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Pantami seeks Sweden’s support for broadband infrastructure

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has appealed to Swedish government to support Nigeria’s quest to deploy more robust broadband infrastructure in the country, for economic growth and prosperity.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria in Abuja, Carl-Michael Grans, Dr. Pantami, who was represented by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said Nigeria has embarked on a digital transformation journey and efforts are ongoing to ensure evacuation of the massive data capacity at landing points to the hinterland.

“We have a plan to move the massive capacity from the landing point to hinterland. To do that, we know we have to put in place the necessary infrastructure that will facilitate it. We would, therefore, like the Swedish Government to buy into this great idea of deploying this massive broadband infrastructure which is fibre-driven,” he observed.

According to him, the project will see quantum access of 10gbps in each of the 774 local governments of the country.

“We appreciate the important intervention that you are giving to this country, especially to this sector of the economy we are managing on behalf of the Federal Government. The statistics are there for all to see. The broadband penetration, for instance, is about 40 percent but this is 40 percent of close to 200 million people, which translates to about 80 million Nigerians having access to high-speed internet together with the volume associated with broadband networks,” he explained.

The Minister, however, noted that as the country’s population is close to 200 million and the government would not rest on its laurels until all of them have access to high-speed internet as well as the volume associated with the network.

On the internet penetration, Dr. Pantami observed that figures recently released by the NCC indicate that almost 125 million Nigerians have access, but lamented that close to 31 million Nigerians are still within unserved and underserved areas.

Nigeria achieved its five-year National Broadband target of 30 percent, in December 2018 and since then the level of penetration has remained steady.

It could be recalled that the broadband penetration was less than 6 percent when President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Prof Danbatta as the chief executive officer of the NCC.

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Shekarau advocates power shift to south

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Nasiru Yusuf

A former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, has urged the All Progressive Congress (APC) to field a southerner as its presidential candidate in 2023.

Ibrahim Shekarau says political power shift is necessary for all Nigerians to have a sense of belonging.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Shekarau, who is a serving senator, spoke in an interview with BBC Hausa Service on Wednesday. He said the idea is to ensure justice and fairness.

According to him, although rotational presidency is not written in APC’s constitution, he believes it is desirable for justice and fairness.

“For instance, the present six geopolitical zones are not reflected in Nigeria’s constitution, but it is a good arrangement. You cannot implement any policy in Nigeria without taking geopolitical zones into consideration.

“This is also the same with rotating the presidency between the North and the South. If we ignore power shift, we are not being fair to ourselves and we are not fair to history. In my opinion, power shift is necessary for all Nigerians to have a sense of belonging.

“I am of the opinion that, we should exercise patience and bring our brothers from the South close to us.

“You see, the North alone cannot produce the votes enough for the president. Likewise the South, it is only when we come together. My believe is not only geopolitical regions, there is no state in the federation that does not have a competent person to lead this country.

“Violating this arrangement will further divide Nigerians. Some will feel neglected or rejected,” Mr Shekarau said.

On the possibility of the opposition party fielding a northern candidate, the politician said both the PDP and APC face the same dilemma. “Each is trying to outsmart the other.

“My advice to the parties (APC and PDP) is they should not look at zoning from political exploitation, but what should be just and fair. Fair play and competence of the candidate should be the be the guiding principle,” he said.

Commenting on the defection of some politicians to the APC, Mr Shekarau described it as a remarkable success worthy of celebration.

He said: “within the last two months, two governors have defected to APC. It is quite a success. There are also groups and individuals who joined the party.

“However, there is a need to conduct congresses and elect party officials from the ward to national levels. There is also a need to set up a modality of how to spread political appointments across the country

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Kano gets 3,148 new polling units

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expanded the polling units in Kano state from 8,074 to 11,222 to create easy access to polling units.

Kano Focus reports that the INEC chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu revealed this to journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.

Mr Yakubu revealed that Kano Central has 1,978 more polling units while Kano South and Kano North have 658 and 513 respectively.

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The 10 local governments that have the highest number of additional polling units are Nassarawa 334, Kumbotso 220, Gwale 207, Tarauni 207, and Ungoggo 179.

Others are Dala 163, Fagge 163, Kano Municipal 160, Danbatta 94, and Dawakin Kudu 92.

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Nigerian Navy to establish desert warfare institute in Kano

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Chief of Naval Staff CNS Real Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, has agreed to move Desert Warfare Institute to Kano.

KANO FOCUS reports that this was disclosed by, Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Navy, COR Ezekobe

when he led a delegation to governor Ganduje at his office, in Kano, Wednesday, to brief the governor about development so far.

He said “We are here to actualize the fruitful engagement we had when His Excellency visited us on the 3rd of June. He Chief of Naval Staff directed me to lead this team in actualising some of the promises made to you when you visited the Naval headquarters.”

“Our project standing on 12 hectares of land, is a multi-purpose project. We are moving our Desert Warfare of our Special unit to Kano Your Excellency. This unit is highly trained in both United States of America and Britain. And they are recognized to be of best performance.”

“This is where we will use for a garment industry and other things that will be of significant benefit to the society.”

“We would like to develop a Barack, so that when the need arises we can defend ourselves and also the state. That will definitely help in improving the security of the state in particular and the nation in general.”

He requested that, the Chief of Naval Staff would want to deliver a lecture on Maritime in either Bayero University, Kano, for people here up North to understand the activities of the Nigerian Navy in the national scheme of things.

Ezkobe, a rear admiral in Nigerian Navy, requested another piece of land on behalf of the Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) for the establishment of hospital in the state.

“Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) is desirous of establishing a 200-bedded hospital in Kano. We also need to get a piece of land for this effort to see the light of the day,” he requested.

“Your Excellency we witnessed the tremendous development in your state. This is highly commendable Sir,” he concluded.

In his response, governor Ganduje appreciated the speed of the process for the visibility of the Nigerian Navy in the state, appreciating that, “We are so happy to have you here. I can see that the return match is so quick. This shows the level of seriousness from your part.”

“Your presence in Kano will definitely boost the morale of our youth in joining the Nigerian Navy. It will also improve our security of the state generally,” he stated.

“We are very much ready for all the requests you came with pertaining this and other projects for the development of the state. And for improving the security of our dear state. We are always ready.”

Concerning the Chief of Naval State Conference, Ganduje said the state would always be ready to see to the realisation of the proposed Conference, adding that, “For the Conference we will create an enabling environment for it to hold.”

“We will also facilitate for the proposed Maritime lecture by the Chief of Naval Staff in one of our universities. There is no doubt about this. Tell him he is always welcome.”

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