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GITEX 2019: Communications minister, Pantami calls for ICT exploration, commends NITDA

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Honourable Minister of Communications and leader of Nigeria's delegation to Gulf Information Technology Expo (GITEX) 2019, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS,FBCS,FIIN, DG, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Chairman and Vice Chairman Senate Committee on ICT, Senator Yakubu Oseni and Senator Abdulfatai Buhari respectively, the House committee chairman on ICT, Hon. Abubakar Lado Suleja, Nigeria's Ambassador to UAE, His Excellency, Alhaji Muhammed Dansatta Rimi, Chairperson, Nigeria Postal Services' Board, Barrister Meaimuna Abubakar at the opening ceremony in Dubai

The Honourable Minister of Communications and leader of Nigeria’s delegation to Gulf Information Technology Expo (GITEX) 2019, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS,FBCS,FIIN has enjoined stakeholders in Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT)ecosystem to align themselves to exploration rather than exploitation of ICT development.

The Minister gave the advice while delivering his opening remarks during the commissioning ceremony of the Nigerian Pavilion at 39th GITEX Technology Week, 2019 holding at World Trade Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirate.

He said that, “let us be more aligned to exploration and be disruptive by challenging the existing status quo. We should not be dogmatic and static in our approach to ICT deployment and development. With exploration, we will be successful while exploitation will lure us to sleep”.

While explaining Nigeria’s objectives of participating at the annual event, Dr Pantami noted that the mission is to showcase Nigeria’s achievements in ICT, solicit for investors, look out for technologies we can transfer and apply to our peculiar challenges and networking”, adding that, “it is very crucial for us to be attending international conferences because ICT can not be developed in silos”.

“We need to learn from people above us and even people below us because ICT can not be deployed in silos. We need people that can challenge the status quo. Our passion towards ICT development and deployment should not remain the same after this event,” the minister advised.

He challenged all Heads of parastatals under his supervision to improve on their interventions to startups and not to focus only on research and development. “I am not discouraging Research and Development but we need to improve on our assistance and mentorship to Startups because they could help in the implementations of our researches which are theoretical,”he said.

“Let us improve on our commitments for the start-ups by increasing the seed funds, providing mentorship to them and encourage patronage of local contents,” the Minister stated.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) who doubled as the host of the event, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE observed that the drafting of the seven strategic pillar by NITDA and their implementations helped Nigeria to exit recession in shortest possible time.

He stated that, “NITDA will keep investing in our people and ICT in order to diversify the economy from oil based to knowledge based”.

“Coming to GITEX provides opportunities to learn from what other countries are doing in the ICT sector. We are here to learn and domesticate what we have learned. And like Honourable Minister usually say, think globally and act locally,”he enthused.

While commending the ICT’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product, the DG encouraged the stakeholders not to rest on their oars but do more to improve its contribution.

Similarly, the Managing Director of Galaxy backbone, Arc. Yusuf Kazaure called for more partnership among the sister agencies. He said Nigeria’s participation at GITEX has made her visible in the global ICT sphere.

He commended NITDA for scouting for two Nigerian start-ups who made it to semi final in the start-up competition.

The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigeria Communication Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Dantata pledged the commitment of the Commission to improve broadband penetration in the country. He said, “we will ensure provision of ICT infrastructure to critical mass for adoption and usage in Nigeria”.

He said, “In line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive and with the acceptance of the minister to drive the deployment, in the next four years, we will deploy 120km of fibre optic capable for broadband penetration.

The opening ceremony of the event witnessed the creme-de-la-crème from Nigeria IT sector and lawmakers among whom are Chairman and Vice Chairman Senate Committee on ICT, Senator Yakubu Oseni and Senator Abdulfatai Buhari respectively, the House committee chairman on ICT, Hon. Abubakar Lado Suleja, Nigeria’s Ambassador to UAE, His Excellency, Alhaji Muhammed Dansatta Rimi, Chairperson, Nigeria Postal Services’ Board, Barrister Meaimuna Abubakar among others.

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PSC asks Nigerians to disregard candidates’ list for police recruitment

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The Police Service Commission (PSC) has advised the public to disregard a list of candidates scheduled for training and allegedly released by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) for recruitment into the Constable cadre.

A statement in Abuja by the commission’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, said the release of the list by the police was an act of illegality and a breach of the Federal Character requirements.

The statement reads: “The Police Service Commission dissociates itself from a purported list of candidates scheduled for training and allegedly released by the NPF in respect of the recruitment exercise into the Constable cadre of the Force. The commission notes that the list released by the police is an act of illegality, and from close observation, was in serious breach of the Federal Character requirements.

“The commission urges the public to be wary of the list as it will soon resume the remaining stages of the recruitment process and release the authentic list of successful candidates, local government by local government.

“The commission is presently in court against the NPF over the hijack of its constitutional powers to recruit and had filed an originating summons and interlocutory injunction restraining the NPF from going ahead with the exercise.

“The processes filed since September 27, 2019, by Kanu G. Agabi, CON, SAN, were brought to the knowledge of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) the same day…”

“In the letter notifying the IGP of the pendency of the suit, Kanu Agabi had said: “We write to inform you of the pendency of the above mentioned suit before the Federal High Court, Abuja. By this notice, you are to stay further action in the subject matter of this suit, pending the hearing and determination of the case.

“It is unfortunate that despite the pendency of the court processes, the NPF went ahead to release a purported list of candidates it has invited for training.

“The commission wishes to state that the list is unknown to it as it believes it is a product of illegality. The hearing for the commission’s suit has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 23 at the Federal High Court 5, Abuja.”

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Cracks in Labour unions over minimum wage strike

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Joe Ajaero, ULC President: planned strike on minimum wage dead on arrival

There is a crack in the ranks of labour union leaders as the date for their planned strike over the Federal Government implementation of the minimum wage looms.

The president of United Labour Congress, ULC, Mr Joe Ajaero, said the group will not be part of an exercise designed to hoodwink Nigerian workers and masses into believing that their interests are being championed.

It is the hardest knock, so far for the leaders of TUC and NLC who have been threatening a national strike over the minimum wage.

Ajaero made his view known in an interview with newsmen during the ongoing negotiations on minimum wage with the Federal Government representatives and organised labour on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, the proposed strike by labour is dead on arrival as programmed by the hidden interests of those pushing the agenda.

“Unfortunately, this strike will not have the desired impact and would not achieve the intentions Nigerian workers would want as it is seemingly; dead on arrival as programmed by the hidden interests of those pushing the agenda.

“ULC will not, therefore, be part of an exercise designed to hoodwink Nigerian workers and masses into believing that their interests were being championed while the contrary may be the case.

“We will neither be part of this ruse nor partake in a complete jamboree that makes a mockery of the genuine struggle by Nigerian workers to begin to enjoy the new national minimum wage.

“Once again, we want to state that we will not be part of this attempt to whittle down the capacity of Nigerian workers and masses to earn the new minimum wage.

“It is a planned sabotage of our collective will and desire to see a new minimum wage and we shall not be part of it,” Ajaero said.

Meanwhile, the meeting between the organised labour and representatives of the Federal Government has been moved till Wednesday, Oct. 16, to allow for sorting out of all grey areas of contention, with both groups shifting grounds.

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Presidency reacts to Buhari marrying second wife

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Social media reports had claimed that  Buhari would get married on Friday to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq.

Adesina stressed that the rumour was a deceptive manoeuvre by those who fabricated the news, noting that the news was far from the truth.

Buhari on Friday observed the weekly two raka’at jumaat prayer at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Among those that joined him at the jumaat prayer were presidential aides, some cabinet ministers and former governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari as well as Senator Kabir Gaya.

The jumaat prayer however witnessed unprecedented number of faithful.

They seemed to have stormed the Villa mosque to confirm the authenticity or otherwise of the social media reports claiming that President Buhari would have wedding fatiha for a second wife.

SOURCE: THE NATION

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