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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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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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Police arrest bandit who abduct his uncle for one million Naira ransom

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Abubakar Musa displaying the two AK-47 ripples

Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

 

Police in Kano said they have arrested a 27 year old Abubukar Musa who confessed to have abducted his uncle and received one million Naira ransom.

Kano Focus reports that the police spokesperson in Kano Abdullahi Kiyawa announced this in a video clip sent to journalists on Sunday.

He said the suspect was arrested with two AK 47 ripple suspected to be used for kidnapping and banditry.

Mr Kiyawa said preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is among the bandits terrorizing some parts of Kano, Birnin Gwari in Kaduna state and some Northern states.

Mr Musa an indigine of Rurum village in Tudun Wada local government Kano state recalled how in the past abducted his uncle and collected one million Naira ransom before he release him.

The suspect also told police that he borrowed the guns found under his possession from Muhammadu Bakanoma in Zamfara state to confront another bandit called Malam at Birnin Gwari whom he accused with abducting his wife and daughter.

“I am a cattle rustler. I once abducted my uncle Alhaji Haruna and my cousin Bappan Jauro six years ago. These are the only two persons I have ever abducted. I abducted him (Alhaji Haruna) because his two children (Medi and Bappan Jauro) have kidnapped my younger sister Hafsat.

” I released him after receiving one million Naira ransom. We are now living with him (Alhaji Haruna( in the same compound,” Mr Musa said.

Mr Kiyawa said investigation is ongoing and will issue a statement when completed.

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