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NCC partners Sweden on ICT capacity building, improved broadband

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has received the Swedish Ambassador to ECOWAS, Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria, Mr. Carl Grans at NCC Head Office with discussions centering on how the country can enhance Information and Communication Technology (ICT), capacity development and broadband penetration in Nigeria.

This is in line with the commission’s 8-Point Agenda, one of the pillars which focuses on strategic collaborations and partnership towards accelerating digital access and skills development in the country.

While receiving the Ambassador and team, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Dambatta, said the meeting was at the instance of the Commission, based on the Commission’s assessment of the offer for capacity development and focus of the Swedish Programme for ICT Development in Emerging Regions (SPIDER)–a dedicated programme instituted to provide capacity building in emerging markets.

L-R: Senior Officer, Public Affairs Department, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Hamzat Shuni; Principal manager, Special Duties, NCC, Ibrahim Galadima; Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), NCC, Usman Malah; Swedish Ambassador to Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) – Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria, Mr. Carl Grans; EVC/CEO, NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta; Director, Government and Industry Relations, Ericsson, Mr. Peter Ogundele; Deputy Director, Special Duties, NCC, Mr. Chukwuma Azikiwe; and Assistant Director, Special Duties, NCC, Mr. Babagana Digima during the visit of the Swedish Ambassador to the Commission.

Professor Dambatta said that the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) had earlier trained some Nigerians. Thus, Danbatta stated that further collaboration to build capabilities of Nigerians on ICT will increase human resources and capacity in the ICT sector towards deepening broadband penetration.

The EVC stated that further capacity building of Nigerians on ICT tools and skills will start with agencies in the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE) in the context of train-the-trainer arrangement, and the beneficiaries in the agencies will proceed to train other Nigerians.

Professor Dambatta thanked the Swedish government for the capacity building programmes and reiterated that one of the priorities of the Nigerian Government is to facilitate the migration of millions of Nigerians out of poverty traps through ICT capacity development, skills acquisition and effectively driving the digital economy processes.

“We hope that the Embassy will continue to facilitate this kind of intervention to NCC and other agencies of government in Nigeria and Africa, and we also hope to benefit from the wealth of experience especially of Sweden, being a leading broadband market,” the EVC said.

Responding to the EVC, Ambassador Carl Michael Grans said: “5G technology and Internet of Things (IoT) are crucial to transforming the industry and production in a way that can’t really be seen yet, but a digital revolution is really imminent worldwide”.

Mr Grans  also acknowledged that Nigeria is ready for the digital revolution considering the approval given to conduct 5G tests recently.

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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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