More commendations have come the way of Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the agency for “the sound leadership and regulatory focus propelling the growth of telecoms sector in Nigeria.
Emir of Bichi, Alh. Nasir Ado Bayero, gave the commendations while receiving the Board of Commissioners of NCC, led by its Chairman, Prof Adeolu Akande, as part of activities lined up by the Commission for its ongoing 2020 Board Retreat in Kano State.
The Emir particularly appreciated the NCC boss for ensuring effective regulatory initiatives are in place to achieve the successes recorded in the sector so far.
During the visit, Danbatta reeled out a number of statistics that showed clearly the impressive growth of the telecoms industry, especially in the last five years.
Danbatta pointed out that in the last five years, the NCC Management has built on earlier successes recorded, noting that broadband penetration moved from 6 percent to over 45.43 per cent; while sector’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP,) contribution rose from 8.5 percent to 14.30 per cent, active phone subscribers grew from 151 million to over 205.2 million. Basic internet subscriptions also increased from 90 million to 151.5 million; teledensity now stands at 107.53 percent while investment in the sector has increased from $38 billion to over $70 billion currently.
Impressed by the statistics, the Emir noted that, as the regulatory authority of the communications industry in Nigeria responsible for creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry, the Danbatta-led NCC has consistently ensured the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout Nigeria.
The Emir acknowledged that over the years, the Commission has earned its reputation as the foremost telecoms regulatory agency in Africa; your Commission has also excelled in achieving its mandate of establishing an effective licensing and regulatory framework for the supply of communications services in Nigeria.
According to him, in the course of executing its mandate, the Commission has been seen to be guided by the principles of fairness and forthrightness, which have been the underpinnings of the core values of your institution, while urging the Commission to ensure that it remains the topmost regulatory agency in Nigeria and Africa.
“We are sure that the successes recorded by the Commission are as a result of sound leadership, honesty, hard work and professionalism of Prof. Danbatta and we urge to him to continue to provide quality leadership and the necessary strategic policy directions to ensure that the communications industry achieves greater heights,” he said.
The monarch, who is the Chairman of 9Mobile, one of the telecom companies in the country, also tasked the Commission to sustain its practice of regulatory excellence, while commending the EVC for his efforts in ensuring that 9mobile did not collapse during a financial crisis few years ago.
He said the NCC’s intervention saved millions of Nigerians from being rendered jobless with the attendant consequences, adding that Danbatta’s “excellent leadership and untiring efforts to ensure that competition is not undermined in telecommunications industry are highly commendable.”
Members of the board, who accompanied the Chairman and the EVC to the palace include the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Ubale Maska; the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, and Mr. Clement Baiye.
Others are: Prof. Millionaire Abowei, Mr. Aliyu Abubakar, Mr. Salman Muhammed and Chief Uche Onwude.
Stanbic IBTC Leverages Technology for 2020 Edition of Together4ALimb
Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC has leveraged technology in organising the 2020 edition of Together4ALimb, the flagship Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiative of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc.
The event held virtually in compliance with the social distancing guidelines provided by the Government, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Together4ALimb was introduced to create awareness about the plight of children living with limb loss.
The financial institution organises a series of activities, culminating in a walk by the employees of the institution, members of the beneficiaries’ family and other well-wishers. Through this initiative, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC has given hope to selected underprivileged children who have lost their limbs, by providing them with prosthetics.
The institution created a Web Application to encourage interested individuals to take part in a virtual walk, thereby generating awareness about the challenges that limbless people must endure. The #Together4ALimb Web Application engendered participation from the public, while reaching a wider audience.
Interested individuals logged onto the #Together4ALimb App to take and record their walks. The goal was to hit a 36-kilometre milestone in six days. Individuals could pause and pick up from where they stopped to continue the walk.
Overall, 505 people registered for the #Together4ALimb walk. A total of 2,356km was covered by the participants over a combined period of 440 hours, spread across 784 sessions.
Dr Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, while commenting on the success of this year’s event, thanked participants for their time and effort. Dr. Sogunle said: “Our commitment to all aspects of our flagship initiative, including the yearly charity walk to raise awareness, remains as strong as ever because as an institution, we are resolute in our determination to help limbless children live a normal life while pursuing their beautiful dreams”.
This year, Stanbic IBTC fitted 10 children with prosthetic limbs and awarded educational trusts worth N1.5 million to each beneficiary, to enable them pursue their dreams of acquiring quality education.
This year’s beneficiaries were Covenant Sunday Okon, Anabel Ayuba, Nasirdeen Rabi’u, Emmanuella Offor, Chidinma Blessing Udeh and Hamza Ahmed Rufai. Others were, Yakubu Haruna Yakubu, Qoyyumat Oluwadarasimi Okesanjo, David Ahmed Aliyu and Aisha Gidare.
Since the initiative commenced in 2015, Stanbic IBTC has provided prosthetics and Education Trust worth over N250 million for 40 children. The prosthetics are replaced annually until the beneficiaries turn 18 years old.
Technology Skills Will Continue to Redefine the Future of Work- Isimoya
Proservices Lead, Bincom Development Center, Olayinka Isimoya has described the increase in demand for software and technology skills around the world as a critical fulcrum that will continue to set the pace for the future of work and redefine global economy.
Isimoya make the remark in a bid to Stutern’s 2018 Nigerian Graduate report that states that technology companies hired over 10% of the fresh graduates in their survey, which means that the technology ecosystem remains one of the highest employers of labour in the country.
The issue for most of the tech companies as she said, is finding the right talents for the positions, as most applicants don’t have the required skillsets and relevant experience for the roles available.
She explained that most African youths that are unemployed are as a result of their lack of employable skills for the 21st century demands, adding that their lack of relevant skills, experience and exposure are pointers to the ills in the society.
Isimoya said that Bincom has been involved in bridging talents lacuna in the tech ecosystem, providing knowledge and hands-on experience in software development and other technology skills to produce high quality tech individuals.
“The advancements in technology, communication and information sharing have made it expedient that people must learn and develop skills that will enable them interact easily with the evolving world that we are”, she said.
She urged young people to acquire relevant technology skills to be employable that will further create positive impacts in their life and to the development of the country.
The tech enthusiast said that the initiative is targeted towards young people that are willing and able to dedicate their time to consistent learning and building their desired tech careers.
Strides Ahead: How 5G Will Become The New Frontier of Sports
Kevin Murphy, Vice President and Head of Ericsson Levant Countries and Global Customer Unit Ooredoo
Sports fans are a passionate breed and whether they’re at the match or on their couches, they demand the full experience. For fans, and athletes alike, leading technologies enrich the sporting experience, bringing people closer to the action, and creating new immersive ways to showcase the commitment, excitement, and teamwork of sports.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a growth in digital experiences which may become permanent. The increase in virtual events is raising the bar for the quality and design of the experience, with audiences becoming increasingly sophisticated, demanding a more social, innovative and engaging event.
To transform the digital experience for fans, players and support staff alike, three main types of support is required: a sports performance information system; a digital experience backend system; and technology consulting and innovation services.
The combination of 5G, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) supports completely new user experiences in sports – pushing boundaries and taking the consumer to the heart of the game itself. For a team playing before a packed stadium or a lonesome runner on a forest track, connectivity and mobility enable new values in an emerging internet of sport.
This is where 5G can be a vital tool for the sports sector, as it seeks to re-invent the fan experience at home and at the sports arena. Sporting events could better serve both the traveling fan attending every game in person and the die-hard fan catching the game remotely.
In this age of digital and mobile consumption, fans expect an experience boosted by their mobile devices. Through live-streaming video, mixed reality experiences and real-time access to information about the game, the next generation in mobile wireless technology can create an enhanced experience, reinventing how fans participate in sports.
Immersive Sporting Experiences at Home
Sports fans today are looking for new ways to connect to the sporting experience digitally. There is potential to create more immersive fan experiences with the introduction of 360-degree cameras, virtual and augmented reality. Fans can walk the sideline, see what the goalkeepers are seeing or join the victory celebration in the locker room – all serving the purpose of bringing fans closer to the action at the venue from home.
What’s more, the trend of increased solitary viewing due to the development of personal screens and on-demand viewing could be reversed thanks to the capabilities and promises of Virtual Reality (VR). It can provide a way to connect with friends watching the game at different physical locations, creating a “virtual hangout” for the times you can’t be there in person.
VR also brings an exciting prospect to the table: the ability to watch 4K/UHD content without owning a big physical screen and allowing on-demand viewing to become more of a social activity than it is today. Soon, friends and people with similar interests can watch content together in a VR living room, viewers will have the freedom to look anywhere in every scene of a movie and consumers can experience a football match with other fans in a VR arena, as if they are actually there.
And for sports fans in areas that don’t have access to fiber coverage, 5G enables fixed wireless access applications for very high-quality video streaming in 4K video, 360 or AR/VR formats.
This means that you get to watch the 4K video on your mobile device. But 5G is also so fast and so reliable that it will make fixed wireless a real challenger in the broadband market, streaming 4K video wirelessly to your big screen TV as well. And it’s not just the quality either. You’ll be able to choose what camera angles you like, or if you want information overlaid on the screen, or if you want to watch in VR or not.
Creating the Connected Stadium
A great experience at the arena is fundamental to enjoying live sports. Where fans today see broadband connectivity to their smartphone for social media posts as table stakes, there is so much more that could be done digitally to connect fans to the action. This is an area where 5G can improve the overall experience, compared to standard WIFI solutions.
5G can expand the experience for fans at the game, creating new possibilities by connecting sensors in balls, goals, and even players – all in real-time with extremely low latency. The next generation technology can deliver enough capacity to the stadium for fans to stream high-quality video and share the views from their seats with others at the same match.
Other future changes coming to the fan experience with 5G connectivity include the ability to experience matches from new vantage points, using phones to switch between different 360-degree, ultra-high definition virtual reality cameras filming all around the stadium.
The introduction of 5G at a stadium also creates a horizontal platform to serve additional applications. Fans would be able to monitor and track athletes’ performance during practice and competition in real time, for example. This represents a major opportunity for service providers to deliver enhanced networks in stadiums and arenas to ensure their subscribers are well connected.
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