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NCC, stakeholders chart new path to effective telecoms regulation, industry growth

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has hosted the second edition of the Nigerian Telecoms Leadership Summit, in line with its tradition and commitment to engage with stakeholders in the telecom ecosystem with a view to pursuing proactive regulatory interventions targeted at ensuring an enabling operating environment and improving investment climate in the Nigerian telecom industry.

KANO FOCUS reports that the event, which took place at the Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos, was an assemblage of key industry stakeholders with the central objective to analyse the current state of the sector, process the issues, and chart new pathways to a more effective and sustainable regulatory regime for the stability and growth of the Nigerian telecom industry.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that the theme of the Summit: “The Future of Telecom Regulation in Nigeria,” presented a unique opportunity for the Commission to interact with critical stakeholders.

Through such interaction, the EVC said the Commission would be able to brainstorm and migrate to new frontiers of visionary regulations that will galvanise and foster desired growth in the industry.

Danbatta explained that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic triggered political and socio-economic uncertainties globally and underscored the crucial role of digital connectivity in keeping societies functioning, as the online life became, essentially, new way of life.

He stated that with the increased dependence on digital platforms, the theme of the event had become necessary in order to put in place a broader regulatory framework that will enhance and protect the integrity of the industry in the emergent digital economy.

In this context, the EVC said the NCC will continue to diligently pursue the implementation of policy frameworks such as Nigeria National Broadband Plan  (NNBP) 2020-2025; and the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 which are consistent with NCC’s regulatory interventions such as the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP), 2020-2024 and Strategic Vision Plan (SVP), 2021-2025, among others.

Danbatta said all the policy and regulatory frameworks principally seek to provide a platform for Nigerian citizens to engage in innovative developments for the telecoms industry and improve the nation’s ability to compete in the ever-competitive global space.

Explaining further on the transformation happening as a result of the expanding spectrum of digital ecosystem, Danbatta said the industry is witnessing new business delivery and breakthroughs due to the expansion of boundaries of digital Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), especially fintech and e-commerce firms.

The EVC said those consequential ecosystem have contributed to the growth of the Nigerian digital economy riding on telecom infrastructure.

Danbatta aptly reckoned that digital services and contents provided by these SMEs will leverage on broadband infrastructure and the upcoming deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) network being driven by the Commission to deliver more innovative and high-quality experiences to consumers.

“The Commission’s successful auction and licensing of the 3.5GHz spectrum licences in the last quarter of 2021 for the deployment of 5G technology is set to creat many opportunities for the development of the industry and as a regulator, we are conversant with the fact that a dynamic regulatory environment is needed to sustain this industry growth”, Danbatta said.

“Therefore, it has become imperative for us, as critical stakeholders, to appraise the progress made so far as an industry and chart the course for the future of the telecoms industry in the country,” he stated.

The EVC also informed that one of the sectors that had been positively impacted by the digital transformation is the financial services sector.

Amplifiying the EVC’s position, in his keynote address titled: “The Future of Telecom Regulation in Nigeria: Challenges of Access to Funding”, the

Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC, Dr. Ademola Sogunle, asserted that the telecommunications industry had become the sustaining stimulus of the post-pandemic era as consumers’ behaviours continue to shift towards digital trends.

Danbatta said that the contribution of the telecom sector continues to benefit the entire ecosystem.

While reviewing resolutions of the first edition of the Summit held in 2019, the Director, Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis, NCC, Yetunde Akinloye, said the Commission had implemented the recommendations of that meeting among which were Executive Order on Duplicity of Taxes and Levies, and Harmonization of Right of Way (ROW) fees.

She said other recommendations implemented include addressing of interconnect debt, review of the framework on interconnect clearing houses to ensure 10 per cent of traffic is  routed through clearing houses, incentive for small operators as well as monitoring compliance with Code of Corporate Governance.

To sustain the momentum from the previous industry leadership engagement, this year’s Summit provided the Chief Executives of companies in the telecom sector an opportunity to meet the EVC and top Management of the Commission at a roundtable for deeper thinking and greater reflection on the challenges in the sector and proffer meaningful solutions.

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Dangote food Intervention impactful in Nasarawa, Adamawa, others

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) has received a torrent of accolades as it continued to distribute bags of rice to poor and vulnerable Nigerians in Nasarawa and Adamawa States.

KANO FOCUS reports that Emir of Tunga in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim Shaibu, said: “The Aliko Dangote Foundation is not only a gift to Nasarawa State, but to all Nigerians.

The Emir said the ADF’s National Food Intervention Programme is supporting the government to cushion the impact of economic hardship being experienced in the country.

The Foundation had recently donated a total of 30,000 bags of 10kg rice to Nasarawa State.

The Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Dr. Emmanuel Agbadu Akabe, had announced the donation, noting that each LGAs of the State were allocated 2,000 bags apart from Karu and Lafia who were allocated 2,500 bags each.

The Deputy Governor commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote, describing him as the Father of Charity in Nigeria.

The beneficiaries of the rice programme said the intervention would ease hardship in their families.

Following the National Flag-off events in Kano and Lagos in March, the Foundation initiated the distribution of one million bags of rice throughout all the local government areas in Nigeria.

In her comments at the event, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the ADF, Zouera Youssoufou, said the Foundation was also distributing 10,000 iftar meals, during Ramadan in Kano municipality.

She said in addition to the Foundation’s daily bread relief programme, it is producing and distributing over 32,000 family-size loaves of bread across Kano and Lagos States every day since 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foundation has spent about N15bn on food intervention programme across Nigeria.

An executive member of the Tunga Development Association (TUDA), Muhammad Nasiru Tunga, said the food support from Dangote Foundation was very impactful and supportive.

Another youth leader Mr. Paul Adunia, JP, said the support will go a long way to providing scour to the host communities of the Nasarawa Sugar Company Limited.

The District Head of Tunga Ibrahim Galadima described Alhaji Aliko Dangote as God’s gift, praying God to continue to support him.

In the same vein, Adamawa State has received its share of One Million 10Kg Rice being distributed by Aliko Dangote Foundation Nationwide.

Thirty-Five thousand beneficiaries, mostly vulnerable and disadvantaged persons have benefited from the support meant to curb hunger due to the current economic situation in the country.

Chief Operating Officer of the Dangote Sugar Refinery Numan, Adamawa State, Abdullahi Bello Dan Musa said the distribution took place successfully across the zones and the exercise is almost completed, while the distribution of the commodity was ongoing in Taraba State.

He disclosed that the Foundation partnered community leaders in Adamawa to ensure that the commodity gets to the intended beneficiaries.

It would be recalled that the Foundation had distributed thousands of bags of rice to beneficiaries and vulnerable Nigerians in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, with at least 48 charity organizations and orphanages involved in the process.

About 20 States have been covered so far.

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Gov Yusuf arrives United States for Northern Governor’s Symposium

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf has arrived United States of America for a high powered symposium organized by United States Institute of Peace.

KANO FOCUS reports that the three day conference being attended by Governors of Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, Sokoto, Kebbi, Jigawa,and Plateau states, was designed to address insecurity in Northern Nigeria and better option to mitigate the challenge.

This was contained in a statement issued by Director General, Media and Publicity ,Government House Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa on Wednesday.

According to the statement the intensive executive engagement will enable the Governors of some of the trouble state deep understanding on the dynamics of security threat, it’s socioeconomic dimensions, and near-term opportunities to drive stability in Northern Nigeria.

The US Institute of Peace would also broaden knowledge on strengthening conflict prevention in the region, through a non-violent strategies for engaging the armed groups as alternative for conflect resolution.

The strategic engagement being anchored under the tutelage of Dr. Joseph Sany, Vice President, Africa Center for US Institute of Peace, will also focus on policy coordination and management of peace and stability in Nigeria.

The symposium which ends 25th April, 2024 is part of the ongoing efforts of the northern Governors especially those from northwest to set a regional development agenda.

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Kano Govt declares state of emergency on education

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Kano state government is to declare a state of emergency in the education sector.

KANO FOCUS reports that the state commissioner of education Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa stated this monday at three days workshop for the Development of the sector’s annual Operational Plan for education held in Kaduna.

Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa

The commissioner further said that on May the 6th this year, the governor of Kano State Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, will pronounce the declaration of a state of emergency in the education sector.

Doguwa said that with this intended declaration, education shall henceforth take a lead, as first line charge item in government priorities .

The commissioner revealed that the state will launch an admission drive in two weeks time, at the five emirates where they will advocate with Emirs, District, Village and Ward Heads to improve pupils enrollment in primary schools.

Doguwa hinted that the state government has granted approval to several requests submitted by the ministry of education.

Alhaji Sulaiman Mukhtar Ishaq, Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa and Dr Kabiru Hamisu Kura

To this end the commissioner explains that the state government will soon commence mass renovation of schools, purchase instructional materials for onward distribution to schools.

If implemented, the commissioner said the Kano state will be a pace setter in the education subsector for other states to follow as it had done decades ago.

It will be recalled that Kano state government is the Pioneer state to introduce Universal Basic Education, science and technical schools as well as the Agency for mass Education policies, which were finally replicated in several states of the Federation.

Doguwa tasks Teachers on professional conduct

The commissioner has appealed to teachers under the employment of Kano state government to take up their job with utmost seriousness it deserved.

Doguwa lamented how many teachers used to attend schools with improper dress that depicted them as the most vulnerable or underpaid employees.

A cross section of participants at the event

He noted that despite earning less remuneration, private school teachers appear to dress decently and are committed to their schedule of duties.

Kano Assembly increases education budget with N3.7bn in 2024 appropriation

In his remarks the chairman of Kano state House of assembly Committee on Education Alhaji Sulaiman Mukhtar Ishaq (Madobi Constituency) said the House has increased the budget of Kano state education subsection with over N3.6bn.

Alhaji Sulaiman Mukhtar Ishaq

With this intervention, the member said Kano is rated as the state with the highest appropriation in the education subsector in Northern Nigeria.

PLANE procures instructional materials for Kano pupils

In his presentation, the State Team Lead Partnership for Learning for All in Nigeria (PLANE) Alhaji Umar Lawan

Alhaji Umar Lawan

pledged to support the realisation of the commissioner’s 14 point education reform agenda in the ministry.

He also assured the support of the PLANE whenever Kano declares a state of emergency in education.

Hajiya Sadiya Adamu and Umma Muhammad Rakana

The STL recalled that about a month ago, PLANE supported a strategic dialogue where commissioner of education, members of Kano state House of Assembly and other stakeholders developed 3 policies for implementation

Lawan hinted that PLANE is supporting the Kano government to conduct an education recovery conference, adding that a committee has since been constituted in that regard.

A cross section of participants at the event

According to Lawan PLANE has procures large consignment of instructional materials for onward distribution to primary school pupils in the state.

Why we organise the AOP

In his presentation the Director planning, research and statistics in the state ministry of education, who doubles as Co-chair Kano State Accountability on Education (K-SAFE) Alhaji Munzali Mustapha said the event was to track the implementation of the 2023 2AOP and support the populating of the 2024 AOP for education sector.

Alhaji Munzali Mustapha

Others objectives of the meeting according to him include building the capacity of the sector planning teams on the preparation and utilisation of the AOP in implementing the annual budget and achieving the expected outcomes.

Malam Nasiru Abdullahi Kwalli

The event featured presentation of goodwill messages from Project Coordinators of AGILE and IDEAS Malam Nasiru Abdullahi Kwalli and Malam Sani Wada Bello respectively as well as secretary of Kano State Accountability in Education (K-SAFE) Dr Kabiru Hamisu Kura.

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