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Pantami applauds NCC’s role in telecoms regulatory standards

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, has commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for spearheading regional and global initiatives on telecoms networks standardisation within the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) community.

Dr Pantami gave the commendation while delivering his welcome address at 7th Study Group 13 (SG 13), ongoing Regional Workshop for Africa being hosted by the NCC at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

While addressing participants drawn from Nigeria and other African countries as well as officials of the ITU at the event, the minister said the NCC’s role in being at the forefront of driving digital revolution for Nigeria is well noted.

According to him, “I want to appreciate the efforts of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for representing the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE) to coordinate these activities of the SG 13 of ITU in Nigeria.

“The effort is highly commendable. With all sense of responsibility as the Minister of FMoCDE, I commend your consistency in handling the activities of ITU and other study groups of the FMoCDE. Your efforts are most appreciated”.

Commenting on the theme of the event, Dr Pantami said standards are critical to the inter-operability of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

He said the workshop is taking place at a time the Nigerian government, through the ministry, is making effort to reposition its focus and strategies on how to use new and emerging digital technologies to transform the socio-economic life and activities of the country.

Dr Pantami emphasised the need for Africa to position itself properly in order to be upbeat on the organising principles of developing appropriate standards for the future and next generation digital networks that support a digital economy ecosystem.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Prof. Umar Dambatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), NCC, stated that discussions and solutions for future networks such as cloud computing, software defined networks and smart cities, cannot be understated.

“To achieve a resilient and robust future network, standards must be developed to accommodate the evolution of new and emerging technologies. The new frontier comes with great value and potentials for humanity and so, Nigeria and indeed, Africa cannot afford to be left behind,” Dambata explained.

Prof. Dambatta, while tasking participants to come up with far-reaching resolutions, said such “resolutions will hopefully play a pivotal role at the World Telecommunications Standardization Assembly (WTSA) coming up later in the year”.

He affirmed that all these developments will also play significant roles in achieving the new mandate for the digital economy.

The NCC Executive Vice Chairman therefore charged participants to drive collective interest and let such collective interest be their focal point of discussion, “so that we can have networks that can handle the peculiarities of our environment, as we drive towards development and integration of new and emerging technologies on our dear continent”.

On his part, the Chairman, ITU SG 13, Simeon Bagudu, said the Group was established in 2008 to mobilise effective participation of Africa in the area of ICT standardisation.

He enthused that the participation of Nigeria in the regional Group and in other ITU events and programmes has been ‘very remarkable.’

The ITU operates through its three sectors namely the Radiocommunications Sector (ITU-R), Standardisation Sector (ITU-T), and Development Sector (ITU-D).

The Standardisation Sector through its study groups and World Telecommunications Standardisation Assembly (WTSA) uses experts from around the world to prepare, deliberate and develop international standards known as ITU-Recommendations, which act as defining elements in the global infrastructure of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

The work of Africa Regional Groups in each of the Study Groups of ITU-T, such as the SG 13, comes under the ITU-T Sector. The SG 13 was established in 2008 to bridge the standardisation gap among African countries.

The four-day programme, focused on the theme: ‘Standardisation of Future Networks Towards Building a Better Connected Africa’, has a dual structure: a workshop by the SG 13 for Africa which commenced from 2-4, February 2020; and another special meeting by the Group scheduled for 5-6, February, 2020.

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TCN creates Kano transmission region

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Nasiru Yusuf

THE Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has carved out a new Kano transmission region from the old Kaduna Region. 

KANO FOCUS reports that the newly established unit brings the number of TCN regional centres to 10.

The TCN believes the step will improve commercial activities in the state.

A statement issued by TCN General manager of Public Affairs Ndidi Mbah explained that the creation of the Kano Transmission Region became necessary owing to the rapid economic and industrial development being witnessed within Kano State and its environs, as well as the gradual implementation of TCN’s strategic ‘Nigerian Electricity Grid Maintenance, Expansion and Rehabilitation Programme (NEGMERP),’ which has enabled the transmission company to complete some ongoing projects and increase the number of substations within that axis.

He said the  Kano Transmission Region had, under its supervision, one sub-regional office and several work centers, all housing 13 transmission substations (TS), including the Kumbotso TS, Dan Agundi TS, Dakata TS, Tamburawa TS, Kwanar Dangora TS, Wudil TS, Kankia TS, Katsina TS, Daura TS, Dutse TS, Hadejia TS, Azare TS, and Gagarawa TS.

The new Kano region currently according to the statement has ongoing transmission substation projects which when completed would further increase bulk transmission capacity in the new region.

The new Kano Transmission Region, the company said, would deepen operational efficiency within the region and enable its engineers to readily access and resolve technical issues within the new region.

Mbah explained that prior to the creation of the new Kano Region, major decisions had to be referred to Kaduna Region for directives, and the supply of materials was sometimes delayed due to logistic issues from Kaduna.

Mbah noted that the proximity of the new region would radically reduce downtime and eliminate time lost when materials had to be conveyed from the Kaduna Region.

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DSS arrests singer accuse of blasphemy

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Department of State Services have arrested another blasphemous singer, Ahmad Abdul, whose song was perceived to create chaos in Kano state.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Singer Ahmad Abdul was detained by the DSS because his free movement may likely cause violence reaction from Kano residents.

While in detention, Mr Abdul tender apology to entire Muslims, Kano state government and Islamic Scholars.

He told DSS operatives that he never thought that the song has violated Islamic teachings.

Commenting while witnessing the bail condition granted to Mr Abdul at the DSS Headquarters, Kano, the Executive Secretary of the Kano state Censorship Board Ismaila Naaba Afakallah recalled that he had received hundreds of petitions against the song from concerned citizens.

Afakallah said having realized the gravity of the song’s blasphemy, he reported the singer to DSS who swung into action and arrested him at a Hotel where he was hiding for days.

Mr Abdul Father, Abdullahi Isa thanked the DSS for their timely response on the matter which saved possible outbreak of law and order.

Also in August last year, An upper Sharia court in the Hausawa Filin Hockey area of the state has found one Yahaya Sharif-Aminu guilty of committing blasphemy for a song he circulated via WhatsApp.

However, the appellate division of the High Court of Kano State had on January 21 quashed the death sentence passed on Mr Sharif-Aminu and freed him.

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I’ll not run for President – Muhammadu Sanusi II

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Deposed Emir Sanusi

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The deposed Emir of Kano Malam Muhammadu Sunusi II says he is not interested in contesting for the presidency of Nigeria.

Kano Focus reports that Mr Sunusi revealed this at a Tijjnaniyya zikir held in Abuja on Thursday.

Muhammadu Sanusi said his current position as Tijjaniyya Khalifa in Nigeria is superior to the presidency.

The deposed Emir however said he is ready to help those he believe in their competence to win elections without his participation in politics.

“If we trust a candidate is out to serve the people, we will come out and help them.

“That is not joining politics but a civic duty to the nation and its citizens” Mr. Sanusi said.

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