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NCC Bags Best Public Sector Regulator Award

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Nasiru Yusuf

   

In recognition of the diligence, thoroughness, stakeholder inclusiveness, and the superlative outcome that attended the auction of the processes towards the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) network in Nigeria, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been conferred with an award of excellence as the “Public Sector Regulator of the Year 2021.” 

KANO FOCUS reports that the award was conferred Neptune Network Nigeria Limited, which organised the conferment ceremony concurrently with the launch of the Lami Fatima Babare Cervical Cancer Awareness Foundation. The event took place at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers Abuja, on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.

Speaking at the award ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer, Neptune Network Nigeria Limited, Hassan Gimba, said aside the recognition of NCC’s pioneering regulatory role in leading the processes for 5G deployment in Nigeria in the West African subregion, the Commission was adjudged winner of the award based on its historic auction of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum in preparation for the deployment of 5G services which will become operational in the second half of this year.

According to Gimba, the spectrum auction was not only competitive, it was thoroughly, painstakingly and successfully completed with the final bid ending at a price 30 per cent higher ($273.6 million) than the initial offer of $197.4 million. “This is not only historically remarkable in terms of organisation, it is commendable because it brought substantial revenue to the coffers of Federal Government to enhance socio-economic development of other sectors in Nigeria”, Gimba asserted.

Other reasons cited by the organisers of the event for considering the Commission worthy of the award, include the recognition of its various regulatory efforts and strategic initiatives that have resulted in impressive contribution of the telecommunications industry to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This has helped to lift the country out of recession and bolstered national economic recovery strategies.

The conferment of the award was also premised on the remarkable role the Commission has been playing in cybersecurity awareness campaign focused on informing, educating and protecting the teeming telecom consumers from falling victim to the wiles of cyber criminals. The organisers particularly placed on record the establishment by the NCC of the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), the telecom industry’s sectoral watchdog for cyber threats. The Neptune Network, said it was gratified by the regular alerts to telecoms consumers on any novel cyber threats which were based on the works of CSIRT and the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), the national centre for the coordination of incident response and mitigation strategies for cyber threats.

Gimba commended the Commission under the leadership of Prof. Umar Danbatta, its Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, for creating an enabling environment for competition to thrive among operators in the industry and its unwavering commitment in expanding the nation’s frontiers of growth and development through accelerating broadband infrastructure deployment.

Receiving the award on behalf of the Commission, in the full glare of other eminent Nigerians, including the representative of Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, who was knighted as Governor of the Year, the NCC’s Head of Online Media, Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, thanked the Management of Neptune Network Nigeria Limited for the recognition. He stated that the Commission will not rest on its oars because the award has boosted NCC’s determination to work even more, within the framework of its mandate, for the benefit of the Nigerian people.

“On behalf of the Board and Management of the Commission led by our inspiring Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, I convey the gratitude of Commission to the organisers of this event and thank them for this special recognition. The Commission treasures this gesture and sees it as another wake-up call to do more in the effort to unleash the full potential of Nigeria’s digital economy,” Ibietan said.

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Girls Education: UNICEF commends FCDO for spending $100m in Northern Nigeria

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Nasiru Yusuf 

The United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has commended the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), for their financial investment of $108,493,125, 871 in girls education programme in Northern Nigeria.

KANO FOCUS reports that Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kano Field Office, Mr Rahama Farah, gave the commendation at the official closing of the 10-year intervention project GEP3 in Kano on Monday.

He said that the 10-year project had invested heavily in teacher development which improved the learning of teachers in Integrated Qur’anic and Islamic schools.

Farah said that the trained teachers demonstrated the minimum teaching competencies to about 30 per cent against the 2 per cent baseline impacting on learning outcomes.

According to him, “in spite of achievements of the project, there is still need for more investment in education and girls education in Nigeria and Kano, to ensure that all children had equal opportunity in education.

“Kano has the highest transition rate to junior secondary schools of only 28 per cent, which means that we need to work hard to remove the bottlenecks that prevented positive transition,” Farah said.

The Chief also pledged continous partnership with Kano state government in providing educational support for all.

In his remarks, the Kano state Commissioner for Education, Abdullahi Yan Shana, has commended the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) for their intervention project on Girls education project (GEP3) in Kano.

He said that the project had indeed improved the capacity of teachers to deliver effective learning and improved governance to strengthen girls education.

According to him, “The 20172018 annual schools census of the primary school pupils stood at 3,807,588 with 1,9778, 884 as girls.

“But in 20192020, the Annual School Census indicates 3,933,572 in which 2,050,309 were girls.

This signifies that there was 96.5 per cent increase of girls enrolment and retention in the state.

Yan Shana specifically commended some component of the intervention such as community engagement of mothers association.

He explained that the intervention had indeed gingered and sensitised rural women to the benefits of girls education.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Girls Education Project (GEP3) is a 10 years intervention supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The project was implemented in partnership with the Federal and state ministries of education and other educational agencies in Kano and was funded by the UK government through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

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Ganduje Inaugurates Committee on inter-religious conference

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

 

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has inaugurated a very powerful committee on inter-religious conference, aimed at organising a befitting national conference towards a more tolerant Nigeria. 

KANO FOCUS reports that the event took place at Africa House, Government House, Kano, Monday.

The event was attended by some popular clergymen from Islam and Christianity as 23-member committee was inaugurated.

The occasion, according to him, is being “Considered very well for the development of the state, the nation and humanity in general.

“The management of diversity in Nigeria has become an issue. A very important issue. There must always be respect of one religion on other religions.”

Governor Ganduje argued that, Kano, being an oldest civilisation, that is highly cosmopolitan, “…for the state to continue coexist with other nationalities, we need programmes like this. We are trying to consolidate on that.”

Sheikh Muhammad Bin Uthman, Chief Imam of Sahaba Juma’at Mosque, is the Chairman of the Committee. While Arch. Bishop Peter Ogunmuyiwa (PhD) is the Co-Chair of the Committee. State Commissioner for Information Muhammad Garba serves as the Committee Secretary.

Governor Ganduje said “The membership of the committee looks at the diversity of this nation, the utterances you people are making, your behaviours towards diversity management and your commitment to nation building.

“You are to organise a befitting inter-religious Conference, you choose the appropriate theme, select appropriate date, day and venue for the proposed Conference. Part of your terms of reference, is to also provide adequate publicity, before during and after the conference.”

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BHCPF: WDCs, PWDs laud Kano Govt for Increasing the number of beneficiaries

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

 

The leadership of Ward Development Committees and People with Disabilities have commended Kano state government for increasing the number of beneficiaries of the basic healthcare provision fund (BHCPF).

KANO FOCUS reports that the state chairman of Ward Development Committee (WDC) Malam Bashir Adamu Jigirya Secretary General of Nigeria Association of the Blind Kano state chapter, Comrade Abdralrazak Ado Zango, made the commendation in an interview with journalists at PERL/ECP office.

Jigirya commended Kano state government for its prompt response to their demand saying that BHCPF has improved the health of the vulnerable and people with special needs.

Malam Bashir Adamu Jigirya

He however, raised concern on how National Identification Number (NIN) submission hindered some beneficiaries from accessing BHCPF services citing new born babies as example.

Also speaking Comrade Abdralrazak Ado Zango,  explained that they advocated for the increment due to the fact that, despite the total number of 3,474 forms allocated to the 9 clusters of PWD, leprosy survivors are yet to be enrolled into the BHCPF scheme because of finger print capture.

Comrade Abdralrazak Ado Zango

He maintained that, discrimination against people with special needs,choice of health facilities, failure to refer spinal cord injury patients to facilities, are some of the challenges bedeviling the scheme.

“We are calling in KSCHMA to ensure continuous orientation of health workers to change their attitudes towards PWDs,” Zango appealed.

BHCPF enrollment

It would be recalled that Kano state Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (KSCHMA), has approved the enrollment of more beneficiaries of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF), to promote inclusive access to health services.

The approval was sequel to an advocacy letter, signed by coalition of citizens groups which comprises of CSOs, PWDs, WDCs dated August 23, 2022, supported by PERL/ECP, addressed to the Executive Secretary Kano State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (KSCHMA) Dr. Halima Mijinyawa.

BHCPF enrollment

The advocacy centred around increase in number of beneficiaries, to reduce out of pocket expenditure to access health care services.

Similarly, another letter was sent to the Kano state ministry of finance by the group, seeking for the status of 1% consolidated Revenue fund (CRF), to address vulnerable package for contributory beneficiaries.

A circular obtained by KANO FOCUS showed approval of increasing the number of people living with special needs and vulnerable groups, into the Programme across the forty four local government areas.

BHCPF enrollment

Lafiya programme and PERL/ECP are providing technical support to Kano State Led Accountability Mechanism (KanSLAM) and Ward Development Committees (WDCs) towards successful implementation of BHCPF.

The Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) scheme.

The BHCPF is a health intervention scheme established under National Health Act (2014) to provide basic health care services to poor and vulnerable.

It is to reduce maternal mortality rate by 31% (from 576 to 400 per 100,000 live births), neo maternal rate by 33% (from 39 to 26 per 1,000 live births) with 50% of BHCPF.

The purpose of the BHCPF is to ensure the provision of basic health care package of health services to all Nigerians through National Health Insurance Scheme NHIS and state Kano State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency KSCHMA.

Another purpose of the programme is “Strengthening the Primary Health Care (PHC) system through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) with 45% of BHCPF.

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