Naija Newsnow

Naija Newsnow

33.7m yet get telecoms services in Nigeria

Although present data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that Nigeria has crossed the 100 per cent teledensity mark having nicked 106 per cent, a brand new information has, however, emerged that some 33.7 million folks were still either unserved or function with telecommunications services in the state.

Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, made the disclosure yesterday in Lagos at the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF)-organised ‘Centered Industry Stakeholders’ Newsgroup and Hackathon Award’ with the theme "Universal Access: Removing The Inclusion Hurdles."

The EVC said attempts were being made to bridge the difference.

To the NCC boss, the USPF will be playing critical part in attaining four of the eight-point program of the commission towards repositioning the telecommunications sector.

The EVC said the Fund, which can be an arm of the NCC, would play critical role in easing broadband penetration, improving quality of service; enriching strategic collaborations and partnerships as well as encouraging ICT innovations and investment opportunities.

He stressed the fact that stakeholders must work together to iron out thorny problems bedevilling the increase of the sector. Based on Danbatta, who said the nation’s parlous state of infrastructure had restricted its development, nevertheless, noted that Nigeria ranked 134 of the 144 nations with readied infrastructure for growth, including "therefore all hands must be on deck to improve on the state of our infrastructure if we must compete favourably well."

The EVC appealed to the Government to review its fiscal and monetary policies, notably as it relates to foreign exchange acquisition.

According to him, operators were finding it hard to get foreign exchange because of their operations. In his comment, USPF Secretary, Ayuba Shuaibu, said the initiative was borne from the conviction to promote widespread access to telecommunications services across the federation.

Additionally speaking, a former president of the Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ATCON) and programme moderator, Titi Omo-Ettu, said the project plans to bring access to the last guy.

Senate jobs NSCDC on unity among Nigerians

Chairman, ‎Senate Committee on National Character, Senator Tijjani Kaura, has called on the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDC), to focus on ensuring unity among Nigerians in the discharge of its constitutional obligations.

According to him, given Nigeria’s diversity as a heterogeneous society, it is imperative for NSCDC to ensure equivalent treatment of all Nigerians regardless of what area they come from.

The lawmaker advocated NSCDC to always adhere to the federal character principle in recruiting exercises and deployment of personnel, stressing that the need for it should be done with equity and due consideration.

Kaura said: "The unity of this nation is paramount, the way this country was amalgamated, and the diversity in culture and people makes it imperative for all Nigerians to be united and handled equally.

We decided to oversight the Commission to ensure that it lives with the federal character principle through justice and fairness.

"This is not an organisation where national cake is dispersed for eating, rather it really is one where the national cake is baked by ensuring equity and equality.

On the issue of deployment, Senator Kaura called on NSCDC to "ensure that each state is fairly given its responsibility and share in giving towards the promotion of the country."He charged the Commandant General to work assiduously towards making the NSCDC greater than it's at present.

Answering, the Commandant-General of the NSCDC, Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, told members of the committee that sequel to his appointment, efforts have been made to balance the amount of officers ‎spread across the states of the federation.

Muhammadu said the move became critical so as to ensure that the number of officers in the various states reflects and meets the requirement of the federal character principle as provided by the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Forex lack bringing greatest out of Nigerians, says CBN

As local creation of various essential goods is being given top priority with positive consequences the present lack of foreign exchange facing the country has been referred to as a good development for the Nigerian economy.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who reiterated the declaration during the evaluation tour of the farmlands cultivated under its core borrowers programme in Kebbi State at the weekend, said that agriculture is the bedrock of actual economic growth of any state and that Nigeria couldn't be an exclusion.

He said the farmers now enjoy a bumper harvest while admitting the pivotal parts of the CBN and the state government in supply of fertilisers, irrigation equipment and loans.

Emefiele, who commended farmers and the Kebbi State government for their dedication and dedication in the scheme, noted that with the level of success attained in the pilot project in the state, in addition to the advancement at Sunti Golden Sugar Estate in Niger, it really is now a reality that the nation can produce enough to feed itself and even export in no distant future.

Furthermore, Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, in his appraisal of the programme in the rural areas visited by the team, said with Kebbi State alone targeting one million tonnes of rice out of the projected seven million tonnes necessitated by the whole nation, self-sufficiency in rice production is very much at sight by the time other 12 states identified as rice making belts pick their produce.

While commending the efforts of the CBN for reinventing agricultural practice into profitable business venture, the minister stated that rural areas remain the driver for sustainable economic development.

The CBN governor noted that with 78,581 farmers mobilised in Kebbi State under the anchor borrowers programme and the disbursement of N4.9 billion as loans to the farmers, about 570,000 direct jobs have been created, while 70,871 of the rural farmers now own and operate bank accounts.

Nigerians support authorities’s want for a realistic budget

Alhaji Maimala Buni, National Secretary, All Progressives Congress (APC), said the support Nigerians were giving President Muhammadu Buhari in his pursuit to have a realistic budget, reflected the folks’s faith in the current administration.

"It's evident that there's trust in government now and, Nigeria’s persona has significantly enhanced with an elevated interest by foreign investors to invest in the country.

"Every state is getting excited about doing business with Nigeria because we have a president who is devoted, transparent, incorruptible and trusted and the entire international community" he said.

The party scribe said Nigerian’s belief in the APC authorities was further shown by the big turnout of voters in the Saturday by- election in Yobe.

"The large turnout in yesterday’s election and APC’s triumph at the polls, has consolidated the folks’s religion in the party and President Buhari to enhance their lives.

"In spite of the hardships suffered by the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), they came out massively to elect APC as a result of their strong beliefs in the party and the leaders," he said.

The secretary commended for supporting the security situation in the North East had improved significantly, and the security forces in the battle against insurgency President Buhari.

Saraki: Nigerians broken up over calls for his resignation

Saraki is currently undergoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja, for alleged false declaration of assets. Several efforts by the Senate President to prevent the trial have met with brick walls that were legal as more allegations of massive corruption continue to emerge.

Encouraging Saraki to dig in and fight to the last are two former senators, Nosike Ikpo and Francis Spanner Okpozo.

Ikpo, a two-time senator in the Second Republic (Bendel East, now Delta North), said Saraki’s ordeal is the fallout of persecution by the All Progressives Congress (APC), which did’t need him to be Senate President and is thus seeking means to bring him down.

On his part, Francis Okpozo (Delta South) additionally advocated Saraki to "stay until the outcome of the case." When he's not been found guilty he described as early calls for the Senate leader’s resignation. "There is no way he can be forced out, and we should not preempt the court’s conclusion," he added.

He said: Morally speaking, there's no justification for him to continue to hang on to power.

"A precedence has been set in this type of circumstance. Evans Enwerem was Senate President, Chuba Okadigbo was Adolphus Wabara, together with Senate President; they'd different cases that touched on morality and they leave their positions while their trial continued. When his trial is successfully gone through by him he can always recover his standing. I don't view it as a do or die thing. I believe it's even in his interest that he doesn't affect the process of the trial using his position."

Warning that APC’s grouse with the Senate President has the capacity to destroy the party, Ikpo said: " I will not request him to bow to the wishes of individuals who desire to persecute him. I 'll tell him to keep fighting. He has not been found guilty. Some of his partners even said that he's got a very good instance as regards what they are accusing him of. We should watch and see when he starts his defence.

Tinubu’s blunder should not be corrected by "The CCT with Saraki. The CCT acknowledged it made errors. Should at this point you correct it if your mistake was made in the case of Senator Bola Tinubu? It is not proper. They should have continued with the same mistake. By toying with the wonderful opportunity it's aPC is ruining itself. Things aren't going well for them. Things are awful in the country for everybody. If you have an election today, nobody will vote for them."

Former Chief Whip of the Senate and PDP chieftain, Roland Owie opposed calls for Saraki’s resignation, saying the Senate President’s ordeal is a clear case of persecution.

He said: "Saraki was governor from 2003 to 2011, elected in 2011, and re elected in 2015. What Nigerians have to request the CCT is: was the CCT in detention between 2003 and June 2015, when Saraki became the Senate President?

Interval! A Benin parable says, ‘a kid who says his mum WOn't sleep wo’t sleep either’. Since those fighting Saraki are not just happy that he's Senate President, he mustn't step down until its full cycle runs to the Supreme Court.

"Agents of darkness did it to late Senator Chuba Okadigbo and Senator Adolphus Wabara. And at the end of the day, when they got victory it was not too early to return as Senate Presidents. Saraki do’t step down until after the Supreme Court ruling!"

"In sophisticated societies, he should have cease until the issue is sorted out. But as it's, now, I can say continue to remain in office or the onus lies on him to resign. This really is because you can find particular interests that want to ensure office is left by him at all cost. Look at the outburst in the court, which will be a definite indicator that it has an interest it is shielding.

"I believe it is a trial on our democracy and whatever is good if we must safeguard it should be done to make it work for us. I want to say that the matter is being seen by already many as a contentious one. And that is why you cannot expressly request the Senate President to step down and face his trial, Obasi was said by ".

On moral grounds, notable lawyer, also in Cross River State, Mr. Etim Inyang, believes Saraki should step aside, as he's the weight of going to the tribunal day-to-day. He, nevertheless, included that there is absolutely no legal assumption to justify a resignation because the accused is presumed innocent. "It's only when the court makes a pronouncement, and not even a pronouncement in the tribunal.

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba, described calls for Saraki’s resignation as ill conceived, stressing that the leader continues to be innocent.

If you say he should step down, what if he finally wins the case at the CCT?

For Rivers State APC spokesman, Mr. Chris Finebone, however, the fall of the Senate President is just a matter of time, and his ordeal is self-inflicted.

"I am sure that everybody understands what played out, right from your very moment the National Assembly was inaugurated, and especially the way the APC tried to take Yohaig founder Oge likes the whole idea of this. interest of everybody. But in a twist of fate, it appeared some individuals allowed their own private interest to supersede that of the party. That's really put the party in peril. We feel bitter that the inordinate ambition of the present Senate President has put lots of stumbling block on the path of the party and the Presidency," he said.

The National Organising Secretary of Action for Democracy (AD), Abdallah Ibrahim, noted: "Saraki should come to terms with fact, step down and face his case."

He should have resigned and even step down from your political party or be pressured to resign in the position by the party. I don't think I could find words that are better by following him to the trial for what the senators are doing, than say it truly is a display of shame."

From Ilorin, dwelling of Ishola Balogun Fulani, APC chieftains, the Senate President, Chief Wole Oke, and Yusuf Maja urged Saraki to continue in office, citing his innocence.

But Chief Iyiola Oyedepo, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and two human rights attorneys, Abeny Mohammed and Salman Jawondo, advised the leader to step down on moral grounds and preserve the integrity of the Senate.

Based on Mohammed I am not saying he is not innocent, but as a senator, but as the Senate President, he shouldn't resign with quasi-criminal charges against him. I've seen sycophants at work. Because of what they believe they may be getting from the catastrophe, they're not telling him the truth. It is morally unsound for the Number Three citizen of this state to be put in the pier regular."

Obende, who represented Edo North between 2012 and 2015, said The issue has already been in court. The lawyers will have to look at it.‎ I am of the view that the party is supreme in everything, but they must sit down together, the leaders of the party and the parties, and let there be serious discussions. And if there will be a soft landing, let it be. But whatever the party decides, that is what will take pre eminence."