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NCC, NIPOST explore areas of collaboration

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) have met to discuss key areas of collaborations between the two agencies towards strengthening delivery of their respective mandates and synergising to advance the digital economy agenda of the Federal Government.

This was the highlight of deliberations during a courtesy visit by senior management officials of NIPOST, to the Commission to explore opportunities for collaboration and partnership between the two agencies.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Dambatta, who received the NIPOST team led by the Postmaster-General of the Federation, Dr. Ismail Adewusi on Wednesday, said engendering close collaboration and engagement between government agencies remains NCC’s priority.

Prof. Dambatta told the NIPOST delegation that the Commission was committed to fostering synergy and strategic collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of federal and state government, especially with those sister agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy such as NIPOST.

According to him, “This meeting which held at the request of NIPOST is very important as synergy between sister agencies of the government is part of the mandate which the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has been championing toward deepening truly digital economy in Nigeria.”

While affirming that one of the mandates of NIPOST is to deepen access to certain government services in all the 774 local government areas in the country, Mr Dambatta expressed the Commission’s readiness to support NIPOST with resilient telecom infrastructure that allows the postal agency to jointly contribute to increasing access to financial inclusion in the country.

Prof. Dambatta recalled that, the NCC is actively in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reduce the number of Nigerians without access to financial services or not more than 20 percent.

“The idea is to raise the financial inclusion penetration from below 60 per cent to 80 percent by end of 2020. That is the target of the Federal Government and all agencies in the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy are expected to work together, more than ever before, towards deepening the frontier of digital services across Nigeria,” Mr Dambatta said.

Internet connectivity in the rural areas

Earlier in his remark, the Postmaster-General of NIPOST, Dr. Ismail Adewusi, explained that the purpose of the courtesy visit to the Commission was “to strengthen the relationship between both agencies.”

Dr. Adewusi noted that the vision for NIPOST by the Federal Government “is to ensure that it continues to play the role of universal service postage as well as offering auxiliary services such as transportation logistics and financial services.”

He emphasised that NIPOST is part of the active agencies pushing the frontiers of the Financial Inclusion Strategy 2018 of the CBN for the country.

He also stated that NIPOST has been playing more active roles in taking millions of Nigerians in rural communities out of poverty.

According to Dr. Adewusi, the collaboration with the NCC with regard to internet connectivity and broadband penetration is necessary especially in the rural areas where internet access is limited.

Accordingly, he said that both agencies can work together to expand access to the internet, particularly in the rural communities where NIPOST has existing infrastructure.

Dr. Adewusi, therefore, sought collaboration on the provision of access to affordable Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services such as e-government and other e-services to the under served and un-served areas of the country, through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF).

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Kano closes hospital where a doctor performs multiple surgery alone

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Kano State Private Health Institutions Management Agency (PHIMA) has shut down Green-olives Hospital, Gadon kaya, Gwale local government area.

KANO FOCUS reports that the hospital was indicted for professional misconduct and poor service.

A statement issued by the spokesperson of the agency Abba Dalha said the agency has received a petition that the facility has recorded two death cases in the last six months.

After thorough investigation, the agency found that, the hospital do not undertake proper investigation nor issue consent form to patients before conducting a surgery.

According to the statement the surgeon is found to be to be doing the task of anaesthetic nurse, peri operative nurse and assistant surgeon which is grossly unethical.

The statement added that the surgeon is not inclined to any speciality of surgery as one of the recorded death case was a Paediatric surgery to three year old child, while the second death was Obstetrics and gynecology surgery.

The Agency threatened to deal with the culprit in accordance with it’s   guidelines and appealed to people to report quacks and professional misconduct for appropriate action.

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Ganduje seeks Assembly’s approval to borrow N20bn

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Nasiru Yusuf

The governor of Kano state Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has sent a letter to House of assembly seeking for approval to access 18.7 billion loan from the federal government to cushion the effects of COVID-19.

KANO FOCUS reports that the speaker of the assembly, Hamisu Ibrahim Chidari read the letter on the floor of the house.

According to the letter, the state government is seeking the approval of the house to enable it access the funds which many states have been granted access to by their state house of assemblies.

He said,the federal government had approved the disbursement of over 18 billion Naira to all the 36 states as bail out funds.

The governor has also sent another letter to the House seeking for approval to secure a loan of over two billion naira for the procurement of 100 BRT buses.

The letter pointed out that earlier the Kano state government had paid five hundred million naira as deposit and wish to secure a loan for the completion of payment to expedite the delivery of the vehicles which will go a long way in curtailing transportation problems in the state.

After extensive and exhaustive deliberations, the house has granted the approval.

In a related development the house had received a letter from the office of the secretary to the state government, notifying the house of the swearing in of the chairman and members of the assembly service commission and the reappointment and elevation of the clerk and deputy clerk to the post of head of legislative services and permanent secretary respectively as well as other directors at the Kano state house of assembly.

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Revenue sharing formula: Kano demands 1% allocation, increase for states and LGAs

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano State government has demanded a one per cent special status in the Federal revenue  allocation formula.

KANO FOCUS reports that the demand was made in a memorandum presented by the Secretary to the  State Government and head of Kano state delegation, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, (Wazirin Gaya), during the North West Zonal Public Hearing on the review of the current vertical revenue allocation formula organized by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission in Kaduna on Monday.

Alhaji Alhaji noted that the demand is genuine, justifiable and in no way controversial considering the enormous responsibilities the state is currently shouldering due to high influx of people displaced or affected by insecurity in neighboring states including Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto and others.

He also highlighted the status of the state as the most populous in the country, its cosmopolitan and heterogeneous nature as “mini Nigeria”, as well as being the commercial hub for the north that attracts and accommodates people from all parts of the country and beyond, as other reasons for the demand.

The Secretary to the State Government therefore urged the federal government to positively consider the special status demand so as to support the development of Kano particularly in the areas of agriculture, trade and commerce and manufacturing as “it will translate into rapid development for the country generally.

“Our reasons are for the development of Nigeria as a whole”. He added.

The SSG further noted that the current revenue sharing formula is skewed largely in favour of the federal government to the detriment of states and local governments as the federating units, which he described as uneven, unfair and unjust.

He noted that the decision of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to review the current revenue sharing formula, in line with its statutory constitutional responsibilities,  is commendable as it is long overdue in view of the changing political, economic, social and ecological realities in the country.

Alhaji Usman Alhaji further noted that despite taking the lion’s share, the federal government could not effectively and adequately discharge most of its responsibilities in states, like ensuring security and provision of healthcare services which, he said, were left for the states to take care of.

” The insecurity and violence in the North can be link to the uneven distribution of the national wealth. …Some have too little while others have too much to spend. As federating units, no one should be left in dare need “, he added.

While noting that states spend more than the federal government on healthcare and other services in addition to huge expenditure for the police and DSS, he suggested that states should have larger share in the revenue allocation formula.

The SSG therefore, on behalf of Kano State Government, proposed a new sharing formula of 41 percent for Federal Government, 34 percent for states and 24 percent for local governments while the 13 percent derivation should be maintained.

The Kano State delegation to the North West Zonal public hearing comprise commissioners, Special Advisers, top civil servants, traditional leaders, representatives of CSOs, NGOs and students organizations.

Other states that presented memoranda at the occasion include Jigawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara.

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