He called for unity among the participants to embrace conflicting views that could emanate from their brainstorming on AI development.

While challenging participants to rise above ideological differences and embrace a vision of AI that transcends national boundaries, Dr Tijani averred that “I’m challenging each one of us that will participate in this workshop not to be too focused on strategies in building AI that is limited to Nigeria or Africa but to the world.”

“Let us show leadership globally so that the world could be converging and not diverging when we talk AI  because these set of technology tools and products that will be built from this workshop can be used across borders,” he noted.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, emphasised the significance of leveraging AI not only as a technological tool but as a catalyst for broader societal change.

The DG underscored the imperative of harnessing the transformative potential of AI for the betterment of Nigerian society with emphasis on not only developing a strategy for AI but also developing a strategy with AI.

“Our vision for this strategy is clear. It is to harness the power of AI to derive values from it while harnessing its potential and avoiding its errors,” he noted.

While stating that technology is like a double-edged sword with its promises and pitfalls, Inuwa said that the uniqueness of the workshop is not only to discuss but to actively share ideas through cognitive processes.

“This approach is fundamental because it will help us to use our diverse insights and expertise in creating a strategy that will be inclusive as well as reflecting our national consensus,” he averred.

The NITDA DG asserted that the strategy would help in making significant advancements toward achieving Mr President’s economic transformation in priority areas of national security, boosting agriculture to achieve food security, increasing the nation’s GDP, unlocking energy and transportation potentials as well as improving the healthcare sector among many others.

“Our success depends on our ability to work together across government, academia, industry and civil society in bringing our unique perspectives to this strategy which will help us craft not just an innovative strategy but a practicable and implementable strategy that will lay a foundation for a prosperous nation for Nigerians,” he concluded.

The highlight of the workshop was the breakout sessions with industry and global experts sharing insights on contextualising AI strategy, setting directional beacons for Nigeria’s AI, developing a national vision and goal setting for AI in Nigeria.

At the end of the workshop, participants who were grouped into syndicates which include; AI Ethics and Social Impact, AI Infrastructure and Ecosystem in Talent, AI Talent and Workforce Development, AI Research and Innovation, AI Adoption and Sector Focus, AI Policy and Governance, AI International Collaboration and Engagement, AI Safety and Regulations gave presentations on various strategic initiatives, roadmap development and thematic visioning needed for the development of a robust AI Strategy document.

While giving his vote of thanks, Dr Tijani thanked NITDA, Nigerian Communications Commission, Galaxy Backbone, Nigeria Data Protection Commission, Data Science Nigeria, Microsoft, Google, Meta, the academia and a host of other public and private organisations for their invaluable contribution to the success of the workshop.

Expressing his excitement at the active engagement by participants at the workshop where in-depth ideas and experiences were shared, he said that he was confident that a robust National AI Strategy which Nigerians can derive value from will be developed for the benefit of the nation and the world.

Continue Reading

Infotech

PalmPay unveils first set of winners in Eid mobile bonanza

Published

on

PalmPay has announced the first set of winners in its ongoing Eid campaign tagged PalmPay Eid Bonanza, which kicked off on April 10th and will run until April 30th, 2024.

Since the start of the bonanza on April 10th, 5 lucky winners have been emerging daily simply by performing tasks on the PalmPay App such as transferring funds, airtime and data purchases, bill payments, and savings.

Comfort Udoh from Lagos, one of the proud recipients of an iPhone 15 Pro, expressed her sheer delight. “I simply won by recharging my phone with airtime on the PalmPay app. I received the exciting news via a call from PalmPay Nigeria. I thank them for the generous reward of a brand new iPhone 15 pro”

Also, Mr. Abegurin Patrick Segun’s winning entry came about when he placed a N100 bet using his PalmPay app. It was a delightful surprise for him to receive a call from PalmPay Nigeria, informing him of his victory in the daily raffle draw, and he’s now the proud owner of an Infinix Hot 40i.

To participate in the remaining weeks of the campaign, download the PalmPay App from Google Play or App Store. Sign up for an account and include your BVN or NIN to complete the process and click on the Eid Bonanza Feature.

There are still numerous phones to be won daily, along with the added bonus of daily free transfers to any bank via the PalmPay App.

Enakeno Umuteme, the Head of Marketing and Communications at PalmPay Nigeria, notes that, “Our primary objective is to reward and acknowledge our loyal customers. This campaign stays true to its promise of appreciating Nigerians who are PalmPay users”

PalmPay offers an array of services including money transfers, bill payments, credit services, and savings on its app and via its mobile money agents. Since its inception in Nigeria in 2019 under a Mobile Money Operator license, the platform has amassed over 30 million app users as part of its cashless payment ecosystem.

Continue Reading

Infotech

Minister announces groundbreaking partnerships with Cisco, others

Published

on

The Minister for Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani has announced strategic partnerships with Cisco, 21st Century Technologies like Awarri and DataDotOrg.

Tijani made the announcements while speaking at a dinner to mark the end of a four-day National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (NAIS) Workshop in Abuja.

The workshop was themed: “Developing the High-Level Strategy and Implementation Plan for a National Artificial Intelligence Strategy for Nigeria”.

He informed that the partnerships would drive technological innovation and boost Nigeria’s digital Economy.

Tijani said that the workshop was to formulate a strategy focused on addressing the needs of Nigerian citizens and communities.

He noted the increased attention on AI across the world and growth in investments in the technology in Nigeria saying: “Over one Petabyte of storage is already being allocated to AI projects in Nigeria by Galaxy Backbone Limited.

“The Pilot Compute Programme that we are undertaking, which is seeing 21st Century Technologies invest over 2 million dollars in Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).

“It is also going to put us in a position to start building and narrating the story for why we need to invest in our computing power as a nation.

“We all know that the strength of a network is determined by the value that each node on the network brings to it.

“If our world is truly connected, you are not helping Africa or Nigeria by ensuring that we can come to the table and participate.

“By partnering with us, you are only ensuring that our world is stronger because we have something significant to contribute to the network.”

The minister outlined a number of strategic partnerships and projects facilitated by the Ministry to fast-track Nigeria’s growth in the field of AI.

He listed them to include the National Centre for Al and Robotics (NCAIR) relaunch, Nigerian multilingual large language model, Nigeria’s computing infrastructure pilot and the AI collective, accordingly.

Tijani explained that the NCAIR relaunch of new and improved capacity was to better fulfill its mandate.

“The Centre is a special purpose vehicle created to promote research and development on emerging technologies and their practical application in the areas of Nigerian national interest.

“As a digital innovation and research facility, NCAIR focuses on Al, Robotics and Drones, Internet of Things (loT), and other emerging technologies, aimed at transforming the Nigerian digital economy.

“The capacity building imperative is undertaken with support from global technology company, Cisco.

”For the Nigerian multilingual large language model, Tijani said it aimed to build the most robust Nigerian large language model,” Tijani said.

He said in order to achieve this, the project would leverage the support of the 3 Million Technical Talent (3MTT) programme Fellows to collate high quality Nigerian language data and fuel the development of some of the most sophisticated AI models.

Tijani explained, “The project is developed by Awarri in partnership with NITDA and DataDotOrg.”

He explained that Nigeria’s computing infrastructure pilot would accelerate the development of Al projects of national interest.

According to him, Galaxy Backbone Limited will partner 21st Century Technologies to develop Nigeria’s national computer project.

“The Compute will be available to local researchers, startups, government entities working on critical Al projects that are of national interest.

“It will reside at the Galaxy Backbone Data Centre and be accessible through NCAIR,” the minister added.

Tijani said,”The AI Collective is a community of practice collaborating towards accelerating the nation’s collective prosperity through an inclusive Al Ecosystem.

“The collective will harness the power of Al to drive economic prosperity, accelerate innovation and social development, and position Nigeria as a leading force in AI for good globally.”

The minister expressed appreciation to all the stakeholders for making the workshop possible, while stating the benefits of adopting cutting-edge technologies.

They include Artificial Intelligence (AI) in raising the productivity of users for our collective prosperity.

The workshop was supported by local and international organisations such asq Luminate, Google, Meta, Microsoft, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).

Others include Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Galaxy Backbone Limited, and Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF).

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to computer systems capable of performing complex tasks that historically only a human could do, such as reasoning, making decisions, or solving problems.

Continue Reading

Trending