The Kwara State Government has suspended the annual Sallah Durbar festival earlier scheduled for Wednesday, July 21, 2021, on security grounds.
According to a statement by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications, Hajia Rabiat Mopelola Abdulrahman; “The suspension, painful as it is given our people’s attachment to it and government’s investments to promote this colourful cultural heritage, follows a police intelligence report which indicated that some forces plan to use the boisterous nature of the cultural event to instigate a breakdown of law and order in the state, thereby complicating national security challenges.
“Government reiterates its commitment to the protection of lives and property of all residents of the state, as that is its primary obligation.
“We urge all residents of the state to continue to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies.
“The government once again congratulates Kwarans on the Eid-ul-Kabir celebrations and bids everyone many blessed Eid in the coming years.”
The Durbar festival is an annual religious and equestrian celebration in several cities of Nigeria including Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zazzau, Bauchi and Bida.
The festival marks the end of Ramadan and also coincides with the Muslim festivities of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitri.
NCC advocates innovative approach for safer telecoms infrastructure
The Executive Vice Chairman , Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta has called for more innovative Public Private Partnership (PPP) approaches for robust, resilient and safer telecoms infrastructure.
Professor Danbatta made the call in his keynote speech at the 2021 Virtual Conference and Exhibition on Information Communication Technology and Telecommunications (ICTEL) organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCT).
The theme for this year’s Conference is: ‘Disruptions, Resilience and Governance in Digital Economy’.
He also called for strategies to attract more investment to the sector.
Professor Danbatta noted that despite the various PPP interventions being undertaken by the government and similar initiatives at the Commission, a number of challenges persist in the telecom ecosystem.
“These include multiple taxation and regulation, Right of Way (RoW) issue, vandalism, poor electricity supply, and lately worsening insecurity. All of these factors affect both the tempo and quality of infrastructure rollout by the private sector licensees, who are the main engine of growth in the telecom sector. These challenges also affect the quality of telecom services and by extension the Quality of Experience (QoE) of telecom consumers”, he said.
He therefore, urged the panel of eminent speakers at the event to “suggest better and more innovative PPP approaches that may be explored by the government towards making our telecoms infrastructure safer, more resilient, more robust, and how we may attract more investment into the sector.”
He reiterated that the Commission was committed to continuously engaging relevant stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors, in the country and beyond, in order to ensure that appropriate infrastructure befitting a modern digital economy system is available in the country to deepen government’s determination and commitment to total digital transformation of services in the country.
According to him “the role of public-private partnership in infrastructure development in Nigeria cannot be over emphasised because an adequate, robust and functioning infrastructure is the bedrock of communal and societal development.
“Therefore, to meet future challenges, our industries and infrastructure must be upgraded by evolving an enduring PPP model that services all the sectors of the economy.
“Objectively, the high level of infrastructure deficit and its attendant effect on socio-economic development in Nigeria explains government’s concern and search for an alternative means of providing infrastructure for the Nigeria’s teeming population”, the NCC Boss noted
Professor Danbatta restated that the Commission has engaged in a number of PPP engagement through Initiatives such as Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF), a multi-sectoral committee of private and public sector institutions whose collaboration with the Commission has bolstered Commission’s determination to continually improve on all principles of protection of telecoms consumers from an array of service challenges as well as incidences of frauds and other associated risks of online transactions.
He said, in a concrete expression of belief in the centrality of PPP principles, the NCC, in November 2020, created a ‘PPP Unit’ as a division under its Special Duties Department.
“The Unit is overseeing the implementation of the NCC’s revenue assurance solutions (RAS) as well as the Device Management System (DMS) project.
“The two projects are being implemented in collaboration with private sector players. While the RAS is intended to address the revenue leakages accruable to the government, through the NCC; the DMS is intended to address the issue of type approval of telecom equipment and devices to ensure originality and standardisation because of the implication of substandard devices for health and quality of service.
“The DMS is also instituted to tackle the problem of SIM boxing and call masking, which not only constitutes threat to national security but also a mark of anti-competitive practice in the telecoms sector and a basis for loss of revenue in tax remittances to the government”, Danbatta reiterated.
He however, commended the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) for its Consistency in Organising ICTEL despite the challenges imposed by the raging pandemic, and assured the Commission’s continued collaboration as much as the social and economic realities permit.
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NSCDC Captures Wanted Bandit Galaduma in Sokoto
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC, has captured and arrested Bello Galaduma, a wanted and notorious bandit in Sokoto State
According to a statement by the NSCDC Public Relations Director, Olusola Odumosu, Bello Galaduma is in the custody of NSCDC operatives, and is presently under interrogation and helping with useful information to apprehend other culprits.
Odumosu noted that this feat was made possible due to “actionable intelligence received by the Officers and Men of the NSCDC, Sokoto State Command who responded immediately and laid siege in the Aliyu Jodi area of Sokoto State, where he went to buy drugs and also to satisfy his sexual urge. In that process, the Gallant Officers wasted no time in ending his reign of banditry.”
The NSCDC explained that “Galaduma specializes in liaising with kidnappers by giving them information of persons to be kidnapped. He also, assist kidnappers in buying drugs and other items they use for their nefarious activities. The captured bandit according to reliable Intel, was formerly operating in Niger State before relocating to Sokoto State where luck ran out on him leading to his capture and arrest by operatives of the NSCDC.”
Speaking after the arrest, Commandant General of NSCDC, Ahmed Audi, noted that the Corps has zero tolerance for all forms of criminal behaviour in the society.
The CG of NSCDC seized the occasion to appeal to the conscience of other criminals to have a change of heart before their time runs out, because at that juncture, the law of the land will take its course.
Dr. Audi emphasized vehemently that the NSCDC amongst its mandate, will always strive for a better society where all Nigerian lives and property will always be very safe.
Dr. Ahmed Audi also commended the NSCDC Sokoto State Command for a job well done in arresting Bello Galaduma, a 40years old suspected bandit, who had been on the wanted list of Security Agencies for more than two years.
Nigeria To Increase Education Budget By 50 Percent
President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to increase the budget for the education sector in Nigeria by as much as 50 percent over the next two years.
In a document titled, Heads Of State Call To Action On Education Financing Ahead Of The Global Education Summit, signed as a form of commitment at the on-going Summit in London, United Kingdom, the President stated:
“We commit to progressively increase our annual domestic education expenditure by 50% over the next two years and up to 100% by 2025 beyond the 20% global benchmark.”
The Nigerian President also joined the President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta to reaffirm the commitment to improve learning outcomes in both countries.
President Buhari stated that this would be done by “ensuring equitable access to quality and inclusive education for all our citizens, with particular emphasis on the girl child.”
“We fully endorse the call for more efficient use of resources and to significantly increase investment in education by strengthening institutions, promoting greater adoption of technology, building the capacities of our teachers and mobilizing additional financial resources through legal frameworks and deliberate intervention on a sustainable basis,” he added.
President Buhari used the opportunity to call for solidarity in building a more secure and prosperous future for children.
The Summit which is being co-hosted by the Prime Minister of UK Boris Johnson and the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta seeks to give opportunity for leaders to make 5-year pledges that will help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories across the World.
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Nigeria/Cameroun Border Bridge to Facilitate International Trade – Minister
The completed border bridge at Mfum community between Nigeria and Cameroun and the Ikom bridge will facilitate international trade between the two countries when inaugurated.
The Minister of Works and Housing ,Mr. Babatunde Fashola, made the remark while inspecting the two -lane bridge over Cross River at the Cameroun/Nigeria new Border at Ekok /Mfum and the new Ikom Bridge in Cross River State.
“This is the A-4 Axis coming from Calabar to Maiduguri through Ogoja to Katsina-Ala. So you will expect more volume of trade. And it is no accident that Cross River State bears its name. It is actually the River that named the state. That River opens to the sea and the Gulf of Guinea. And so high impact on international trade is expected”, he said.
Fashola also said , “We have had very strong relationship with Cameroun in terms of trade and business and if you go to Aba, Enugu, Abakaliki, for example, this is the route that facilitates trade, agro produce, merchandise, manufactured goods from Aba in Abia State.”
The Minister explained that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration’s strategy of planning and execution of infrastructure projects was yielding results through successful completion.
“This is a very strategic infrastructure to take Nigeria to the future for many more decades to facilitate relationship between brothers and sisters in Cameroun and Nigeria and to strengthen the bond of relationship in a joint development with the Republic of Cameroun and Nigeria.” Fashola said, adding that ‘’We are now entering the season of completion of infrastructure projects.”
The Minister while speaking with journalists after inspecting both the Nigeria /Cameroun Joint Border Bridge at Mfom /Ekot and the New Ikom Bridge at Ikom in Cross River noted that these bridges would increase the prosperity of the people, facilitate hundreds of jobs, movement of agro produce and manufactured goods.
He further stated that joint border patrol would also lead to security efficiency and position both nations to reap the benefit of the free trade zone agreement.
Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade who was represented by the State Commissioner for Works, Engr. Dane Osimasu at the sites of the inspection, said the Minister is a conceptualizer , implementor and committed to road development in the state.
He assured the Honourable Minister that counterpart funding from the state would always be provided where it is necessary in infrastructure development projects.
The Director Highway Bridges and Design Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Engr. Emmanuel Adeoye said during the inspection of Ikom bridge, “The project was awarded in October 2018 and it is due to finish by 7th November, 2021.”
The Director said, “The rate at which the contractor is working, by the end of October it should be finished. Right now as we speak, the job is 92% completed, with the time lapse of 68%. We are moving faster than the scheduled time, so by end of October we should be done with the bridge.”
According to him “the Road Lane Marking has also been done.
The Federal Controller of Works in Cross River State, Engr. Bassey Nsentip disclosed that several road projects were progressing without hitches in the State.
The Executive Chairman of Etung Local Government Council Cross River State, Hon. Nkom Etuk praised the Ministry of Works and Housing for the remarkable job done on the bridges.
The Ajassor Community Representative, Hon. Victor Njor said the border bridge has enhanced joint border patrol linking Cameroun and Nigeria within their community adding that “the people shall come out en mass when the bridge will be inaugurated soon”.
The border bridge between Nigeria and Cameroun is funded by the African Development Bank while the Ikom bridge is through the Sukuk bond.
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Governor Oyetola restates commitment to protect lives, property
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to further ensure the protection of lives and property of the citizens in the State.
He stated this when he paid a visit to the victim who was reportedly hit by a stray bullet after a police officer allegedly shot to disperse people at a traffic scene around Oke-Onitea area, Osogbo, on Tuesday afternoon.
The victim, Saheed Olabomi who sustained gunshot injuries is currently receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit, Osun State University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.
The Governor also visited the family members of the victim as part of efforts to show the Administration’s concern over the ugly incident.
While assessing the state of the health of the victim, Governor Oyetola expressed delight at the fact that the patient has been responding to treatment.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Works and Transport, Engr. Hussein Olatoke Olaniyan; Special Adviser on Security, Mrs. Abiodun Ige, in company of the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olawale Olokode, the Governor said no effort would be spared to ensure adequate treatment for the victim as government was ready to foot the medical bills.
While conducting the government’s delegation round the facilities dedicated to save the life of the patient, the Chief Medical Director, Uniosun Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Prof. Peter Babatunde Olaitan, said the patient was in a stable condition.
He said necessary surgery had been carried out on the patient to stabilise his health situation, saying, “thank God, he is responding to treatment.”
The hospital’s CMD noted that other operations would still be carried out on the patient to permanently stabilise and restore his health.
Speaking on what necessitated the sympathy visit, Oyetola said the visit became necessary to demonstrate government’s sensitivity to citizens’ welfare.
“The unfortunate incident that happened on Tuesday which involved the shooting of one citizen of the State was seen as a very serious development.
“We have gone to visit and sympathise with the relatives of the victim, starting from Aragbiji of Iragbiji, who is an uncle to the victim and also to other members of the family of the victim, particularly his father.
“We have been praying to God that the victim should survive this and come back to life. The Commissioner of Police has assured us that necessary measures will be taken to avoid a reoccurrence. He has also been directed to get to the root of the incident. Government will foot the medical bills,” Oyetola added.
Commending the delegation during a visit to the family of the victim, the Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Olabomi, appreciated the Governor and the Commissioner of Police for their untiring efforts at guaranteeing the security of lives and property of the citizens.
Oba Olabomi who is an uncle to the victim, said the swift response of the government to the situation had really helped to douse the tensions occasioned by the people’s reactions that followed the incident.
At the family house of the victim, the father of the victim, Mr. Adewale Oyedele Olabomi, who spoke on behalf of the family appreciated the visit of the government’s delegation, describing it, as “a rare honour.”
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