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AYA applauds NCC boss Dambatta over achievements

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NCC EVC Umar Danbatta

Nasiru Yusuf

The Arewa Youth Assembly (AYA), a socio-cultural Northern group in Nigeria, has rated Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta high in his stewardship as the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission since 2015.

The group made this known in a statement issued in Abuja at the weekend, where it adjudged Dambatta’s performance as having more strategically positioned the NCC to be at the forefront of accelerating socio-economic development of the country.

In the statement, signed by its Speaker, Mohammed Danlami, the group said it has undertaken an assessment of Danbatta’s achievements since his appointment as the EVC of NCC on August 4, 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari and subsequently confirmed on November 25, 2015 by the Senate, for a five-year term in office at the first instance, subject to renewal for a second term by the President in line with the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003.

Mr Danladi highlighted the key achievements of Danbatta, which, he said, have further consolidated the growth already recorded in the industry and prepared a more fertile ground for the country to experience accelerated socio-economic development leveraging telecoms platforms.

According to him, “Through his 8-Point Agenda, as a five-year clear roadmap for his first term, Danbatta has ensured more Nigerians are now connected on 3G and 4G with over 72 million Nigerians on these broadband networks. Also, he pioneered the trial 5G network in 2019, which are future frontiers in digital communications. Danbatta also introduced the 2442 Do-Not-Disturb (DND) short code 2016 to tackle the menace of unsolicited telemarketing for the citizens.

“Also, the Commission, under Danbatta, issued a direction to service providers on Data Roll-Over, enabling consumers to roll over unused data for period of time, ranging from 1 day to 7 days, depending on the data plan, among other consumer- centric directives.”

The youth group said another portion of the agenda that stood out was how Danbatta revolutionised stakeholder engagement. “From Ogun State, where Danbatta used his clout to ensure 47 base stations were immediately unsealed by Governor Ibikunle Amosun, to Kano State, where over N200 million was waived on levies, to Kogi State, where where 120 base station sites were reopened in 2018, Danbatta energy and proactive strategy are in display,” the AYA Speaker said.

Speaking further, the youth group said in the area of strategic collaboration, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Danbatta and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CNB), Godwin Emefiele, with a view to boosting mobile money service penetration and financial inclusion in the country has also struck a chord. “With this development, there’s permeating optimism that the country will be able to deepen the inclusion to 80 per cent by 2020.”

Nonetheless, the AYA said that the inter-agency partnership between the two giant regulators has also born another fruit, saving a major service provider, 9mobile, from imminent collapse while Danbatta has also ensured the successful listing of telecoms companies, MTN and Airtel on the Nigerians Stock Exchange (NSE) making Nigerians to have ownership shares in the companies.

“Under his leadership, as NCC boss, Professor Danbatta ensured the completion of Emergency Communications Centres (ECCs) across the country to promote and enhance public safety through a toll-free, three-digit number, ‘112’, as the Universal Emergency Communications telephone number in Nigeria,” he said, adding that “the toll-free number can help distressed persons access help from the Police, Road Safety Corps, Civil Defence Corps, Fire and Ambulance Services and emergency responders.”

Mr Danlami also noted that Dambatta has introduced many regulatory frameworks such as the E-waste Regulations, Commercial Satellite Regulations, Disaster Recovery Guidelines, VAS Aggregator Licence Framework, and National Roaming Framework, which is still being worked on, among several others.

Mr Danlami also maintained that in the last five years, access to telecoms service has increased from around 150 million to 186 million; Internet subscribers increased from about 80 million to close to 130 million; broadband penetration rose from six per cent to close to 40 percent.

He noted that telecoms contributions to gross domestic product (GDP) has also increased from 8 percent to 11 percent, quality of service has improved, cases of unsolicited text messages have been curtailed while many initiatives have been put in place under Danbatta for adequate consumer protection.

“For us at AYA, we are happy that Danbatta is contributing immensely to socio-economic development of Nigeria in all spheres. Aside his leadership qualities and sagacity, he is an embodiment of humility and an epitome of good leadership. He was born to make the world a great place and he has lived up to that assignment at NCC.

“In terms of staff welfare and development, he has written his name in Gold. We are confident that posterity will forever recognise him as major contributor to the growth of Nigeria’s economy through effective and innovative regulation of the digital ecosystem to propel overall national development,” he said in the statement.

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Kano missing children: Court convicts Paul Owne 104 Years

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano State High Court has sentenced Paul Owne to 104 years without option of fine for abducting under five children and sold them in Onitsha, Anambra state.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Owne was reported to have conspired with six others in committing the crime.

Delivering the judgement on Friday Justice Zuwaira Yusuf sentenced the convict after pleaded guilty to all his 38 count charge against him by Kano State Government.

The court upheld that the convict was found guilty in count 2, 8, 9, 2, 27 and 34 therefore convicted him to 7 years each without option of fine in addition with the sum of N100,000 fine.

Similarly, the court found Owne guilty in count 3, 5, 10, 11, 22, 28 and 38 head count he was sentenced to 7 years.

Mrs Yusuf said the action of Owne was in contravention of count 4, 12, 13, 29 and 38, she convicted him to 4 years on each count without option of fine.

She ordered that all the count shall run Consecutively.

The 5 other defendants who pleaded not guilty to all the charges read over to them namely: Ogbono, Emanuel Igwe, Loise Duru, Monica Oracha and Chinelo Ifedigwe.

Kano Focus reports that the Kano Police Command had rescued nine missing children and paraded six Igbo persons who have confessed to abducting the kids, renaming and forcefully converting them to Christianity before selling them in Onitsha, Anambra state.

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Kano is the biggest sesame market in Nigeria – Ganduje

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Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna

Nasiru Yusuf

Governor Dr.Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has said that Kano with its commercial potentials being the biggest agricultural commodity hub in Africa is also the biggest Sesame market in Nigeria.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Governor represented by his Deputy Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna stated this on thursday in Kano while declaring open a Sesame seed conference with the theme “Developing the Sesame seed value chain for sustainable growth” organised by the National Sesame Seed Association in collaboration with Kano State Government.

Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna

According to him the conference will create an avenue for stakeholders in the industry to identify the most effective ways to promote value chain development in the Sesame seed sector and to also discuss mutually beneficial trade opportunity so as to improve economic development and livelihood of smallholder farmers.

The Governor described sesame seed as the most sought cash crop in terms of export value in Nigeria, being one of the fastest growing sectors due to its foreign exchange earning and as a main source of income for about 5 million smallholder farmers.

He however assured that his administration is committed to towards enhancing the production of sesame both in terms of quantity and quality through financing,improved techniques and productivity.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Sabo Nanono in his remarks highlighted the interventions given to the National Sesame Seed Association in the development of the sub-sector include the distribution of high yielding black,white and brown variety sesame seeds to boost productivity.

Alhaji Sabo Nanono

Similarly, he said 20 sesame cleaning machines were also distributed, in addition 2 model sesame processing centres were established in Nassarawa and Kano States respectively.

On her part, the Minister of state for Industries,Trade and Investment Maryam Katagum represented by a Deputy Director Irimiya Kaura explained that the ministry is committed towards providing enabling environment that will enhance the competitiveness of Nigerian agricultural commodities in the global trade.

She also revealed that in continuation of developing sesame seed,the ministry is implementing a robust agribusiness and industry development initiative to draw investment to the non oil sector in the country.

Speaking earlier the President of the National Sesame Seed Association of Nigeria, Sherif Balogun stated that for the past 5years they have been working assiduously to promote the sesame seed value chain as well as increasing the production from 300,000 metric tons to over 500,000 tons.

He therefore called on the public to engage in massive sesame production and processing in order to benefit from government policies like the Anchor Borrowers Programme.

While appreciating the Kano State Government for partnering with them in organising the conference,he also commended Governor Ganduje for his support and effort towards making Kano a destination for agribusiness investment.

Munir Babba Dan’agundi

The event was attended by the Jigawa State Commissioner of Agriculture Muhammad Alhassan who represented Governor Badaru Abubakar, Chaiman House of Representatives Committee on Agricultural Institutions Mannir Babba Dan’ agundi and other stakeholders.

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Kano refutes trending story on women driving ban

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Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje

Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state government has described as fallacious a trending story on social media platforms on a purported plan to officially disallow women regardless of any faith from getting behind the wheel.

KANO FOCUS reports that the state commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba who made the clarification in a statement issued on Thursday, said government had at no time contemplate on the matter.

He said the story, which could not be traced to any credible source, was nothing but the imaginary thinking of the authors.

“The trending story lacks any credibility and that is why it is wholly attributed to a source that cannot be substantiated,’’ it added.

Mr Garba pointed out that if at all there was such plan, the state government does not have to be involved in any secretive meeting to decide on a critical issue that has to do its teeming populace.

The commissioner stated further that even Saudi Arabia which for decades had laws that sanctioned women from driving has, after all, lifted the ban in 2018.

He said it was interesting that some of the scholars quoted to have supported the alleged ban have already dissociated themselves from the story.

Clerics denied the story

Earlie on Wednesday, some clerics alleged to have floated the ban Salisu Shehu, Abdallah Gadonkaya and Sani Rijiyar Lemo have all refuted the story.

In a text message sent to KANO FOCUS Shehu described the story as ‘completely false and mischief.’

“It is completely false. It is a mischief. I think some wicked people are desperate about causing unnecessary confusion, controversies and disaffection among Kano Scholars,” he said.

Rijiyar Lemo alleged that the story was concocted by Shiites who were not happy with the outcome of clerics debate with controversial Kano preacher Abduljabbar Kabara.

“Our attention has been drawn to a fake news in circulation, claiming that some ulama in Kano, including my humble self, have tabled a plan to stop women from driving in the state.

“This story, in all certainty, was hatched and being peddled by some Shi’ite elements, who are not happy with the outcome of AbdulJabbar’s saga.

“You are urged to discard this false story. May the Almighty protect us from the evils of our enemies,” Rijiyar Lemo said.

Gadonkaya, on a Facebook post described the story as ‘fake news’.

“I, Abdullah Usman Umar Gadon Kaya strongly say that this is a fake news. I don’t have any hands in it. It’s the act of enemies who want to  crack peace in our dear state (Kano) and Nigeria at large,” Gadonkaya said.

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