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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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EFCC Kano zonal office secures 340 convictions in 2022 – official

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

 

The Kano zonal office of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured 340 conviction and loses only three cases in 2022.

KANO FOCUS reports that commission’s Deputy Director of Legal and Prosecution, Aisha Habib announced this on Thursday at Financial Crime Reporting Workshop organised for some selected journalists in Kano.

Aisha Habib

While giving the breakdown of both civil and criminal convictions achieved by the Kano Zone Mrs Habib said they have had 160 criminal convictions losing only two and 180 civil convictions losing only one in Kano State. She added that this put the conviction rates at over 90 per cent.

The EFCC counsel also listed a series of challenges that stalled financial crimes prosecutions amongst which are unwarranted frivolous acts of defendant counsels, constant cases adjournment and elevation or transfer of judges.

She said one of the difficulties they face while prosecuting financial crime is also unavailing of the identity of individuals behind some criminal transactions.

Mrs Habib hinted that although Section 6 of the Commission’s laws empowered them to investigate and prosecute persons suspected to be holding illegal money and properties, it is, however, highly difficult to get the original person behind illicit transactions.

Speaking, the commission’s chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa declared that the EFCC recorded 3, 440 convictions on financial and cyber crimes across the country from January to November 2022.

The chairman, who was represented by the Kano Zonal Commander, Farouk Dogondaji, also stated that the commission will work to ensure the enforcement of the Electoral Act as the 2023 general elections approach.

Farouk Dogondaji

“In terms of prosecution of cases in court, I am glad to inform you that, between January and November 25, this year, EFCC recorded 3440 convictions. The potentials for improvement are good as more ongoing cases are concluded in the remaining four weeks of the year.

“Remarkable as this feat is, we are not resting on our oars. We believe there is still a lot to be done which is the reason why we are actively seeking the support of all stakeholders, including the media,” he stated.

Participants

He also said: “On our part, we are working in close collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and other stakeholders to preserve the integrity of the electoral process. We will ensure that the Electoral Act is fully enforced and those who seek to influence voters through financial inducement are brought to justice.”

He described journalists as critical allies who are at the workshop to improve their capacity to be able to help in the fight against cyber and financial crimes in the country.

Wilson Uwjaren

Others who spoke at the occasion include the commission’s spokesperson Wilson Uwjaren and Dele Oyewale.

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Huawei names Computer Lab after Umar Garba Danbatta

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Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta commissioning the Lab

Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

A computer lab, constructed by Huawei Technologies and commissioned at the weekend to serve the community of Koguna Town of Makoda Local Government of Kano State, has been named “Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta Computer Lab”.

 

KANO FOCUS reports that Director, Public Relations of Huawei Nigeria, Lola Fafore, said at the commissioning, which was witnessed by the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, and the District Head of Makoda, Alhaji Labaran Abdullahi, that the project was among the company’s contribution to Nigeria as part of its corporate social responsibility. Fafore assured that Huawei will continue to promote digital inclusion, primarily through the provision of access to technology.

“Huawei has been operating in Nigeria for over 22 years now and we can say that Nigeria is a great country filled with many great talents and potential. We love the Nigerian people and are happy to always give back through Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives such as this,”

“Huawei is therefore constantly making more effort in terms of connectivity, applications, and skills transfer to promote digital inclusion for all. This is in line with Huawei’s mission to bring digital services to every person, home, and organization for a fully connected intelligent world. As part of our contribution to this great nation, we believe in making technology accessible to all. Technology should not be for the few, but for everyone,” she said.

In appreciation of naming the centre after him and donating to the community, Danbatta commended Huawei Nigeria Limited. He also thanked the company for the central role it has played in the development of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria.

“This computer laboratory was built through a huge donation by Huawei. And Huawei is a household name in Nigeria. They provide and manage services for major telecommunications companies in Nigeria. They are dominant in that sector. I can’t imagine the state of telecoms in Nigeria without the invaluable role that Huawei is playing in the country,” Danbatta said.

Traditional ruler of Makoda who doubles as Barayan Bichi, poured encomiums on the donors and the NCC boss, whose philanthropic disposition attracted the gesture to the community.

He said Danabatta has been making invaluable contributions to the development of our communities, the state, and the nation at large. The community leader stated that Danbatta has implemented many philanthropic and people-oriented projects in his Danbatta community in addition to his strides in driving the development of ICT adoption and usage, through numerous initiatives as the country’s Chief Telecoms Regulator.

Those who attended the commissioning ceremony include, the Vice Chairman of Makoda Local Government, Alhaji Yusif Bala, the Director of Human Capital and Administration of NCC, Barrister Usman Malah, the Chief of Staff to the EVC, Malam Hafiz Shehu, and the Controller, NCC Zonal Office in Kano, Malam Shuaibu Swade among others.

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AIDS Day: Kano’s HIV prevalence drops to 0.5% – Report

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state government said it is winning the fight against HIV in all parts of the state as prevalence rate has come down to 0.5 percent from the previous figure of 2.5 percent.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Commissioner for Health Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa stated this during a press briefing on the commemoration of the 2022 World AIDS Day.

He said the state government has invested hugely in the aspect of enlightening the public on HIV especially by knowing their status.

“At this juncture I wish to inform that the most recent survey conducted in all the states of the Federation (NAIIS), the prevalence rate for Kano has come down to 0.5 percent from the previous figure of 2.5 percent.

“Currently in Kano there are over 38,000 people living with HIV who are currently placed on treatment , 83% of which have attained virological suppression across our 43 comprehensive sites, with about 84% pregnant women attending ANC being counseled,tested and have received their results from over 600 PMTCT testing sites in the state,” Dr Tsanyawa said.

The Commissioner maintained that the achievements was as a result of the efforts and dedication of the state government through the Kano State Agency for the Control of AIDS (SACA).

Dr. Tsanyawa maintained that the present administration in Kano has placed highest priority on saving the lives of women and children through the provision of essential health service both at primary and secondary care levels.

He said this year’s theme of the world HIV day is”Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to end HIV”, adding that it was in line with the state government policy for free HIV/AIDS test in all its hospitals.

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