Nigerian telecommunications operators have backed the directive of the Federal Government to register Over-The-Top (OTT) service providers in the country.
Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo agreed that the licensing of OTT has to happen, but certainly not by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) or the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
“Indeed yes, Over the Top “OTT” is a layer on communication channels provided on telecom services: it’s part of the Quad Play of Broadbands, which refers to Telephony, Television, Internet and other Mobile Services
“It’s part of the convergence of telecommunications and broadcasting and the regulator of the base infrastructure should be responsible for licensing of the players which in this case and in our understanding is the Nigeria Communications Commission.
“It is a conversation that needs to happen but not under the current circumstances of a suspension of Twitter as a service and the directive for licensing arising therefrom,” Adebayo said.
Acting Director-General, NBC, Prof Armstrong Idachaba, said the order was pursuant to the suspension of the platform’s operation in the country over its persistent use for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
Entitled: Suspend Twitter Handles, the statement signed by Idachaba had read: “Consequent on the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government over the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining the corporate existence of Nigeria, the National Broadcasting Commission directs all broadcasting stations in Nigeria to suspend the patronage of Twitter immediately.
“In compliance to the above directive, broadcasting stations are hereby advised to de-install Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter as a source (UGC) of information gathering for news and programmes presentation especially phone-in.
“Section 2(1)r of the NBC Act entrust the Commission with responsibility to ensure strict adherence to the national laws, rules and regulations.’’
Also, section 3,11.2 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code provides that “the broadcaster shall ensure that law enforcement is upheld at all times in a matter depicting that law and order are socially superior to or more desirable than Crime and Anarchy.
“Attention is also drawn to section 5.6.3 of The Code which requires broadcasters to be mindful of materials that may cause disaffection, incite to panic or rift in the society in the use of a user generated content (UGC).
“Note that it will be unpatriotic for any broadcaster in Nigeria to continue to patronise the suspended Twitter as a source of its information, therefore strict compliance is enjoined.”
The Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) however declined to make public comments on the development.
Its President, Ikechukwu Nnamani, said the association was in conversation with the Federal Government over the development.
“We are currently engaging with the government to resolve the issue, so we are not making public comments on the situation as ATCON for now.”
CBN warns banks over foreign exchange malpractices
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has insisted that the FX operating license of any bank or banks that are found guilty of ongoing investigations in foreign exchange malpractices would be suspended for at least a year.
The circular signed today by the Director Trade and Exchange Department, CBN, Ozoemena Nnaji stated: “In line with the continuing close surveillance of our financial markets in general and the FX market in particular, the CBN wishes to remind all banks that it is their responsibility to not only Know their Customers (KYC requirements) but also Know their customers’ business (KYCB requirements).
“Given these responsibilities and in view of recent occurrences in the market, the CBN would like to remind banks to desist from all and any forms of FX malpractices.
“We wish to reiterate that the FX operating license of any bank or banks that are found culpable with ongoing investigations would be suspended for at least one year. Please note and ensure compliance.”
Naira hits historic low of 543 against dollar
The naira has continued to depreciate on the parallel market, selling for N543 to the dollar on Thursday.
The bureau de change operators in Abuja bought dollar at N540, then it was sold for N543.
The British Pound was also sold for £1/N740.
This comes 44 days after the Central Bank of Nigeria barred sale of Forex to all bureau de change operators across the country.
On June 27, 2021, the CBN ended the sales of Forex to BDCs saying the parallel market had become a conduit for illicit Forex flows and graft.
The CBN said it would also no longer process applications for BDC licences in the country.