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NCC Boss, Danbatta gets prestigious Zik prize

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The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, is billed to be honoured with the prestigious Zik Prize in the Professional Leadership category in Lagos, next week.

Kano Focus reports that the award will be presented to Danbatta by Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre (PPRAC), during an elaborate ceremony slated for Sunday, December 6, 2020 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos State by 6 p.m.

A statement issued by the Director public affairs Ikechukwu Adinde said this year’s event, which also coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Zik Prize series, will be chaired by Nobel Laureate,  Wole Soyinka, while the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe is to function as the royal father of the day.

The PPRAC according to the statement had, during a virtual conference on Thursday, September 24, 2020, named Danbatta and the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Kennedy Uzoka, as the joint winners in the category.

Danbatta, Uzoka and other prominent personalities who emerged in different categories of the Zik Awards, were carefully selected through a rigorous and meticulous process for their notable contributions to national development, said Jubril Aminu, Chairman of the PPRAC in a statement on the grand award ceremony.

Described by the organisers as a square peg in a square hole, Danbatta, through dint of hardwork as NCC boss, was acknowledged to have led the charge to drive Nigeria’s industrial revolution and knowledge-based economy leveraging telecommunications.

According to them, telecommunications’ contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria has grown by 70 per cent from 2015 to 2020, whilst broadband penetration has increased significantly to over 45 per cent.

“Danbatta’s leadership has enhanced transparency and innovation in the sector, such that recently, NCC was acknowledged by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as one of Africa’s foremost regulators” they observed.

According to the organisers, the NCC boss has transformed the Commission into a regulator of global acclaim, as they noted the establishment and implementation of the NCC’s auspicious strategic 8-Point Agenda, under Danbatta, which has given the direction to activities of the Commission.

Organisers of the award also acknowledge that Danbatta has, through several breathtaking and far-reaching innovations, such as Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) registration and 112 Emergency Number, helped in the effort against insecurity in the country.

They also noted that the sector’s improved contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as well as improvements in Quality of Service (QoS) delivery, broadband infrastructural development, broadband penetration, effective spectrum utilisation, consumer empowerment, technology innovation, have been phenomenal under Danbatta’s leadership.

Earlier in a letter of nomination in July 2020, signed jointly by the Aminu and Utomi, the NCC boss was described as “an outstanding public servant, whose initiatives and reforms had contributed to Information and Communications Technology (ICT), playing a leading role in the socio-economic development of Nigeria.”

Zik Prize center was set up in 1994 in honour of the first President of Nigeria, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, with a view to encouraging and nurturing quality leadership in Africa and in the diaspora.

The impending event literally puts Danbatta in the prestigious category  of eminent intra-continental figures so honoured by the foundation, like late former President of Ghana, Jerry Rawligs (1995); Late President Nelson Mandela, President Yonweri Muzeveni of Uganda and former Chairman of NCC’s Governing Board, Ahmed Joda.

Among this year’s winners, however, are the Senate President, Ahmed Lawal and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustafa, who won in political leadership and public service categories, respectively.

Others are Governor of Borno State, Babagana Umara Zulum, his counterparts from Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and Oyo State Governor, Oluseyi Makinde, who have bagged the award for good governance.

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Just in: Finance Minister suspends Accountant-general over alleged N80bn fraud

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Aminu Abdullahi

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, has suspended the embattled Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, from office over his alleged involvement in N80billion fraud being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

KANO FOCUS reports that Idris was arrested on Monday by the operatives of the anti-graft agency over alleged diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80billion.

He was arrested after failing to honour invitations by the EFCC to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.

EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, had said the commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF  raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

He said the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja.

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Danbatta Applauds Pantami’s Appointment as WISIS Chair

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has congratulated the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, on his appointment as the Chairman of the 2022 World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

 KANO FOCUS reports that Danbatta described the choice of the Minister as chair of the Forum as a worthy recognition of Nigeria’s leadership role in the global digital economy ecosystem, noting that Nigeria has continued to hold a front-row seat in the promotion of information and communication technology (ICT) as a driving force for national development since the assumption of office of the Minister.

 “On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission, I want to express our profound delight and congratulations to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, on his well-deserved appointment by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to chair this year’s WSIS Forum”, Danbatta stated.

 “The appointment did not surprise us at NCC, given the important role the Hon. Minister has been playing in driving fundamental digital economy policies, being implemented by agencies under his supervision, in order to boost the diversification policy of the Federal Government,” the EVC said.

 “We are, therefore, happy to associate with the Minister on this feat, as it means greater recognition for Nigeria. The appointment is an indication that the world has continued to take notice of the giant strides of Nigeria’s digital economy under the supervision of the Minister.

The NCC will continue to do everything within its regulatory mandate to further support the Federal Government’s drive for ubiquitous, affordable and accessible digital services across all nooks and crannies of the country,” Danbatta said.

Following consultations with various stakeholders, the ITU recently notified the Minister via a letter, of his appointment as the 2022 WSIS Chairman.

The ITU is orgainsing the WSIS 2022 Forum in collaboration with other agencies with the United Nations with a focus on “ICTs for Well-Being, Inclusion and Resilience: WSIS Cooperation for Accelerating Progress on the SDGs”.

As has been noted elsewhere, the appointment of Prof. Pantami has given Nigeria, and indeed, the African continent, the unique role of coordinating the activities of the WSIS in its 20th year, following the WSIS Phase I meeting which took place in 2003.

The WSIS Forum 2022, which will be attended by several high-level stakeholders, including Cabinet Ministers from ITU countries, will serve as a key platform to discuss the role of ICTs as a means to bolster the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals targets.

The discourse will take place in the context of the mechanism for follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UNGA Resolution A/70/1).

The WSIS Forum also provides an opportunity to track the achievements of WSIS Action Lines in collaboration with the UN Agencies involved and provides information and analysis on the implementation of WSIS Action Lines since 2005.

The Forum aims at enhancing cooperation, partnership, innovation, exchange of experiences and good practices in ICTs for sustainable development across the world.

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Kano experiences heavy rainfall in next three days – NiMet

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

The Nigeria’s meteorological agency, NiMet, has forecast moderate to heavy rainfall within the next three days in Kano.

KANO FOCUS reports that NiMet announced this in its weather advisory on Tuesday.

“As a result of the expected moderate to heavy rainfall in the next three days, there are chances of flash flooding of roads and low-lying settlements,” the agency said.

It added that “there could be disruption of traffic due to flooded or closed roads, reduction in visibility, likely damage to mud houses and possible disruption in flight operations.”

The rain is expected to be accompanied by strong winds, lightning and thunder, hence the falling of weak buildings and displacement of makeshift structures are likely, NiMet said.

Hence, it advised the public to exercise restraint, disconnect electrical appliances before, not during the storm, and avoid standing or parking cars under trees as much as possible.

NiMet urges emergency agencies to be prepared and keep monitoring to avoid low-level areas and fast-flowing runoff waters.

It also advised the public to be prepared for these events to avoid damage from rain-related hazards.

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