NB plc set to  defend the lawsuit filed against it by the Nigerian Copyright Commission

The Management of the Nigerian Breweries Plc on Monday released a statement on a pending legal case brought against it by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC). The company stated that it was defending the action filed against it and its former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Johan A. Doyer, by the NCC. The case is pending at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

According to the company, the case is not new as it was instituted in October, 2017 by one Mr Paul Allen Oche, who is laying claims to the copyright supposedly contained in a book he “wrote” and which book has, as part of its title the Amstel Malta trademark which is well known as one of the brands in the company’s portfolio.

The claimant, Mr Oche has subsequently filed a personal action with respect to the same issue, claiming damages against the company and others. The company also confirmed that it will be defending the action with a view to protecting its legal rights as well as upholding its reputation.

About the lawsuit

In the suit, the NCC accused Nigerian Breweries and its former MD, Johan A. Doyer of infringing on copies of a book titled, “The Amstel Factor”, a book in which copyright subsist in favour of one Mr Paul Allen Oche.

Mr Oche through his lawyers wants the court to declare that he is the owner of the copyright over the intellectual literary work titled “The Amstel Factor” an Amstel Malta Guide on how to be the best you can be. He claims that the settings, imageries used in the brewer’s “Why Add More?” Amstel Malta campaign infringed on his rights since the brewer’ neither sought nor obtained his permission to adapt and publish his intellectual literary work in their campaign

NCC urges army to explore IT for efficiency

The Nigerian Communications Commission has charged the Nigerian Army to explore Information and Communications Technology in order to ensure efficient service delivery.

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, gave the charge at the donation of ICT equipment to the Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies, Makurdi, in Abuja on Wednesday.

Danbatta, who was represented by Head of Information Technology, Mr Oshadami Abraham, said that the regulatory agency expected that gesture would go a long way in ensuring that the army achieved its mandate especially in securing the territorial integrity of the country.

The NCC boss said, “The commission no doubt expects that the gesture will go a long way to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Army towards achieving its mandate and to further enhance the security of the country.

“It is our hope that this donation will make a difference on the members of staff and students of your institute not only by improving their access to ICT tools but to enhance their skills in computing as well as understanding and developing an appreciation of ICT for improved efficiency and learning in various subjects.

“It is important to recall the saying that to whom much is given, much will be expected. Therefore, we expect that these ICT tools will be properly allocated, managed, protected and maintained for the benefit of the members of staff and students.”

Director of ICT at the institute, Ms Chidinma Nwafor, who represented the Rector of the institute, Brigadier General Aminu Abdu, expressed the appreciation of the institute for the donation.

NCC Urges Public Against Buying Preregistered SIM

The Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs (Protection Advocacy Group), National Communications Commission (NCC), Mr.Bamiji Ojo, has warned against engaging in buying Preregistered SIM cards, saying the dangers inherent in it are enormous.

 

He also warned that anybody who used preregistered SIM which had been used to commit crime would pay dearly for it if caught. He gave the warning at  the 102nd edition of Consumer Outreach Programme(COP) with  the theme, ‘Mitigating Effects of Cybercrimes: Roles of Telecoms Consumers’, held at the Mapo Hall, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

 

While urging all and prospective subscribers to register their SIM cards before using them, he stated that with registration the SIM has become that of the person that registered it which cannot be tampered with. He said,

 

“Don’t use preregistered SIM. Don’t buy it. Someone must have used it to carry out crimes and return it. If you buy it and you’re caught you will be held responsible.Go and register your SIM. Nobody can use your SIM because your face and fingerprint are not the same with others.

 

” Ojo also allayed the fear that base stations and masts caused ailments and kill those staying closer to the facilities, saying “base stations don’t kill. Without it we can’t communicate. Today ,there has been some negative public perceptions and conceptions about telecoms consumers of electromagnetic radiation. It does not cause cancer

 

.” On his part, the Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC,  Alhaji Ismail Adedigba, said the commission understand the importance of  critical stakeholders in the industry.

NCC reaffirms commitment to protect telecoms subscribers, Reads Riot Act to Operators

Due to the incessant complaints from telecoms subscribers over poor service quality, especially during the yuletide season, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has restated its commitment to protect telecoms subscribers, and vowed to sanction any operator that violates its directives on consumer protection.

 

The Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau at NCC, Mr. Ismail Adedigba, charged telecommunications operators to comply with the directives given them on consumer protection or face severe sanction.

 

Adedigba, who said this during the 45th edition of the Consumer Town Hall Meeting, organised by NCC, in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, recently, said the directives became necessary to address the deluge of complaints coming from telecoms subscribers.

 

“I need to emphasise that failure of the operators to comply with the NCC directives on consumer protection, will attract appropriate penalties and sanctions,” Adedigba said.

 

According to him, the commission had been inundated with various complaints such as unsolicited text messages and call drops, including delay in delivering text messages and fast depletion of subscriber data before they are used up.

He said the commission had also received complaints on failure/refusal to roll over unused data at the expiration of data bundle by service providers.

 

Adedigba, said there were complaints of automatic renewal of data services upon expiration and activation/subscription to data and Value Added Services (VAS) without prior consent of the subscribers.

He also said there were complaints about call masking/refiling.

 

According to him, NCC in response to the complaints, decided to come up with the directives, in order to protect the consumer, being a consumer-centric institution that listens to subscribers.

”The NCC has taken a step on the issuance of directive to service providers on data rollover, which now enables consumers to roll over unused data for period of time, ranging from one day to seven days, depending on the data plan.

 

”NCC has also issued direction to service providers on forceful subscription of data services and Value Added Services (VAS), for them to desist from forceful/automatic renewal of data services, without prior consent of subscribers.

”The commission also developed 622 Toll-Free Line through which you can easily lodge complaints for any unresolved service issue to the NCC,” Adedigba said.

Adedigba said that with respect to call masking/refiling, the commission was working seriously to abate menace of the ugly development, including deployment of appropriate technology as a strategy to combat it.

 

The Chairman, Board of NCC, Sen Olabiyi Durojaiye said the programme was to enable a tripartite meeting of the regulator, operators and consumers.

 

Represented by Deputy Director/Head, Government and Public Relations Unit at NCC, Mr. Bashir Idris, Durojaiye said the meeting would enlighten telecommunications consumers and resolve pressing issues in the telecoms sector.

Adedigba said consumer is ‘King’ and as such, must be accorded the basic rights which include the right to be heard, right to be educated, right to choose, right to redress as well as right to safety.

 

In order to effectively address the myriad of challenges faced by telecoms subscribers and to effectively regulate the telecoms sector, the NCC had in February 2009, established The Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) with sets of objectives that will help address telecoms subscribers’ challenges, which range from poor service quality, incessant drop calls, inability to recharge mobile phones, fast depletion of data, to receiving of unsolicited messages.

 

Since its inception, ICAF, under the guidance of NCC, has identified several challenges and made appropriate recommendations on how best to address the challenges.

Determined to do more in promoting telecoms consumer satisfaction, ICAF recently held its 2018 fourth quarter open meeting with the theme “Progressing From Customer Service to Customer Experience-The Consumer ’3 Point of View”.

At NCC: Nwokike takes over from Tony as director of public affairs

NCC appoints Nwokike as director of public affairs

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has appointed Nnamdi Nwokike as director of its public affairs.

Nwokike’s appointment follows the retirement of Tony Ojobo who attained the mandatory age of 60 years.

Prior to this new position, Nwokike, 58, was the director, corporate strategy planning and risk management of the NCC.

His appointment took effect from October 8, 2018.

Nwokike’s career in NCC began in 2001 when he became the deputy director and pioneer head, consumer affairs department, a department he started and renamed Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB).

At CAB, he created the consumer parliament, consumer outreach programmes, consumer bill of rights and consumer factsheets which have remained veritable channels for handling consumer complaints, consumer education and general dissonance in the market.

In 2007, Nigeria, through the NCC, supported the candidature of Nwokike for the executive secretary position to head the West Africa Telecommunications Regulatory Assembly (WATRA).

Nwokike, a native of Anambra, contested and won the election, and went on to serve as executive secretary from 2007 to 2013.

He returned to NCC in early 2013 and traversed the Commission’s Project and Strategy canvass as Director, Projects Department.

Nwokike had worked with the Nigerian Breweries Plc, Seven Up Bottling Company and Leventis Stores between 1996 and 2001.

He attended the University of South westhern Louisiana, Lafayette USA and obtained BBA Economics (Cum Laude Hons) in 1982.

In 1985, he  enrolled for MBA at the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus where he bagged Master of Business Admiration (MBA) in marketing.

NCC set aside N3b subsidy initiative for InfraCos

……Operators to lose license after one yearExecutive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said it has made available N3 billion subsidy budget to assist Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) in the deployment of services in the country.

The N3 billion has been approved by the National Assembly, and would be executed on a yearly basis.

This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, during an interaction with journalists in Abuja.

Although, the NCC said none of the licensed InfraCos have accessed the subsidy, The Guardian however gathered that most of the licensed operators are facing serious challenges in their regions of operations.

Chief of these challenges relate to the issue of Right of Way (RoW), where state governments are demanding huge fees from operators before they can be allowed to roll out their services.

Already, iConnect, a subsidiary of IHS Nigeria, has returned its operating licence for the North Central region, owing also to delays in getting approval for RoW, and cut throat roll out charges by state agencies.

Danbatta revealed that apart from the challenge of RoW for iConnect, “the firm wanted a national licence instead of the regional, but we see that distorting the whole plan if given. That licence will be reissued to another operator that is ready.”

According to him, the InfraCo initiative was targeted at helping Nigeria meet the 30 per cent broadband penetration by the end of the year.

He urged operators to roll out, warning that the one-year grace handed InfraCo licensees may be reduced to six months, saying: “the Commission doesn’t want the operators to become idle with the licence. Any operator, which failed to roll out within one year, may have the licence withdrawn.”

Meanwhile, the EVC has assured that quality of service would improve soon, adding that some infrastructure must be in place for this to happen, as Nigeria needed more Base Transceiver Stations and fibre cables to ensure services become optimal.

Danbatta further said lack of redundancy, erratic power supply, vandalism, lack of required capacity, amidst other technical factors would need to be resolved before services can be optimal.

“That is not to say we are not monitoring the operators, or putting them on their toes to ensure improved services, but we also understand their challenges. The assurance is that NCC would continue to monitor QoS, especially the Key Performance Index (KPI), and when it is necessary to wield the big stick against any erring operator on QoS, we shall not hesitate,” he stressed.