NIGERIAN INSTITUTION OF ELECTRICAL
AND ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS, NIEEE
(A Division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers)
DISTINGUISHED ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS
ENGINEERS’ ANNUAL LECTURE,
“Pathway to connecting
the Last Man”
Engr. Titi Omo-Ettu
Lagos, December 16, 2010
The subject of “Pathway to connecting
the Last Man” has taken:
30 pages of text
487 paragraphs condensed to 41 main paragraphs
4 months to prepare
With assistance of 15 persons
8 of who made various editing contributions
I tried to read it to myself yesterday and it took 3 hours to complete.
A presentation is therefore my choice especially as all of us will have
copies of the lecture to go away with.
I take responsibility for all errors in any of the publications relating to
this Lecture and event especially for the confusing times specified in
some versions of the invitation materials.
The following persons made editing contributions
– Abi Bilesanmi
– Chichi Onyewuchi
– Clifford Agugoesi
– Edozie Uka
– Gbenga Adeniyi
– Gbenga Sesan
– Kayode Yussuf
– Reuben Muoka
Executive Committee Members of NIEEE.
Many thanks to them ALL.
My Special Guest of Honour
The 2007 private discussion and warning
Nigeria in the International Arena
My Chairman of Session
A non–engineer who in my opinion has made the most valuable contribution to the growth
of the Telecom industry in my 37 years of being a participant.
My Special Guests
86 of them
5 brought out for special mentioning
They represent four different age brackets.
Invitation sent to 336 guests every one of who by account that we keep at TAA made a
contribution or the other to the telecommunication industry.
Six were especially requested to please make it to here.
I convey the excuses of those who unavoidably cannot be here.
Appreciation to NIEEE
Formerly Electrical Division of the NSE
An invitation of 1994
Elected Chairman 1996
United two giant electrical engineers who were separated 11
Distinguished Service Medal for an Electrical/Electronics
The DEEEAL Lecture.
Thank you Engr. Abiodun Ajifowobaje and Exco members of
Telecom to serve people and business
Not too old idea
1990 „Telephone is not priority of the
2010 Nigerian Citizens deserve access to
Broadband Internet access as fundamental
When did the transmussion occur?
And what does it indicate?
The starting line
1991 OGM of NIEEE
Issue of deprecating infrastructure
The Committee work and its recommendations
The MISSING LINK and Festac, Lagos Conference of 1987
Olawale Ige's intervention
Vincent Maduka‟s expert work
The Engr. Teju Oyeleye Pioneer Board of NCC
The Pioneer strides of Engr. (now HRH) Ogbonna Iromantu
Disbandment of yhe NCC Board in 1994
Liberalisation wagon back to track in 2000
Have we started?
1895 - 1960 telecom not for business but for administering
1960 - 1993 several development plans with no business
1993 – 1999 liberalization, but in Chains
1999 – 2010 Opening up the industry but with not public
We have done well
We have not started!!
Back to the DEEEAL Lectures
A version was mooted in 1996
Major focus – to push an agenda that a Lecturer, being one of us,
promoted and the Division supported
DEEEAL Lecture 2009 – Engr. John Ayodele, Group GM PHCN
“Distributed Generation for our public electricity supply
What does that mean?
– TRUE LIBERALISATION
– Stop throwing money at it
– Agenda still waiting to be pushed by NIEEE
Five short stories
Rhoda and Ada
Mr. & Mrs. Adakhah
Johnny Just returned
Nigeria here I come
Suleiman as the Last Man
Nigerians have spoken
“We want bread and Broadband”
…BB4NG Forum July 28, 2010, Abuja
Review of Efforts at Broadband
The Demise of NITEL
The Distraction of the 2NO
The NCC Initiatives WiN, SABI needing re-
The Long Distance Transmission licenses
Can we do it?
One working phone per person
Access to broadband by ALL
Year 2040 as target
Distinguish between „Access Indices‟ and „Actual
452,311,182 in 2040
Yes we can do it.
The Short Term
200TV station possible in 2013
All secondary schools having broadband access to
e-libraries in 2015
37 IT-Parks possible in 2015
– The WILL to do it
– Restructuring of the Telecom, Broadcasting and computer
industries to a true ICT industry in the next 12 months.
“Broadband Availability” or “Broadband
The provision and access (to everybody) of goods
and services - the healthcare, education
communication, commerce, information, research
products and entertainment now and in the future,
will be very much dependent on universal broadband
A Change in planning mindset
– Total Planning with Phased implementation must replace
– Gradual planning to meet „priority areas‟ mindset
Nigeria is a business haven,
Subject Matter Perception Reality
(As stated in at least one publication somewhere) (Reliance on TAA studies)
Telephone Subscriber Base 78 million subscribers 78million SIM Cards issued,
78 million active mobile telephone lines Actual No of users yet to be determined
78 million SIM Cards On going SIM Card Registration
ATCON has called for Telephone Subscriber
Registration to replace SIM Card Registration
ARPU and its decline Declining for reason of Economic downturn, Declining due to poor Q0S
Declining for reason of over-networked Environment
Telephone subscription slowed down For reason of economic downturn, The euphoria is over
in 2009 For reason of poor quality of service, Cost is high vis-à-vis income
For reason of diminished interest of subscribers in offered telephone
Dominance Operator „A‟ is dominating by reason of its There is no Dominance
expressed subscriber base
The GSM Mobiles are dominating others
Submarine Fibre for International NITEL's monopoly (SAT3) ended in 2009 NITEL's monopoly ended in 2010
Sectoral application of „e‟ •Oil & Gas sector applies „e‟ best • Banking sector applies „e‟ best
resources •Finance sector applies „e‟ best
•Evangelism sector applies „e‟ best
Broadband Access NITEL‟s SAT 3 capacity is huge NITEL doing only a fraction of the available capacity
Wire Nigeria - WiN WIN is talk without action • Win never meant that NCC was to construct
NCC has done nothing infrastructure.
• At least 3 major Win Implementors did very well
• 11 other Transmission Licenses were issued to
encourage widespread availability of backbone
• 9 licenses issues:
1. Nepskom Nigeria Ltd
2. MTS Nigeria Ltd
3. Suburban Telecoms
4. Backbone Connectivity Networks
5. Traffic Network Services
6. Phase3 Telecom
7. Fibre Tech West Africa
8. Alheri Engineering Ltd
9. Gateway Integrated Services
Dys -Functional Education
Probity in public service
Investment in Research & Development
Our Communication Laws
Have been on the upward journey
NCA 2003 improved Decree 75 of 1992 very significantly
NCA 2003 begs for review
To make NCC act faster
Strengthen NCC independence (administrative and financial)
DANGER : NCC‟s independence is being threatened
WHAT MAKES THE
A huge Demand 120m inhabitants may still not have phones Saturation claim may be a fallacy
An independent, professional National Communications Act 2003 Next level is speedy
Regulator guarantees independence of the regulator penalty for infringements
All Auctions of Frequencies have been Recent interference not endemic.
Transparent and acclaimed Neither systemic
The Regulator has contested official interference
An emerging ICT Industry Government is reviewing a Report on the subject. Civil Societies, Professional groups,
trade associations are mounting
Review of Communications On going.
SAT3, GLO1 MAINONE should complement
„In the nation‟s interest‟ is everybody‟s
A Stimulus Funding to spread broad band
required is contemplated for push by
Everything we will achieve specifically in the industry and in the nation at large will be
underpinned by adequate power supply which, in turn, is underpinned by real and true
reform of the power industry. To this end, and under the auspices of the NIEEEE, using all
the resources at its disposal, we recommend the following:
That the NIEEE revoke the ghost of 1992, by assembling a team of knowledgeable and
concerned personnel who have the wherewithal to make Connecting the Last Man a reality.
The significant difference from 18 years ago must be that this team must be
interdisciplinary – a broad tent to engineers, lawyers, economists and business.
An implementation of the recommendations of Engr. John Ayodele who, I venture to say,
has recommended true and sincere liberalization of the electricity power sector.
A pursuit of the Liberalization Agenda in the power sector in a manner similar although not
exactly as obtained in the telecommunications sector:
A call on the National Assembly to ban the use of individual generating sets for the purpose
of living of all public servants in their official houses without any exception. That is to say
from Mr. President/Commander- in -Chief to any Nigerian public servant in all capacities
and at all levels of government.
Recommendations… Short Term
The collation of a comprehensive and reliable database of existing telephone lines and who
they serve by way of conducting a Telephone Subscriber Registration. (Not a SIM Card
Registration) whose cause must be seen and canvassed for everybody‟s understanding
and not and ad-hoc exercise of an emergency law.
A review of the USPF to include the outlet of a Telecommunications Development Bank,
TDB, which will serve to put the utilization of the FUND on a business path? The USPF is
in chains. Those who are making effort to access it all think that the FUND is cheap money
waiting to be used to help their businesses while those who are administering it think only
those who do not contribute to it should have access to it. It calls for re-orientation on all
A unification of the telecommunications, broadcasting and computer industry to a true
Information communication technology, ICT, industry.
Establishment of a Stimulus Fund which, in addition to the USPF, may be accessible
through the TDB.
An insistence that whichever bidder eventually holds NITEL‟s First National Operator
License must deliver the Long Distance Transmission component of the license, first and
foremost, failing which another Third National Operator be licensed not later than 2013.
In the long term, we recommend that we put forward proposals with a cost/benefit analysis
which actions we expect to truly translate our ideas into the reality of connecting every
Nigerian to the telephony system that is efficient, reliable and affordable.
Again, we call on The NIEEE, using all the resources available to, it to pursue the review of
education curriculum to include:
All primary school leavers to master typing to the 30 words per minute as their graduating
Curricular of training in Universities to deliberately have our industry in mind and to
dynamically respond as such and
A new postgraduate curriculum which shall research into information and communications
technology and its administration and from it a deliberate mandate that paths to our long
term objective of meeting 452,311,182 mobile telephone lines in 2040 be undertaken and
its result form part of our implementation agenda.
There is nothing new in all of the above, as they have been proposed in some guise, at one
time or the other. The emphasis is on sincerely implementing them.
My Frustrations revisited
As Chairman of NIEEE in 1996, I argued that our electricity
power management would benefit from a truly liberalized
industry in the manner that we had in telecommunications three
years earlier, regardless of our arduous journey which was
erratic and blighted with false dawns. I held the view that
sooner rather than later, we would turn around the fortunes in
our telecommunications, but I remain fearful that the shift stick
of progress that had been in D (Drive) will sooner or later, be
stuck in N (Neutral) or even R (Reverse) if we do not replicate
what we have done in the electricity industry sector. I avoided
seeking re-election after my first term out of the frustration of
not being allowed to visit the then NEPA General Manager,
whom I had wanted to convey my worries and examine his
reasons for not embracing a true liberalization agenda.
As Vice-President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers in 1999,
I argued that the Nigerian engineers did not value and
recognize their own worth first in their failure to acknowledge
themselves as central in all aspects of our growth and also for
not doing enough to even acclaim their own achievers. An
Austrian Philosopher once said „Knowledge is in the end based
on acknowledgement.‟ I thought we might start by holding a
technical lecture to celebrate every past President of NSE that
attained 70 years, every active NSE member that attained 80
years and every registered engineer that attained 90 years. I
thought my proposition was accepted when the NSE celebrated
the birthday of Engr. Rev P. B Oyebolu with a lecture.
Please, remember that the highest
expression of appreciation is not just to
speak words, but to live by them.