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NCC, Danbatta bag fresh awards for broadband development

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Umar Danbatta has bagged “Broadband Oxygenator of the Year” award for his remarkable role and commitment to the development of broadband infrastructure to support the country’s digital economy drive.

Kano Focus reports that Mr Danbatta bagged the award at this year’s edition of the Nigeria Tech Innovation and Telecoms Awards (NTITA), 2020.

Regarded as the Oscars of Nigeria’s telecoms industry, the awards, powered by Instinctwave, Africa’s leading business-to-business event organizer in collaboration with the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in Abuja at the weekend, saw the Commission and other industry stakeholders, including the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, carting away distinguished awards.

The NCC, as a corporate organisation received the “Outstanding Contribution to Driving Greater Broadband Penetration Award of the Year.

A statement sent to Kano Focus on Monday by the spokesman of NCC Ikechukwu Adinde said basic active internet subscription under Danbatta grew from 90 million to 143.7 million while active voice subscription increased from 151 million to 205.25 percent during the same period with teledensity also reaching 107.53 percent as at end of September, 2020.

The statement added that last five years have seen the number of licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCo) increasing from two in 2015 to six currently. The InfraCos are to deploy broadband infrastructure, on a wholesale basis in the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria.

According to the statement, the Commission is currently reviewing the framework for the licensing of InfraCo to ensure sustainable funding options for effective implementation of the proposed national fibre project towards increasing broadband penetration to 70 percent target, as set in the new national broadband plan by 2025.

It added that the ongoing review of the InfraCo framework is to cater for the delays in take-off, change in exchange rate, supply chain and other challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic with respect to InfraCo implementation.

NCC and Danbatta’s recognitions at the NTITA 2020 were also hinged on the increase in the contribution of the telecom sector the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 8.5 percent in 2015 to 14.30 percent as of the second quarter of 2020, translating to N2.272 trillion in financial value.

In the last five years, under Danbatta leadership, telecoms investment grew from around $38 billion to over $70 billion currently with appreciable remittances in spectrum fees and operating surplus by the NCC into the Federal Government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

Increased e-commerce services, other digital services and more access to financial inclusion were also enabled through increased deployment of broadband infrastructure being promoted by the telecoms regulator through a number of regulatory initiatives.

Speaking on the significance of the NTITA, President of ATCON, Olusola Teniola, said: “Our thinking is that if we decide to ignore the contribution that our sector has made to the development of Nigeria by not recognizing the actors that made it possible, what we are saying invariably is that we are unappreciative of their concerted efforts in changing the story of our industry.”

He hoped that the awards would spur the Nigerian government to pay more attention to the sector and that state governments would continue to support the efforts of the industry to transform their various states into digital cities.

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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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