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NCC Board visits BUK, pledges increased collaboration with universities

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NCC EVC Umar Danbatta

Nasiru Yusuf

The Board of Commissioners of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has paid a courtesy visit to Bayero University Kano with a pledge to increase collaboration with higher institutions of learning across the country.

Kano Focus reports that the chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the  NCC, Adeolu Akande, pledged to partner with institutions of higher learning in order to transform Nigeria into a full knowledge-based economy.

According to Akande, who praised the university for producing Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, the NCC superintends a sector that is knowledge -driven and therefore, would not be able to achieve its mandate without strengthening collaboration with citadels of knowledge like BUK  and other higher institutions of learning to produce the knowledge base needed to support the growth of the telecoms sector.

“The NCC is superintending a sector that is knowledge-driven. In the absence of the citadels of learning, one could only imagine what would have become of the communications industry.

“So, if we come to Kano, we need to come to the prime centre of learning in Kano and other universities across the state,” he said.

Thanking the university further for “contributing” Danbatta to the industry,  Akande said the sector, which NCC regulates, has also benefited immensely from the knowledge being imparted by the university.

He said the BUK has produced a good ambassador, excellent professional and a man with administrative acumen and superb human relations in Prof. Danbatta.

“Hence, the Board of NCC decided to visit Bayero University with the EVC, who is a ‘home boy’ and to show our appreciation for the services of the EVC, an outstanding product of the university, has been rendering to the nation at the NCC.

“We are here also to show that we work together and our coming to Bayero University would be an expression of appreciation of Danbatta’s good work at the NCC,” he said.

 

 

In his remarks, Danbatta said all the achievements “we have recorded as NCC can be attributed to the team spirit and cooperation between the Management and Board of NCC even as we are poised to achieve more,” adding that “Our profound prayer is that we leave the NCC better than we met it.”

Appreciating the university’s management for hosting the NCC’s despite a short notice, Mr Danbatta used the opportunity to also congratulate Sagir Abbas for his appointment as the 11th Vice Chancellor (VC) of the university.

While expressing delight to receive the NCC Board, Mr Abbas noted that the school management cancelled all engagements to receive the board in order to show the university’s high regards for Mr Danbatta, whose name, he said, cannot be omitted in the history of Bayero University.

“Prof. Danbatta has served the university diligently, as lecturer, as head of department, as Dean, as director and he was also a former VC in Kano University of Science and Technology, but wherever he goes, you find him relating to his base.

“So, we hold him in very high esteem and we are always happy to see him and his team discharging the national assignment his is saddled with and Bayero University is proud to be associated with him. We have no doubt that the Board and Management of NCC will enjoy him more as he begins his second term in office,” he said.

According to the Vice Chancellor, the university has received many donations of computers, iPads and other interventions such as professorial endowments from NCC, all of which, he said, have had positive impacts on the university’s academic programmes.

Mr Sagir, however, appealed for more digital assistance by the Commission in supporting the university more in the area of its ongoing restructuring to fully accommodate virtual learning into its system in view of the current reality globally where ICT is mediating the interaction.

Kano Focus reports that the visit by NCC Board members to Bayero University, Kano (BUK) is part of activities lined up for the 2020 NCC Board retreat held in Kano State.

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Gov. Yusuf prohibits any public demonstration, order arrest of purported student protesters

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Mukhtar Yahaya Usman

The Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, has imposed stringent restrictions on all public gatherings intended for protest within the state, exercising the authority vested in him as the chief security officer of the state

KANO FOCUS reports that this was contained in a statement issued by the Governor’s Spokesperson, Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, on Wednesday.

By virtue of his position, the governor has directed the Police, the Directorate of State Security Services, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps to apprehend, detain, and prosecute any individual or group partaking in demonstrations on the streets of Kano.

This decisive action is a preemptive strategy aimed at averting any potential breakdown of law and order orchestrated by adversaries of the state.

“We are privy to credible intelligence indicating that certain prominent figures from the opposition party in Kano have devised plans to sponsor student associations and political agitators from other northwestern states to incite chaos under the guise of advocating for the dethroned Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero.”

The state government has explicitly outlawed protests, demonstrations, or processions of any kind, and individuals found on the streets of Kano engaging in such activities will be promptly apprehended.

“Through this declaration, we caution student groups against being manipulated by troublemakers who are resolute in fomenting disorder in Kano.”

The governor urged all citizens of the state to carry on with their normal activities as the state retains its tranquility, and the government will persist in vigilant oversight of the situation to promptly address any individuals or factions trying to undermine the relative peace that state presently enjoys.

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Dangote increases shareholders dividend by 50% to N30 per share

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Amidst applause by shareholders for the impressive results in the 2023 financial year despite the harsh business operating environment, the Chairman of Dangote Cement Plc, Aliko Dangote has announced an increase of 50 per cent on dividend payout to the shareholders, from N20.00 per share paid in the 2022 financial year to N30.00 for the last financial year 2023.

KANO FOCUS reports that in the same vein, Dangote also revealed that arrangements are in top gear for thousands of the Company’s delivery trucks to henceforth run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in line with the Federal Government agenda on adoption of alternative fuel for official vehicles.

This decision, Dangote told excited shareholders at the 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Dangote Cement Plc, held in Lagos was to add to the Federal Government’s quest towards reducing dependence on fossil fuel, thereby enhancing the nation’s energy independence and contributing to a more secure energy future.

According to him: “We are now going to start using CNG vehicles, especially with the new policy of the Federal Government, launched by the Renewed Hope Agenda by His Excellency, President Bola Tinubu. By the end of next year, all our trucks that are operating in the company will be running on CNG, and that is a whole lot of money that we are going to invest. But we are equal to the task, and we will continue to push and make sure that we continue to make our shareholders happy.”

The Chairman disclosed to the shareholders the Company’s ongoing efforts at ramping up production with the ongoing construction of a new plant of 6 million metric tonnes per annum at Itori, in Ewekoro local government area of Ogun State, noting that despite the hiccups at the Apapa Port in Lagos, the plant would be completed to time.

Dangote said the company’s impressive performance was in fulfillment of the promise he made of an enhanced Return on Investments (RoI) to the shareholders and other stakeholders in Dangote Cement, assuring them that the following year would even be better.

He expressed satisfaction that Dangote Cement achieved double-digit growth in revenue of ₦2,208.1 billion, while Group EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation) reached a record high of ₦886.1 billion, increasing by 25.1%.

“This outstanding EBITDA performance was underpinned by our robust cost control measures and our diverse pan-Africa operations. The latter acted as a cushion, providing resilience to country-specific risks, while the former enhanced our overall profitability. Our pan-Africa operations now contribute 41.2% to the Group’s overall volumes,” he added.

Dangote pointed out,” We made significant strides in our expansion initiatives, with the successful launch of operations at our 0.45Mta grinding plant in Ghana, increasing our total installed capacity to 52.0Mta. Furthermore, our 1.5Mta grinding plant in Côte d’Ivoire is making substantial progress and is nearing completion. Lastly, we have commenced construction on our 6Mta Itori plant in Ogun State, a crucial step in supporting our ambitious export goals.”

The 2023 results showed that Africa’s largest cement manufacturer recorded improvement in all performance measurement indicators with group revenue rising by 36.4 per cent to ₦2,208.1 billion while Profit after tax (PAT) was up by 19.2 per cent to ₦455.6 billion. Earnings per share went up by 18.8 per cent at ₦26.47. Dangote Cement is garnering more market share across the continent with pan-Africa volumes going up by 12.7 per cent to 11.3Mt.

In his interview with the media during the AGM, the Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement Plc, Arvind Pathak said 2023 was yet another testament to the effectiveness of the management’s diversification strategy, despite the challenging macroeconomic conditions.

He said; “Our diverse operations acted as a cushion, providing resilience to country-specific risks. Pan-African volumes were up 12.7 per cent and now account for 41.2 per cent of Group volume. Consequently, pan-African revenue increased by a record 123.2 per cent to ₦925.9 billion, while EBITDA surged by over four-fold to ₦263.7 billion.”

Alluding to what Dangote said on use of CNG as an alternative fuel for its cement trucks, Pathak noted that in response to the heightened inflationary environment, “we implemented new and innovative business strategies that helped to drive up revenues, contain costs, and protect margins. These initiatives included fuel mix optimisation, propelling the use of alternative fuels to replace more expensive fossil fuels. We also began the phased transition from diesel power trucks to full Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) trucks.”

Shareholders one after another were full of praise for the board and management of the Company for the impressive outing in 2023, which accounted for the dividend payout of N30 per share; an increase of 50 per cent over the 2022 dividend despite the economic headwind that characterised 2023.

Mrs. Bisi Bakare, Chairperson of the Pragmatic Shareholders Association lauded the management of Dangote Cement for what she described as a huge dividend payout even when many other companies could not pay their shareholders a dime because they declared losses.

She stated that the shareholders were happy, and expressed optimism that with the way the management has steered the Company in the face of the current economic downturn and recorded good results, the 2024 dividend will be higher.

In his comment, the President, of the Association for the Advancement of Rights of Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS), Dr. Faruk Umar said the shareholders could not but thank the board and management of Dangote Cement for a job well done. He noted that no company, in recent time, has been able to be as profitable as Dangote Cement, just because of the sound judgment of the management in navigating the murky economic weather which has had negative impact on results of some other companies.

He commended Dangote for his patriotism and dedication to the cause of Nigeria and her people with his decision to reduce prices of his petroleum products. He expressed hope that the price of Premium Motor Spirit popularly called petrol would come down once the Dangote Refinery rolls out the product soon.

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Kano Emirate Tussle: Court Restrains Police, SSS, Military From harassing, Intimidating Emir Sanusi

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

 

…… As the new Emir takes days holding the Palace Sitting

The Kano High Court, presided over by Justice Aminu Adamu Aliyu, sitting at Miller Road, has issued a restraining order against the police, the State Security Service (SSS), and the Nigerian military to prevent them from forcibly removing the reinstated Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.

This legal action was initiated by the Emir, in conjunction with the four traditional kingmakers of Kano: Madakin Kano Yusuf Nabahani; Makaman Kano Ibrahim Sarki Abdullahi; Sarkin Bai Mansur Adnan, and Sarkin Dawaki Maituta Bello Tuta.

Justice Aliyu, in granting the order, also barred the security agencies from arresting or harassing the Emir and his kingmakers.

The judge declared, “An interim injunction is hereby granted, restraining the Respondents themselves, their agents, representatives, and assigns from further harassing, intimidating, inviting, arresting, or invading the personal or official residences of the Applicants (Gidan Rumfa), their attendants, or any of the Kano Emirate kingmakers, engaging in actions that could impede the Applicants’ rights generally in relation to this litigation pending the hearing and resolution of the motion on notice.

Furthermore, an interim injunction is granted, preventing the Respondents from attempting to seize, appropriate, or confiscate any regalia of authority, such as the twin spear of authority, the Royal Hat of Dabo, the Ostrich-feathered shoes, the knife and sword of the Emir of Kano, and other symbols of his office, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice

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