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FG’s digital economy policy well-conceived, on track – Pantami

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Nasiru Yusuf

The National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 28, 2019, is well-conceived, on track and built on objectives that will boost development of digital skills in both private and public sectors in Nigeria.

Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, stated on Monday at the opening of an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) regulation workshop organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in partnership with the Swedish Post & Telecoms Authority (PTS) – sectoral regulator for posts and telecommunication; and the Swedish Programme for ICT Development in Emerging Regions (SPIDER).

In his opening remark at the three-day workshop taking place at the Communications and Digital Economy Complex (CDEC), Mbora District, Abuja, the Minister stated that the workshop directly resonates with the first, second and seventh items of the eight pillars of the NDEPS.

The three items are developmental regulations, digital literacy and skill acquisition, as well as digital society and emerging technologies respectively.

Participants at the workshop included the staff of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE), NCC, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).

The Minister reiterated that it is high time the country focused more on skills acquisition rather than certification in order to harness and enjoy derivable benefits from the rapid advancement in the ICT. He enjoined the participants to maximise the opportunity of the workshop to horn their digital skills for effective regulations of the ICT industry.

Dr Pantami commended the Swedish government for its support in hosting the capacity building for the ICT industry regulators in Nigeria.

Earlier, Carl-Michael Grans, the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, who has concurrent accreditation to Ghana, Cameroon and ECOWAS, told participants that the workshop was a follow-up to one which held in November 2019, in Stockholm, Sweden. He stated that the focus is to explore how new technologies can best be used to improve the society.

Reflecting on the history of communications technology, Grans said ever since Ericsson opened an office in Sweden in 1876 to address the challenges of telegraphy, successive Swedish authorities have tapped into advancement in ICT to enhance the growth and development of the Swedish society.

According to him, Sweden is recognised today as a global flagship in the deployment of ICT for development. He said in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, Sweden is seen as a leader in digitisation because ICT has played a significant role in the advancement of the Swedish society.

“This leadership is usually measured in digital competence, digital innovation, digital security, digital infrastructure and digital management,” he said.

Mr Grans, who was accompanied by other partners including Kerston Borgon, Director, SPIDER; Peter Ogundele, Director, Ericsson; Dr. Bo. Andersson, Chief Economist, PTS; and Fredrik Kapper, Senior Policy Adviser, International Affairs at the Swedish Embassy, also stated that across the world, the challenges of ICT deployment are basically the same with the most challenging ones being “rural infrastructure management and cybersecurity.” He, therefore, enjoined participants to be mindful of the challenges as they participate in the workshop.

Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, NCC, emphasised the significance of the workshop in the context of the recently-unveiled NDEPS and the new National Broadband Plan 2020-2024 which, he said, would soon be unveiled by the Minister.

He enjoined the participants to give the workshop rapt attention because their participation constitutes “the fulcrum of all the vision of the government for digital literacy and skills acquisition.” Akande thanked PTS, SPIDER and the Government of Sweden for the significant assistance.

Prof. Umar Dambatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, noted that Nigeria is going through the process of digital transformation and that it is a learning curve that the country must accomplish. “I, therefore, thank the PTS. SPIDER, the Swedish Government and of course, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital economy for supporting the Commission in making this capacity-building workshop a reality.”

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AIG orders investigation of Policeman seen voting in Kano APC Congress

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Aminu Abdullahi

The Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone Abubakar Sadiq Bello has ordered the investigation of unprofessional conduct of a policeman caught on camera voting during state congress of All progressive Congress (APC) in Kano.

KANO FOCUS reportsthat in view of the unprofessional conduct of the policeman, the AIG has referred the matter to the Zonal X-Squad for investigation.

A statement issued on Monday by Zonal Police Public Relations Officer Abubakar Zayyanu identified the police officer as Bashir Mohammed attached to the government house, Kano, from where he was deployed to work with the state Chairman of APC Abdullahi Abbas as a security aide.

Mr Zayyanu noted that if the inspector is found to have committed an offence by this action, the appropriate disciplinary measure will be taken against him.

He further assured the general public that further development on the matter will be communicated.

The statement reads in part.

“The attention of the Inspector-General of Police Zone one Headquarters, Kano has been drawn to a trending picture on social media, of an inspector of police casting vote at the recently conducted Kano State congress of the APC along with his principal, the state party chairman, Abdullahi Abbas.

“The inspector of police has been identified as Bashir Mohammed of the Special Protection Unit, Base One, Kano. The inspector is attached to the government house, Kano from where he was deployed to work with the said Abdullahi Abbas as a security aide.

“In view of this seemingly unprofessional conduct of the inspector, the AIG has referred the matter to the Zonal X-Squad for investigation.

“If the inspector is found to have committed a disciplinary offence by this action, the appropriate disciplinary measure will be taken against him.

“Finally,  we want assure members of the public that further development on the matter will be communicated please.”

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EFCC Grills Rabiu Kwankwaso

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Rabiu Kwankwaso

Nasiru Yusuf

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Saturday grilled former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso over allegations of abuse of office, diversion of public funds and fraudulent allocation of government properties to cronies.

KANO FOCUS reports that Kwankwaso, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, was first invited by the EFCC in September but failed to honour the invitation as reported by Channels TV.

An associate of the politician informed Channels Television that Kwankwanso may have been invited in relation to a petition by some retired employees of the Kano State Government.

The retired employees had told the EFCC that the former governor mismanaged pension remittances to the tune of N10 billion between 2011 and 2015, to fund a housing project for his cronies.

EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren did not comment on the interrogation of the former governor when contacted on Saturday.

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Crisis rocks Kano APC as Ganduje, Shekarau hold parallel Congress

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Aminu Abdullahi

Crisis rocked Kano chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC), as Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and faction loyal to former governor of Kano and serving Senator Ibrahim Shekarau held parallel state congress.

KANO FOCUS reports that while Ganduje group held their congress at Sani Abacha stadium, faction loyal to Shekarau had their own at Janguza town, Tofa local government area.

Ganduje’s led group endorsed Abdullahi Abbas as state chairman of APC for a second term in a consensus arrangement, while the faction loyal to Shekarau announced Ahmadu Haruna Zago as newly elected chairman of APC in Kano state.

Reports shows that the security have earlier disrupted Shekarau’s camp congress at Sani Abacha youth centre and sealed the premises before they moved to Janguza where they held the election.

Below are some pictures of the parallel Congress.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje while voting at Sani Abacha stadium

 

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje with APC chieftains

 

Delegates at Sani Abacha stadium

Ballot box

Factional chairman of Kano APC Ahmadu Haruna Zago

Ahmadu Haruna Zago and Abdilkadir Jobe

APC factional congress at Janguza

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