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Senate confirms reappointment of Danbatta as NCC Boss

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NCC EVC Profile Picture

Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Senate has officially confirmed the nomination of Umar Garba Danbatta for reappointment as the Executive Vice and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Kano Focus reports that the Senate confirmed Danbatta during its plenary on Tuesday, following the consideration of the report of Oluremi Tinubu-led Senate Committee on Communications.

Presenting the report, Opeyemi Bamidele, a member of the committee, said Mr Danbatta met the requirements expected of him.

“The committee met and carried out the screening exercise and the nominee responded well.”

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“That the Senate do confirm the appointment of Umar Danbatta as the executive vice-chairman and chief executive officer (CEO).” The senator said.

Mr Danbatta was confirmed after the Senate resolved into Committee of the Whole and his nomination was put to a voice vote.

Mr Danbatta had, on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, appeared before the Senate Screening Committee and gave impressive accounts of his stewardship as the country’s chief telecoms regulator in the last five years.

The EVC’s appearance before the Senate following his nomination for reappointment as the umpire for the telecom industry for another five years by President Muhammad Buhari on June 5, 2020.

Mr Danbatta was appointed, in the first instance, for a five-year term in office as the NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, on August 4, 2015 and was subsequently confirmed by the Senate on November 25, 2015.

With the Senate confirmation, Danbatta has received a vote confidence to continue to steer the regulatory activities of the countries over $70 billion telecommunications industry for another five years towards fast-tracking Federal Government agenda on digital economy development.

Mr Danbatta’s visionary leadership has been hinged on NCC’ Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) for the fiscal years 2015-2020, focused on the 8-Point Agenda, the effective implementation of which has led to impressive broadband penetration which rose from a mere 6.0 percent in 2015 to 40.14 per cent in May, 2020.

Active Internet subscriptions also increased from 93 million to over 141 million currently during the period.

The number of active telephone subscribers also rose from 150 million in 2015 to 192.32 million in May 2020 with teledensity currently standing at 100.72 percent, following  the rebasing the teledensity to 91 percent in March, 2019.

The increase in broadband penetration, Internet usage, number of access to telephone and several other initiatives by the Commission, especially in the areas of driving tech innovations, creating employment, promoting digital inclusiveness, have helped improve the sectors’   Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution from 8.50 percent in 2015 to over 11 per cent currently, with a lot of digital activities taking place in all the sectors of the economy.

Mr Danbatta is set to consolidate the modest achievements of the past five years by focusing on broadband penetration, consumer protection and empowerment, efficient resource utilization, and facilitation of fibre infrastructure deployment.

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Kano is the biggest sesame market in Nigeria – Ganduje

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Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje

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.

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.

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.

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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Abduljabbar Kabara: Lawyers demand audiovisual evidence as government amends charges

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Aminu Abdullahi

Lawyers defending Kano cleric Abduljabbar Kabara over blasphemy and incitement charges have urged the court to compel the prosecution to present audiovisual and documentary evidence.

KANO FOCUS recalls that Mr Kabara has been arraigned before an Upper Sharia Court at Kofar Kudu, Kano City presided by Ibrahim Sarki Yola.

Mr. Kabara’s lead counsel Sale Muhammad Bakaro entered the plea at the resumed sitting of the court on Wednesday morning.

He petitioned the court to compel the prosecution to present its evidence in the next sitting.

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Meanwhile prosecuting counsel Aisha Muhammad pleaded for an adjournment to enable the Kano state government to amend the charges presented in the First Information Report.

The presiding judge Mr Yola adjourned the trial to August 18, 2021.

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