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ICPC inaugurates NCC’s anti-graft unit

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has inaugurated The Nigerian Communications Commission’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU).

Kano Focus reports that ACTU is the initiative of the ICPC, approved by the Federal Government as an in-house mechanism for corruption prevention within MDAs, in line with global best practices of building strong institutions and institutionalising good governance in the fight against corruption.

Speaking at the occasion the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Umar Danbatta pledged to continually maintain high ethical standards in all commission’s regulatory activities consistent with the Federal Government’s efforts to entrench the culture of accountability and transparency in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government.

Represented by the Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, Josephine Amuwa, Danbatta said that the ICPC itself has recently attested to the Commission’s high ethical standards and professionalism as evident in the 2020 ICPC Ethics and Compliance Scorecard (IECS) report, which placed NCC  ahead of other agencies in ratings.

The EVC said the ICPC’s verdict also lends credence to the 2017 report of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR)-piloted Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) deployed in MDAs, where the NCC came off with a Platinum Level (Exceptional) award, a level 5 organization, the highest rating possible under the BPSR Assessment.

While noting that the NCC will continue to identify corruption-prone processes, practices and procedures within the system with a view to institutionalize compliant and corruption-free processes. Danbatta said the Commission’s efforts are focused on prevention through defined standard operating procedures and adherence to public service rules, circulars, guidelines, among others.

“The ACTU is a very important initiative of the government to combat corruption in MDAs and the Commission recognizes this fact as well as the role of ACTU in this regard,” he said, while urging the Commission’s ACTU members to continue to take their role seriously.

He also said that Management will accord the ACTU team all necessary support to deliver on its mandate of combating corruption through prevention, education and enforcement.

While inaugurating the NCC ACTU, the Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said the ACTU is expected to effectively carry out its assigned functions including conducting systems study and review of processes and procedures of the NCC with a view to making appropriate recommendations to block corruption loopholes.

According to him, the Unit is also required to conduct continuous sensitization of staff on and against the ills of corruption, implement code of ethics, conduct corruption risk assessment and preliminary investigations into complaints received amongst others.

Owasanoye further stated that ICPC recognises the contribution of NCC in regulating and creating an enabling environment that gives telecom consumers universal access to affordable and equitable service as well as your support to the nation’s economic growth.

“I also commend the efforts of the management of NCC in ensuring high compliance with ethical and integrity standards as seen from the result scored by NCC in the 2020 deployment of the Ethics and Compliance Scorecard (81.15%),” he added.

In his remarks, the Director, Human Capital and Administration and ACTU Chairman at NCC, Usman Malah, assured of the commitment of NCC ACTU members to be sincere, of good character, exhibit positive attributes and be dedicated in the discharge of their duties.

“We shall be fully prepared for the responsibilities of the Unit. We would be impartial, transparent and guided by relevant laws in discharging the mandate of the Unit. As a microcosm of the ICPC in the NCC, the Unit will continue to complement the laudable efforts of the ICPC in the fight against corruption in government and the country at large,” Malah said.

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Kano gets 3,148 new polling units

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expanded the polling units in Kano state from 8,074 to 11,222 to create easy access to polling units.

Kano Focus reports that the INEC chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu revealed this to journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.

Mr Yakubu revealed that Kano Central has 1,978 more polling units while Kano South and Kano North have 658 and 513 respectively.

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The 10 local governments that have the highest number of additional polling units are Nassarawa 334, Kumbotso 220, Gwale 207, Tarauni 207, and Ungoggo 179.

Others are Dala 163, Fagge 163, Kano Municipal 160, Danbatta 94, and Dawakin Kudu 92.

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Nigerian Navy to establish desert warfare institute in Kano

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Chief of Naval Staff CNS Real Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, has agreed to move Desert Warfare Institute to Kano.

KANO FOCUS reports that this was disclosed by, Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Navy, COR Ezekobe

when he led a delegation to governor Ganduje at his office, in Kano, Wednesday, to brief the governor about development so far.

He said “We are here to actualize the fruitful engagement we had when His Excellency visited us on the 3rd of June. He Chief of Naval Staff directed me to lead this team in actualising some of the promises made to you when you visited the Naval headquarters.”

“Our project standing on 12 hectares of land, is a multi-purpose project. We are moving our Desert Warfare of our Special unit to Kano Your Excellency. This unit is highly trained in both United States of America and Britain. And they are recognized to be of best performance.”

“This is where we will use for a garment industry and other things that will be of significant benefit to the society.”

“We would like to develop a Barack, so that when the need arises we can defend ourselves and also the state. That will definitely help in improving the security of the state in particular and the nation in general.”

He requested that, the Chief of Naval Staff would want to deliver a lecture on Maritime in either Bayero University, Kano, for people here up North to understand the activities of the Nigerian Navy in the national scheme of things.

Ezkobe, a rear admiral in Nigerian Navy, requested another piece of land on behalf of the Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) for the establishment of hospital in the state.

“Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) is desirous of establishing a 200-bedded hospital in Kano. We also need to get a piece of land for this effort to see the light of the day,” he requested.

“Your Excellency we witnessed the tremendous development in your state. This is highly commendable Sir,” he concluded.

In his response, governor Ganduje appreciated the speed of the process for the visibility of the Nigerian Navy in the state, appreciating that, “We are so happy to have you here. I can see that the return match is so quick. This shows the level of seriousness from your part.”

“Your presence in Kano will definitely boost the morale of our youth in joining the Nigerian Navy. It will also improve our security of the state generally,” he stated.

“We are very much ready for all the requests you came with pertaining this and other projects for the development of the state. And for improving the security of our dear state. We are always ready.”

Concerning the Chief of Naval State Conference, Ganduje said the state would always be ready to see to the realisation of the proposed Conference, adding that, “For the Conference we will create an enabling environment for it to hold.”

“We will also facilitate for the proposed Maritime lecture by the Chief of Naval Staff in one of our universities. There is no doubt about this. Tell him he is always welcome.”

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NCC begins review of telecoms license structure

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has initiated the process for the review of existing licensing structure in the Nigerian telecommunications industry. 

KANO FOCUS reports that an important step towards achieving this was taken recently by the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta when he inaugurated an in-house Standing Committee to carry out the task.

In a statement sent to KANO FOCUS by commission’s spokesperson Ikechukwu Adinde, Danbatta, while inaugurating the Committee, said the need for the review of the existing license structure was informed by the wide range of technological advances, convergence of technologies and services which have characterized the global telecoms space over the years, and which impact is increasingly being experienced in Nigeria.

According to him, the current license structure is almost 20 years old, hence the need for an urgent review of the existing license pattern to reflect new licensing trends in line with international standards while providing opportunities for improved revenue for government.

“Therefore, it is evidently clear that this Standing Committee, drawn up from competent hands in various departments of the Commission, is perfectly suited and capable of addressing the enormous task of reviewing the existing license structure of  telecom licensees in Nigeria,” he said.

While noting that the work of the Standing Committee will be carried out in phases, Danbatta said effective delivery of the Committee’s task will help the Commission to institute a process, which will culminate in the review of the terms and conditions of the various license categories.

These, he said, will include licensing fee, as well as identification of the limitations of the various license categories, with a view to clearly determining licenses that should be phased out or amended.

Specifically, Danbatta outlined Management’s seven-point deliverables from the Committee to include a comprehensive review/report on existing licenses; report and recommendations on consultative fora; and report on recommended new license undertakings.

Others include a report on recommended amendment to license fees and durations; a report on benchmarking of license with similar jurisdictions, a report on the impact of certain licenses on other license holders.

The Committee is also expected to recommend solutions as well as the develop updated regulatory framework for new and amended licenses as the case may be; and a final report on the project with all recommendations.

Also speaking during the inauguration of the Committee, the Director, Licensing and Authorisation, NCC and Chairman of the Committee, Mohammad Babajika, assured the Commission’s Management of the Committee’s resolve to deliver on the terms of their assignment.

At the end of the Committee’s assignment, and following due consultations with industry stakeholders, the Commission envisages a new draft framework for new and amended licenses.

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