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NCC has committed over N200 million to Research and Development – Danbatta

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Garba Danbatta, has declared that the Commission had committed over N200 million into the promotion of research and development (R&D) in order to drive innovation in the country’s telecommunications sector.

KANO FOCUS reports that Danbatta stated this during the prize presentation ceremony of the 2021 NCC National Essay Competition held on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, at the Conference Room of the Commission’s Head Office in Abuja.

At the event which marked the 3rd edition of the annual competition organised by the Commission, the EVC said the Commission has invested modestly in research grants, instituted professorial chairs in universities across the country, supported tech startups, and sponsored national essay competitions and many more social investments in order to ensure synergy and linkages among industry, the academia and the youth.

A statement sent to KANO FOCUS by commission’s Director, Public Affairs Ikechukwu Adinde said over 2,000 entries were received from 97 public and private tertiary institutions for the competition in which Esther Oluwabukola Gbeja, a 600-Level student of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Ilorin, was declared overall winner. Gbeja received a cash prize of N500,000.00, a laptop, and a printer; while the first runner-up, Moses Nosa Edosa, a final year student of Accounting at the University of Port Harcourt, received a cash prize of N300,000.00 only.

Two second runners-up emerged from the competition to pick the third prize. MarcPatrick Efevuriri Efeni, a 200-Level student of Cybersecurity at the Airforce Institute of Technology, Kaduna; and Nasiru Abdul Karim, a 400-Level student of Computer Engineering at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, both came third having scored same number of points. They both received cash prizes of N200,000 each.

The EVC said NCC gladly accommodated the additional prize due to the tie in the third place, as a mark of encouragement.

According to Danbatta, the topic for this year’s essay competition, “5G Technology: Opportunities & challenges”, was carefully chosen to ensure that the youths have a good understanding of the new technology.

He said Nigeria’s vibrant youth populace stands to benefit massively from the deployment of 5G technology, which the Commission is set to launch in 2022.

The NCC CEO said the Commission initiated and has maintained the annual essay competition to stimulate the interest of Nigerians especially the young people, to contribute to efforts in driving innovation in the technological ecosystem of Nigeria. “It is on this premise that NCC took the step to encourage Nigerian students to remain pro-active and partake in the national competition that challenges students to be competitive and engage their best efforts,” he said.

While emphasising the critical importance of communications as the foundation for the technological  development of society and its role in the provision of vital infrastructure for national security, the EVC highlighted the need to invest in research programmes as observed in advanced nations, where a lot of resources are channeled into R&D.

Danbatta seized the opportunity provided by the event to reiterate the assurances of the Commission to Nigerians that 5G technology will expand the mobile ecosystem into a new realm and the impact will be felt in various sectors of the economy.

The Chairman of the 3rd NCC National Essay Competition Committee, Edoyemi Ogoh, who is also a Deputy Director in the Commission’s Technical Standards and Network Integrity Department, commended the EVC’s effort in recognising the academia as a key stakeholder in the development of the communications sector, and in encouraging that critical sector to have a natural connection with the industry.

Ogoh further said that the Commission “knows the importance of innovative thinking in the growing ICT industry in Nigeria and as such, this has made the Commission to engage youths in various tertiary institutions across the nation to compete in essay writing on 5G technology.”

Also speaking at the event, Director, Public Affairs at the NCC, Ikechukwu Adinde, said the essay competition is one of the most important initiatives the Commission, and expressed his delight at the ability of the winners who have demonstrated vast knowledge on the subject matter during their presentation. Adinde also emphasised the influence of the competition in the stimulation of the minds of the target audience and the creation of positive awareness to debunk misconceptions about the 5G technologies.

The Director Public Affairs said, the outcome of the competition is an encouragement to the NCC Management to continue to support the national essay competition while ensuring that the Commission sustains such programme. He said the results are evident today as the NCC has, through the essay contest, produced four ambassadors of 5G. “These youths can go out and engage their peers about 5G, its benefits, opportunities and address the negative preconceptions about the 5G network,” Adinde said.

The essay competition was initiated by the NCC to deepen awareness and knowledge of telecommunications stakeholders in the country, especially the young people. Interestingly, every successive year, the competition is marked by massive responses in the number of essays submitted by students.

Though the Commission has been able to organise three of such national essay competitions, the resultant social and emotional equity has had impressive and quantifiable values on the Commission as a leading Nigerian public sector brand.

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Emir of Kano tasks philanthropists on girls education

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Nasiru Yusuf 

The Emir of Kano Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero has called on philanthropists and wealthy individuals to set up a scholarship fo girls education in the state.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Emir made the call while receiving members of the Girl Education Partnership (GEP) with support from the Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL) at the Kano Emirate Council.

The emir who was represented by Madakin Kano, Alhaji Yusuf Nabahani Cigari maintained that the Kano emirate council has been at the forefront of promoting girls’ education through District and Ward heads to penetrate people at the grass-root level.

Alhaji Yusuf Nabahani Cigari

He pointed out that the emirate had sponsored female students in some selected local government areas through secondary and tertiary institutions.

The Emir reiterated the emirate’s commitment to ensure enrollment retention transition and completion of girls’ education.

The monarch used the medium to called on the governments to sustain long-term education policies to uplift the standard of girls’ education.

According to the Emir, policies should have a long-term plan to enable proper implementation and evaluation to achieve the desired objectives.

Earlier in a remark, the leader of the delegation and co-chair of the Girls Education Partnership (GEP), Hajiya Mairo Bello said the partnership is working tirelessly to uplift the standard of girls’ education.

She noted that the partnership was established to brainstorm and proffer lasting solutions to problems bedeviling girl child education.

A member of GEP, and a lecturer with the Department of Adult Education and Community Development, Dr Auwal Halilu said the coalition had organized a town hall meeting in Rogo, Kunchi and Warawa local government areas of the state.

He described poverty, insecurity, lack of potable drinking water, drug abuse, and inadequate funding, as some of the major setbacks to girls’ education.

The girl’s education partnership with support from Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL), had visited Rano, Karaye and Kano emirate council to advocate for the cooperation of the Emirs in educating the public on how to support and upgrade girls education to global standards.

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INEC recognises Muhammad Abacha as PDP governorship candidate in Kano 

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Nasiru Yusuf 

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has put to rest controversy over who the Commission recognises as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano State between Muhammad Abacha and Sadiq Wali.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Commission’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kano, Risqua Shehu, told journalists, Thursday that as far as they are concerned, the elections conducted by Shehu Sagagi is the authentic elections.

Shehu said, “as at the time the PDP Primary was conducted, Shehu Sagagi was the one recognized by the law as the State Chairman of the party in Kano and is also the only election that we sent our observers”.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, who was responding to questions as to who they recognized as the authentic candidate of the party while briefing the media, said, “although the primary is purely party affair, as far as we are concerned, the elections conducted by Shehu Sagagi was the one we recognised”.

He said some party stalwarts came from Abuja that they were sent from the PDP headquarters to conduct primary elections into the gubernatorial seat of the State, but they came without a location of where the elections would hold.

“But later Shehu Sagagi, the state-recognized PDP Chairman by law as at that time, came with the same letter from the party headquarters and with locations and we sent our observers who monitored their elections”.

“And later in the day another team of observers claiming they came from the party headquarters came and asked us to send our team of observers to witness their primary elections but we declined because we told them we are acting on what the law says”.

Abacha and Wali had emerged winners of two parallel PDP primaries in Kano, with each of them claiming to be the authentic candidate of the party in the state.

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UK Govt to spend 6.2 million pounds on mutual accountability framework in Kano – FCDO Nasiru Yusuf 

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Nasiru Yusuf 

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, FCDO, Development Director Dr.Chris Pycroft has said the UK Government this year(2022) will spend Six point two million pounds on Health, Education and Core Governance through the Mutual Accountability Framework in Kano State.

Kano Focus reports that Dr. Pycroft  stated this on Wednesday during the 2nd Mutual Accountability Framework Strategic Dialogue meeting between Kano State Government and the UK Foreign   Commonwealth and Development Office held at Government House, Kano.

According to him good progress has been recorded in mutual accountability framework because in 2021 FCDO committed five point five million pounds in support of Kano development ambitions.

Dr.Pycroft also explained that the Mutual Accountability Framework and Strategic Dialogue are a clear statement of the United Kingdom’s commitment and support to the government and people of Kano State.

On his part while declaring the occasion open, Kano State Governor Dr.Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who was represented by his deputy Dr.Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna said the aim of the meeting is to review the commitment of the 1st Kano Mutual Accountability Framework which was signed last year to ascertain the journey so far with regard to implementation of key activities.

“The Kano Mutual Accountability Framework sets out the reform initiatives the Kano State Government introduced and the support FCDO will provide to drive overall growth and development of Kano State”.

“The revised Kano Mutual Accountability Framework will continue to monitor concrete reforms that will support good governance,improvement in economic recovery,investment and also reduce poverty through human capital development particularly on health,education and social protection the Governor said”.

He further assured the UK-FCDO and other development partners that Kano State Government is fully committed towards the success of the Kano Mutual Accountability Framework.

During the occasion, the Governor launched State policy documents on Development Plan, Social Protection, Food and Nutrition and Multi Sectoral Plan of Action.

Highlights of the event include signing the Mutual Accountability Framework Document by the FCDO Director Dr.Pycroft and Dr.Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna.

In attendance during the event were Commissioners, Chairman Technical Committee on Kano Mutual Accountability Framework Alh.Rabi’u Suleiman Bichi, Representatives of Traditional Institutions, Permanent Secretaries, Development Partners and Civil Society Organisations.

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