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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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Ganduje appoints new Emir of Gaya

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Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim Gaya

 

Nasiru Yusuf

Governor of Kano State Abdullahi Ganduje has in the early hours of Sunday announced the appointment Aliyu Ibrahim as the new emir of Gaya.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Ibrahim succeeded his late father, Ibrahim Abdulkadir who died on Wednesday at the age of 91 after protracted illness.

The Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Alhaji announced the appointment on behalf of the Governor.

According to Alhaji, “Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, by the power conferred on him by the Kano Emirate law 2020 as amended has approved the appointment of Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim-Gaya as the new emir of Gaya.

“The appointment followed the recommendation by the Gaya Emirate kingmakers after presentation of three candidates from the Governor appointed Aliyu Ibrahim Gaya as the new Emir,” he said.

The kingmakers include, Alhaji Alhaji (Wazirin Gaya), Wada Aliyu (Madakin Gaya), Bashir Albasu (Makaman Gaya), and Jafar Usman (Turakin Gaya).

Until his appointment the new Emir was the Chiroman Gaya.

The late Emir of Gaya, Ibrahim Abdulkadir died at the early hours of Wednesday after a protracted illness.

He is believed to be the oldest  (in age) among the five First Class Emirs in Kano state.

Before his ascension to the throne as the first historic Emir of Gaya, he was the District Head of Kunchi and Minjibir, at different times.

Gaya Emirate is one of the four new Emirates created by the Governor Ganduje administration in 2019.

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Photo News: Emir Sanusi visits Sultan of Sokoto

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Aminu Abdullahi

The former Emir of Kano has on Monday paid a courtesy visit to Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar lll.

Kano Focus reports that the pictures of the visit were published on a Facebook page linked to former Emir named ‘Sanusi ll Dynasty’.

Though the reason of the visit was not stated, but the former Emir has paid similar visit to Lamido of Adamawa in his capacity as leader of Tijjaniyya sect in Nigeria.

Emir Muhammad Sanusi ll

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Kano to revive bilateral relationship with Pakistan

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Aminu Abdullahi

Kano State Government has expressed commitment to revive the long existing relationship with Pakistan.

KANO FOCUS reports that Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje gave the assurance on monday while receiving the Pakistani High Commissioner to Nigeria Muhammad Tayyab Azam at the Government House.

Ganduje represented by his deputy Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna said Kano endowed with lots of potentials is open for people to come and invest, particularly those from Pakistan.

“We are happy for showing commitment towards reviving the long relationship between us. I can remember the partnership we have in the engagement of Pakistani teachers in our schools which has yielded a lot today.”

“Even in the area of agricultural mechanization we have partnered with Pakistan especially in the supply of tractors to our farmers,therefore I feel if we continue to explore agriculture it will be beneficial to both Kano and Pakistan”.

The Governor also commended Pakistan for showing interest in reviving the bilateral relationship with Kano State.

In his remarks the Pakistani High Commissioner Muhammad Tayyab Azam described the visit to Kano as historic and important being the first state he visited since assuming office.

“I know the importance of Kano as hub of business in Nigeria, after Lagos Kano is next where there is business opportunity”.

“There was a time in Kano when most schools   have many Pakistani teachers..my aim is to bring back that relationship”.

He however pointed out that Kano and Pakistan have similarities in both values and culture therefore it is important to deepen the relationship so as to sustain the partnership in  the areas of health and agriculture as that will create opportunities for our people towards boosting the economy.

The High Commissioner was accompanied during the visit by Pakistani Consul General in Kano Ahmed Ibrahim Yakasai.

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