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Sierra Leone’s Telecoms Regulator Visits NCC for Benchmarking



Nasiru Yusuf

Nigeria’s global ranking as a model in telecom regulation, and her status as a leading light of operational efficiency, solidarity and collaborative partnering in sub-regional and Continental telecommunication sphere, received a boost recently when a delegation from the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) of Sierra Leone, paid a visit to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for benchmarking of NCC’s regulatory policies, programmes and activities.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Sierra Leonean delegation, led by Amara Brewah, NATCOM’s Deputy Director-General, was received at NCC’s head office by Ubale Maska, NCC’s Exectutive Commissioner Technical Services (ECTS), on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Umar Danbatta.

Brewah expressed gratitude to NCC for the reception despite the short notice given, and stated that NCC’s gesture resounded the value it accords the relationship that exists between the two organisations.

He thanked the Management of NCC for the opportunity offered his team and described their interaction with many departments of the NCC as very engaging, quite rewarding and very contextual, considering that the two countries operated under similar circumstances and have had to contend with similar operational issues.

Brewah regretted that the short notification was due to an equally engaging sessions he and his team had at a recent forum of the West African Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA).

Maska, who warmly received the visitors, informed them that the EVC was scheduled to carry out an important international assignment before the planned visit of the Sierra Leonean counterpart was received by the Commission.

He told the visitors that, otherwise, the EVC would have loved to personally receive them because the NCC attaches great importance to visitations and exchanges by its counterparts, especially in the sub-region and on the Continent.

The ECTS said that the value NCC bestows on sub-regional and continental collaboration and partnership explained EVC’s gracious approval of the request and directive to him to receive the Sierra Leonean delegation despite the short notice.

Maska said the NCC Management was pleased by the fact that the NATCOM delegation found the visit and the engagement with many departments of NCC quite rewarding.

He said the Nigerian Communications Commission is quite appreciative of the trust and confidence reposed in it and in Nigeria by institutions like NATCOM, and the NCC looks forward unreservedly “to also learn how Sierra Leone handled some of its challenges in telecom regulation and other matters of similar interest, because we are also seek ways of improving our operations.”

Bako Wakil, the Director of Technical Standards and Network Integrity (DTSNI) at NCC, also expressed joy at seeing the Sierra Leonean delegation.

He thanked them for the visit and expressed NCC’s willingness to share more information with the visitors, especially on Quality of Service (Qos) matters, one of the central issues on which NCC never rested its oars in ensuring continuous improvement.

The NCC Management team that received the visitors include Reuben Muoka, Head Special Duties, whose Department co-ordinated the reception for the NATCOM team, Hafiz Shehu, Chief of Staff to the EVC, and Omoniyi Ibietan, Head Online Media, who represented the Director Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde.

Other members of the delegation from Sierra Leone were: Hon. Brima Mansaray, Member of the Information and Communications Committee of the Parliament of Sierra Leone; Paul Squire Esq., Member of NATCOM Board of Commissioners; Abdul Bah, Director Information Technology at NATCOM; Harding Tommy, Director Policy and Government Relations; and Shaka Sasha, Manager, Fraud Management Systems.

The delegation had engaging interactions with many arms of NCC including, the Departments of Digital Economy, Licensing and Authorization, Legal and Regulatory Services, TSNI, and Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis.

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Gov Yusuf rejects tribunal judgement, heads to appeal court



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim




The Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, has vowed to appeal the judgement of the governorship election tribunal which nullified his election and declared the APC candidate, Nasiru Yusuf Gawauna as the winner.

KANO FOCUS reports that Yusuf made the declaration on Wednesday night, while making a broadcast to the people of the state.

He said his legal team had been directed to appeal the judgement at the court of appeal in order to reclaim the mandate given to him by the people of the State.

He, therefore, Called on the good people of the state to remain calm and continue to be law abiding as security agents have been directed to ensure the safety of lives and property of the citizens.

“Let me assure you that the this government would continue to work for the development of the people of the state as the judgement will never dampen our spirit or discourage us from the good work we have started.” he said.

The Governor, who thanked the people of the state for their continued support and cooperation, urged them to go about with normal activities.

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Kano records 5,800 cases of Diphtheria – UNICEF



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim




The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Tuesday, said that Kano State has recorded 5,800 suspected cases of Diphtheria from January to date.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Head, UNICEF Field Office, Kano, Mr Rahama Mohammned-Farah, stated this in Kano during a one-day media orientation on Diphtheria outbreak.

The UN Agency said the cases were recorded in 39 local government areas of the state.

According to him, Kano State has the highest number of recorded cases in the country, adding that Diphtheria was a highly contagious and infectious disease that could cause death.

Mohammned-Farah stressed that proactive measures were necessary to stem the outbreak.

“Recently, we have seen a surge in the number of reported Diphtheria cases in Nigeria, and Nigeria is currently facing an outbreak that needs to be stopped and prevented.

“As of July, Diphtheria cases have been on the rise. As of last week, over 400 suspected cases with 11 deaths have been reported in Kano.

“Out of the 39 LGAs affected, eight are the most affected, including Ungogo with 2,651 cases; Dala 989, Fagge 943, Gwale 714, Kumbotso 713, Nasarawa 538, Kano Municipal 506 and Tarauni 269,” he said.

He said that 60.8 per cent of the suspected cases had been reported in children not vaccinated, which reinforced the critical need to address the issue of zero doses, especially in Kano State.

“UNICEF delivered 1.2 million vaccines to the Kano State Government in our continuing support to the government response to Diphtheria outbreak.

“Diphtheria outbreak is a threat to child survival, health and the wellbeing of children. UNICEF is collaborating with government and partners to respond to the emergency to save the lives of children affected.

“In Kano state, UNICEF supported Tetanus-Diphtheria reactive vaccination campaigns in February, April and August, vaccinating 23,200 children in round one.

“While 277,796 children vaccinated in round two and 29,500 others in round-3 of the exercise.

“We engaged 150 traditional leaders on Diphtheria outbreak and distribution of Diphtheria IEC materials, and deployed 1,500 VCMs to the worst affected LGAs to conduct house-to-house sensitisations and referral of suspected cases to health facilities.

“Media has a key role to play particularly in infection prevention, and risk communication and community engagement,” he said.

Also speaking, Dr Muhammad Nasir-Mahmoud, the Director-General, Kano State Primary Healthcare Management Board, said the state government had adopted drastic measures to curtail spread of the disease.

“We are committed towards educating the public about what is happening and the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has promised that Kano will be accorded priority in terms of vaccine distribution,” he said.

While describing the media as partners in the fight against Diphtheria, Nasir-Mahmoud urged them to support the campaign against the disease.

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IPAC appeals to Kano governorship tribunal to be impartial



Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The Interparty Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) has urged the judges of the Kano election petition tribunal court to discharge its duties with utmost integrity and impartiality.

KANO FOCUS reports that this was contained in a statement issued by the organization secretary Kano chapter Nuhu Idris on Tuesday.

IPAC also called upon the tribunal to consider each case diligently and ensure that all the parties involved are given equal opportunities to present their argument and evidence.

It could be recalled that the election tribunal has fixed Wednesday 20th September 2023 to deliver judgment on APC’s petition against Abba Kabir Yusuf.

A hearing notice issued by the Secretary of the election petition tribunal on Monday said the judgment would be delivered at 9.00 a.m., at the High Court of Miller Road in Kano.

Mr Idris said the organization has acknowledged the importance of the electoral process in a democratic society, where the voice and choice of the people are paramount.

He said the ongoing legal proceedings before the tribunal are a testament to the vibrancy of democracy and the resolve of citizens to seek redress through legal means.

“IPAC firmly believes that justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done.

“We, Therefore, implore the tribunal to maintain transparency in its proceedings allowing the public and all concerned parties to have confidence in the outcome of the legal process, the statement said.

He added that it is essential that the tribunal’s decisions are guided by the rule of law and the facts presented, rather than any external influence.

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