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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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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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