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Pantami, Danbatta Lead Nigerian Delegation To MWC 2022

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Pantami, Danbatta Lead Nigerian Delegation To MWC 2022

…Meet with US Delegation, OEMs, Others

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, accompanied by the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta is leading the Nigerian delegation to the ongoing Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022.

The Mobile World Congress, the most influential conference and exhibition of stakeholders in mobile technology, innovation, and connectivity, is taking place in Barcelona from February 28 to March 3, 2022.  The Nigerian delegation will engage global players in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sphere to explore areas of strategic collaboration and investment for accelerating the growth of Nigeria’s emergent digital economy.

The Nigerian delegation is scheduled to participate in at least 33 sessions during MWC, organised by Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA). The gathering attracts the participation of the biggest manufacturers, GSM operators, mobile brands, regulators, and policymakers from across the world, showcasing innovations, new announcements, new products, and emergent innovations.

Among the teams Pantami will lead other participants from Nigeria to meet, are Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), representatives of the World Economic Forum (WEF), and other key actors in the global  ICT ecosystem.

Pantami, Danbatta Lead Nigerian Delegation To MWC 2022
Left-Right: Prof. Muhammad Abubakar, MD, Galaxy Backbone; Prof Babagana Zulum, Governor, Borno State; Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Minister of Communications and Digital Economy; Ryan Goodnight, Space X, Starlink Market Access Director for Africa; Prof. Umar Danbatta, EVC/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission; and a Space X Starlink Official, during a meeting of the Nigerian delegation with officials of Space X at the ongoing Mobile World Congress 2022 in Barcelona, Spain.
Pantami, Danbatta Lead Nigerian Delegation To MWC 2022
NCC @ the Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain; Left-Right: The Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Barrister Adeleke Adewolu; and the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta at the ongoing Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain.
Pantami, Danbatta Lead Nigerian Delegation To MWC 2022
Left-Right: The Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Barrister Adeleke Adewolu; and the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta at the ongoing Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain.

On arrival in Barcelona, Pantami, Danbatta, and the top echelon of the Nigerian delegation hit the ground running by holding purposive strategic talks with Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA), a global organization advocating for laws and regulations that will lead to more efficient and effective spectrum utilization.

The discussion focused on spectrum sharing and unlicensed technologies as well as the progress of DSA’s work in this regard, with emphasis on how DSA’s processes will benefit Nigeria. The meeting took place on February 28, 2022.

The same day, the Nigerian delegation also had a meeting with Nokia and discussed potential government initiatives and how NCC and Nokia can collaborate more strategically to accomplish some policy objectives and targets of the institutionalised digital economy processes in Nigeria.

On March 1, aside from participation in other key sessions slated for the day, the Nigerian delegation met SpaceX, a satellite operator to discuss licensing and authorisation issues as they may affect SpaceX.

The Pantami-led delegation equally met with the representatives of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to explore and concretely engage about opportunities within the framework of the EDISON Alliance for Digital Inclusion, and the possibility of Nigeria becoming Lighthouse Country of the Alliance.

EDISON Alliance was launched by WEF to mobilise a global movement to prioritize digital inclusion as foundational to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is envisioned to enhance the attainment of goals towards fostering affordable and accessible digital opportunities for everyone by 2025.

Pantami, Danbatta Lead Nigerian Delegation To MWC 2022
Left-Right: Prof. Muhammad Abubakar, MD, Galaxy Backbone; Prof Babagana Zulum, Governor, Borno State; Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Minister of Communications and Digital Economy; Ryan Goodnight, Space X, Starlink Market Access Director for Africa; Prof. Umar Danbatta, EVC/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission; and a Space X Starlink Official, during a meeting of the Nigerian delegation with officials of Space X at the ongoing Mobile World Congress 2022 in Barcelona, Spain.

One significance of the deliberations with WEF is the readiness to leverage relationship with EDISON Alliance to accelerate and foster unprecedented collaboration between the ICT community and other critical sectors of the economy in order to advance Nigeria’s vision on financial inclusion.

Indeed, on March 1, 2022, the Nigerian delegation is also scheduled to discuss with the MTN team, and thereafter proceed to attend a demo at Meta’s Exhibition Stand, where the CEO of Meta and owner of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is to call for global partnership to build the next world virtual reality (metaverse). A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection.

On March 2, 2022, the Nigerian delegation will meet a United States (US) delegation to discuss collaboration on telecommunications and related ICT issues. The Nigerian delegation will also engage the exhibition by Huawei Technologies as well as chat with the company’s senior executive management.

Speaking at the influential, global technology congress, Pantami said “The high-level discussion which Nigerian delegation is having with both original equipment manufacturers and other key players in the ICT world will enhance deeper alliance, collaboration and bilateral synergy required to accelerate Nigeria’s vision for a real digital economy.”

Amplifying the Minister’s voice, Danbatta said Nigeria’s participation at the event on an annual basis is based on the realisation that “MWC provides a vibrant deal-making environment for attendees, as it also remains a truly international exhibition attracting decision-makers in the mobile ecosystem which Nigeria is keen to explore to grow its telecoms and ICT industry.”

The 2022 MWC is being attended by mostly senior executives and management staff of over 2000 companies, institutions, and entities from 183 countries.

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NCC-CSIRT Proffers Countermeasures Against Website Scams On Microsoft Edge Browser

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NCC Issues Final Letters Of Licence Awards To 5G Spectrum Winners

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) has issued an advisory for users to install trusted, up-to-date anti-virus software with an Internet security component and to customize News Feed in Microsoft Edge Browser. 

This is part of the countermeasures to lessen the chances of falling for a malicious attack that has been discovered in the browser.

The NCC-CSIRT further advised users of the browser to practice safe Internet browsing habits and to refrain from clicking on links they are unsure of in the face of a malicious attack that has been rated as high in probability and potential damage to systems.

The advisory stated that the malicious advertising campaign, unearthed on the Microsoft Edge Browser News Feed, redirects victims to fraudulent tech support websites and that cybercriminals have resorted to posting bizarre, attention-grabbing stories or advertisements on the Edge news feed to entice users to click on them. The malicious advertisements appear legitimate but contain malware and/or other threats.

According to the advisory, “The Microsoft Edge News Feed is the default page that appears when a new tab is opened, and it displays information such as news, advertisements, weather, and traffic updates. Also, the following are the steps that result in being redirected to a bogus tech support page: The user clicks on a story or advertisement, and the Edge browser setting is analysed for various metrics.”

Based on the aforementioned metrics and prior results, the advisory said “if the user is adjudged to be a bot or in a location that is not of interest, the user is redirected to a harmless dummy page that is relevant to the story or advertisement initially clicked on; However, if the user has adjudged a potential victim, then the user is redirected to a tech support scam website for further exploitation.”

Victims of the tech support website scam could have their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and other data harvested or they could be with malware.

The NCC, therefore, urges telecom consumers and other stakeholders in the ecosystem to install up-to-date AntiVirus software and be alert to the wiles of cyber criminals in order not to fall victim to cyber scams.

The CSIRT is the telecom sector’s cyber security incidence centre set up by the NCC to focus on incidents in the telecom sector and as they may affect telecom consumers and citizens at large.

The CSIRT also works collaboratively with the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), established by the Federal Government to reduce the volume of future computer risk incidents by preparing, protecting, and securing Nigerian cyberspace to forestall attacks, and problems or related events.

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Zoom Users Advised To Update Software After Vulnerabilities Found

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NCC Issues Final Letters Of Licence Awards To 5G Spectrum Winners

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) has advised users of the video telephony platform, Zoom, to install the latest update of the software from its publisher’s official website following the discovery of vulnerabilities that allows a remote attacker to exploit the app.

In an advisory issued on Wednesday, NCC-CSIRT reported that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) found several flaws in Zoom products.

The video telephony platform became popular for virtual meetings in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic with more than 300 million daily users.

According to the NCC-CSIRT advisory, “A remote attacker could exploit the vulnerabilities to circumvent implemented security measures and cause a denial of service on the targeted machine.” 

It noted that “These vulnerabilities exist owing to incorrect access control implementation in Zoom On-Premises Meeting Connector MMR prior to version 4.8.20220815.130. A remote attacker could exploit these flaws to join a meeting they were not permitted to attend without being seen by the other attendees. They can also access audio and video feeds from meetings they were not permitted to attend, as well as interrupt other sessions.”

In 2019, the Southern Swamp Associated Gas Solutions project was commissioned, and the SPDC JV is planning to reduce associated gas flaring further through its Forcados Yokri gas-gathering project, of which large parts are set to be completed in 2022. Despite such efforts to reduce continuous flaring, unfortunately flaring intensity (the amount of gas flared for every tonne of oil and gas produced) at both SPDC- and SNEPCo-operated facilities increased in 2021 owing to short-term operational issues. Flaring from SPDC-operated facilities increased by around 5% in 2021 compared with 2020. The increase was primarily because of the extended outage of the gas compression system in SPDC’s shallow-water operations. The system was restored and became operational from January 2022. Flaring at SNEPCo-operated facilities rose by around 160% in 2021 compared with 2020. This was mainly because of an increase in flaring on the Bonga floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. Repairs to a flex-joint on the Bonga FPSO’s gas export riser in the second quarter took longer than expected, in part because of weather conditions. While repairs were under way, the FPSO continued to produce oil and therefore flaring was necessary for safety reasons. The repairs were safely concluded in July 2021. Although flaring intensity levels rose in 2021, SPDC and SNEPCo over the last 10 years have almost halved the combined amount of hydrocarbons they flare from 1.5 million tonnes in 2012 to 0.8 million tonnes in 2021. This reduction is the result of a strict flaring reduction management process and both SPDC and SNEPCo will continue to work in close collaboration with joint-venture partners and the government to make progress towards ending routine flaring of associated gas. NIGERIA LNG EXPANSION UNDERWAY Global demand for LNG continues to grow as the world increasingly seeks reliable supplies of lowercarbon energy. Shell’s investment in Nigeria’s gas infrastructure for export is expected to help 6 This is according to a data provided by global research and consultancy business Wood Mackenzie. the country benefit further from revenues. Shell Gas B.V. and its partners took a final investment decision in 2020 on a new LNG processing unit – known as Train 7 -- at NLNG. The expansion is expected to create around 12,000 jobs for Nigerians during construction and stimulate growth of the local oil and gas service sector, with 55% of engineering and procurement of goods and services being sourced in-country. Train 7 is expected to ensure Nigeria’s continued place as a global player in a lower-carbon energy source. Once operational, Train 7 will add around 8 million tonnes per annum of capacity to the Bonny Island LNG facility, taking the total production to around 30 million tonnes per annum. In 2021, NLNG began awarding procurement and construction contracts. Early works started at the site. The first phase of the worker village is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2022 and the new material offloading facility ready for use by the end of 2022. NLNG’s Train 7 is expected to come onstream in the middle of the 2020s. KEY LICENCE RENEWED FOR DEEP-WATER SNEPCo has interests in four deep-water blocks in the Gulf of Guinea, two of which it operates. Today, nearly one-third of Nigeria’s deep-water oil and gas production comes from the Bonga and the nonoperated Erha fields.6 Since production began in 2005, Bonga alone has produced more than 950 million barrels of oil with the 2021 average oil production per day at 105,000 barrels. The Bonga FPSO vessel has a total production capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil per day and 150 standard cubic feet of gas export per day. In 2021, the availability of the FPSO vessel increased to 80% from 70% in 2020. In addition to Bonga, SNEPCo’s exploration activities have led to several significant discoveries of oil and gas over the last two decades, including the Bolia and Doro fields (Shell interest 55%). Nigeria Briefing Notes Helping to power Nigeria’s economy 13 In the right investment climate, SNEPCo believes that there are opportunities to expand. In 2021 the OML 118 (Bonga) production sharing contract was renewed and the lease extended for 20 years. Bonga North and Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) oil fields are two such potential opportunities. Bonga North is a proposed tie-back project to the existing Bonga FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 14 wells. BSWA is a development of a new FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 23 wells. SUPPORTING RENEWABLE ENERGY STARTUPS Millions of Nigerians are excluded from the country’s power grid and Shell Companies in Nigeria have established and provided substantial funding for a not-for-profit, impact-investing company called All On. Operating as an independent company, All On works to bring reliable electricity – often from renewable energy sources -- to off-grid urban and rural customers. This support aims to build a solid pipeline of viable businesses that can create the scale required to address Nigeria’s access to energy gap. In December 2019, SPDC and SNEPCo made a significant additional 10-year financing commitment of $160 million in All On, bringing the total commitment to $200 million. By the end of 2021, All On had provided investment capital to over 40 renewable energy start-ups in its portfolio – an increase of more than 30% from 2020. One such company is Infibranches Technologies Limited, to which All On has committed $2 million, which is expected to enable the indigenous technology company to expand sales of solar home systems via its more than 13,000 agent banking partners across Nigeria. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the All On Hub was established in 2020 to provide nonfinancial support and build the capabilities of off-grid energy entrepreneurs. In 2021, the hub supported 81 ventures – nearly double the 41 supported in 2020. Also in 2021, All On, Odyssey Energy Solutions and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet launched a $10 million equipment financing facility as part of the DART pilot programme in Nigeria. 7 Hydraulic flying leads support the delivery of hydraulic fluid and/or chemicals between subsea equipment. 8 Subsea trees are an assembly of valves and other components used to monitor and control the production of a subsea well. DART will combine demand pooling, aggregated purchasing of solar equipment, and access to affordable finance to unlock economies of scale for solar companies, achieve cost savings for end-users, and accelerate the growth of the renewable energy sector in Nigeria and beyond. DEVELOPING LOCAL CONTENT AND SKILLS Shell Companies in Nigeria contribute to the growth of Nigerian businesses that can provide technical and support services to the industry. This includes the manufacture of tools and technical kits, the operation of helicopter flights in the Niger Delta, and strategic partnerships between foreign and local companies to stimulate technology transfer and capacity development. While there are government-required programmes in some areas, such as the Nigerian and Community Content Strategy embedded in the Assa North/Ohaji South gas development project, Shell Companies in Nigeria deliberately seek to contract local businesses wherever possible. In 2021, Shell Companies in Nigeria awarded $800 million worth of contracts to Nigerian-registered companies. Of these, 92% were companies with at least 51% Nigerian ownership. SNEPCo has awarded major engineering and construction contracts to companies that are indigenous, have local staff, or possess domestic capabilities in the country. At present, the manufacture and rebuild of hydraulic flying leads7 (HFLs) is being carried out in-country by wholly indigenous companies. Pressure Controls Systems Nigeria Limited, another Nigerian company, continues to refurbish old subsea trees.8 Sometimes, a lack of access to capital hinders Nigerian companies from competing for and executing contracts effectively. Shell Companies in Nigeria have provided access to nearly $1.6 billion in loans to 901 Nigerian vendors under the Shell Contractor Support Fund since 2012. These loans help improve their tendering opportunities.

A successful exploit of these vulnerabilities could allow an unauthorized remote authenticated user to bypass implemented security limitations on the targeted system.

The Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) is the telecom sector’s cyber security incidence centre set up by the NCC to focus on incidents in the telecom sector and as they may affect telecom consumers and citizens at large. The CSIRT also works collaboratively with the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), established by the Federal Government to reduce the volume of future computer risk incidents by preparing, protecting, and securing Nigerian cyberspace to forestall attacks, and problems or related events.

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NCC Urges NSSB To Create Awareness About Digital Literacy

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NCC Urges NSSB To Create Awareness About Digital Literacy

…NCC continues to give research grants to lecturers and students in the universities

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has urged the Nasarawa State Scholarship Board (NSSB) to support the NCC in creating awareness about the intervention projects of the Commission concerning research and digital literacy in order to provide more opportunities for the citizenry.

Director of Digital Economy at the Commission, Dr. Augustine Nwaulune, who hosted a delegation of the Board, led by the Board’s Executive Secretary, Hajia Saadatu Yahya, on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, recently, recalled that Nasarawa State is one of the beneficiaries of NCC’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) intervention projects such as the Digital Awareness Programme (DAP) for secondary schools, the Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI), the Wireless Cloud, as well as the E-Health program.

“While we don’t give scholarships to students, the NCC has continued to give research grants to lecturers and students in the universities and provided additional opportunities including sponsoring competitions involving students, as well as endowing professorial chairs in universities across the country. In the last seven years, the financial value of the endowments and grants is more than N500 million.

“Therefore, I will appeal to NSSB to create awareness about these initiatives of the NCC among stakeholders in the academia, particularly the research grants to enable stakeholders to leverage such opportunities offered by the Commission to scholars interested in carrying out telecommunications-based research,” he said.

NCC Urges NSSB To Create Awareness About Digital Literacy
Left-Right: Haruna Sani, Senior Special Assistant to Nasawara State Governor on Information and Communication Technology; Dr. Beluchi Nwanisobi, Head, Knowledge Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Sani Jibrin, President, Nasawara State Students Association; Saadatu Yahya, Executive Secretary, Nasawara State Scholarship Board (NSSB); Dr. Austine Nwaulune, Director, Digital Economy, NCC; Freda Bruce-Bennett, Head, Digital Services and Skills, NCC; Edoyemi Ogoh, Head, Quality of Service and Interconnect, NCC, during a courtesy visit of the NSSB to the Commission on Wednesday (September 21, 2022) in Abuja.

Nwaulune said the NCC has been upbeat in ensuring implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, in which one of its eight pillars, rests on digital literacy, while the Digital Economy Department has been set up and equipped by the Commission with the human resources required to coordinate its programs in concrete terms.

Yahya, whose delegation visited to discuss areas of collaboration for deepening digital/technical training and skills acquisition in Nasarawa State, commended the Commission for the central role it has played in promoting digital awareness and skills across the country and pleaded that Nasarawa State should be given more opportunities to benefit from NCC’s social investments and other digital economy-focused interventions, being the closest State to the Federal Capital Territory, the base of the Commission.

In 2019, the Southern Swamp Associated Gas Solutions project was commissioned, and the SPDC JV is planning to reduce associated gas flaring further through its Forcados Yokri gas-gathering project, of which large parts are set to be completed in 2022. Despite such efforts to reduce continuous flaring, unfortunately flaring intensity (the amount of gas flared for every tonne of oil and gas produced) at both SPDC- and SNEPCo-operated facilities increased in 2021 owing to short-term operational issues. Flaring from SPDC-operated facilities increased by around 5% in 2021 compared with 2020. The increase was primarily because of the extended outage of the gas compression system in SPDC’s shallow-water operations. The system was restored and became operational from January 2022. Flaring at SNEPCo-operated facilities rose by around 160% in 2021 compared with 2020. This was mainly because of an increase in flaring on the Bonga floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. Repairs to a flex-joint on the Bonga FPSO’s gas export riser in the second quarter took longer than expected, in part because of weather conditions. While repairs were under way, the FPSO continued to produce oil and therefore flaring was necessary for safety reasons. The repairs were safely concluded in July 2021. Although flaring intensity levels rose in 2021, SPDC and SNEPCo over the last 10 years have almost halved the combined amount of hydrocarbons they flare from 1.5 million tonnes in 2012 to 0.8 million tonnes in 2021. This reduction is the result of a strict flaring reduction management process and both SPDC and SNEPCo will continue to work in close collaboration with joint-venture partners and the government to make progress towards ending routine flaring of associated gas. NIGERIA LNG EXPANSION UNDERWAY Global demand for LNG continues to grow as the world increasingly seeks reliable supplies of lowercarbon energy. Shell’s investment in Nigeria’s gas infrastructure for export is expected to help 6 This is according to a data provided by global research and consultancy business Wood Mackenzie. the country benefit further from revenues. Shell Gas B.V. and its partners took a final investment decision in 2020 on a new LNG processing unit – known as Train 7 -- at NLNG. The expansion is expected to create around 12,000 jobs for Nigerians during construction and stimulate growth of the local oil and gas service sector, with 55% of engineering and procurement of goods and services being sourced in-country. Train 7 is expected to ensure Nigeria’s continued place as a global player in a lower-carbon energy source. Once operational, Train 7 will add around 8 million tonnes per annum of capacity to the Bonny Island LNG facility, taking the total production to around 30 million tonnes per annum. In 2021, NLNG began awarding procurement and construction contracts. Early works started at the site. The first phase of the worker village is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2022 and the new material offloading facility ready for use by the end of 2022. NLNG’s Train 7 is expected to come onstream in the middle of the 2020s. KEY LICENCE RENEWED FOR DEEP-WATER SNEPCo has interests in four deep-water blocks in the Gulf of Guinea, two of which it operates. Today, nearly one-third of Nigeria’s deep-water oil and gas production comes from the Bonga and the nonoperated Erha fields.6 Since production began in 2005, Bonga alone has produced more than 950 million barrels of oil with the 2021 average oil production per day at 105,000 barrels. The Bonga FPSO vessel has a total production capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil per day and 150 standard cubic feet of gas export per day. In 2021, the availability of the FPSO vessel increased to 80% from 70% in 2020. In addition to Bonga, SNEPCo’s exploration activities have led to several significant discoveries of oil and gas over the last two decades, including the Bolia and Doro fields (Shell interest 55%). Nigeria Briefing Notes Helping to power Nigeria’s economy 13 In the right investment climate, SNEPCo believes that there are opportunities to expand. In 2021 the OML 118 (Bonga) production sharing contract was renewed and the lease extended for 20 years. Bonga North and Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) oil fields are two such potential opportunities. Bonga North is a proposed tie-back project to the existing Bonga FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 14 wells. BSWA is a development of a new FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 23 wells. SUPPORTING RENEWABLE ENERGY STARTUPS Millions of Nigerians are excluded from the country’s power grid and Shell Companies in Nigeria have established and provided substantial funding for a not-for-profit, impact-investing company called All On. Operating as an independent company, All On works to bring reliable electricity – often from renewable energy sources -- to off-grid urban and rural customers. This support aims to build a solid pipeline of viable businesses that can create the scale required to address Nigeria’s access to energy gap. In December 2019, SPDC and SNEPCo made a significant additional 10-year financing commitment of $160 million in All On, bringing the total commitment to $200 million. By the end of 2021, All On had provided investment capital to over 40 renewable energy start-ups in its portfolio – an increase of more than 30% from 2020. One such company is Infibranches Technologies Limited, to which All On has committed $2 million, which is expected to enable the indigenous technology company to expand sales of solar home systems via its more than 13,000 agent banking partners across Nigeria. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the All On Hub was established in 2020 to provide nonfinancial support and build the capabilities of off-grid energy entrepreneurs. In 2021, the hub supported 81 ventures – nearly double the 41 supported in 2020. Also in 2021, All On, Odyssey Energy Solutions and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet launched a $10 million equipment financing facility as part of the DART pilot programme in Nigeria. 7 Hydraulic flying leads support the delivery of hydraulic fluid and/or chemicals between subsea equipment. 8 Subsea trees are an assembly of valves and other components used to monitor and control the production of a subsea well. DART will combine demand pooling, aggregated purchasing of solar equipment, and access to affordable finance to unlock economies of scale for solar companies, achieve cost savings for end-users, and accelerate the growth of the renewable energy sector in Nigeria and beyond. DEVELOPING LOCAL CONTENT AND SKILLS Shell Companies in Nigeria contribute to the growth of Nigerian businesses that can provide technical and support services to the industry. This includes the manufacture of tools and technical kits, the operation of helicopter flights in the Niger Delta, and strategic partnerships between foreign and local companies to stimulate technology transfer and capacity development. While there are government-required programmes in some areas, such as the Nigerian and Community Content Strategy embedded in the Assa North/Ohaji South gas development project, Shell Companies in Nigeria deliberately seek to contract local businesses wherever possible. In 2021, Shell Companies in Nigeria awarded $800 million worth of contracts to Nigerian-registered companies. Of these, 92% were companies with at least 51% Nigerian ownership. SNEPCo has awarded major engineering and construction contracts to companies that are indigenous, have local staff, or possess domestic capabilities in the country. At present, the manufacture and rebuild of hydraulic flying leads7 (HFLs) is being carried out in-country by wholly indigenous companies. Pressure Controls Systems Nigeria Limited, another Nigerian company, continues to refurbish old subsea trees.8 Sometimes, a lack of access to capital hinders Nigerian companies from competing for and executing contracts effectively. Shell Companies in Nigeria have provided access to nearly $1.6 billion in loans to 901 Nigerian vendors under the Shell Contractor Support Fund since 2012. These loans help improve their tendering opportunities.

“The purpose of our visit is to seek collaboration with the NCC in whatever ways possible, especially in the areas of scholarship, and ICT skills and literacy for our people. The ICT is, today, the engine room of the global economy and we do not want to lag in this new digital order, hence, our decision to seek collaboration with organisations in the ICT space such as your work, especially because you are contiguous to our State,” Yahya, the NSSB Executive Secretary said.

Other members of the delegation, including Senior Special Assistant to Nasarawa State Governor on Information and Communication Technology, Haruna Sani; and the President, Nasarawa State Students Association, Sani Jibrin, spoke in favour of a greater collaboration with the NCC which would add the needed impetus to the current efforts by the state government to leverage ICT for economic development.

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