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NCC overhauls regulatory instruments, management tools for operational efficiency

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it is adjusting regulatory instruments and management tools to ensure regulations are fit for future imperatives of a robust telecoms sector.

 

KANO FOCUS reports that the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management (ECSM), NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, stated this when he spoke at a panel session at the 2021 Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association held in Port Harcourt. The general theme of the Conference is, ‘Taking the Lead’.

Adewolu, who made the declaration in a panel discussion focused on Government Regulation of Innovation and Technology, said, “In specific terms, we are taking action in the following areas: We are adjusting regulatory instruments and management tools to ensure regulations are fit for the future.

“An example is our ongoing review of the Telephone Subscriber Registration Regulations to strengthen the framework for digital identity; and the review of the Spectrum Trading Guidelines to ensure more efficient use of spectrum.”

Also, the ECSM said NCC is laying institutional foundations to enable co-operation with other regulatory institutions and international organisations such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

The Commission, according to Adewolu, is also developing and adapting governance frameworks to enable the development of agile and future-proof regulation; and equally adapting regulatory enforcement activities to the “new normal”.

He said this is to ensure alignment with the rapid technological changes and innovations that are emerging at a high speed and with sophistication.

On censorship, particularly tackling illegal and harmful content on over-the-top (OTT) platforms, Adeleke said NCC had to opt for “a middle ground that promotes safe use of digital service platforms without necessarily stifling the exercise of the citizen’s right to free expression as guaranteed in the Nigerian Constitution.”

He explained that on technology platforms, censorship manifests in three scenarios, namely, restriction of person-to-person communications; restriction of Internet access generally; or restriction of access to specific content, which governments find objectionable.

This, he said, was pursuant to constitutional provisions such as those in Section 39(3) of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, as amended, which approves “any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society to prevent the disclosure of information received in confidence, maintaining the authority and independence of courts or regulating telephony, wireless broadcasting, television or the exhibition of cinematograph films.”

In particular, Adewolu declared that the third scenario is globally recognised as the ideal situation because one of the core responsibilities of government (as enshrined in Chapter 2 of the Nigerian Constitution) is to safeguard the lives and property of citizens.

Explicating further, Adewolu said that social media platforms allow instant communications without regard for impact or consequences. He insisted that self-regulation is possible, but “as we have experienced over and over again, an ill-considered post on social media can easily incite unrest and crises.”

He bemoaned the fact that leading social media platforms have demonstrated a rather unfortunate reluctance to moderate the use of their platforms for subversion and harm. “So, we cannot trust them to self-regulate,” he emphasised.

According to him, self-regulation has not been very effective, and interestingly, “the largest platforms are global platforms and many of them are protected by their home governments.

“For instance, “Sc.230 of US Communications Act provides immunity to firms like Facebook and Google from responsibility for content disseminated on their media, although they still apply fair usage and community rules which enables them to self-regulate.

“However, as we saw with the case of the former US President Donald Trump – people are often able to disseminate negative content for a while before they are cut off. Mr Trump had over 87 million followers he engaged directly with,” the ECSM stated.

Another example he cited happened just few days ago when CNN reported that Facebook deliberately failed to curb posts inciting violence in Ethiopia despite the fact that its own staff flagged such posts, and that Ethiopia is listed as a high-priority zone, which has been fighting a civil war for the past one year.

As Adewolu recalled, the UN Secretary General recently called for the regulation of social media platforms, and even the CEO of Facebook has made similar calls in the past.

“So, we cannot wholly depend on self-regulation. And whilst we cannot prevent citizens from freely expressing themselves on these platforms, it would be irresponsible for any government to allow unbridled use of these mediated communication to cause chaos and imperil lives and property.

“Government must act to protect social cohesion and national security,” he counselled.

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Sheikh Mahy Niasse denies urging Emir Sanusi to step down

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Supreme leader of the Tijjaniyya Ibrahimiyya Sect, Sheikh Muhammad Mahi Niasse, has debunked a letter making the round that he appealed to the Reinstated Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II to step down and follow his grandfather’s footsteps.

KANO FOCUS reports that this was just as the organisation said: “This is the second time these kinds of letters have been forged against our Global Tijjaniyya leader; the same things were done during the previous administration of Umar Ganduje, but this time around, anybody who is behind it will have himself to blame.”

However, in a counter letter written in Arabic and translated to Hausa, signed by the Commissioner of Religious Matters of Kano State and who also doubled as the Nigeria spokesperson of the Global Tijjaniyya Leader, Sani Auwalu Ahmad Tijjani, the purported letter asking Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II to step down is a forged one and does not emanate from their leader.

The letter reads: In fact, the purported letter touches on the integrity of our leader, who sees Muhammadu Sanusi II as his disciple in Nigeria and a person of humble background with sound religious character.”.

He said, “We have given those behind the purported letter to, within 24 hours, show themselves and explain from where it’s emanated and to whom it was sent; otherwise, we will not hesitate in taking legal action against them.”

He said already that security has been detailed on the matter, and anybody who is behind it will soon face the full wrath of the laws, “because we ask him to be arrested and prosecuted duly.”

Tijjani stated that they will not allow the continued destruction of the names of their religious leader and will always link him to things that he has never written.

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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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