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*X-raying Key Reforms in Nigeria’s Communication Sector* By Attah Adadu

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*X-raying Key Reforms in Nigeria’s Communication Sector* By Attah Adadu

*X-raying Key Reforms in Nigeria’s Communication Sector*

By Attah Adadu

 

Nigeria’s communication sector, once a sluggish behemoth plagued by inefficiency and disarray, has witnessed a remarkable metamorphosis in recent years. This revitalization, a symphony of bold reforms and strategic vision, owes much to the leadership of the astute Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Aminu Maida.

 

 

*X-raying Key Reforms in Nigeria’s Communication Sector*
By Attah Adadu

 

 

One of the notable reforms spearheaded by the current EVC and the Ministry of Communication is the focus on digital transformation and expanding connectivity across the nation. The deployment of advanced technologies, such as 5G networks, has the potential to revolutionize various industries, enhance communication capabilities, and bridge the digital divide. These initiatives are known to be crucial in fostering economic growth, empowering individuals, and positioning Nigeria as a leader in the global digital economy.

Prior to Maida’s tenure, broadband penetration in Nigeria hovered around a dismal 22%, throttling progress across sectors. Recognizing this as a crucial bottleneck, Maida spearheaded the ambitious National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020-2025. This plan, a masterclass in inclusivity, aims to cover 90% of the population with affordable broadband by 2025. The results are astounding: broadband penetration shot up to 45% in just two years, a testament to the plan’s efficacy. Villages and towns, are now connected to the world, empowering education, healthcare, and entrepreneurship.

The current leadership understand that to ensure a dynamic and competitive communication sector, regulatory frameworks must evolve alongside technological advancements. In view of this, they demonstrated a commitment to this by reviewing and updating existing policies to align with global standards. By providing a supportive regulatory environment, entrepreneurs and innovators are encouraged to invest in the sector, driving innovation, job creation, and economic growth.

Spectrum, the invisible yet vital resource for all wireless communication, was once shrouded in opacity and controversy. Enter Maida, who ushered in a new era of transparent and efficient spectrum auctions. The 5G spectrum auction of 2021, meticulously conducted under his watch, generated a staggering $2.7 billion, a record-breaking feat that drew global acclaim. This windfall is being wisely channeled into infrastructure development and digital literacy programs, further propelling the sector forward.

Without neglecting the sensitivity of Cyber security and Data Privacy in an increasingly digital world, where the need for robust cybersecurity measures and data privacy regulations cannot be overstated, the current leadership in the Ministry of Communication has prioritized these areas, recognizing and proffering solutions to the potential risks associated with technological advancements. This was achieved by implementing stringent cybersecurity protocols and advocating for data protection. The EVC and the Ministry of Communication are ensuring that Nigeria’s communication infrastructure remains secure and that individuals’ privacy rights are safeguarded.

Further recognizing the importance of local content and innovation, the EVC and the Ministry of Communication have placed a strong emphasis on empowering Nigerian businesses and individuals. Initiatives such as the establishment of innovation hubs, incubation programs, and support for local startups have provided a platform for creativity and entrepreneurship to thrive. This focus on local talent not only drives economic growth but also ensures that Nigerians actively participate in shaping the future of the communication sector.

Maida doesn’t just clear hurdles; he builds springboards. Recognizing the power of local innovation, he established the N-VEST Fund, a N20 billion pot of gold specifically dedicated to nurturing Nigerian tech startups. This bold initiative fosters homegrown solutions to local problems, empowering a new generation of digital entrepreneurs. Additionally, under his leadership, the NCC created regulatory frameworks that incentivize investment in research and development, ensuring Nigeria doesn’t just consume technology, but actively contributes to its evolution.

In a sector notorious for exploitative practices, Maida stands as a staunch advocate for consumer rights. The Mobile Number Portability (MNP) initiative, championed by him, empowers users to switch networks seamlessly, fostering price competition and improved service quality. Furthermore, the establishment of the Consumer Affairs Bureau within the NCC provides a dedicated platform for resolving consumer complaints, ensuring justice and fair treatment for all Nigerians.

As it’s known that the success of any sector relies on collaboration and partnerships, both locally and internationally, the current leadership has actively engaged with stakeholders, including industry players, international organizations, and foreign governments, to foster meaningful collaborations. These partnerships enable knowledge sharing, technology transfer, and capacity building, ultimately benefiting the Nigerian communication sector and positioning it for greater success on the global stage.

Like any journey, the road to a fully digitized Nigeria is fraught with challenges. Issues of infrastructure deployment in rural areas, bridging the digital divide, and ensuring data privacy and cybersecurity remain formidable hurdles. However, Maida’s unwavering vision and commitment to inclusive development offer a powerful counterpoint. His collaborative approach, fostering partnerships with government agencies, private sector players, and civil society, ensures that all stakeholders have a seat at the table, crafting solutions that are sustainable and truly serve the needs of all Nigerians.

The recent developments In Nigeria’s communication sector under the leadership of the current EVC and the Ministry of Communication have been transformative. From infrastructure development to digital inclusion, regulatory reforms to cybersecurity, and e-government initiatives to collaboration and partnerships, the sector has witnessed remarkable progress. These reforms have not only improved connectivity and access to digital services but have also contributed to Nigeria’s socio-economic growth, job creation, and overall development.

Beyond statistics and policies, Maida’s leadership has instilled a newfound spirit of optimism within the sector. From rural farmers accessing vital market information to young tech minds brimming with innovative ideas, the potential for growth and transformation is palpable. Dr Aminu Maida is not just steering the ship; he is building a lighthouse, guiding Nigeria towards a future where communication empowers, connects, and propels every citizen towards a brighter tomorrow. This This true story that’s not just of reform, but of revolution, an X-ray that reveals the vibrant bones of a sector reborn, ready to lead Nigeria into the digital age.

As we celebrate these achievements, it is crucial to sustain the momentum, great innovators like Maida, and continue investing in the communication sector, so as to unlock its full potential for the benefit of all Nigerians.

Adadu writes from 3rd Eye Dimension, United Kingdom.

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The SUN names Dr. Olufemi Bakre as Banker of the Year 2023

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The SUN names Dr. Olufemi Bakre as Banker of the Year 2023.

The SUN names Dr. Olufemi Bakre as Banker of the Year 2023.

 

In acknowledgment of his outstanding leadership at Parallex Bank, The Sun Newspapers, organisers of The Sun Award, have conferred the title of Banker of the Year 2023 upon Dr. Olufemi Bakre, the Managing Director of Parallex Bank. In his opening remarks at the elaborate event at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos on Saturday, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh, the Managing Director of Sun Newspaper, said the Sun Awards annually aim to recognise and celebrate Nigerians who have demonstrated remarkable success in their respective fields, despite the challenging economic conditions in Nigeria.

 

The SUN names Dr. Olufemi Bakre as Banker of the Year 2023.

 

 

According to Ukeh, the year 2023 was particularly noteworthy for Nigeria, marked by political events and the removal of petroleum subsidies. Despite the myriad challenges faced by individuals and businesses, some Nigerians exhibited resilience, utilising their skills to succeed in their endeavors. He added that the individual awardees have made a significant impact on their chosen careers and interests.

 

The Chairman of the occasion and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, said nation-building is a collective effort, and the choice of Sun Newspapers to celebrate and reward individuals who are making great strides in nation-building is commendable. Akume congratulated all awardees and urged them not to relent in giving their very best to the nation.

 

Among the notable Nigerians recognised for their milestone achievement in 2023 is Dr. Olufemi Bakre, who, according to The Sun, has utilised exceptional skills to position Parallex Bank as a leading technology-driven financial institution in the country. Within less than two years of its operation as a deposit money bank in Nigeria, Parallex Bank, under Dr. Bakre’s leadership, has demonstrated strong indicators of being a sustainable and profitable institution.

 

Dr. Bakre, a seasoned banker, commenced his flourishing career with MBC International Bank, later assuming the position of General Manager and eventually becoming the Group Head, Multilateral, Financial Institutions, and Global Custody at First Bank after MBC’s acquisition in 2006. He distinguished himself by initiating and delivering the First Bank of China Representative Office. He joined FCMB in 2011 and held various positions until he was appointed Executive Director of Corporate and Institutional Banking in the United Kingdom and Nigeria. He was appointed as the Managing Director of Parallex Bank in 2021, making him the pioneering Managing Director of the bank as a commercial bank.

 

According to Bakre, Parallex Bank’s substantial investment in digital technology has made it the preferred bank in the industry due to the efficiency, convenience, and reliability of its digital platforms. He emphasised that Parallex Bank has become highly attractive to customers due to its value-added services, such as zero account maintenance fees, free interbank transfers, free debit cards, and unique account numbers.

 

He said Parallex Bank is driven by a commitment to deliver premium value-adding services that meet the diverse needs of all customer segments, including individuals, corporations, and businesses, with a particular focus on SMEs and commercial entities.

 

Expressing humility in the face of the awards, Dr. Olufemi Bakre stated that it is fulfilling to see efforts, sacrifices, dedication, and passion being recognised externally, in addition to bearing fruit for the organization. Bakre considers the award a great honour and privilege, dedicating it to God, who has transformed his journey from grass to modest grace, and the passionate workforce of Parallex Bank.

 

Bakre said Parallex Bank’s vision to become the leading financial solutions provider, revolutionising the customer experience through innovation, coupled with the collective determination to redefine banking services and provide customers with unparalleled opportunities, was the driving force behind receiving the award. He added that the steadfast dedication of the Board, management, and the team to delivering limitless possibilities has also garnered the trust and acknowledgment of their valued customers. He expressed gratitude to the Board of Parallex Bank for their relentless support, and the management of The Sun Newspapers for deeming him worthy of the honour.

 

Other notable awardees of The Sun Awards 2023 include Tobi Bakre, who won the Nollywood Icon of the Year, the founder and president of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Tony Elumelu, and Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, among others.

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Alanquadri Investment Boss, Amodemaja Adeboye Preaches Hope & Positivity On His Birthday

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Alanquadri Investment Boss, Amodemaja Adeboye Preaches Hope & Positivity On His Birthday.

Alanquadri Investment Boss, Amodemaja Adeboye Preaches Hope & Positivity On His Birthday.

 

Life is on the upward curve for Amodemaja Adeboye, the compassionate philanthropist and chief executive officer (CEO) of Alanquadri Investment Nigeria Limited, a prosperous privately-owned Nigerian company with interests in key sectors of the Nigerian economy. For Amodemaja, it has been a story of onward and upward. His business has continued to thrive despite the economic hardship troubling the soul of Nigeria. All is well on the home front, too.

 

Alanquadri Investment Boss, Amodemaja Adeboye Preaches Hope & Positivity On His Birthday.

 

 

The high-flying businessman had a reason to celebrate yesterday. Amodemaja turned another year older in style. What a privilege to welcome another year full of grace in the land of the living. Expectedly, Amodemaja’s in a good mood at the moment. It’s a special event because it comes once in a year.

But Amodemaja wasn’t in the mood for a lavish celebration to mark the milestone. Better known for his philanthropic heart, Amodemaja opted for a low-key celebration due to the current economic crisis in the country. Reflecting on the current economic realities in the country; Amodemaja decided to reach out to the less privileged in honour of his special day.

Disturbed by the increasing hardship in the land, Amodemaja apart from his philanthropic gestures has urged Nigerians not to lose hope due to the economic crisis in the country. In his birthday media chat, the successful businessman encouraged his compatriots to exercise a little more patience for the government of President Bola Tinubu to get the country out of the woods. Commending Nigerians for their resilience and patience, Amodemaja said there’s light at the end of the tunnel. He said hope is on the horizon. And that this hardship shall pass, too.

A distinguished member of Nigeria’s business community. Under his guidance, Alanquadri Investment Nigeria Limited has grown in leaps and bounds. Described as a brilliant businessman, Amodemaja’s success is rooted in his commitment to excellence and integrity. He has built a strong reputation for excellence.

His company, Alanquadri, under his leadership became synonymous with quality and credibility. Today, Alanquadri Investment is one of Nigeria’s leading private companies providing job opportunities for hundreds of Nigerians in the private sector.

Amodemaja’s Alanquadri has interests in livestock farming, plantation, agriculture and so much more. Beyond his business prowess, Amodemaja is famous for his philanthropy championing various empowerment initiatives aimed at lifting his people out of poverty.

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OKEREAFOCHA IFEANYI DARLINGTON: A TRAILBLAZER IN NIGERIA’S FREIGHT AND LOGISTICS INDUSTRY BY CHINEDU NSOFOR

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OKEREAFOCHA IFEANYI DARLINGTON: A TRAILBLAZER IN NIGERIA'S FREIGHT AND LOGISTICS INDUSTRY BY CHINEDU NSOFOR

OKEREAFOCHA IFEANYI DARLINGTON: A TRAILBLAZER IN NIGERIA’S FREIGHT AND LOGISTICS INDUSTRY

BY CHINEDU NSOFOR

 

 

 

Born in Enugu to proud parents from the vibrant community of Ekwuoke Umuekwune in Ngor/Okpara local government area of Imo state, Okereafocha Ifeanyi Darlington’s journey embodies the spirit of resilience and determination deeply rooted in the Nigerian ethos.

 

 

OKEREAFOCHA IFEANYI DARLINGTON: A TRAILBLAZER IN NIGERIA'S FREIGHT AND LOGISTICS INDUSTRY
BY CHINEDU NSOFOR

Darlington’s educational journey commenced in his hometown in Imo state. However, his quest for broader horizons led him to the bustling city of Lagos, where opportunities abound for those willing to seize them. While some might have opted for opportunities abroad, Darlington’s heart remained steadfast in his commitment to contribute to the growth and development of his homeland.

Embarking on a career in construction initially, Darlington demonstrated a knack for success. Yet, his entrepreneurial spirit urged him to explore new avenues. It was then that he ventured into the dynamic world of freight and logistics, establishing SWISSDARL Freight & Logistics LTD.

The journey wasn’t without its challenges. Despite the evident potential in his venture, Darlington faced obstacles in securing financial support from traditional lending institutions. Undeterred by setbacks, he pressed forward, relying on his unwavering belief in Nigeria’s economy and his vision for SWISSDARL.

SWISSDARL’s rise to prominence was fueled by Darlington’s steadfast commitment and the unwavering support of clients who shared his vision. With the influx of investments from Indian companies, the company’s trajectory soared, cementing its position as a leader in the industry.

In a symbolic move reflecting his dedication to Nigeria’s progress, Darlington acquired No.28 Western Avenue, Ojuelegba Surulere, Lagos, where he erected SWISSDARL TOWER. This monumental edifice, unveiled on 17 June, 2023, serves as the company’s headquarters with over twenty braches nation wide standing as a testament to Darlington’s faith in the nation’s potential.

The unveiling of SWISSDARL TOWER was a momentous occasion, attended by dignitaries including Bishop Osaretin Ben-Naigbe and Chairman of BOZAC Group, Patrick Chibueze. Their admiration for Darlington’s achievements echoed the sentiments of many, who recognized the company’s invaluable contributions to the nation’s economy.

Darlington’s efforts were further lauded when he received the prestigious “ICON OF SOCIETAL DEVELOPMENT” award from the National Association of Northern Nigeria Students (NANNS) in 2023. This accolade underscored his significant role in driving economic growth and fostering national development.

Despite these accolades, Darlington remains grounded and focused on the future. His active involvement in the company’s operations, as evidenced by his social media posts, reflects his enduring commitment to its success.

As SWISSDARL continues to expand its reach, Darlington’s vision extends beyond mere business success. He envisions a future where the company’s growth translates into tangible benefits for Nigeria, including job creation and socio-economic development.

In Okereafocha Ifeanyi Darlington, Nigeria has found not just an entrepreneur, but a visionary leader dedicated to harnessing the nation’s potential for the greater good. As SWISSDARL paves the way for a brighter future, Darlington’s legacy as a pioneer in Nigeria’s freight and logistics industry is firmly secured.

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