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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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Naira Freefall: EFCC arrests 7 BDC operators in Kano

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

No fewer than seven Bureau De Change operators and others have been arrested by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Wednesday in Kano state.

KANO FOCUS reports that the persons were arrested by the operatives who carried out a raid on the BDC operators at the popular forex exchange WAPA market in Fagge local government area.

The Chairman of the market, Malam Sani who confirmed the development to newsmen in Kano, said the operatives raided the market in search of hoarders of dollars.

Wada however maintained that members in the market don’t engage in hoarding and are all operating with licenses from authorities.

“It was a joint taskforce that raided the market in search of those who are hoarding dollars and causing the depreciation in the value of Naira.

“They have arrested no fewer than seven individuals, some of them are our members and others are only passerbys. They said they are going to screen them to confirm who is who. We are yet to meet the taskforce now.

“All of them were arrested randomly and non of them was arrested carrying even a dollar on him.

“The WAPA Forex Market is licenced and there are no fewer than two hundred licenced individual outfits here in the market. All our operations are operating within the ambit of the law.

“When they struck, they hindered activities in the market as people closed down there offices, however things have since returned to normal.

“I advised the authority to implore the whistleblower tactic to track down those who have Dollars hoarded. But there is no Dollar anywhere in the market at the moment. Nobody has it. Even if you see it, it will not be more that $100 or $200 that’s all. We don’t have Dollars.

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Education Summit: Kano Govt frowns at late coming to school among pupils

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Kano state government has expressed displeasure over staggering lateness among pupils, warning that it will not condone late coming to school by children.

KANO FOCUS reports that the commissioner of education Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa gave the warning on Tuesday at a two-day education summit organised by the government in conjunction with Adolescent Health and Information Projects AHIP, PLANE, CSACEFA and Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).

Doguwa said said the government would collaborate with Hisbah corps to monitor students who move around the streets during school hours and take action them.

Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa

At the Summit with the theme, ‘Towards Strengthening Retention and Completion of Girl’s Education‘, the commissioner informed participants of strides of this administration in revitalising and fortifying the education sector with focus on empowering and retaining girls in the school system towards completion.

According to him “the government is collaborating with European Union EU and other development partners to improve education in the state.”

He noted that, to improve better system, the government would also constitutes Council on Education and Education data bank for effective monitoring.

Diginatries at the event

Recognising transportation barriers, Doguwa explained that, Kano state government has reintroduced dedicated 57 shuttle buses for girl students in the state to ease transport.

The commissioner said; “Within the 8 metropolitan Local Government Areas. We are currently looking at the ministry of Education proposal of expanding the shuttle bus service coverage to reach remote and underserved areas.”

ACF representatives at the event

Speaking on lack of schools attendance by students, he said the government would collaborate with Hisbah paramilitary to monitor students who move about the streets during school hours and take action them.

The Director Adolescent Health and Information Projects, Hajiya Mairo Bello identified education as the first foundation of life, stressing that “AHIP is determined to promote Girl Child Education not only in Kano state but the entire Northern Nigeria.”

She said other thematic areas of AHIP includes youth Development programmes, Women Empowerment initiatives, Health promotions, life skills training, Community Mobilization and Networking and Gender and Social inclusions among others initiatives.

Diginatries at the event

“Our Adolescent girls must retain and complete their education for Nigeria’s brighter future and economic prosperity,” Hajia Bello said.

She noted that promotion of education is moral responsibility of all, adding that her NGO is ready to partner with the Kano state government and others to advance the course of girl child education.

Representatives of Traditional Institutions

Also speaking, Professor Ismail Mohammed Zango while presenting findings from a Research conducted on Exploring the Adolescent Girls’ Education in Kano state said, school attendance completion ratio in Kano indicates that boys seems to complete their junior and senior secondary Schools more than the girls in Kano state.

He stressed the need to bridge the gap, identifying critical roles of parents in achieving Girls retention and completion of schools.

Zango also identified poverty as a great factor to school retention and completion of girls Education.

The Chairman Arewa Consultative Forum ACF Kano Chapter, Dr. Goni Umar Farouk called on the business community to contribute to Education and not leave it to the hands of governments a lone.

He also, called on the Kano State government to invest in ICT Education of children as the world is going digital.

 

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Kano Assembly directs KAROTA, PHCMB, KPP to refund N260m misappropriated funds

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Kano State House of Assembly has ordered the Kano State Road Traffic Agency, Kano State Primary Health Care Agency and Kano Printing Press to refund a total sum of N260 million misappropriated by the three agencies.

The Assembly issued the order during plenary presided by the Speaker, Jibril Ismail Falgore, on Tuesday.

The Assembly indicted the three state agencies for misappropriation of allocations and internally generated revenue.

In a unanimous adoption of the recommendations of the House Committee on Public Accounts, the Assembly cautioned all ministries, agencies and parastatals to comply with due diligence on public finance or face sanctions.

Earlier, the Chairman House Committee on Public Account, and member representing Fagge constituency, Mohammed Tukur, who presented the 2021 audited public account, expressed concern over financial ‘iniquity’ in government agencies.

In the report, Tukur narrated how allocations on COVID-19 and social welfare programs got zero release of funds while the construction of 100 pit toilets with an estimated budget of N200 million secured 100 per cent capitalisation.

The Fagge lawmaker also lamented how the previous administration refused to approve the audit of six years of public account, leaving behind a backlog of unaudited public expenditure.

Tukur equally raised concern about the misuse of public revenues and allocations by the Kano State Road Traffic Agency, Kano State Primary Health Care Agency and Kano Printing Press, which were indicted in the report.

The Majority Leader, Lawan Husain, moved a motion to compel the auditor general and accountant general of the state to ensure proper accountability and transparency of public funds and refund of misappropriated monies by MDAs.

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