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Danbatta urges youths to embrace digital skills

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Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

Nasiru Yusuf

The adoption and utilisation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is synonymous with empowerment, as it transforms processes efficiently acting as an enabler of effectiveness in operations in every sector of the economy, including commerce, agriculture, health, security and governance.

KANO FOCUS reports that Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), made this assertion on Thursday, while delivering the 10th and 11th combined Convocation Lecture of the Fountain University at Osogbo, Osun State.

In the paper titled: “Empowering the Nigerian Youth though Information and Communication Technology”, Danbatta recalled the impact of ICT revolution in all parts of human endeavour across countries and continents, insisting that technology will continue to penetrate and foster qualitative and quantifiable changes in all aspects of life.

In all continents of the world, people, organisations and countries have continued to witness leaps and bounds in economic, social and political activities through instrumentality of ICT, which, according to Danbatta, has meshed computing, information and communication technology to catalyse development in ways and manners humans never envisaged decades ago.

According to Danbatta, Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicle; Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate; Facebook, world’s most popular public-facing digitally-mediated social networking platform, creates little or no content; Alibaba, a leading global retailer, has little or no inventory, yet they have become signposts of prosperity riding wholly on ICT resources.

To Danbatta, it would be a failing prophesy decades ago if anyone had said a company with no vehicle, just via an application, will control more than 75 million active commercial drivers in, at least, 80 countries.

It would also be contested that through a mere app, a company will provide accommodation to millions of travellers and tourists in more than 100,000 cities of the world.

Similarly, just as Alibaba, without inventory, had over 828 million annual active customers across its China retail markets, as at June 2021.

Needless to mention that the troves of contents synonymous with Facebook are actually generated by its 2.89 billion monthly active users.

The NCC CEO stated that the foregoing contextual demonstrations of the possibilities of ICT explain Federal Government’s policy decisions to strengthen ICT adoption in building a robust digital economy in Nigeria, eloquently expressed in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030; the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025 and other series of policies, guidelines and regulations derivative of the NDEPS and NNBP.

He explained that adoption of digital revolutions by government is creating multiplier effects across critical sectors, aiding job creation, better governance, youth empowerment and overall socio-economic development.

“It is the reason this objective reality is cited as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

Indeed, for over 10 years, ICT has consistent contributed more than 10 per cent of the Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the telecom sector alone contributed 12.45 per cent to GDP as at the fourth quarter of 2020,” he said.

Given that Nigeria accounts for 82 per cent of Africa’s ICT market and 29 per cent of continental Internet usage and sub-Sahara Africa being the fastest growing region for ICT adoption, the Federal Government, in its determination to ensure that the nation harness full benefits of ICT, instituted a broadband vision that will see Nigeria as a society of connected communities of high-speed broadband access and connectivity.

The EVC said the envisioned society will deliver Internet connectivity speed 10 megabits per second (Mbps) in rural areas and 25 Mbps in urban areas by 2025. Additionally, effective coverage will be available to, at least, 90 per cent of the population by 2025 at a price not more than N390 per one gigabyte of data.

Explicating further, the professor of telecommunications engineering informed the audience that the NCC has connected to the policies of government through its Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024 and the Strategic Vision Plan (SVP), 2021-2025, which streamline the provision of key extant policies for effective implementation by the Commission.

Danbatta, therefore, passionately appealed to the Nigerian youths to take advantage of Federal Government’s laudable policies, which have found expression in many activities of the Commission targeting the Nigerian youths.

These activities and interventionist programmes has, as primer, the ICT Hubs Support and Engagement programme, which brings youths together in the Nigerian tech ecosystem to deliberate and recommend frameworks and strategies for the development of the sector.

He stated that the overarching objective of the engagement is to harness the innovative and creative energy of the young people to promote ICT innovation and entrepreneurship, provide the linkage between policy makers, industry, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts to leverage the power of digital technology through local content development.

“This engagement and collaboration aligns with the Commission’s policy of inclusiveness which by the reckoning of development scholars, is imperative for growth and development,” he said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Olalekan Sanni, described Danbatta as an accomplished academician and administrator, whose wealth of experience was considered worthy of tapping into by the university community towards proffering solutions to the issue of youth empowerment and to suggest ways for enhancing Nigeria’s socio-economic life through effective leveraging of ICT.

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ASUU threatens to embark on strike over financial mismanagement in KUST Wudil

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Kano University of Science and Technology (ASUU-KUST), Wudil has expressed serious dismay and sorrow over the financial management style of the authority of KUST, Wudil, which is largely characterized by embezzlement and bogus expenditure.

KANO FOCUS reports that ASUU alleged that over the years the registration fees collected from the students were squandered and misapplied.

A statement sent to KANO FOCUS by chairman ASUU KUST Wudil, Muhammad Sani Gaya jointly signed by his secretary Murtala Muhammad the union is vehemently against the use of any component of registration fees to offset a loan facility amounting to N 200 Million with 10% interest utilized in procuring eight (8) exotic vehicles for the former Pro-Chancellor, A.B Mahmoud SAN and Principal officers of the university.

The statement observed that “The procurement violated section 16 subsection (1), section 24, section 25 and section 42 of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and Kano State Appropriation Law 2019.

“The students who went for SIWES in 2020/2021 session were not given Log book for daily record of the experiences gained, despite collecting N 500 for the Log book and N 3000 for SIWES/TP in the registration fees.

“Students pay N3000 as internet service charges; however, the internet service has become history in the university. There is also inadequate supply of pharmaceutical drugs and other medical facilities despite collecting fees from the students. The students are made to enroll into non-functional health insurance scheme.”

According to ASUU Salary arrears of Staff ranging from one to three months, were not paid and their pension contributions for the said period were deducted.

ASUU alleged that misappropriation and misapplication of funds has become a norm of the university authority.

“To this effect, the university authority has diverted over N 352 Million of staff pension contributions in gross violation of section 11 subsection 3 (b) and 70(2) of the pension reform Act 2014 and section 7(2) of Kano state pension and gratuity Law.

“Furthermore, the taxes deducted from the staff salaries have not been fully remitted to Kano Internal Revenue Service (KIRS).

“It became so embarrassing that the KIRS had to drag the university to Tax Appeal Tribunal in Kaduna after what they described as the nonchalance of the university authority to respond to the KIRS correspondences on the unremitted tax deductions. This singular action has already tarnished the good image of the University as a corporate entity.

“The union is strongly calling on the university authority to immediately address the aforementioned issues to avoid industrial dispute.”

The KUST management reacts

However, a statement sent to KANO FOCUS later in the day by the university’s spokesperson Sa’idu Abdullahi Nayaya dismissed the allegations as false, saying that the University did not violate any provision of the Procurement act or Financial Regulations.

According to the statement, all account books of the University are kept clean and up-to-date and there is no any iota of financial embezzlement.

The statement added that all outstanding issues requiring Government attention are receiving attention from the Government.

it observed that all issues raised are the same issues submitted to the Visitation Panel that have just concluded its assignment, noting that issues raised were stale as they have been addressed and explained for over five (5) years.

“The Management of the University stands firm in its resolve and commitment to keep ensuring a peaceful and conducive atmosphere for academic and administrative activities in order to see to the realization of the objectives of the founding fathers of the University.

“The Management, once again solicits the understanding, cooperation and support from all people in ensuring that KUST is taken to the next level.

“The Management, once again solicits the understanding, cooperation and support from all people in ensuring that KUST is taken to the next level,” the statement concluded.

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Armed Forces hospital Kano gets new pediatric surgical theatre

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pediatric surgical theatre to Armed Forces Specialist Hospital, Kano.

Nasiru Yusuf

A Non Governmental Organisation Smile Train has donated a pediatric surgical theatre to Armed Forces Specialist Hospital, Kano.

KANO FOCUS reports that the facility was commissioned by Emir of Dutse, Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi.

Speaking at the occasion the chief of Defence staff Lucky Irabor applauded the initiative.

Irabor, represented by Ginikanwa Nwosu said the Nigerian Armed Forces will continue to collaborate with relevant agencies in providing quality pediatric treatment to children as part of it corporate social responsibility.

Nwosu, a Major General in Nigerian army said the surgical theatre will help in solving cleft challenge in children.

According to him the centre is accessible to all Nigerians.

pediatric surgical theatre, Armed Forces Specialist Hospital, Kano.

“The paediatric surgical centre is not only beneficial to the Nigerian Army, it is beneficial to every citizens especially children from every part of the country with the deformity known as cleft. It is basically for them. Because the Armed Forces specialist Hospital, Kano is also open for the treatment of the general public.

“It is heartening to see this high level of collaboration to bring succour not just to members of Armed Forces and their family but the general public,” Nwosu said.

While donating the equipment, regional director of VP Smile Train and Africa Nkeiruka Obi said their aim is to ensure every child enjoys free access to cleft surgery.

pediatric surgical theatre, Armed Forces Specialist Hospital, Kano.

“This is in line with our mission to ensure that every child or every adult one with cleft in every part of the world is giving access to free and comprehensive cleft care. So that they are able to live healthy and productive life,” Mrs Obi said.

pediatric surgical theatre, Armed Forces Specialist Hospital, Kano.

The chairman of Grassroots smile initiative Adetokunbo Adebola said the facility now gets pediatric operating suit, recovery room fully equipped with 3D cone beam cephalometric x-ray machine and royal dental clinic.

This according to him, is to strengthen comprehensive healthcare services in the hospital.

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Court fixes March 17 for hearing of Yunusa Yellow’s appeal

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Yunusa Yellow

Nasiru Yusuf

The Court of Appeal, Portharcourt Division has fixed March 17, for hearing of the substantive appeal.

KANO FOCUS reports that one of the counsel to Yunusa Dahiru (Yellow), Sunusi Musa announced this in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

Other counsels to Yunusa Yellow present at the court include Huwaila Muhammad, Abdul Muhammad Rafindadi and Kayode Olaosebikan.

The Trial

The case of Yunusa and Ese generated a lot of reactions in 2015 when it was first reported.

Yunusa was arrested and arraigned at the Federal High Court, Yenagoa in 2016 in the suit number FHC/YNG/17c/2016 on a five-count charge of criminal abduction, illicit sex, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor.

Part of the charges against Yunusa read: “That you, Yunusa Dahiru, a male, resident in Opolo-Eipie area of Yenagoa in Bayelsa State, conspired with the duo of Dankano Mohammed and Mallam Alhassan, between August, 2015 and February, 2016, to commit an offence of abduction and thereby committed offence punishable under section 27(a) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”

In May 2020 the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, sentenced Yunusa, to 26 years imprisonment for child trafficking and sexual exploitation of Ese Oruru.

Ese was reportedly abducted by Yellow in Bayelsa in 2015, taken to Kano State where she was allegedly forcefully married and impregnated by Dahiru.

While delivering judgement Justice Jane Inyang, held that Yunusa was not guilty of count one which bothered on abduction.

The judge, however, found him guilty of child trafficking, illicit sex, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge.

He was jailed five years in count two (Child trafficking), seven years in count three (illicit sex), seven years in count four (Sexual exploitation) and seven years in count five (Unlawful carnal knowledge).

The judge, however, held that the sentences should run consecutively, which means the convict will spend a maximum of 26 years in jail.

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