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NCC to strengthen media collaboration

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NCC EVC Umar Danbatta

Maude Rabiu Gwadabe

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it will strengthen collaboration with the media for increased education of telecommunications consumers in the country.

Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Umar Danbatta, stated this during the 2019 Award/Appreciation Night hosted by the Kano Correspondent Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists at Bristol Palace Hotel, Kano.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Danbatta was honored at the occasion “award for outstanding leadership and regulatory excellence exhibited since assuming office in 2015 as the country’s chief telecoms regulator”.

Mr Danbatta, a Professor of Engineering, commended the Nigerian media for educating the public about the Commission’s ‘2017 Year of the Consumer’ initiative.

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He  disclosed that the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 short code instituted by the NCC for curbing unsolicited text messages and the NCC 622 toll-free number for consumer complaints management, have increased in usage because of effective public education by the media acting as a critical partner of the Commission.

He thanked the NUJ Kano Correspondent Chapel for the honour bestowed on him and reminisced on how the media helped in publicizing NCC’s Year of the Consumer initiative launched in 2017.

According to him, two of the major derivatives of the initiative are the DND 2442 Short Code and the NCC toll-free number 622.

“For me, the print and electronic media serve as an important interface between the agencies of government like the NCC and the public.

“I remember when we declared 2017 as the Year of the Consumer, we assembled the best, the crème of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to help disseminate the messages about the initiatives to the nook and cranny of the country,” Mr Danbatta said.

The EVC said the DND Short Code has empowered Nigerians to stop receiving unsolicited text messages.

He also declared that from half a million, the level of subscription to the Code is now over 22 million and still growing.

NUJ Awards 2019

Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, NCC EVC Umar Danbatta, flanked by Chairman Kano NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel, Ibrahim Garba, and former House Majority Leader, Alhasssan Ado Doguwa at the event.

“The same thing with our toll-free number 622 through which subscribers can lodge complains about the quality of service, about when they observe their data declines at most alarming speed or when they are being subjected to unwholesome practices by the service providers.

“They can lodge their complaints using the 622 in English, Pidgin or local languages of Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba.

“Through the 622, we have succeeded in resolving more than a million complaints from consumers,” He said.

The NCC Chief Executive noted that the Commission couldn’t have achieved the success rates without a partnership with journalists who helped the Commission “to educate consumers on and popularized the availability and usage of the DND 2442 Short Code and the 622 Toll-free Number.”

He stressed that, based on the importance attached to media partnership; the NCC dedicates two engagements with the media every year.

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“We engage the media from the beginning of the year in order to inform them about what our plans for subscribers are in the industry and at the end of the year in order to tell them what progress we have made.

“Nigerians are very much aware of the activities of the Commission and therefore, the NCC relies and will continue to rely on and strengthen collaboration with the media for the dissemination of important information about its activities to the public.” He added.

Other notable indigenes of Kano State, who received recognition awards at the NUJ event,  include the Governor of Kano State, Abdullah Ganduje; his wife, Hafsat Gganduje; Chairman, Tofa Group, Isyaku Umar Tofa; and Managing Director, Kano Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Dr. Jamil Gwamna.

 

 

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Just in: Finance Minister suspends Accountant-general over alleged N80bn fraud

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Aminu Abdullahi

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, has suspended the embattled Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, from office over his alleged involvement in N80billion fraud being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

KANO FOCUS reports that Idris was arrested on Monday by the operatives of the anti-graft agency over alleged diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80billion.

He was arrested after failing to honour invitations by the EFCC to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.

EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, had said the commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF  raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

He said the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja.

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Kano experiences heavy rainfall in next three days – NiMet

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

The Nigeria’s meteorological agency, NiMet, has forecast moderate to heavy rainfall within the next three days in Kano.

KANO FOCUS reports that NiMet announced this in its weather advisory on Tuesday.

“As a result of the expected moderate to heavy rainfall in the next three days, there are chances of flash flooding of roads and low-lying settlements,” the agency said.

It added that “there could be disruption of traffic due to flooded or closed roads, reduction in visibility, likely damage to mud houses and possible disruption in flight operations.”

The rain is expected to be accompanied by strong winds, lightning and thunder, hence the falling of weak buildings and displacement of makeshift structures are likely, NiMet said.

Hence, it advised the public to exercise restraint, disconnect electrical appliances before, not during the storm, and avoid standing or parking cars under trees as much as possible.

NiMet urges emergency agencies to be prepared and keep monitoring to avoid low-level areas and fast-flowing runoff waters.

It also advised the public to be prepared for these events to avoid damage from rain-related hazards.

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VP Osinbajo visits scene of  Kano explosion

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has visited the scene of Kano explosive where he commiserated with the government and people of Kano state over the gas and explosion at Sabon Gari area of the state capital.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Vice president arrived at the scene of the explosion in company of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

Osinbajo during the visit to the scene of the incident expressed shock that little school children were among those injured.

The Vice President who described the incident as devastating, sympathised with the victims and enjoined relevant authorities to take preventive measures against future occurrence.

He prayed for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives and quick recovery of injured victims.

The Vice President and governor Ganduje were received and briefed by the Commissioner of Police Kano Command Sama’ila Shu’aibu Dikko.

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje thanked the vice president for the concern and pledged medical and financial support to victims of the explosion.

The Vice President was in Kano to meet APC delegates ahead of party’s primary elections.

At least nine people are confirmed to have died in an explosion in the Sabon Gari area of Kano state on Tuesday morning.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in a statement said nine corpses have been recovered from the scene of the explosion.

NEMA’s spokesperson, Manzo Ezekiel, said the Director-General, Mustapha Habib, who visited the scene of the explosion, coordinated the rescue operations.

Mr Ezekiel said: “Nine dead bodies have been recovered so far from the rubbles of a collapsed building beside a primary school following explosions from a gas cylinder at Aba Road in Sabon Gari area of Kano.

“Director-General National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, was at the site of the incident and coordinated the rescue operations.

“He mobilised excavators being used for the rescue operations and said NEMA team will ensure complete removal of the rubbles to retrieve all trapped persons.

“Furthermore, the DG instructed the NEMA rescue team to remain at the site until the conclusion of the rescue and to work together with security agencies and other response organisations present at the location.

“NEMA is presently coordinating the rescue operations involving members, Nigerian Red Cross, military, the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Kano SEMA, the official statement said.

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