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90% of Nigerians will be computer-literate by 2030–Pantami

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Pantami has revealed plans by the Federal Government to make at least 90 percent of Nigerians computer-literate by 2030.

The minister expressed optimism that at least, 90 percent of Nigerians will be digitally literate by the end of the decade as all agencies in the ministry will be involved in series of training and retraining.

Mr Pantami was speaking at a media parley with journalists in Abuja.

He explained the goal of turning Nigeria digital by making citizens computer-literate, owning a digital device (which the agencies in the Ministry have been assisting to facilitate), having access to the Internet, owning a bank account that can be accessed and operating digitally and online.

The Minister said beyond financial services, the Federal Government hopes to see majority of the citizens undertake many activities electronically.

According to him, this is in line with re-designation of the Federal Ministry of Communications to Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister said the re-designation was done to position Nigeria for the gains of digital economy and to achieve the central focus of the ministry to migrate the nation to a digital economy.

He said this is particularly significant as it enables Information and Communication Technology to mobilise other sectors and align with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government.

The minister revealed that the federal government had directed the ministry to develop and implement a national digital economy strategy.

According to him all government parastatals are connected to the strategy in view of the centrality of ICT to development in other sectors of the economy, adding that the role of the Ministry is to coordinate the implementation of the policy and the strategy.

Mr Pantami revealed that different sections of the population are targeted for training and retraining, including women, youths, journalists, civil servants and those who obtained school certificate but unemployed.

The broadband plan

He explained that the 2020-2025 Broadband Plan is expected to be ready within the first quarter of 2020 and the plan is to ensure that all unserved and underserved areas have access to broadband services.

He said the Federal Government and the Ministry are encouraging many institutions to host their data in Nigeria as he promised to continue the advocacy.

The Minister emphasised that digital innovation and digital entrepreneurship are particularly important in ensuring increase in Nigeria’s GDP.

He made a comparison between Nigeria and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by stating that Nigeria’s GDP is $397 billion while MIT’s GDP is about five times higher, and attributed the disparity largely to inputs of digital innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Minister, however, explained that Nigeria is so blessed and needs to leverage that potential to ensure her teaming youths acquire enduring “skills that will make them to be potential employers rather than potential employees”.

Mr Pantami expressed optimism to seeing more Nigerians use the social media to support the digital economy by engaging it to achieve legitimate economic prosperity rather than promotion of division and hatred.

According to him, since September 25th, 2019, no Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card has been used in Nigeria without being properly registered.

“You may buy a SIM card but you cannot activate it to use unless it has been properly registered, and NCC will provide biodata of any improperly-used SIM card to the police or other security agencies within 24 hours whenever it is required.

“Life is more important than material benefits of having many SIM cards in circulation, and in any case, blocking improperly registered SIM cards did not diminish the contribution of ICT to GDP,” he said.

‘NIPOST should collect stamp duty’ 

On the challenges of the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST), the Minister stated that the Ministry has made presentation to the Federal Government that NIPOST should be the collector of stamp duty and not the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and by implication the Federal Ministry of Finance,.

“So, we have challenged the status quo about the collection of stamp duty,” Dr Pantami said.

The Minister also unveiled the plan for the transformation of NIPOST with regard to undertaking a total restructuring and transformation.

“We will also commercialise some activities of the organisation by registering few companies to ensure the renovation and commercialisation of dilapidated NIPOST structure all over the country starting with NIPOST facilities in major cities,” he said.

The briefing was attended by chief executive officers and management staff of the FMoCDE and its agencies, including Ubale Maska, NCC’s Executive Commissioner Technical Services, who represented the EVC of the Commission,  Prof. Umar Danbatta.

Other are Adeleke Adewolu, NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management; Managing Director of Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Abimbola Alale, Chairman of Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi and the Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Limited Prof. Mohammed Abubakar.

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Gov. Abba Kabir Urges Security Agencies to Quell Thuggery in Kano

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Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, has beseeched security agencies operating within the state to promptly bring an end to Thuggery and other malevolent activities that are disrupting peace in specific areas of the Kano metropolis.

The Governor gives this directives at the commencement of the 15th weekly meeting of the Kano State Executive Council held at the Government House.

This was contained in a statement issued by the governor’s spokesperson, Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, on Saturday.

Governor Abba Kabir expressed disapproval of the recent upsurge in Thuggery and clashes involving Yan daba, affirming that the government will not passively observe while unscrupulous elements endanger the relative tranquility and harmony enjoyed by the law-abiding citizens of the state.

He reiterated that under his administration, the state government is diligently collaborating with relevant security agencies to ensure the safety and security of the populace and their possessions at all times.

Furthermore, Governor Abba Kabir cautioned Judges against the unwarranted release of thugs, emphasizing the threat they pose to the welfare of the state’s residents and stressing the importance of prompt and equitable dispensation of justice.

Alhaji Abba Kabir also instructed security agencies to strictly adhere to their mandated duty of safeguarding the lives and properties of the citizens they serve, warning against involvement in matters beyond their designated responsibilities.

He implored the populace in the state to continue with their lawful pursuits, assuring that the government will persevere in its commitment to ensuring their protection, and requested ongoing support and cooperation for the current administration.

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Emirate Tussle: Prof. Yadudu Faults Justice Liman’s Ruling, Says Judgement not Helpful For The Judicial Process

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Reacting to the ruling, renowned constitutional lawyer, Professor Auwalu Yadudu, told Daily Trust that the judge’s pronouncements were strange and baffling by approbating and reprobating in the same breath.

He said the development was not helpful for the judicial process, stressing that the judge assuming jurisdiction on the fundamental human rights aspect and refusing the same on the validity of the substance of the case–the Kano emirates law–has “muddled up the case, and it is very unbecoming of a judge who has now been elevated to the Court of Appeal”.

Professor Yadudu clarified that while he was not accusing the judge of any impropriety, the pronouncements were unbecoming. “How can you say the actions taken in pursuant of a law are set aside, and then say you are not delving into the validity of the said law?” he queried.
Prof. Yadudu said further that the judge had more or less held that he lacked jurisdiction on the issue by transferring the case to another judge, but still went ahead to set aside the governor’s actions.

He said that the ex-parte order should no longer be of any currency because it is being challenged at the Appeal Court, and the judge himself admitted knowledge of this by granting a stay of proceedings and also deciding not to grant an order to nullify the law.

“All these are avoidable. It is not helpful for the judicial process. It is strange and doesn’t speak well of the judge. The question of whether the governor’s actions came before and after the exparte order is a question of fact or evidence. It seems from the record that the order came after,” he said.

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Governing council: ASUU BUK rejects Gawuna’s appointment, favours Udoma’s return

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Bayero University Kano, BUK chapter during the weekend rejected the appointment of Kano top flight politician, Dr Nasiru Gawuna into the Governing Council of the second generation tertiary Institution.

 

KANO FOCUS reports that the Chairperson, Prof. Ibrahim Tajo Suraj said that the process that led to the appointment of politicians into the Governing Council of the nation’s citadel of learning contravened the relevant laws that guided such appointment.

 

Addressing newsmen in its secretariat, Comrade Siraj explained that “I must admit that we are not happy over the decision of the federal government to appoint hard core politicians into the Governing Council.

 

Prof. Siraj stressed that “the criteria for such appointments is explicitly clear, as it favoured the appointment of technocrats, academic to the Council”.

 

The Chairperson maintained that the sack of former Council with a constitutional mandate of

4 years tenure, after one year in office was a rape on the rule of law.

 

He therefore called on the federal government to reinstate Senator Udo Udoma led Governing Council to complete their term in the interests of the rule of law

 

Siraj stressed that “the scenario is just like sacking an executive governor of a state after just one in office, and you went ahead to assume that all is normal, no, this is rape on the rule of law.”

 

Ibrahim Tajo Suraj, earlier had led (ASUU), Bayero University Kano branch, on a peaceful protest on Friday demanding the federal government to pay their entitlements and implement the 2009 ASUU/FG Agreement.

 

Prof. Ibrahim Tajo Suraj, said the action was in compliance with the directive by the national body to all its branches to organize protests within their campuses on account of the federal government’s failure to pay their entitlements.

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