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Kano elders to establish ‘technology village’ to tackle economic decline

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By Nazifi Dawud

The Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative (KCCI)– a group of notable Kano citizens and statesmen has revealed its plans to set up a “Technology Village” by utilizing the skills of young ICT experts to create employment and boost the state’s economy.

Addressing a news conference on Tuesday at the NUJ Press centre in Kano, chairman of the KCCI, Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa, who spoke on behalf of other members, identified economic decline as the root cause of youth unemployment and and moral decadence.

“We have met with a group of young graduates and others who are ICT specialists and together we are developing a KCCI idea of founding a ‘Technology Village’ in Kano and two other selected northern states as a start.

“Some of these brilliant young men and women have developed some fantastic applications. Unfortunately, we lack venture capitalist around here. But we intend to search elsewhere,” he said.

Mr Tofa, a former presidential candidate also said the KCCI had last year organized a mini conference with young inventors who came and “displayed remarkable inventions like helicopter, a motor car, new methods of drilling boreholes, electric wall brackets and some farm implements.”

“There are also a group of women enterpreneurs who manufacture very beautiful leather bags, shoes and other clothing and jewelry items.

“For all these, we intend…to hold an exhibition in collaboration with the Kano state government and the federal government so that we can find an opening for their talents for their benefits and that of the country,” he said.

‘Cause of economic decline in Kano’

Mr Tofa explained that the KCCI had embarked on visits to 30 industries and farms in Kano central district to identify the cause of “deteriorating commercial activities in Kano”, with the aim of proffering solutions.

He added that although most of the industries have specific problems, all the 30 have complained about common issues such as:

  • Multiple taxation
  • Inadequate power supple
  • differentials in energy cost (higher in north)
  • high interest rates
  • dilapidated and embarrassing infrastructure (roads, drainages)
  • lack of government concern
  • dumping of foreign goods
  • threat from foreign competitors
  • environmental pollution
  • difficulties in sourcing funds
  • Abrupt and sudden enforcement of some draconian measures including inspection and seizure of goods by customs and other regulatory agencies.

“It is our earnest hope that the advice we have given will be seriously considered by the authorities and appropriate actions taken to remedy the situations before it is too late.

“We know very well that both the federal and the state governments are doing what they can to make life much better for the people. We only urge that more attention should be focused on the problems we highlighted. In due cours, we intend to seek appointments to follow up on these matters with the authorities we mentioned in the report,” Mr Tofa said.

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Kwankwaso left over N50bn liability for LGs 5km projects – Kano Govt

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Rabiu Kwankwaso

Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state government said the administration of former Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso left a liability of N54, 408, 259, 638.05 billion for the five kilometre road projects across the 44 local government areas of the state.

Kano Focus reports that the state commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba dropped the hint on Sunday while addressing newsmen on the outcome of the state Executive Council Meeting held at the Africa House, Government House, Kano.

He said the council received the report of the Technical Committee to assess the 5 km road projects all of which were awarded by the previous administration under the defunct Ministry of Land and Physical Planning with the state Urban Planning and Development Authority (KNUPDA) as supervising agency.

Mr Garba said the committee visited 39 local governments where its detailed report indicated awarded contract sum for the projects, present site conditions, value of executed works, amount certified and amount released for the projects.

The commissioner pointed out that 5km projects in three local governments were revoked and rewarded due to non-performance in Warawa, Ungogo and Dawakin Tofa, while some portions of the projects in Tsanyawa and Bichi along Kano-Katsina road were released to the federal ministry of works and housing based on request from the federal government.

He said other three projects in Rimin Gado, Karaye and Bunkure local government that fall within main arterial highway were expunged from the main project and re-awarded separately for execution, while metropolitan local governments of Dala, Nassarawa, Gwale, Municipal and Tarauni were allotted various projects within the municipality as 5km projects.

Mr Garba pointed out that the council has approved the release of N607, 124, 663.47 million for the rehabilitation of Rimin Gado-Sabon Fegi-Jilli-Gulu road in Rimin Gado local government.

The commissioner stated that approval has also been given by the council for the conversion of the existing School of Post Basic Midwifery Gezawa to the status of School of Nursing Gezawa to broaden the platform for training of more qualified midwives in order to reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality in the state.

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Kano domesticate social protection policy

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Abdullahi Ganduje

Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has approved the domestication of National social protection policy in the state.

Kano Focus reports that the Social Protection Policy is designed to show the commitment of the Government to the effective mobilisation and efficient utilisation of state resources to improve the quality of life of its citizens.

The state Commissioner of planning and budget Nura Muhammad Dankadai revealed this on Friday at a one day interactive session with with journalists and civil society organizations.

Alhaji Nura Muhammad Dankadai

Mr Dankadai said governor Ganduje approved the domestication of the policy on Thursday.

According to him when domesticated the policy will provide legal framework for school feeding programme, ante natal and post natal care, addressing gender based violence and protecting people living with disabilities.

On the meeting with journalists, Mr Dankadai said it was aimed at intimating them with on the state government’s projects and received some inputs for possible submission to the government.

The commissioner uses the opportunity to appeal to civil society organizations and journalists to sensitise people on the current economic challenges which made it difficult for the state to pay workers salary for the month of March.

In their separate contributions Akibu Hamisu, I. G Maryam and Wali Ado Rano advised Kano state government on the need to address multiple taxation, grant local government financial autonomy and holding periodic interactive session with CSOs and journalists.

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AKTH honours NCC Boss UG Danbatta

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Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, being presented with an appreciation award by Prof. Abdulrahman Sheshe, Chief Medical Director, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Kano, during the courtesy visit.

Nasiru Yusuf

 

The management of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital has visited the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communication Commission Umar Garba Danbatta.

Kano Focus reports that during the visit the AKTH team also presented an award to Danbatta as an expression of the hospital’s appreciation for the enormous contributions of the EVC and the Commission to the development of health institutions over the years in the country.

Speaking during the visit, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of AKTH, Abdulrahman Sheshe, who led the delegation on the courtesy call, said, “the objective of our being here today is to appreciate your contribution in person and as EVC of NCC to the growth and development of the teaching hospital.”

According to Sheshe, through the support and donations from Kano people like the EVC and institutions like NCC, the hospital has increased its bed capacity from 250 to 700, as well as performing 57 successful transplant surgeries.

“You have also made enormous contributions in this regard and that has helped us to get new dialysis machines through your assistance and these machines are being put to use, aside from other state-of-the-art equipment already in place,” he said while appreciating the EVC.

The CMD, however, sought NCC’s support in the area of a Health Information Management System (HIMS) and digital capacity for staff.

Responding, however, Danbatta thanked the hospital management for the visit and the award, noting that the Commission supports federal institutions with necessary ICT equipment across the country and is ready to assist AKTH in this regard.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

“As a Commission, we are working to bridge the infrastructure divide, which is an element of the entire digital ecosystem. We do this via a lot of ongoing regulatory initiatives. And, through our training arm, Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), we provide digital literacy to critical sectors of the economy, including the health sector, we also intervene through our Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme,” he said.

According to Danbatta, digital divide can be bridged by making computers available and ICT services accessible to people and key sectors of the economy.

Danbatta (middle) flanked by top management committee of AKTH and NCC staff during the courtesy visit

“Infrastructure that can host this massive flow of information and knowledge is broadband infrastructure and this is top-most in the agenda of the Commission. Indeed, ICT is transforming every sector of the economy and the earlier we embrace the vast opportunity brought by ICT the better,” the EVC pointed out.

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