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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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Kano approves N99m for the renovation of Dawakin Tofa District Head Palace

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Ganduje

Aminu Abdullahi

Kano state government has approved the renovation and upgrading of Dawakin Tofa District Head Palace in Dawakin Tofa local government area at the cost of N99, 340, 773.87 million.

The state commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, who announced this while briefing newsmen, said the state Executive Council gave the approval at its weekly meeting held at the Africa House, Government House, Kano.

He said contract for the renovation exercise, which was initially awarded at the cost of N78, 801, 280.82 million, had to be revised to N99, 340, 773.87 million as a result of some additional vital works introduced that included among others, main Fada, gallery, Hakimi wing, VIP guest wing, new wall, Shamaki, Generator house.

KANO FOCUS reports that the District Head of Dawakin Tofa Isma’ila Umar Ganduje is a younger brother to governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

The commissioner also announced approval by the council for additional works in the contract for the upgrading of Gidan Shettima to serve as Emirate Council Headquarters for the five Emirs in the state at the cost of N49, 893, 466,00 million.

The additional work, he said, include provision of office of the chairman, construction of additional floor to accommodate office for four Emirs, increase the size of the council chamber and public gallery to adequately accommodate expanded members of the council and construction of mosque and car park.

Council Approves N193m for Health Workers Uniform

Garba announced that as part of efforts to improve health care delivery services, the council has given approval for the provision of uniforms (yards) for 17, 480 staff of various health cadres at the cost of N193, 639, 136.71million.

He listed some of the beneficiaries of the two set of uniforms to be provided to include doctors, nurses, midwives, laboratory scientists, technology/technical assistants, image scanning/radiographers/x-ray technicians, physiotherapist, a technical assistant, dental therapist/technical assistant, dietician/nutritionist, among others.

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Huawei donates ICT lab to GSS Danbatta, alma mater of Prof. Umar Garba

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Facilities inside the computer laboratory.

Nasiru Yusuf

 

The Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited has donated Computer Laboratory to the Government Senior Secondary School (GSS), Danbatta, Kano State.

KANO FOCUS reports that the historic school is the alma mater of Prof. Danbatta, who, himself, has consistently implemented many philanthropic and people-oriented projects in his Danbatta community in addition his strides in driving the development of ICT adoption and usage, via numerous initiatives as the country’s Chief Telecoms Regulator.

Speaking at the occasion the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta expressed his gratitude to the company for choosing his alma mater for the important ICT project.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta speaking at the occasion

He noted that the facility will not only bring invaluable benefits to the students and teachers of the GSS in Danbatta, but also impact other neighbouring schools.

According to him the school will utilise the tech facility for preparing their pupils for the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and other educational purposes.

He charged the students and others desirous of acquiring for upgrading their knowledge of ICT to avail themselves of the ample opportunity provided by the new facility within their own domain.

Restating the NCC’s commitment toward digitising Nigeria’s economy, Prof. Danbatta said the Commission will continue to be at the forefront of implementing Federal Government’s policies aimed at achieving the goal.

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC urged stakeholders in Nigeria to support the Commission in its noble quest to ensure ubiquitous adoption and use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), with a view to transforming the nation’s economy.

This is just as the EVC pledged the commitment of NCC to continue to be in the vanguard of implementing the Federal Government’s policies aimed at digitalising the nation’s economy.

Speaking earlier, the Director, Public Relations of Huawei Nigeria, Lola Fafore, observed that the fully-fledged computer laboratory donated to the school is equipped with free 4G internet service for 90 days as well as computer-based testing (CBT) training applications for JAMB installed in the computers for the benefit of the students.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, with the Director, Public Relations, Huawei Nigeria Limited, Lola Fafore at the event.

She said, as part of the company’s contribution to Nigeria through corporate social responsibility, the firm would continue to promote digital inclusion, especially through provision of access to technology.

“As a company, Huawei looks forward to making more contributions to Nigeria by supporting the NCC in bridging the digital connectivity divide, training talents, building capacity, knowledge transfer and supporting the process of achieving a fully-digital economy,” she said.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of Danbatta Charity Foundation (DCF), Nasiru Danguda, commended the NCC for attracting major development projects to the community, thereby opening unprecedented windows of opportunity for the people.

Danguda said, “This is not the first time Huawei is donating this kind of project in Danbatta as Maimunatu Girls Secondary School is also a previous beneficiary. We, the people of Danbatta, are grateful to you and are also proud that we have Prof Danbatta making us proud with his outstanding performance at NCC, which has attracted us to global giants like Huawei.”

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC (Centre), during the commissioning of the computer laboratory.

Only recently, traditional rulers and concerned community leaders commended Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta for his role in boosting security and supporting other initiatives aimed at stepping up the tempo of development in Danbatta Local Government Area, Kano State and its environs vis-a-vis concerted effort towards national development.

The inauguration ceremony was organised by DCF in conjunction with four other organisations, namely Zauren Tuntuba, a non-for-profit organisation; Danbatta Academic Forum (DAF); Danbatta Reporters; and, Duniya Ba Hutu.

Also at the event, 10 (ten) female students from Muslim Community College of Health Sciences and Technology, Funtua, and another 20 (twenty) female beneficiaries of the vocational training empowerment programme with bias for tailoring and fashion designing, all under the sponsorship of Prof. Danbatta, celebrated their graduation.

The event, which featured the presentation of sewing machines and other fashion designing items to the two sets of qualified trainees, also saw Prof. Danbatta being conferred with a special recognition award for his immense contribution to the security of Danbatta community, among other community development initiatives

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June 12: Tinubu’s posters flood Kano streets

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

The posters of National leader of All Progressive Congress APC, Bola Tinubu have flooded major streets of Kano metropolis amidst June 12 celebration.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Tinubu was billed to arrive Kano on Saturday to witness formal defection of former gubernatorial candidates of the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN) and People Redemption Party PRP, Abdulsalam Abdulkarim, popularly known as AA Zaura and Salihu Sagir Takai as well as son of former head of state Risqua Murtala Muhammad.

However, Mr Tinubu has not been sighted at the grand ceremony which attracted mammoth crowd at Kano Pillars stadium.

Although there was no known reason why Mr Tinubu has not attend the celebration, his posters has been pasted in major streets of Kano metropolis.

The areas flooded by the Jagaban posters include Sani Abacha stadium, Kofar Nassarawa bridge, Emirs Palace road and BUK road.

The posters carried an inscription of Democracy day congratulatory message ‘Happy Democracy Day’ from Tinubu Advocacy Group.

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