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NCC’s TVWS framework will enhance delivery of digital economy – Pantami

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Nasiru Yusuf

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has said that the Television White Space (TVWS) framework being developed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), under the ministry’s supervision, will enhance the delivery of the digital economy agenda of the Federal Government.

The Minister stated this during the Industry Stakeholder Forum on the Guidelines on the use of TVWS in Nigeria, organised by the Commission at its Head Office in Abuja on Tuesday.

The programme was attended by several stakeholders, including the representatives of telecoms companies, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), officials from the Ministries of Communications and Digital Economy, and Information and Culture, as well as collaborating agencies in both Ministries.

The Chairman of NCC Board of Commissioners, Prof. Adeolu Akande also led his colleagues on the Board to the forum which was attended by many other professionals from all walks of life, who gathered to make necessary inputs towards finalising the draft TVWS Guidelines.

The TVWS is the unused broadcasting spectrum which can be deployed to provide affordable broadband services to people at the grassroots.

Addressing the audience at the forum, Pantami said the TVWS Guidelines is in sync with the objective of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari in November last year.

The Minister noted that TVWS issue came up “as a result of a resolution by the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) in which NCC and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) were urged to work together by setting up an inter-agency committee that will ensure the deployment and usage of the spectrum for TVWS.”

Dr. Pantami stated that TVWS is domiciled with NBC and can be used in bringing affordable broadband services to unserved and under-served areas and that it is part of the mandate of NCC to ensure universal access to telecoms services.

“It is because of this that NFMC urged both to work together for the effective utilisation of TVWS, which also supports the expanded mandate of the Ministry towards advancing government’s vision of promoting digital economy. In fact, the framework directly addresses two of the eight pillars of NDEPS, which are pillar one and three focusing on developmental regulations, and solid infrastructure, which has broadband access as a central component,” he said.

Dr. Pantami commended the efforts of NCC and NBC for complying with the rule-making process by organising the stakeholder forum to take inputs before finalising work on the TVWS regulations.

The Minister, however, charged the regulator “not to go to sleep” in constantly developing subsidiary regulations as may be necessary, in view of the fast-paced advancement in the global ICT industry.

Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of Commissioners, who commended the Honourable Minister for his support, said the Board of NCC will continue to provide necessary policy directions to the Commission for effective regulations of the telecoms industry.

He stated further that countries such as the United States of America, Singapore, United Kingdom, Canada, Kenya, Namibia and South Africa, have made significant progress towards the optimisation, utilisation and regulation of TVWS, and Nigeria will do so too. He promised that the Board will support the NCC in ensuring that Nigeria is counted on the list of such countries.

Earlier, Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, told the stakeholders that the forum was organised specifically to discuss the use of TVWS at finalising the draft Guidelines on the deployment of this technology, in line with the Commission’s commitment towards bridging the digital divide between different strata and sectors of the society.

“A draft of the Regulatory Framework has been concluded and as usual, we have invited you all to this meeting today to present what has been a result of a whole year of hard work, collaboration and consultations, to you for your comments and feedback on the draft document. This will lead to its eventual finalisation and operationalisation,” the EVC said.

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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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