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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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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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