UN supports integration of ex-Boko Haram insurgents; GSM operators propose 40% increase in price of calls, data | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

UN supports integration of ex-Boko Haram insurgents
  • UN Secretary-General supports Nigeria’s integration of ex-Boko Haram insurgents
  • MTN, Mafab get NCC nod to rollout 5G services by August
  • Ogun gov’s aide, Abidemi Rufai, pleads guilty to $350,000 fraud in the U.S.
  • Data, SMS, call costs to go up as GSM operators propose 40% tariff hike
  • Edo students protest lingering ASUU strike

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

UN Secretary-General supports Nigeria’s integration of ex-Boko Haram insurgents

On his visit to Nigeria, United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has said he supports the Nigerian government’s initiatives to rehabilitate and integrate former Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters, saying it was a key step to achieving peace.

“The governor has told me you need to create new facilities to be able to have effective reintegration of these ex-terrorists, ex-combatants, and I promised that we would be fully supportive of that project,” Guterres said.

“The best thing we can do for peace is to reintegrate those who in the moment of despair became terrorists but now want to become citizens and to contribute to the well-being of their brothers and sisters.”

MTN, Mafab get NCC nod to rollout 5G services by August

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has finally issued letters of 5G licence awards to MTN and Mafab Communications, who won the 3.5GHz spectrum auction conducted by the Commission in December last year.

In a statement, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, the Director of Public Affairs for NCC said that the Management of the Commission led by its Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta made this known to the Board of Commissioners at the Board’s Special Meeting, held Wednesday.

In the statement, the commission is saying the companies are expected to “commence roll out of 5G services effective from August 24, 2022.

Ogun governor’s aide, Abidemi Rufai, pleads guilty to $350,000 fraud in the U.S.

Abidemi Rufai, Special Assistant to the Ogun governor until his arrest in May 2021, has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Rufai admitted using stolen identities to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars in pandemic-related unemployment benefits, U.S. Attorney, Nick Brown, said.

According to the plea agreement, since 2017, Abidemi Rufai unlawfully obtained the personal identifying information of more than 20,000 Americans to submit more than $2 million in claims for federally funded benefits under a variety of relief programs. The various agencies involved paid out more than $600,000.

The largest amount of fraud was committed against the Washington State Employment Security Department, which paid out $350,763 in fraudulent pandemic unemployment claims to accounts controlled by Abidemi Rufai.

Read more here.

Data, SMS call costs to go up as GSM operators propose 40% tariff hike

Telecommunication companies under the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) have asked for upward reviews in voice calls, short message services (SMS) and data costs.

ALTON said this in a letter addressed to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), citing the rising cost of running a business.

The letter said the fee for calls will increase from ₦6.4 to ₦8.95 while the price cap for SMS will increase from ₦4 to ₦5.61.

The association said the telecommunications industry had been financially challenged by an economic downturn that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Edo students protest lingering ASUU strike

On Wednesday, students from different tertiary institutions in the Edo protested the lingering ASUU strike in Benin.

Vehicular and human movements were disrupted in parts of Benin for several hours on Wednesday as students from across tertiary institutions in the state protested the continued strike.

ASUU started the strike on February 14 and has been joined by SSANU, NASU, and NAAT.

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