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Pantami Commends Agencies in the Communications Sector

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has commended all the agencies in the communications and digital economy sector for being dedicated to the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, and urged them to work collaboratively and co-ordinately in order to achieve the Federal Government’s strategic objectives as articulated in NDEPS.

KANO FOCUS reportsthat Pantami stated this at a retreat organised by Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE) for senior management staff of the Ministry and all its agencies which commenced on March 31, 2022.

The retreat was convened to evaluate the implementation of NDEPS in the context of what has been achieved, what needs to be achieved, and what processes should be emplaced to enhance the capacity of the Ministry and Agencies it superintends to mobilise all stakeholders to accomplish the objectives of NDEPS.

The retreat took place at the Nigerian Army Officers Wives’ Association (NAOWA) Centre at Mambilla Barracks, Abuja.

Citing the most recent report of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Minister in his keynote and opening address told the forum that synergy among stakeholders in terms of co-operative posture, collaboration, coordination, deployment of social skills such as good listening skills, critical and analytical thinking, emotional intelligence, as well as project management and quality assurance skills, are central to organisational effectiveness, successes and the future of work, as projected by WEF.

Pantami then urged all the agencies and their staff to challenge themselves to do more rather than think of themselves as competitors.

Also speaking at the retreat, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta asserted that the NCC has acted superlatively in implementing NDEPS and in the context of the vision of Federal Government and the supervision of the Ministry.

Danbatta who made clearly methodical presentation that chronologically documented NCC accomplishments under each of the eight (8) pillars of NDEPS, cited 10 of the 16 regulations that have been instituted in giving expression to Governments vision on developmental regulation, which is the first pillar of NDEPS.

These regulations were focused on Enforcement Processes, Lawful Interception, Quality of Service, Competition Practices, Licensing Regulations, and Universal Access and Universal Service among others.

Danbatta promised to also complete the review of the remaining soonest and activate their implementation. Danbatta, who used a triangulation method in contextualising the achievement of NCC under the first pillar, itemised the guidelines, regulations and policy development initiatives to discharge the burden of proof of NCC’s effectiveness in the regulation of ICT and digital economy sector through approaches that enabled development.

In implementing Digital Literacy and Skills, the second pillar, Danbatta also stated in his clearly explanatory presentation, that the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), set up by NCC in 2004, had trained 5,352 students through 49 institutions, provided educational training software to 398 secondary schools, and endowed 7 professorial chairs in various Nigerian universities across all the geopolitical zones.

On Solid Infrastructure, the third pillar of NDEPS, Danbatta stated that broadband penetration as at December 2021 was 40.88 percent, thus enabling 80 million Nigerians to have access to broadband services.

To reinforce the intensity of NCC’s commitment to improving broadband penetration, the EVC declared to the forum that NCC has emplaced a process for the deployment of optic fibre cable using Infrastructure Companies (Infracos).

Danbatta was emphatic that the licensed Infracos have been directed by the Commission to commence immediate roll out without recourse to counterpart funding because the licence issued to them is independent of the counterpart funding agreement.

The Infracos are expected to lay 38,296Km of fibre optic cable. Also, in keeping with Government’s directive through a Federal Executive Council decision of 2005, NCC has constructed 32 Emergency Communication Centres (EECs) in various states, and 32 of those have been activated and are operational.

Prof. Danbatta also documented copiously in his presentation, Commission’s achievement in the other five pillar areas.

Dr. Armstrong Takang, an innovative and technology-for-development specialist, who presented the lead paper as guest speaker, praised the Federal Government for concretely aligning ICT, and digital economy with national economic imperatives.

Additionally, he commended NCC for driving the necessary infrastructure purposely and strategically, and for its effectiveness in regulating the telecom sector.

Takang, citing Lagos State and the Federal Capital Territory Administration as good models, Takang emphasised the correlates of adoption of technology or automation in economic growth and effective governance, crediting technology for improved internally-generated revenue in Lagos State.

Takang recommended that Nigeria must link technology to specific programmes that are impacting and sustainable. He also asserted that Nigeria needs to undertake pilots for projects that are planned for implementation and utilise the results of the pilots to scale up and for budgeting.

Takang also bemoaned the human capital challenge in the ICT sector in Nigeria, insisting that at least 500,000 software engineers are required to redirect efforts for effectiveness of policy.

The Director overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary in FMoCDE, Engr. Abubakar Ladan, and the following CEOs of the other agencies in the Ministry also made presentations on their efforts and activities towards accomplishing the objectives of NDEPS: Mr. Ayuba Shuaibu, Acting Executive Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF); Dr. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), represented by Engr. Abdulrahman Adajah; Engr. Aliyu Aziz, Director General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC); Kachifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); Prof. Muhammed Abubakar, Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Plc; Dr. Adebayo Adewusi, Postmaster General of the Federation and Managing Director, Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST); and Dr. Vincent Olatunji, National Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB). All the agencies and the Ministry were well represented at the retreat by at least 6 officers in the directorate cadre.

The retreat will end on April 1, 2022.

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Gov Yusuf vows to fish out perpetrators of thuggery in Kano

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

Kano State governor, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, has vowed to investigate and fish out perpetrators of political violence, threatening that the government would not spare anybody, irrespective of their political parties.

KANO FOCUS reports that Gov Yusuf made this known on Friday when he received the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, who paid the traditional homage at the government house as part of the Hawan Nasarawa activities.

He then promised to work hand in hand with the emirate while noting their contribution and cooperation with the government.

Commissions of inquiry not targeted at opposition

Governor Yusuf, has said that the Commission of Inquiry created by his government to investigate political fights that led to killings in 2023 and to investigate the alleged diversion of public funds was not meant to witch-hunt anyone, but to re-write the wrong

He said the commissions were set up to ensure transparency and accountability in government and to tackle the menace of political violence in the state.

According to him, the move was to put an end to political violence, which leads to the loss of lives and destruction of properties and to place the state on the path of economic and political development

Earlier, the Emir commended the government for the distribution of palliatives, which he said to a large extent cushioned the hardship among the residents while calling for adjustment where necessary.

Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero,

Emir Bayero condemned in totality the trend of horse riding, thuggery, phone snatching, and other internal crimes that, according to him, led to the loss of lives and properties.

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Dangote donates bags of rice to 48 charity groups in Abuja

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

Continuing its National Food Intervention Programme, the Aliko Dangote Foundation has facilitated the distribution of thousands of bags of rice to beneficiaries and vulnerable Nigerians in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, with no fewer than 48 charity organizations and orphanages involved in the process.

According to the company’s spokesperson, Anthony Chiejina, the initiative represents a continuation of the Foundation’s commitment to supporting the government and the Nigerian populace in alleviating economic hardship within the country.

Mr. Chiejina noted that following the National Flag-off events in Kano and Lagos, the Foundation initiated the distribution of one million bags of rice throughout all the local government areas in Nigeria last month.

The coordination of the distribution exercise in Abuja is being undertaken by the 1Ummah Foundation, led by Mrs. Azeeza Hassan-Jibril.

Speaking to newsmen, Mrs Jibril said some of the groups that are supporting the ADF in the distribution exercise are: Hope for survival Children’s Home Gishiri, Child to Child Charity Foundation, Gajiya Charity Foundation, Mission for Education, Social and Health (MESH), JADAFIA Group, Network of Women with Disabilities (NWD), Dagam Pilame Community Association, Eeqra Foundation/Orphanage, Leprosarium-Yangoji, Support our troops (SOT) Foundation for widows, Karmajiji Disabled Colony, Bimbola Nutrition and Health Foundation, NASFAT Foundation, and JIBWIS Group among others.

Mrs. Jibril said the donation will greatly and positively impact on the beneficiaries in Abuja.

Reacting, Lead Program Officer of the Mission for Education, Social and Health (MESH), Mrs Khadija Oladipupo, said the rice donation has helped “nourish and uplift those in need within our communities.”

“Together, we’re making a meaningful difference in the lives of our population, especially those in need,” she said.

In her response, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Gajiya Charity Foundation, Hafsat Umar Gimba, expressed gratitude, describing the intervention as a generous assistance.

She said: “Receiving the items you sent has brought immense relief and comfort to the less privileged in the society during these hard times. Your kindness and compassion have touched their hearts profoundly. The rice provided have eased their burdens and provided them with the necessities they desperately needed.

“Knowing that there are individuals and organizations like ADF and 1Ummah who care deeply about the well-being of others fills me with hope and renewed faith in humanity. May you continue to be blessed abundantly for your noble work, and may your kindness inspire others to lend a helping hand to those in need.”

In the same vein, Administrative Secretary, Movement for Islamic Culture and Awareness (MICA), Adeniyi Akeem Akanbi, said: “we sincerely appreciate your support for the rice given us to share among our members and people of Lugbe environs. We say Jazakah lahu kayran to the Dangote foundation and pray Allah reward the organization abundantly.”

According to the President of Network of Women with Disabilities (NWD), Lois Auta, “Your commitment to supporting marginalized communities, particularly women with disabilities, exemplifies your dedication to social responsibility and compassion. Through your donation, you have not only alleviated the immediate needs of those in our network but also demonstrated solidarity and empathy towards our cause.”

Meanwhile, the President of the JADAFIA Group Mrs. Rakiya S Bamalli said: “I want to express our heartfelt appreciation for the generous donations provided by the Aliko Dangote Foundation during the holy month of Ramadan.

“The contributions have enabled us to expand our Ramadan outreach programs, including the distribution of food packages, iftar meals and essential supplies to families and communities facing hardship. This has made a significant difference in our efforts to provide relief to those in need within our community.”

Responding, representative of the Bimbola Nutrition and Health Foundation Mr. Femi Akosile said: “We take this moment to appreciate Aliko Dangote Foundation for the provision of 10kg bags of rice for distribution to the less privileged and vulnerable groups.

“Your contribution has made a significant impact on our efforts to support those in need in our community. The rice has been distributed to families and individuals who are experiencing food insecurity. We want to sincerely say that your partnership and commitment to making a positive difference in our community are truly inspiring, and we are honored to have had the opportunity to work with you.”

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Kano governor reappoints Ogan Boye Special Adviser Youth

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Governor of Kano State, Abba Yusuf, has reappointed Yusuf Shu’aibu Imam popularly known as Ogan Boye, whom he sacked amidst tension associated to judgement of governorship electoral petition tribunal.

KANO FOCUS reports that the governor’s spokesperson, Sanusi Bature, on Tuesday, announced that Ogan Boye was reappointed to his previous office.

According to the spokesperson, the governor also approved the appointments of additional special advisers and other heads of government agencies.

Former chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Bayero University, Kano branch Pofessor Ibrahim Magaji Barde was appointed Special Adviser on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Dr Abdulhamid Danladi was appointed Special Adviser on Diaspora and Bello Muhammad Kiru was appointed Special Adviser on Water Resources.

Other appointees include Nura Jafar Shanono, who moved from Special Adviser Water Resources to Managing Director of Water Resources Engineering and Construction Agency (WRECA).

Nasir Mansur Muhammad was appointed Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) while Aminu Hamidu Bako Kofar Na’isa is to serve as Deputy Managing Director of the Kano Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA).

Mukhtar Yusuf was appointed the Deputy Managing Director of the Water Resources Engineering and Construction Agency (WRECA).

Baba Abubakar Umar was moved from Special Adviser to the governor to Executive Secretary Private and voluntary Institutions Management Board.

 

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