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Cable Equiano: Pantami, Danbatta Pledge Enabling Policy Environment for Wider Connectivity

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), and the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, have promised to continue to drive policy initiatives that promote investment in infrastructure in the Nigerian telecom industry in order to deepen connectivity to enhance the nation’s growth and development.

KANO FOCUS reports that the duo stated this on the sideline of the reception marking the landing of the Equiano undersea Cable System in Nigeria at the Open Access Data Centre at Lekki in Lagos.

Pantami and Danbatta commended Google LLC, the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC), and other investors for bringing additional bandwidth capacity into the country to drive connectivity and growth.

While Pantami was represented at the event by NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, Danbatta was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services at NCC, Ubale Maska. Other senior management staff of the Commission at the event included the NCC’s Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil, and the Controller, NCC’s Ibadan Zonal Office, Yomi Arowosafe.

The Minister said the Federal Government, through the Ministry, will continue to drive the implementation of existing digital economy-oriented policies already put in place by the current administration. Pantami also promised an enabling environment that encourages foreign and local investment in infrastructure project such as the way Google and its co-investors have done.

Also commenting, Danbatta said the Commission’s expectations, initiatives, and vision towards increasing broadband penetration, quality of service, advancement of a digital economy, and commitment to improving national security through technological advancement, are on the priority list of its regulatory interventions.

Danbatta expressed delight that Equiano has joined the list of other submarine cables at the shores of Nigeria, including SAT3 cable, MainOne cable, Glo1 cable, ACE cable WACS cable, Dolphin by Natcom, and MTN respectively.

The EVC assured stakeholders of  Commission’s commitment towards ensuring that the huge bandwidth capacity from these cables at shore in Lagos would be transmitted to different part of the country to drive robust and ubiquitous infrastructure. This is in keeping with the provisions of the digital economy policy being implemented by government in collaboration with all stakeholders.

The EVC expressed optimism that Google’s investment in the subsea cable, Equiano, will be significant in driving NCC’s ongoing implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, which aims at increasing broadband penetration to 70 per cent by 2025.

“We are hopeful that Equiano, together with earlier undersea cables in the country, will have additional landing points in the hinterlands through collaborative efforts with NCC-licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos). This will help to reduce retail data prices significantly and thereby complementing the Commission’s efforts at ensuring that affordable Internet services are available to boost Commission’s ongoing broadband policy initiatives”. Danbatta stated and thereby helped to reiterate the objective linkages of policies and plans in the telecom ecosystem, and the national economic strategies.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who also witnessed the unveiling of the Google submarine cable, underscored its centrality to Nigeria’s ongoing efforts to boost job creation and contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), over the next three years.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WIOCC, Chris Wood, also described the landing of the submarine cables as a major investment in the Nigerian digital economy.

The new cable system is named after a Nigerian hero, Olaudah Equiano, who survived enslavement in the 18th century and went on to become a famous writer and anti-slavery activist. Besides, the triumph over challenges, which Equiano’s life symbolised, the landing of the cable in Nigeria is expected to underscore Nigeria’s leadership as a regional hub for connectivity, and thus, set to attract cloud operators, content providers, content distribution networks and their associated ecosystems.

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2023: Tanko Yakasai raises alarm over plot to rig presidential election

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Tanko Yakasai

Aminu Abdullahi

An elder statesman Alhaji Tanko Yakasai has raised an alarm over a plot by some undemocratic elements to manipulate the results of the forthcoming presidential election with its attendant consequences.

KANO FOCUS reports that the politician raised the alarm in a press statement titled “Reflections of a 98-Year-Old Patriot: A Message to Those Planning to Rig the Elections” issued to journalists on Sunday.

He explained that his fear was rooted in the fact that “when people are consumed by their inordinate desires, they become blind to the bigger picture.”

The former Special Adviser to late President Shehu Shagari said, “My concern is not for myself, but for Nigeria and its people. I believe that for Nigeria to properly care for its teeming God-given population everyone in the country must live in peace and harmony”.

Yakasai in the signed statement said “Those who prioritize winning the upcoming elections at all cost may not understand my concern for the survival of Nigeria and its people, which only stems from my patriotism”

He lamented that “Unfortunately, there are unpatriotic individuals who are solely focused on their own selfish and narrow interests and do not care about the future of the country and its people. “

Yakasai’s strong-worded statement reads in parts: “I have been pondering on what motivates those who plan to rig or scuttle the upcoming elections in Nigeria and particularly the presidential election. Do they believe they can do so without consequences?

“In 1966 when the first attempted military coup was made. I was at that time the national publicity secretary of the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU), secretary of the Northern Progressives Front, and deputy national president of the Nigerian Youth Congress, during which I witnessed the tragic events of the 1966 coup attempt, in which late Chukuma Nzeogwo and his other misguided associates assassinated Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa our first and so far the only prime minister for Nigeria.

“Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna of Sokoto also the only premier of northern Nigeria, Brigadier General Zakariya Maimalari, Colonel Yakubu Pam, Colonel Kur Muhammad and other military officers were murdered by the coup plotters.

“I was also present during the Kano riot, which was a response to the murders of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and others I mentioned earlier. That tragic event resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and took place in various parts of northern Nigeria. The exact number of casualties, both military and civilian, has yet to be determined.

“From this tragedy, I learned that when people are consumed by their inordinate desires, they become blind to the bigger picture. This is why I want to advise those considering manipulating the results of coming presidential elections not to take any actions that could plunge our nation into catastrophe.

“At 98 years old and as the only surviving child of my parents, with only a few relatives, all I have are my children and grandchildren. I am a billionaire, not even a businessman. My concern is not for myself, but for Nigeria and its people.

“I believe that for Nigeria to properly care for its teeming God-given population everyone in the country must live in peace and harmony. While some may not share this patriotic concern, it is born from my patriotism and desire for the survival of Nigeria and the well-being of its people.

“There are those who are only concerned with their own selfish interests and unconcerned about the country and its people. Such people are carloads and unpatriotic.

“Furthermore, it is crucial that Nigeria develops in order to properly care for its burgeoning population. This can only be achieved if the country remains United, peaceful and harmonious. Those who prioritize winning the upcoming elections at all costs may not understand my concern for the survival of Nigeria and its people, which only stems from my patriotism. I can assure all that this concern is genuine.

“I am in politics for patriotic reasons, not personal gain. Unfortunately, there are unpatriotic individuals who are solely focused on their own selfish and narrow interests and do not care about the future of the country and its people.

“But there are many Nigerians who are only concerned about the country’s prosperity and of its people but who are concerned about peace and harmony as well as the peaceful coexistence of the over 200 million of its people and humanity.

“I, therefore, urge patriotic citizens to rise in defence of our motherland and its future not to allow the tiny misguided minority among Nigerians who are not looking at the greater picture of the country.

“We should together engage in a cooperative understanding of doing our utmost endeavours and synergy to save the country and protect its future.”

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Organisation trains youth leaders on peace, mediation

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Aminu Abdullahi

 

 

 

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Youth Action for Peace, says it has trained youth leaders in Kano on peace and conflict mediation to promote peaceful co-existence.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Lead Trainer, Barrister Comfort Usman, said that the training was organised in collaboration with MacArthur and Ford foundation and was aimed at training youth leaders on how to prevent conflicts.

According to her, the training is to increase the capacity of young peace builders to be able to mediate and promote peace in Kano and the country as a whole.

Usman, who emphasised the role of youths in nation building, said that with the training, youth leaders would be equipped with skills of mediation and conflict resolution.

“Youths are agents of peace, if properly trained, they will lead peace efforts successfully,” she explained.

Barrister Usman said that the training was strategically placed on dates close to general elections.

She urged youths to be agents of peace rather than destruction.

Cross Section of Participants

The lead trainer called on youths to shun violence and be their brothers keepers.

Earlier, the coordinator, Youth Peace Security Network, Kano, Barrister Nura Ahmad, said the exercise would go a long way to teach young people what conflict was all about and how they could live together as one.

He urged the participants to pass down the knowledge to young persons in their communities.

Cross Section of Participants

Ahmad also called on Nigerian youths to shun any form of violence and all manners of electoral malpractices in the 2023 General Elections and beyond.

A participant, Aisha Abubakar, said the training had helped her to understand the importance of peace and how to be a peace mediator.

Presentation of certificates to Participants

Another participant, Ismail Auwal, said knowledge gained from the training would help them to mediate or handle crisis when the need arose.

He also called for peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.

Barrister Comfort Usman

KANO FOCUS reports that after the training, Kano Youth Mediators Network was inaugurated.

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Late Emir of Dutse: An embodiment of national unity – NRO

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Aminu Abdullahi

The Northern Reform Organisation (NRO) says the late Emir of Dutse, Dr Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi led the Dutse Emirate Council for 30 years exhibiting the attributes of selflessness, accommodation and peace throughout his domain. 

KANO FOCUS reports that the NRO Director of Publicity, Malam Mahmud Adnan Audi made these declarations in a condolence message to the Dutse Emirate Council, the government and people of Jigawa State following the demise of the respected monarch yesterday.

Adnan said the monarch also treated indigenes of other states in the Jigawa State Capital as sons and daughters of the state.

He noted that the late Chancellor of the Sokoto State University also provided good counsel to the successive regimes in the state resulting in the effective maintenance of peace and the provision of infrastructure.

Adnan prayed Allah  to forgive the monarch’s infractions and provide him a space in Aljannah.

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