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Guinea Bissau visits NCC, as Danbatta shares experience on regulatory model for Nigeria’s digital inclusion

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Garba Danbatta, has shared his experiences on some of the regulatory models, approaches and best practices being implemented by the Commission in promoting a stable telecoms sector and accelerating digital inclusion in Nigeria.K

KANO FOCUS reports that Danbatta shared these experiences while receiving a delegation from Autoridade Reguladora Nacional (ARN), the Telecom National Regulatory Authority of Guinea-Bissau who were on a on a week-long benchmarking visit to the Commission in Abuja on Wednesday.

A statement sent to KANO FOCUS by commission’s spokesperson said the delegation was in the Commission to gain insights into NCC’s regulatory template as part of the exchange to build stronger bilateral relations with the Commission in the area of telecommunications regulation.

According to Danbatta, who is also the Chairman of the West African Telecommunication Regulatory Assembly (WATRA), the Nigerian Communications Commission has been recognised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as Africa’s foremost regulatory organisation and has over the years received regulators from across Africa and beyond whose mission is to understudy the Commission.

He recalled the strong support to Nigeria by Guinea Bissau during the recently concluded election for the position of Executive Secretary of WATRA and the Chairmanship of the regional body, noting that the benchmarking visit underscores the cordial relationship, mutual cooperation and collaboration between both countries.

“The 16 members of the regional organization share a common vision in ensuring that the citizens are not digitally excluded and are cooperating to ensure that access to information and communication technology services are not only ubiquitous, but that they are available and affordable through effective national and regional policies”, Danbatta said.

The EVC pointed out that the NCC has through the implementation of various policy initiatives, particularly the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) improved access to broadband for over 80 million Nigerians and targets the provision of Point of Broadband Access (PoA) in all the 774 local government areas (LGAs) of the country within the plan period.

Danbatta stated that challenges remain in the process, but observed that NCC is committed to addressing such challenges as Right of Way (RoW) issue, multiple taxation, vandalism of telecom infrastructure, among others, confronting the licensees as they roll out services.

To further drive digital inclusion, Danbatta said the Commission carried out a study to determine areas where there are access gaps in the country. “We identified 217 clusters of access gaps and today, we have ensured more Nigerians are digitally-included by reducing the number of access gaps to 114 currently, while more measures are being taken to further reduce the access gaps, thereby deepening digital inclusion.

Through NCC’s various regulatory efforts, Danbatta said “Nigeria’s telecoms sector had reached an all-time-high, basic internet subscription of 154 million; over 87 million broadband subscriptions, representing 45.93 per cent broadband penetration; over 207 million voice subscriptions with teledensity standing at 108.94 per cent as at October, 2020.”

Meanwhile, Danbatta, as WATRA Chairman, has assured of ongoing plans for the Executive Secretary of WATRA, Aliu Aboki, to visit the 16 member countries of the Assembly for the purposes of interacting and engaging with the member countries in order to build a common front to galvanise the development of the telecommunications ecosystem in the West African sub-region.

“So, we hope this level of collaboration at the level of WATRA, will be strengthened, so that together, we can act in a manner that other parts of Africa can be able to copy from us. It is an excellent regulatory model that we are working together and I solicit your support and that of other member countries in making the visit of the 16 member countries by the Executive Secretary a huge success,” Danbatta urged the delegation.

While expressing the desire to reciprocate the visit, the EVC particularly appreciated the Guinea Bissau’s delegation for the visit and expressed the hope that their expectations for the benchmarking programme have been met as they take away some key ideas and integrate same into the regulation of their country’s communications industry.

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2023: Tanko Yakasai raises alarm over plot to rig presidential election

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Tanko Yakasai

Aminu Abdullahi

An elder statesman Alhaji Tanko Yakasai has raised an alarm over a plot by some undemocratic elements to manipulate the results of the forthcoming presidential election with its attendant consequences.

KANO FOCUS reports that the politician raised the alarm in a press statement titled “Reflections of a 98-Year-Old Patriot: A Message to Those Planning to Rig the Elections” issued to journalists on Sunday.

He explained that his fear was rooted in the fact that “when people are consumed by their inordinate desires, they become blind to the bigger picture.”

The former Special Adviser to late President Shehu Shagari said, “My concern is not for myself, but for Nigeria and its people. I believe that for Nigeria to properly care for its teeming God-given population everyone in the country must live in peace and harmony”.

Yakasai in the signed statement said “Those who prioritize winning the upcoming elections at all cost may not understand my concern for the survival of Nigeria and its people, which only stems from my patriotism”

He lamented that “Unfortunately, there are unpatriotic individuals who are solely focused on their own selfish and narrow interests and do not care about the future of the country and its people. “

Yakasai’s strong-worded statement reads in parts: “I have been pondering on what motivates those who plan to rig or scuttle the upcoming elections in Nigeria and particularly the presidential election. Do they believe they can do so without consequences?

“In 1966 when the first attempted military coup was made. I was at that time the national publicity secretary of the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU), secretary of the Northern Progressives Front, and deputy national president of the Nigerian Youth Congress, during which I witnessed the tragic events of the 1966 coup attempt, in which late Chukuma Nzeogwo and his other misguided associates assassinated Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa our first and so far the only prime minister for Nigeria.

“Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna of Sokoto also the only premier of northern Nigeria, Brigadier General Zakariya Maimalari, Colonel Yakubu Pam, Colonel Kur Muhammad and other military officers were murdered by the coup plotters.

“I was also present during the Kano riot, which was a response to the murders of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and others I mentioned earlier. That tragic event resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and took place in various parts of northern Nigeria. The exact number of casualties, both military and civilian, has yet to be determined.

“From this tragedy, I learned that when people are consumed by their inordinate desires, they become blind to the bigger picture. This is why I want to advise those considering manipulating the results of coming presidential elections not to take any actions that could plunge our nation into catastrophe.

“At 98 years old and as the only surviving child of my parents, with only a few relatives, all I have are my children and grandchildren. I am a billionaire, not even a businessman. My concern is not for myself, but for Nigeria and its people.

“I believe that for Nigeria to properly care for its teeming God-given population everyone in the country must live in peace and harmony. While some may not share this patriotic concern, it is born from my patriotism and desire for the survival of Nigeria and the well-being of its people.

“There are those who are only concerned with their own selfish interests and unconcerned about the country and its people. Such people are carloads and unpatriotic.

“Furthermore, it is crucial that Nigeria develops in order to properly care for its burgeoning population. This can only be achieved if the country remains United, peaceful and harmonious. Those who prioritize winning the upcoming elections at all costs may not understand my concern for the survival of Nigeria and its people, which only stems from my patriotism. I can assure all that this concern is genuine.

“I am in politics for patriotic reasons, not personal gain. Unfortunately, there are unpatriotic individuals who are solely focused on their own selfish and narrow interests and do not care about the future of the country and its people.

“But there are many Nigerians who are only concerned about the country’s prosperity and of its people but who are concerned about peace and harmony as well as the peaceful coexistence of the over 200 million of its people and humanity.

“I, therefore, urge patriotic citizens to rise in defence of our motherland and its future not to allow the tiny misguided minority among Nigerians who are not looking at the greater picture of the country.

“We should together engage in a cooperative understanding of doing our utmost endeavours and synergy to save the country and protect its future.”

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Organisation trains youth leaders on peace, mediation

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Aminu Abdullahi

 

 

 

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Youth Action for Peace, says it has trained youth leaders in Kano on peace and conflict mediation to promote peaceful co-existence.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Lead Trainer, Barrister Comfort Usman, said that the training was organised in collaboration with MacArthur and Ford foundation and was aimed at training youth leaders on how to prevent conflicts.

According to her, the training is to increase the capacity of young peace builders to be able to mediate and promote peace in Kano and the country as a whole.

Usman, who emphasised the role of youths in nation building, said that with the training, youth leaders would be equipped with skills of mediation and conflict resolution.

“Youths are agents of peace, if properly trained, they will lead peace efforts successfully,” she explained.

Barrister Usman said that the training was strategically placed on dates close to general elections.

She urged youths to be agents of peace rather than destruction.

Cross Section of Participants

The lead trainer called on youths to shun violence and be their brothers keepers.

Earlier, the coordinator, Youth Peace Security Network, Kano, Barrister Nura Ahmad, said the exercise would go a long way to teach young people what conflict was all about and how they could live together as one.

He urged the participants to pass down the knowledge to young persons in their communities.

Cross Section of Participants

Ahmad also called on Nigerian youths to shun any form of violence and all manners of electoral malpractices in the 2023 General Elections and beyond.

A participant, Aisha Abubakar, said the training had helped her to understand the importance of peace and how to be a peace mediator.

Presentation of certificates to Participants

Another participant, Ismail Auwal, said knowledge gained from the training would help them to mediate or handle crisis when the need arose.

He also called for peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.

Barrister Comfort Usman

KANO FOCUS reports that after the training, Kano Youth Mediators Network was inaugurated.

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Late Emir of Dutse: An embodiment of national unity – NRO

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Aminu Abdullahi

The Northern Reform Organisation (NRO) says the late Emir of Dutse, Dr Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi led the Dutse Emirate Council for 30 years exhibiting the attributes of selflessness, accommodation and peace throughout his domain. 

KANO FOCUS reports that the NRO Director of Publicity, Malam Mahmud Adnan Audi made these declarations in a condolence message to the Dutse Emirate Council, the government and people of Jigawa State following the demise of the respected monarch yesterday.

Adnan said the monarch also treated indigenes of other states in the Jigawa State Capital as sons and daughters of the state.

He noted that the late Chancellor of the Sokoto State University also provided good counsel to the successive regimes in the state resulting in the effective maintenance of peace and the provision of infrastructure.

Adnan prayed Allah  to forgive the monarch’s infractions and provide him a space in Aljannah.

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