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As we continue the wait for 5G services

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On September 18,2022 when MTN carried out what looked like a roll out of its 5G commercial services in Nigeria, it’s Chief Executive,Karl Toriola was full of excitement and boasted in a speech before all present that:“5G will change everything. It will allow us to connect, create, collaborate, and compete in ways we cannot imagine yet. Today we will show you a glimpse of the many possibilities 5G has in store. What is most important is what you and every Nigerian can create with it.”Toriola is certainly one of the choristers in this 5G orchestra performing a hit song even though he can only sing the verses allocated to him according to the song writers and choir masters.At the well choreographed event ,one of the promoters of the 5G and Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, noted, “Today, we are celebrating the outcome of the successful auction of the 5G spectrum, we are celebrating the commercial launch of 5G services in the country. This puts the country in the global 5G space and from today many of you will experience the super speed associated with 5G.”5G project in Nigeria has been laced with so many speeches so much that it has become a very big orchestra with many song writers as we await the services.As we write today,it’s not clear where the services are being received especially when as it appears,only MTN is trying to run a race two licensees began.In December 2021,MTN and a little known portfolio company or a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Mafab Communications Limited won the two available lots then.The auction was done with so much fun fare that made Minister Isa Pantami to giggle with thumbs up as if Nigeria had won major awards like the Nobel,the Oscar and Booker prizes including a Grammy for this “ feat”.While MTN paid its $273.6m license fees in a record time,Mafab wobbled until NCC announced that Mafab had paid its fees.And as MTN announced a test run and pre-launch of commercial services,Mafab said the regulator had granted them another five months to get ready.And we now realized that 5G is not for rookies.Too many speeches have dogged this 5G in Nigeria.In another few weeks from today,the NCC will carry out another licensing for two more lots at a reserved price of $273.6m per lot.

With MTN said to be at pre -commercial launch stage and Mafab Communications yet to initiate any of the stages,industry players areworried that the NCC should have tarried a little while to see the full implementation of the two licenses before beginning a new licensing round as everything appears very slow by the operators than the consumers were made to expect.And this on its own is a major drawback.Danbatta told the Senate Committee on Finance on September 19,2022 that the Federal Government will generate over N500bn in 2023 fiscal year through the 5G spectrum.

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While addressing the committee during the interactive meeting on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Papers (MTEF-FSP) he said the projected revenue would be realised from the auctioning of two 5G spectrums and the bidding process for auctioning of the spectrums.

But it’s not clear whether the intention of the NCC is guided by the race to generate revenue for the government or provide licenses as parting gift for some vested interests or to enable 5G services in the interest of subscribers in the country who want to have a very good taste of broadband internet for which the National Broadband Plan targets 70%by 2025.?

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So many questions are begging for answers especially when two of the already licensed for 5G services are yet to grapple with service provisions.

What is visible is that Nigerians May wait longer than necessary for the much hyped 5G services.

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No fewer than 13 countries are in various stages of 5G service implementation in Africa.As at May this year 5G services had begun in Ethiopia,Botswana, Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, joined by Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.A third of the global population is expected to be convered by 2025.In terms of 5G innovations, and spread,countries like the US, China, South Korea, Japan, Netherlands and the Philippines have some of the biggest rollouts.And in terms of the number of cities with 5G services, China leads the pack with 356 cities while the US follows closely behind with 296 cities.

*Sonny Aragba-Akpore is a member of Thisday Editorial Board.

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After giving my wife, N100k, she lodged in hotel with her lover for 4days, man tells Court

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Mr Hakeem Olarenwaju has narrated his ordeal to a court, how he gave his wife, N100,000 and she lodged in a hotel with her lover for four days.

To this end, Olarenwaju, has approached Grade A Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State, seeking that it dissolves the 16-year-old union between him and his wife, Fatima Olarenwaju.

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Hakeem told the court that his wife whom he met as a single parent started misbehaving a few years into their marriage.

The plaintiff stated that he went into marriage with the defendant despite his father’s disapproval of their relationship, and that today he is regretting his action.

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Hakeem explained that Fatima who was initially loving, dedicated and obedient, suddenly changed and became defiant despite allowing her to bring to his house the child from her first marriage.

According to the plaintiff, the defendant constantly denied him sex and rubbed shoulders with him in the house.

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He further stated that she took to leaving home without his knowledge and consent, adding that there were times she travelled without informing him.

Hakeem added that he later found out that she was having an affair with another man whom she sometimes lodged with.

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Fatima, he added, finally moved out of his house.

He thus begged the court, if his prayer of divorce was answered to grant him custody of their two children whom she has failed to be a good example to.

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Fatima was absent in court despite being served court summonses.

Hakeem while giving his evidence said, “I went against my father’s wish and went ahead in 2006 to marry my wife who I met as a single parent.

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“Fatima and I had a blissful marriage despite the criticism from my family and my father in particular.

“She was well behaved and dedicated to me and our children. We were always together and shared each other’s dreams. She was my best friend.

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“I gave her N100,000 to start a business which blossomed and flourished in a short period.

“We were a happy family until my wife started misbehaving in 2010.

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“Fatima cultivated the habit of leaving home without my knowledge and consent and would return home late.

“The more I complained, the worse she became. Fatima would call off my bluff any time I threatened to deal with her.

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” I overlooked her shortcomings and allowed her to bring her daughter by another man to my home. But rather than be thankful for my display of generosity, all I got from her were abuses as a result of her caustic tongue.”

The plaintiff further said, “My lord, my wife is unfaithful to me. She was dating another man while under my roof.

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“She would lie to me that she was going to cater at a party being a caterer, but would go and spend the weekend with her lover.

“Fatima once travelled out of town for four days without informing me. She left no clue about her whereabouts while her phone was switched off.

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“I later learnt she travelled with her lover for those days and this led to a quarrel between us.

“I reported her to her parents and they helped resolved our differences, but Fatima to my chagrin abandoned all her duties in the home.

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“She refused me sex and stopped cooking my food. Her daughter was the one preparing my meals.

“She totally neglected me and refused to have anything to do with me.

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“Fatima finally packed out of my house which was why I came to court.

“My lord, I entreat the court to officially end our marriage and grant me custody of our two children.

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“Fatima’s lifestyle is questionable and as such can’t be a good example to our children.

The court president, Mrs S.M Akintayo, adjourned the case after he has heard the plaintiff and ordered that a fresh hearing notice be served the respondent.

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Truck Kills Road Safety officials on patrol

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By Gloria Ikibah

Two patrol operatives of the Federal Road Safety Corps were crushed to death on the Ikot-Ikpene-Aba road on Friday.

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Corps Spokesperson, Bisi Kazeem said that the crash occurred as a result of excessive speed indulged in by the driver of a DAF articulated truck while trying to dodge a pothole along the axis.

“According to preliminary investigation, the fatal crash involved a FRSC Patrol Vehicle and a white coloured truck.

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“The road crash affected a total of eight male adults, out of which two sustained severe injuries, two were killed while the remaining four passengers were rescued without any injuries.

“The injured persons have been taken to Ikot Ekpene General hospital and the dead deposited in the mortuary of the same hospital”, Kazeem stated.

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The Acting Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Dauda Biu, decried the incessant knock down and crushing of patrol operatives.

Biu said that the killing of the two officers was part of the recklessness of some drivers who have continuously violated the legally prescribed speed limit.

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He pledged the resolve of the Corps to apprehend perpetrators of the deadly act and make them face the full wrath of the law.

The FRSC boss conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the staff who lost their lives in active service.

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Biu further assured the public of the Corps’ resilience to ensure that the perpetrators of such bad driving culture were forced to face the law.

“We advise motorists to desist from such act by complying with acceptable road safety regulations, as the Corps will not spare anyone engaged in this deadly act of recklessness on the road,” he added.

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Blind teacher In Oyo State Shares His Experience

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A visually impaired teacher and freelance broadcaster, Ayanwale Ayantola, who teaches English Language at the Adeniran Memorial Grammar School, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, and shares his experience.

*Some people with visual impairment had difficult childhoods. Was it the same for you?*

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I can say yes because the impression Nigerians have about people with disabilities is not encouraging. I was not born blind. I lost my sight when I was a SS2 pupil, though I had a visual problem when I was in junior secondary school. I attended Ori-Oke Baptist Primary School, Ogbomoso, and Ori-Oke Community High School, but did not graduate from the school because of the problem I had with my sight. As a JSS2 pupil, I noticed that I could not see clearly. That led me to use recommended glasses. Later, I found it difficult to see the blackboard unless I moved closer. My school principal and some other teachers noticed the problem when my performance dropped because they knew I was a brilliant pupil.

So, they told me to bring my parents to school and when they came, my father explained the challenges I had with my eyes. We later went to Jos, Plateau State, where I had the first surgery. Each of my eyes was operated on three times, but I did not know what the doctors told my dad. However, I was advised not to force myself to read with the eyes but rather to use the level of vision I had left to aid my movement.

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*Did the doctors tell your parents what was wrong with your eyes or why you could not see clearly?*

Yes. I was told I had glaucoma and my father was advised to enrol me in a school for the blind. In 2007, I was enrolled in the Oyo State School for the Blind, Ogbomoso, where I spent about eight months learning Braille and typewriting. I wanted to become a medical doctor and was a science pupil at Ori-Oke Community High School. I was told that I could not continue as a science student, so I became an arts pupil. After learning Braille and typewriting at the school for the blind, I went back to SS1 at Adeniran Memorial Grammar School, Ogbomoso, where I currently work as a teacher.

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*Can you remember the point when you completely lost your sight?*

When I was at the school for the blind, I could see partially and move about to do one or two things. I lost my sight completely in 2006. That was the time I forced my eyes to read printed copies of the materials I used to prepare for examinations organised by the West African Examinations Council. That was against the advice I was given not to read with my eyes. I can remember that on the day I lost my sight, I visited one of my seniors in school. As I tried to enter the class, I hit my forehead on one of the pillars and fainted. That was when I realised that I could no longer see.

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*How did your condition impact your relationship with people in your community?*

Many of my friends left me because they thought I was no longer part of them since I would attend a school for the blind, which was a boarding school. When I graduated from the school, I could not find any of them, because they had moved ahead of me academically, having returned to SS1 due to my condition.

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*How did you qualify as a teacher?*

I attended the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, and studied English/Visually Impaired Study. I graduated between 2004 and 2005. I found it easy to cope there because of my knowledge of the use of Braille. I could still see partially when I was at the college, so it was not difficult to find me around the school. In fact, I was the one guiding most of the blind students there. But now, people guide me because my sight is completely lost. I also attended the National Teachers Institute.

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*Were you bugged by your inability to attend a university and study Medicine, which was your dream course?*

I felt bad. My life has totally changed. If not for the advice I received, I wanted to commit suicide.

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*Read full story in Punch*

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