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Stakeholder engagements key to broadband implementation – Danbatta

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NCC EVC Umar Danbatta

Nasiru Yusuf

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, says government is putting greater emphasis on continuous engagement of different stakeholders to secure their buy-in towards achieving the targets of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025.

Kano Focus reports that Mr Danbatta stated this at the first stakeholder consultation with telecommunication industry players on the implementation of the new national broadband plan held on Tuesday in Abuja.

Represented by NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services and Chairman, Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC), Ubale Maska, Mr Danbatta said the Ministry and its agencies, as well as the industry must work together towards the attainment of the set goals.

At the event, which is the second of the multi-stakeholder consultation process by the BISC, Danbatta noted that the 30 percent broadband targets set in the previous NNBP 2013-2018 were met and surpassed due to “our collective efforts, policy direction, regulation and financial commitment by industry players.”

He said there were, however, some targets that were not met in the previous plan because of various challenges that are presently being addressed.

“The NNBP 2020-2025 has, once again, identified initiatives to be implemented by different stakeholders in order to achieve the set objectives of the plan. The importance of broadband to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), socio-economic development, and especially the digital economy, cannot be over-emphasized,” he said.

In his welcome address, the Vice Chairman of BISC, Usman Abdullahi, said the forum was to avail the industry players and representatives of government a veritable platform to collaborate, and discuss ways to accelerate broadband implementation for sustainable development of the telecommunications sector and advancement of the digital economy.

Project Director, BISC, Abubakar Maina, made a presentation providing information to stakeholders on previous and new targets, timelines, milestones, strategic pillars, initiatives in the pillars, as well as governance structure in the new broadband plan.

The forum was well attended by industry operators, especially the Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) both physically and virtually, who gave useful inputs for steering the course of implementation of the new broadband plan to success.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the new broadband plan on March 19 2020, following the development of the plan by a committee, set up by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,  Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami on December 16, 2019.

As a follow-up, on July 9, 2020, the Minister, inaugurated the BISC, which is primarily saddled with the responsibility of ensuring effective monitoring of the implementation of the new broadband plan.

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20 year old man drowns in Kano pond

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Nasiru Yusuf

A Twenty year-old man, identify as Safiyanu Mustapha has drowned inside pond in Gaida, Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano State.

Kano Focus gathered that circumstances surrounding Mustapha’s death was still under investigation.

The Public Relations Officer, Kano State Fire Service, Saidu Muhammed who confirmed the development to Kano Focus on Tuesday, said the victim was rescued and later confirmed dead.

Mr Muhammad said, “We received a distress call at about 07:50am through Malam Kabiru Hashimu in Gaida, Kumbotso Local Government area notifying us of the incident.

“Upon receiving the information, we dispatched our team to the scene of incident who discovered that it was a man of about 20 years, by name Safiyanu Mustapha that fell inside a pond.

“Victim was rescued and later confirmed dead.

“We handed the corpse to the village head of Challawa, Alhaji Yahaya Zangina for funeral.

“Cause of incident is under investigation,” Muhammad said.

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FG registers 500,000 farmers in Kano – Nanono

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Sabo Nanono and Nasiru Gawuna

Nasiru Yusuf

The federal ministry of agriculture and rural development has registered over five hundred thousand farmers in Kano state.

Kano Focus reports that the minister of agriculture Sabo Nanono revealed this on Monday, while flagging off the National trans – boundary aerial pest control exercise held at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport,Kano.

The minister said the ministry has so far registered over five million farmers in the country.

He maintained that the President Buhari administration has initiated many interventions in agricultural sector to cushion the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and ensure socio-economic development.

He explained that the 2020 dry season control of migratory pests is conducted in 12 front line states to address the challenge being face in the sector over the years.

“The federal ministry of agriculture and rural development has so far registered over 5 million farmers in the country country out of which over 500,000 are from Kano. The data gathered would help in proper documentation and ensure smooth running of agricultural activities.

“Due to the destructive effects of these pests especially on cereal crops, the federal government through the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development has been inundated with requests by state governments to carry out aerial and ground control operation against the pests in order to salvage the expected rice bumper harvest,” Nanono said.

He however acknowledged the tremendous contribution of Kano state government to the development of agriculture adding that with cooperation among stakeholders all obstacles that will endanger food and nutritional security can be eliminated in the country.

In his address the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said the control of migratory pests that attack and destroy cereals particularly rice, millet and wheat is meant to prevent loss of the crops.

According to him, the measure is in line with the federal and state government policy of agricultural transformation aimed at boosting production for food security and economic stability.

The governor represented by his deputy Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna said “Control of Quelea birds results in increase in yield of many crops per hectare and quantity of various agricultural produce we export as well as ensure safer and higher productivity.”

While appreciating the effort of the federal government for conducting aerial operation against the migratory birds in Bagwai, Bebeji, Bunkure, Garun Malam, Kura, Makoda, Rano and Warawa, the governor advised the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development to provide nets to the farmers, destroy roosting sites and ensure use of resistant varieties of the affected crops.

The Governor and the Minister later inspected the Flight demonstration of aerial pest control by AZMAN Group at the airport.

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Kano Assembly approves Ganduje’s request of N20b loan

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano State House of Assembly has approved  Abdullahi Ganduje’s request to access N20 billion loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and United Bank for Africa (UBA).

Kank Focus reports that the assembly approved the request during its plenary on Monday after the Speaker, Abdulazeez Garba Gafasa read the letter received from Ganduje seeking their consent to access the loan.

After a series of deliberations, the lawmakers unanimously agreed and approved the request.

Shedding more light to newsmen on the facility, the Majority of the assembly, Kabiru Hassan Dashi said the loan was to cover up the economic breakdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hassan-Dashi added that the assembly considered the governor’s request after having challenges to access it from the capital market due to worsening economic conditions.

Similarly, during the plenary, a member representing Kunchi/Tsayawa constituency, Garba Ya’u Gwarwai apologised to the assembly on behalf of the five of them suspended on March 2020.

Kano Focus recalled that the five lawmakers were suspended by the house for allegedly causing a rowdy session, But the lawmakers ran to court, and the court ordered for their reinstatement.

According to Ya’u Gwarmai, “we are apologizing in order to allow for peace to reign in the assembly, therefore I am apologizing on behalf of my other colleagues.”

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