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5G’ll offer great potential for Nigeria’s socio-economic development–NCC

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Nasiru Yusuf

Nigeria will derive huge socio-economic benefits from commercial deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) Networks, which will come with great potentials that will bolster Nigeria’s socio economic ecosystem for quantifiable growth.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) stated this during a discussion with a broad spectrum of participants mostly made up of Nigerians at a special panel session sponsored and hosted by the Commission on Thursday as part of the programmes of the ongoing Social Media Week Lagos (SMWLagos2020).

L-R: Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, Head Online Media & Special Publications; Engr. Bako Wakil, Director, Technical Standards & Network Integrity; Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of Commissioners and Engr. Kenneth Uzoekwe, Assistant Director, Spectrum Administration, all of NCC at the NCC-sponsored Special Panel Session on 5G at the Social Media Week Lagos 2020.

The weeklong conference is taking place at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

At the NCC panel discussion which focused on, “5G Networks: Socioeconomic Benefits and Challenges”, which was also attended by the Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande, participants had a lively conversation as they asked rational and piercing questions from the discussants.

Bako Wakil, Director, Technical Standards & Network Integrity at NCC, and Kenneth Uzoekwe, an Assistant Director in the Spectrum Administration Department of the Commission, responded to questions at the session moderated by Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, Head, Online Media & Special Publications at the Commission.

The first question asked, which centred on what constitutes 5G, was so eloquently and perceptively answered by the panelists to earn applause from the audience.

Wakil explained that all communication possibilities within the framework of ITU’s IMT-2020 that enhance extremely accurate and near-instantaneous transfer of large quantities of data are well within the contemplation of 5G. Such technologies will also make for better experience of virtual realities, driverless cars, drone operations and a spectra of possibilities popularly called the Internet of Things (IoT).

Newest generation technology

Wakil explained that 5G is the newest generation of technology which “will bring about transformation in the country in the area of smart city, smart transportation, efficiency in medicine, a lot of automation, and 5G will control a lot of appliances and devices with respect to Internet of Things (IoT).”

In other words, “the difference between all other existing generations of technologies such as 2G, 3G and 4G lies in speed and data capacity. The 5G deployment, however, offers even faster speed, high latency and high capacity that will transform consumers and business experiences” Wakil emphasised.

A litany of follow up questions on many aspects of 5G, the key differences between 4G and 5G, and on the implications of 5G for security, speed, capacity and data consumption were also well treated by the discussants.

What about radiation?

Responding to questions on radiation level of a 5G network, Wakil allayed the fears of the participants:

“Generally, there is every reason for people to be apprehensive with respect to the radiation of a new technology such as 5G. However, the radiation from 5G is non-ionising. Non-ionising radiation cannot cause adverse health effects in humans. So, radiation in 5G is going to me minimal and not harmful,” he clarified.

Wakil identified the two major challenges to 5G network deployment as energy and infrastructure.

He noted that while the Federal Ministry  of Communications and Digital Economy is coordinating the NCC, the National Frequency Management Council, and the National Broadband Plan to address broadband infrastructure deficits, the poor state of electricity supply in the country needs to be addressed by other sectors of the economy because that matter is outside the purview of the NCC.

Still on broadband infrastructure, Wakil explained that the NCC, having adopted the Open Access Model for enhanced broadband infrastructure deployment, has licensed six out of seven proposed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) to deploy fibre access in all the 774 local government areas (LGAs) of Nigeria.

Speaking about NCC’s preparedness for commercial 5G, Uzoekwe said there is enough spectrum bands that have been identified and can be used for the deployment of 5G.

“Six spectrum bands have been identified, so, I can say we have enough spectrum bands. All we need now is to finalise the re-planing and re-farming, so that those occupying certain spectra can be relocated to other bands,” Uzoekwe said.

Bridging access gaps for 35 million Nigerians

Uzoekwe told the excited audience that the InfraCo Project will help to bridge the 200 access gaps involving some 35 million Nigerians, who have no access to telecom services, as already identified by the Commission.

It will be recalled that in November 2019, the NCC facilitated the first non-commercial Proof of Concept (PoC) trail of 5G network in Nigeria, which was undertaken by MTN, a Mobile Network Operator in Nigeria. That trial was done to demonstrate the possibilities of 5G operations in Nigeria, preparatory to the commercial launch of the service by telecoms operators.

Therefore, the NCC panel session at the #SMWLagos2020, provided an additional opportunity for the Commission to educate Nigerians on its plan about 5G network deployment in the country.

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Ganduje, Dantata reconcile Aliko Dangote, Abdussamad Rabiu

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Aliko Dangote, Aminu Dantata, Abdullahi Ganduje and Abdussamada Rabi'u

Nasiru Yusuf 

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and renowned business mogul, Aminu Alhassan Dantata, Kano Emirate and the Kano State Council of Imams have reconciled  the two illustrious sons of Kano, Aliko Dangote and Abdussamad Isyaka Rabi’u. 

Kano Focus reports that both parties, chairman of Dangote Group of companies and chairman BUA Group of companies, agreed to work together and supply enough sugar to satisfy the demand of the country.

A statement issued by Ganduje’s spokesperson Abba Anwar said the reconciliation meeting took place at Kano Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, Wednesday, which put a stop to all rumours making round that the duo were in dispute over sugar control in the country.

“They all dismissed allegation that Dangote was planning to see to the increase of sugar price, through pressuring BUA to succumb to the increment. They described that allegation as baseless and lacking any iota of truth.

“The meeting was seen as the zenith of other similar efforts to reconcile the two giants by the governor. Alhaji Aminu Alhassan Dantata played the role of a father during the meeting,” the statement added.

Present at the meeting were the Minister for Commerce, Trade and Investment, Mr Niyi Adebayo, representative of the Kano Emirate, Alhaji Aminu Babba Dan Agundi, Chairman of the Council of Kano Imams, Sheikh Muhammad Nasir Adam, the Chief Imam of Sheikh Ahmadu Tijjani Friday Mosque, Kofar Mata, Kano and the Chairman of NEPZA,  Adamu Panda.

All the two business moguls agreed to work together as brothers for the growth and development of the nation at large. Assuring that, henceforth, there would be no differences, that could cause any disharmony between them.

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COEASU FCE (T) Bichi commences one week warning strike over poor leadership in the college

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Comrade Salisu Yunusa

 

Nasiru Yusuf

The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) Federal College of Education (Tech) Bichi has commenced a one week warning strike.

Kano Focus reports that the chairman of the union Muhammad Salisu Yunusa announced this on Tuesday while briefing journalists at Press Centre.

The COEASU chairman has accused the management of the college under Muhammad Bashir Fagge with non remittance of twenty five million Naira deduction made on behalf of the staff multi purpose cooperative society.

According to him as at August 2017, the college management had incurred a debt stock amounting to about eighty million Naira, being the cumulative sum of deductions from staff salaries that were not remitted to the college’s staff cooperative society.

Mr Yunusa alleged that teaching and learning is being conducted under unbearable condition due to dilapidated infrastructure.

He also alleged that the management of the college has failed to pay legitimate staff allowances including 10 months peculiar academic allowance, Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) supervision allowance; teaching practice allowance and series of outstanding payment of the centre for continuing education.

” Academic infrastructures are dilapidating due to lack of maintenance; laboratories, workshops and studios are not functioning optimally due to lack of equipments and consumables.

“Insecurity and lawlessness is alarming due to complacency of the current management of the college; while staff morale is at low level, due to non payment of staff allowances and other statutory entitlements among other pressing issues,” Mr Yunusa alleged.

According to him the college is yet to issue college graduands their Teachers’ Registration Council (TRCN) certificate and National Certificate in Education (NCE) certificates for 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 sessions.

“The failure to issue TRCN certificates to our former students may be viewed by the general public as a corporate fraud, considering the fact that they had paid for the processing of the certificates in advance as part of their NCE III school fees while in college.

“The non-payment of security personnel for about seven months has further threatened the security of lives and properties of the institutions. This situation has culminated in serious theft in the students hostels,” the chairman alleged.

Mr Yunusa called on the appropriate authorities to to prevail on the management of the college to immediately remit this money back to college’s cooperative as soon as possible as failure to to do this will further worsen the welfare condition of some staff, some of whom have invested a larger chunk of their life saving in cooperative society.

“We will never soccumb to the intimidation of ‘No work, no pay’ by the college management until our demands are met,” he said.

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We’ve never added a penny on the price of our products during Ramadan – Dangote 

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Aliko Dangote

By Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The chairman of Dangote Group Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has categorically urged people not to panic over price hike in his products during this Ramadan.

Kano Focus recalled that every Ramadan, sugar is one of the most used substance to prepare varieties of drinks and other edibles, even though it often goes higher than usual that a common man cannot afford to buy.

This problem according to many Muslim faith, is associated with the business people in commodity markets – who purchase such most used substances during the fasting period.

However, Mr Dangote said that he has massively filled markets with sugar across the country to avoid shortage during this Ramadan, which according to him to will not heighten the price of the sugar.

Dangote who spoke through his Manager, Garba Ibrahim El- Suleiman in Kano, says the Company presently has bathed all the markets across the country with products, “because our President, Alhaji Aliko Dangote respects and values month of Ramadan to the level that he has never added a penny on the price of his products during the time.” He added.

“Our dealers also are very good people and we’re rest assured that none of them would be able to take up the price of any product.” Garba said.

Speaking with Salisu Sambajo, one of the Dangote Company’s major Dealers in Nigeria, says there has never been a time when the Dangote increases prices of his products in any parts of the country during Ramadan.

“The price of every bag of sugar we sell is N18,500 only, therefore whenever you find out that a kobo is added to that, it is from the retailers. These people buy goods from us, they pay for transport, tax and many – so when they some amount on it, it is not Dangote that added it…we cannot force them not to.” Sambajo said.

Also, Sabo Dankoli, another dealer of Dangote products explained that they have never experienced a hike in price from Dangote unless in 2020, when there was lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, “and that also was not from Dangote, it’s because the commodities have gone out of store and people started to add money.” He said.

Commending the Dangote Group efforts to ensure that there is no price increase during the fasting period, Chairman of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti- Corruption Commission (PCACC), Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado has thanked Aliko Dangote for taking measures to ensure that his products have not gone out of store or too expensive to consumers during Ramadan.

‘’I was informed that the company has flooded the market with commodities that can last till after the Ramadan period and not only in Kano but across the northern states, ‘’Muhuyi Rimingado said.

‘’That was why we appreciated the company with a letter of Commendation last week. I hope the company will sustain the initiative even after the holy month of Ramadan.’’

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