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Pantami, Danbatta call for promotion of indigenous digital solutions

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NCC EVC Profile Picture

Nasiru Yusuf

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami has advocated the need for all stakeholders to join hands with the Ministry and its agencies in promoting the development of indigenous digital solutions.

Kano Focus reports that Mr Pantami made the call during the presentation of N3 million prize money to each of the three promising startups that emerged winners in the COVID-19 Virtual Hackathon organized by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Abuja.

The Virtual Hackathon was initiated by NCC to ignite the Nigerian youths to develop adaptable and innovative digital solutions that can address some of the challenges that have come about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The start-ups who made it to the top three are Elizade University Team, Primed E-Health Solutions and Cyberfleet.

The Elizade University Team’s tech solution is an Automated Temperature Scanner (ATS), a device designed to conduct automatic temperature screening and contact tracing of persons with body temperature above the normal level for human beings.

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Primed E-Health developed a mobile and web solution called SmartClinic, which can link a patient-based mobile health app with a hospital-based information management system while ‘KlassConnect’ by Cyberfleet is an online platform that can be deployed by schools to continue with teaching and learning activities regardless of any health challenges that may prevent face-to-face physical interactions.

Speaking at the event, Mr Pantami commended the leadership of the NCC for embarking on the tech contest.

He said the initiative is in tandem with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) and aligns with the implementation of the Executive Order 003, which aims to promote indigenous content development and patronage in Nigeria.

“No country will develop without taking deliberate decisions to promote its indigenous solutions to solve national problems.

“Through this contest, the NCC has demonstrated its resolve to drive the Ministry’s efforts in leveraging indigenous digital solutions to address challenges thrown up by COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” the Minister said.

The COVID-19 Virtual Hackathon is a follow-up to the first hackathon by the NCC, which culminated in the hosting of an ‘ICT Innovation, Competition/Exhibition Forum’ at the Lagos Campus of Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) in December, 2019.

At the end of the maiden edition, three Startups namely, Quataloog, Wicrypt and Phaheem Nigeria Limited emerged winners.

The annual Hackathon is part of the strategic initiatives of the NCC to promote ICT innovation and investment in the Nigerian telecommunications sector and improve the nation’s competitiveness in the global digital economy.

In his remarks at the ceremony, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC Umar Garba Danbatta, said the hackathon is expected to throw up innovative and adaptable solutions in five thematic areas namely health, community, productivity, economy and education.

Mr Danbatta said the NCC is committed to encourage innovation and has regularly sponsored Nigerian youths with innovative ideas to various competitions organized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and other international bodies.

“The NCC has in the past two years, facilitated similar ICT-based innovations and research competitions among tertiary institutions in the country” he said.

Mr Danbatta added that the NCC is committed to driving indigenous digital innovations to address national challenges.

Director, Research and Development, Henry Nkemadu said the NCC received 282 proposals and shortlisted 56 from which three promising startups emerged winners.

He said the NCC will track the development of their ideas into full-blown products that can be deployed on a commercial basis.

He added that NCC is committed to enabling home-grown digital innovative solutions that improve the quality of lives of the citizenry, create wealth and achieve the overall goals and objectives of the new digital economy agenda of the Federal Government.

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EFCC Grills Rabiu Kwankwaso

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Rabiu Kwankwaso

Nasiru Yusuf

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Saturday grilled former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso over allegations of abuse of office, diversion of public funds and fraudulent allocation of government properties to cronies.

KANO FOCUS reports that Kwankwaso, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, was first invited by the EFCC in September but failed to honour the invitation as reported by Channels TV.

An associate of the politician informed Channels Television that Kwankwanso may have been invited in relation to a petition by some retired employees of the Kano State Government.

The retired employees had told the EFCC that the former governor mismanaged pension remittances to the tune of N10 billion between 2011 and 2015, to fund a housing project for his cronies.

EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren did not comment on the interrogation of the former governor when contacted on Saturday.

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Crisis rocks Kano APC as Ganduje, Shekarau hold parallel Congress

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Aminu Abdullahi

Crisis rocked Kano chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC), as Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and faction loyal to former governor of Kano and serving Senator Ibrahim Shekarau held parallel state congress.

KANO FOCUS reports that while Ganduje group held their congress at Sani Abacha stadium, faction loyal to Shekarau had their own at Janguza town, Tofa local government area.

Ganduje’s led group endorsed Abdullahi Abbas as state chairman of APC for a second term in a consensus arrangement, while the faction loyal to Shekarau announced Ahmadu Haruna Zago as newly elected chairman of APC in Kano state.

Reports shows that the security have earlier disrupted Shekarau’s camp congress at Sani Abacha youth centre and sealed the premises before they moved to Janguza where they held the election.

Below are some pictures of the parallel Congress.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje while voting at Sani Abacha stadium

 

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje with APC chieftains

 

Delegates at Sani Abacha stadium

Ballot box

Factional chairman of Kano APC Ahmadu Haruna Zago

Ahmadu Haruna Zago and Abdilkadir Jobe

APC factional congress at Janguza

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NCC moves to address poor network service at densely populated Kano markets – Prof Danbatta.

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Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

Nasiru Yusuf

 

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) Umar Garba Danbatta says the commission will address the poor network at Kantin Kwari, Sabongari Singer and Kurmi markets.

KANO FOCUS reports that Danbatta announced revealed this while responding to complaint raised by a participant at a two day stakeholders consultative meeting tagged ‘talk to the regulator’ organised by Nigerian Communications Commission in Kano.

The complainer noted that that there is poor telecommunications service in Kantin Kwari, Sabongari, Singer and Kurmi markets in Kano metropolitan area.

Danbatta responded that the commission will deploy investigative team to determine the nature of the problem and proffer solution.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

“We have the capacity to monitor the performance of MNOs, that is the most important thing. Because of this valid observation by our stakeholder, we are going to direct our searchlight in those areas where we think the quality of service needs to improve.

“And if it is necessary, we will send the investigative team what is the nature of the quality of service in such places with a view to improve the quality of the service,” Danbatta said.

The Executive Vice Chairman explained that the commission considers stakeholder feedback “as a critical component of our forward – looking regulatory model.”

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta with senior management staff of NCC

“Hence, the overarching objective of this forum is to get direct feedback from our licensees on how we, as a regulator, are meeting your expectations, and on areas where we can improve our regulatory service, particularly those that have to do with licensing.

“We also intend to use this forum to seek your support for the several initiatives that the commission has carefully developed in our quest to enhance market opportunities for all our licensees.”

Danbatta added that the commission will focus it’s energies for the next five years on five strategic pillars.

Participants

The pillars according to him include “organisational renewal for operational efficiency and regulatory excellence.

“Facilitate the provision of infrastructure for a digital economy which fosters national development.

“Improve quality service (QoS) for enhanced consumer quality of experience (QoE).

“Promote fair competition, inclusive growth, increased investment and innovative services as well facilitate strategic collaboration and partnership.”

Participants

He disclosed that the federal government has articulated a number of critical policy objectives for the sector such as those articulated in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Registration among others.

He added that the instruments require the full and unalloyed commitment of all stakeholders to ensure their successful implementation, and the meeting in Kano would provide a veritable channel for licensees’ buy-in.

Participants

In his address the Director of Licensing and Authorisation Department, Mohammed Babajika, said the commission is further liberalising the telecoms industry by finalising the framework for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and is currently reviewing existing regulations.

“The Commission is also finalising the Information Memorandum (IM) for 5G deployment, emerging trends like Internet of Things (loT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Over The Top (OTT) Services and Big Data Analytics, all aimed at initiating strategies to improve service delivery that is accessible and affordable.

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