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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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NUP presents Gov Yusuf with Outstanding Governor of the Year award

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….Acknowledged him as the “Most friendly Governor for pensioners

The national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners has bestowed upon the Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, the title of the most pensioner-friendly Governor of the year.

This was contained in a statement issued by governor’s spokesperson Sunusi Bature Dawakin Tofa on Thursday.

In presenting the accolade to the Governor, the national chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Mazi Godwin Ikechuku Abumisi, expressed that it was incumbent upon the union to acknowledge the Governor due to his steadfast dedication to the welfare of pensioners in the state.

“Your Excellency, you shine brightly as a beacon of support to our members.

“Over the past year, you have authorized and disbursed eleven billion naira to clear the backlog of pension gratuity payments.

“This milestone is unparalleled; no other governor has accomplished such a feat within a single year since the restoration of democracy in Nigeria.”

In their messages of goodwill earlier, the state chairmen of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in Kano expressed gratitude to the Governor for his unwavering commitment to addressing the pension liabilities amounting to N43 billion left by the previous administration.

Responding to the honor, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf reiterated his unwavering dedication to supporting pensioners by the settlement of their gratuities and the timely disbursement of monthly pension allowances.

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Kano emirate tussle: Police ban Sallah durbar

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Kano State Police Command has prohibited the planned Durbar celebrations by both dethroned Emir Aminu Ado Bayero and reinstated Emir Muhammad Sanusi ll.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Durbar, a traditional ceremony typically held a day after Sallah, involves the Emir riding on horseback through major areas of Kano city.

Despite both Emirs having made preparations and requested security permission from the state police command, the police have denied their requests due to potential security concerns.

The Kano State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Haruna Kiyawa, confirmed the ban in a statement issued on Thursday.

The statement, titled “Ban on Durbar Activities and Other Security Restraints During Sallah Festivities,” emphasized that the police command has issued security advisories to residents in preparation for the forthcoming Sallah celebrations.

The police decision aims to prevent any potential conflicts or security breaches that could arise from the ongoing emirship dispute.

The Kano State Police Command congratulates Muslim faithful and all law-abiding residents of the State for witnessing yet another Eid-El-Kabir Sallah period and assures that adequate security deployments have been put in place to ensure no breakdown of law and order in all parts of the State before, during and after the festive period.

SP Kiyawa added “This is part of the commitment to sustenance of the peace by the Kano State Police Command in conjunction with all the relevant security stakeholders.

He state that “in furtherance, a ban has been placed on ALL DURBAR activities throughout the State for the upcoming Eid-El-Kabir celebrations”.

This measure is taken as a result of series security reports obtained and wide consultations made with relevant security stakeholders to ensure the safety of the larger community.

However, worshippers are advised to conduct their normal Eid Prayers at the various designated Eid praying grounds, traditionally done in the past.

On a final note, the Command encourages continued collaboration and cooperation from all stakeholders to collectively work together to build a safer and more secure environment.

The Command also urges everyone to keep reporting any suspicious movement of person(s) or item(s) they come across to the nearest Police Station or through the following Kano State Police Command emergency contact numbers:- 08032419754, 08123821575, 09029292926.

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Kano Emirate tussle: Court confirms jurisdiction to hear rights violation suit

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Aminu Ado Bayero

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Kano, has ruled that it has the jurisdiction to preside over the case of human rights violation brought by deposed Kano Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero, and a senior councillor, Aminu Babba DanAgundi, following the reinstatement of Emir Mohammadu Sanusi II.

KANO FOCUS reports that the court had granted an ex-parte order stopping Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano from reinstating Sanusi pending the determination of a substantive suit filed against his reinstatement.

The order also kicked against the abolishment of four emirates – Bichi, Gaya, Karaye, and Rano – in a bill earlier passed by the State House of Assembly.

It directed all parties involved to maintain status quo ante pending the determination of the suit filed by Sarkin Dawaki Babba and Aminu Babba-Dan’Agundi.

Justice Liman granted leave to the Plaintiff/Applicant to issue and serve their concurrent originating motion as well as all other court processes on the 6th defendant (IGP) in the FCT, Abuja, and outside the jurisdiction of the court.

The defendants in the suit include the Kano State Government, the Kano State House of Assembly, the Speaker of the State Assembly, the Kano State Commissioner of Police, the Inspector General of Police, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, and the Department of State Security.

Justice Liman said all parties are ordered to maintain status quo ante in the passage and assent of the bill.

“That parties are hereby ordered to maintain status quo ante pending hearing of the fundamental rights application.

“In view of the constitutional and jurisdictional issues apparent on the
face of the application, parties shall address the court on same at the hearing of the fundamental rights application which is fixed for the 3rd of June, 2024.

“That in order to maintain the peace and security of the state, an Interim Injunction of this Honourable Court is granted restraining the respondents from enforcing, executing, implementing and operationalizing the Kano State Emirate Law Council (Repeal) Law.

“That parties are hereby ordered to maintain status quo ante the passage and assent of the bill into pending the hearing of the fundamental rights application.”

However, when case resumed on Thursday, Justice Liman, relying on Section 42 Sub-section 1 of the Constitution, said the court has powers of jurisdiction to hear the case.

The judge noted, “What I find intriguing is the respondents total reliance on this case of Gongola, where as Section 42 Sub-section 1 of the Constitution has clearly spelt out the jurisdictional powers of the Federal High Court to preside over such case.

“My respectful view is that the case of Tukur against the Gongola is indistinguishable with the present case. Section 42 Sub-section 1 and Section 32 of the Constitution has vested a power on our court to decide on this matter.”

In continuation of the case the plaintiff counsel, Barrister Chukwuson Ojukwu, argued that the matter is ripe for hearing as to the main issues of the invalidity of the reappointment of a new Emir and the deposition of 15th Emir Aminu Ado Bayero.

But Barrister A. G Wakil insisted that the new motion seeking to continue hearing on the Chieftaincy Affairs issues was not part of the original summons and is a different application outside the matter of Human Rights Violation and the jurisdictional powers of the court, which the court had decided.

The judge explained that the matter was adjourned to Thursday, 13th June 2024, for only ruling and nothing else.

Justice Liman adjourned the case to 14th June, 2024, noting that the matter was too sensitive to linger.

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