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NCC to set up ICT parks to promote economy

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NCC-building

Nasiru Yusuf

Nigeria’s independent telecoms regulatory authority, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has embarked on the building of six Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Parks to promote socio-economic transformation of Nigeria.

A statement sent to KANOFOCUS on Sunday by Director, Public Affairs Nigerian Communications Commission, Henry Nkemadu said the ICT Parks are to provide Innovation Labs and Digital Fabrication Laboratories (Fablabs) for use by ICT innovators and entrepreneurs to develop business ideas.

The ICT parks could provide a commercial hub for ICT capacity building and digital skills; create employment and entrepreneurial activities; and facilitate smart city deployment across the digital industrial complex.

According to the statement, the ICT Parks Project involves the construction and equipping of fully-functional Tier-4 Digital Industrial Complex (DIC) in each of the six geo-political zones across the country.

It added that the project concept is designed to support Federal Government’s ICT–related policies by facilitating the availability and accessibility of ICT services across the country and promoting their usage across all sectors.

The statement further explained that the ICT Park consists of laboratories for ICT innovations and Commercial Hubs providing capacity building to ICT startups and entrepreneurial activities. The Parks are designed to have fast internet service (broadband) and constant power supply.

Commenting on the initiative at the weekend, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Umar Dambatta, said the Commission embarked on the project in all the six geo-political zones of the country with a view to building capacity for the Nigerian teaming youths in the area of skill acquisition and innovation to join existing initiatives towards accelerating socio-economic transformation of Nigeria.

“The whole idea of putting these two things (i.e. skill acquisition and innovation) at the forefront of this very important initiative is to produce youths that can be self-reliant, generate employment for themselves and for other Nigerians,” he said.

He said the Commission is starting the project with four ICT parks in Abeokuta for the South-West; Enugu for the South-East; Maiduguri for the North-East and Kano for the North-West, all of which are currently at different levels of implementation while the ones for North-Central and South-South are in the offing.

Mr Dambatta, who stated that the project commissioning would take place at different times, possibly starting from end of this year, assured that, based on its national spread structure, no part of the country will be left out as beneficiaries of the initiative.

“The NCC ICT Parks Project is another move by the current leadership of the Commission to boost youth digital skills acquisition, promote innovations, provide jobs for the teaming Nigerian youths and ultimately support the overall digital economy agenda of the Federal Government,” Mr Dambatta said.

Speaking on the expected tech products to be produced from the ICT Parks, Mr Dambatta said: “Going forward, we hope to see software development, incubation and hardware development coming out from the ICT Parks. We also hope to see innovative applications that will leverage the broadband network, which the Commission is deepening in order to socially and economically transform our communities and societies.”

Mr Dambatta urged the potential and would-be beneficiaries of the project, especially the youths to be ready to leverage the initiative, once ready, to empower themselves socially and economically.

“I would like to send out a very important message to our youths, especially those who are currently occupied with various innovative applications and those who have acquired the skills but are looking for where to put the skills to fruitful engagements, by incubating them, commercialising them, or giving publicity to these excellent initiatives, to be ready to leverage these facilities,” he stated.

The EVC added that there is going to be a centre in the ICT Parks to showcase the various initiatives by the youths in areas of apps, various software products developed and other innovations not only to local investors but also to the global investment community.

An ICT park comprises an area or location with concentration of ICT facilities which enable a concerted leap into the digital age by creating a dynamic environment in which local talent is incubated, cultivated, and shared. ICT parks are best tested and trusted institutional mechanisms to address the needs of technology-intensive, knowledge-based Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

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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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