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Telecommunications contributes N2.3trn to GDP

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Nasiru Yusuf

Despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria’s telecommunications and information services sectors have contributed N2.3 trillion or 14.30% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2020.

Kano Focus reports that the data released by National Bureau of Statistics show that the contribution of the sector translates to N2.272 trillion, up from N1.821 trillion in the first quarter of the year.

This, according to NBS figures indicates an increase of 31.43 per cent.

While the entire Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry recorded 17.83 per cent in the second quarter, the 14.30 per cent contribution of the telecoms sub-sector was unprecedented, far and above oil and gas, and other non-oil sectors’.

Checks showed that, in 2015, telecoms’ contribution to GDP stood at eight per cent and has grown significantly quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year to reach the current milestone of 14.30 per cent.

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Meanwhile, industry stakeholders attributed the second quarter contribution of telecoms sector, which represents a leap from the 10.88 per cent in Q1 2020, to the sound regulatory environment enthroned by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The stakeholders, including the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, (ATCON), Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators (ALTON), and the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), who spoke with Journalists on the matter, commended the regulatory framework driving the digital frontiers in the last five years.

The ALTON Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, thanked all industry players for their resilience and consistency of purpose.

Adebayo hinged the growth on so many factors including the investor friendly policy and regulatory environment championed by the leadership of NCC, commitment of all stakeholders, consistent investment on network maintenance and expansion, and sacrifice by sector operators.

To sustain this growth, the ALTON Chairman said the country should continue to invest in network expansion and maintenance operations, access to foreign exchange to procure network critical equipment, consistency in policy and policy environment.

Mr Adebayo said there should be access to spectrum and friendly policies around its allocation, assignment and cooperation between the stakeholders.

ATCON President, Olusola Teniola, said: “telecoms industry has remained bullish owing to the quality of leadership at the helm of affairs at the Commission.”

He added that NCC had become reference point in telecoms regulatory ecosystem in Africa and beyond.

In the same vein, President of National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS) Adeolu Ogunbajo, said the proactive regulatory approach of Danbatta has helped made telecoms “the oxygen that keeps economic activities afloat during the lockdowns and consumers are appreciative of the fact that the Commission, working with its supervising Ministry, didn’t allow consumer to suffer serious disruption to quality of service and quality of experience.”

Checks showed that effective regulatory regime, backed by various initiatives of the Commission and efforts of the supervising Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy at addressing industry challenges, is providing the needed digital valves that have supported the economy from collapse, since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

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, employment creation, promotion of digital inclusiveness, which are policy directions of NCC, an industry regulator, have, in the last five years, boosted the sector’s contribution to GDP.

These policy activities have also enhanced growth of digital-based activities across other sectors of economy increasing efficiency and effectiveness in economic operations.

Speaking recently at the Commission’s first virtual telecoms consumer parliament (VTCP), the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta, noted that the NCC, ensured has always been innovative and proactive in its regulatory activities by ensuring that the economy remains afloat despite the restrictions occasioned by the pandemic.

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Photo News: Emir Sanusi visits Sultan of Sokoto

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Aminu Abdullahi

The former Emir of Kano has on Monday paid a courtesy visit to Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar lll.

Kano Focus reports that the pictures of the visit were published on a Facebook page linked to former Emir named ‘Sanusi ll Dynasty’.

Though the reason of the visit was not stated, but the former Emir has paid similar visit to Lamido of Adamawa in his capacity as leader of Tijjaniyya sect in Nigeria.

Emir Muhammad Sanusi ll

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Kano to revive bilateral relationship with Pakistan

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Aminu Abdullahi

Kano State Government has expressed commitment to revive the long existing relationship with Pakistan.

KANO FOCUS reports that Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje gave the assurance on monday while receiving the Pakistani High Commissioner to Nigeria Muhammad Tayyab Azam at the Government House.

Ganduje represented by his deputy Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna said Kano endowed with lots of potentials is open for people to come and invest, particularly those from Pakistan.

“We are happy for showing commitment towards reviving the long relationship between us. I can remember the partnership we have in the engagement of Pakistani teachers in our schools which has yielded a lot today.”

“Even in the area of agricultural mechanization we have partnered with Pakistan especially in the supply of tractors to our farmers,therefore I feel if we continue to explore agriculture it will be beneficial to both Kano and Pakistan”.

The Governor also commended Pakistan for showing interest in reviving the bilateral relationship with Kano State.

In his remarks the Pakistani High Commissioner Muhammad Tayyab Azam described the visit to Kano as historic and important being the first state he visited since assuming office.

“I know the importance of Kano as hub of business in Nigeria, after Lagos Kano is next where there is business opportunity”.

“There was a time in Kano when most schools   have many Pakistani teachers..my aim is to bring back that relationship”.

He however pointed out that Kano and Pakistan have similarities in both values and culture therefore it is important to deepen the relationship so as to sustain the partnership in  the areas of health and agriculture as that will create opportunities for our people towards boosting the economy.

The High Commissioner was accompanied during the visit by Pakistani Consul General in Kano Ahmed Ibrahim Yakasai.

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ACF revives Kano chapter

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Aminu Abdullahi

The Arewa Consultative Forum ( ACF) has resuscitated it Kano State chapter and nominated a 14- member Interim Executive Committee to run its affairs for the next six months.

Kano Focus reports that the Forum has mandated the new leadership to organise a general congress that may elect a new council.

A statement issued on Monday by the publicity secretary of the Forum Bello Sani Galadanchi reported that at the inaugural ceremony presided by a member of ACF Board of Trustees, Halliru Akilu, the non- partisan voluntary organization also nominated delegates to its National Executive Committee ( NEC) engagements.

Akilu, a retired Brigadier- General, tasked the new leadership to work in unity, and restore all ACF organs and activities for the betterment of our society.

He stressed that the ACF which is apolitical, believes in the unity of the country, but aspires to see the glory of the north restored, and the economic fortunes of the region tapped for the greater benefit of our people and the nation as a whole.

In his acceptance speech, the new Chairman of the ACF Interim Committee, NaShehu Hassan Abubakar thanked the congregation for finding him worthy of the enormous responsibility.

Abubakar, a retired Air Vice Marshall (AVM) assured the ACF National body and people of Kano State of his determination to steer the ship creditably, selflessly and in strict compliance with ACF desire to improve the lot of our people, as well as agitate for their rights.

Other committee members nominated at the ceremony include Aishatu Yakubu Maijama’a (Deputy Chairperson); Shehu Aliyu (Vice- Chairman); Muhammad Mustapha Yahaya (Secretary); Sani Bala Tela (Assistant Secretary); Rabia Hussein Adamu (Treasurer); and Mairo Bello (Assistant Treasurer).

Others   are Mahadi Sadiq Abubakar, (Financial Secretary);  Hafsat Namadi Bebeji (Assistant Financial Secretary); Bello Sani Galadanchi (Publicity Secretary); Tanimu Ibrahim Getso (Assistant  Publicity Secretary); Kabir Mukhtar (Legal Adviser); Muhammad Kabir Haruna (Assistant Legal Adviser); and Azimi Namadi Bebeji (Auditor).

The inaugural ceremony attracted Youth and Women wings of the ACF whose members were nominated into both the executive committee and the NEC.

Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) is apolitical and socio-cultural association of leaders in Northern Nigeria formed in 2000 to protect Northern interest in the political scene.

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