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NCC commits N500m for research across varsities – Danbatta

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THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has donated over N500 million to Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions across the country to facilitate research and innovations to promote developments in the Nigerian telecommunications industry.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this at a two-day Regional Roundtable with Academia, Industry and Other Stakeholders in Kano at the weekend, said the funds had been committed to research grants to universities and tertiary institutions, including professorial chairs in the universities, in salient areas to drive technology development.

Danbatta said the commission was now focused on supporting the academia in the commercialisation of the prototypes from these innovative researches, noting that this was relevant to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’s policy towards achieving indigenous technology for sustainable development  of the country.

He said the roundtable, organized by the commission, was to provide the necessary platform to support the commercialisation of locally- developed telecommunications innovations which NCC had been sponsoring.

“The commission collaborates with the Academia in maximising the contributions of tertiary institutions to innovations and sustainable development of the Information and communications Technology (ICT) industry as finance is needed to drive possible success of these endeavours, “ Danbatta said.

He said these efforts had enabled the commission to contribute to national efforts to ensure overall growth of the industry and create wealth for innovators, saying all these were fundamental to the objective of the NCC’s R&D-oriented programmes.

On the basis of these, he said ideas, inventions, and improvements that emanated from the academia were required by the industry for improved efficiency and productivity.

Danbatta said appreciable impacts had been achieved since the commission reinvigorated research grants for telecommunications-based research innovations from Nigerian academics, focusing on successful commercialisation of locally developed solutions to foster and deepen the uptake of indigenous technology by Nigerians.

NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Engr Ubale Maska, also disclosed that the commission had so far awarded 49 telecom- based research grants to the academia,  out of which 10 prototypes were successfully developed and displayed to industry stakeholders.

He said the R&D efforts of the commission were aimed at actualizing some of the 8-point Pillar Eight of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, focusing on Indigenous Content Development and Adoption.

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December Salary Delayed To Allow Workers Meet New Year Financial Obligations

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Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu,SAN,CON on Tuesday said his administration has fulfilled its promise not to owe workers’ salaries in the state.
Governor Akeredolu, who disclosed that government has already paid up till November, 2022, explained that the December salary was delayed on the advice of the Labour leaders to allow workers meet new year financial obligations.
The Governor assured that the December salary will be paid soon, while promising that the one month remaining from the inherited seven months salary arrears will also be paid before the end of his tenure.
“As you are aware, you received three alerts in December. We paid October and November, 2022. You also received leave bonus. We would have paid December but the Labour leaders advised that we delay it till January to allow you meet financial obligations. Students will resume soon. We will pay school fees.
“Also,we inherited seven months salary arrears, we paid six. Before I leave office, I will pay the remaining one.” He said.
Governor Akeredolu spoke at the Annual Prayer Meeting with Public Servants on the first working day of the year, held at the Governor’s park, Governor’s office, Akure, the state capital.
He assured that his administration would continue to give priority consideration to the well-being of the Public Service amidst competing demands from other segments of the State.
The Governor noted that in spite of the State’s lean resources, his administration will continue to do more and not shy away from its responsibility.
Arakunrin Akeredolu said he was glad to hear good testimonies on payment of salaries, prompt promotion, regular elevation, payment of inherited salary arrears and leave bonus.
He also described as heartwarming, the workers’ testimonies on the new Duty Tour Allowance, training and retraining, provision of working tools and enabling environment for the service to thrive, among others.
The Governor further assured of his administration’s resolve to improve the quality of lives of the people and deliver on promises.
Arakunrin Akeredolu thanked all public servants in the State for their cooperation, particularly the organised Labour for their understanding.
He explained that without the commitment of the workforce, his administration would not have recorded the modest feats achieved in its policy thrust.
On the 2023 General Elections, the Governor called on civil servants and the people at large to play by the rules while exercising their franchise at the poll.
“Let me reiterate for the umpteenth time that public servants are not expected to be involved in partisan politics. Absolute loyalty and commitment should be the watchword of the service.
“Again, political discourse should be civil with decorum and in statutory manner. You will note that our Administration has insulated the bureaucracy from partisan politics.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele disclosed that 8,415 Public Servants across the State were promoted with financial benefits in 2022.
While thanking the Governor for his continued support in all areas pertaining to issues affecting public servants in the State, the Head of Service described the Governor as worker-friendly.
“Thanks to Arakunrin’s commitment to workers’ welfare in ensuring the payment of all outstanding salaries. The present administration, in a bid to reduce shortfall in the workforce, has continued to recruit fresh hands in the critical areas of need.
“For instance, 52 temporary staff of the Ondo State Emergency Medical Services Agency (ODEMSA) were recently given permanent appointments. Moreover, Ondo State workers and retirees have had a new lease of life under this Administration.
“For instance, a number of staff of the Owena Press Limited who retired long years ago received their gratuities last month. The Orange Health Insurance Scheme (ORANGHIS) was inaugurated to give public servants and their immediate family members access to qualitative health care in preferred health facility of choice at low or no cost.” Ogundele said.
In his remarks, the chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Comrade Oluwole Sunday-Adeleye thanked the Governor for prioritising workers’ welfare.
He disclosed that Governor Akeredolu has paid 76 months salaries within the 70 months and one week of his administration.
“Let me say this clearly with every pride in me, on behalf of workers of Ondo State, that Arakunrin Akeredolu has spent 70 months and one week as the Governor of Ondo State, and he has paid 76 months salaries.” He said.
In his exhortation, the Archbishop of the Church of Nigeria, Ondo Province and Bishop of Akure Anglican Diocese, Bishop Oluwole Borokini, congratulated the people for making it to the new year.
He admonished the workers to be loyal, committed to duties and shun corrupt practices in all their activities.
The prayer meeting was attended by the deputy Governor, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun; Acting Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Olusegun Odusola; members of the State Executive Council; Bishop of Owo Anglican Diocese, Dr. Stephen Fagbemi; the Founder of Agape Christian Ministries, Bishop Felix Adejumo; the state CAN chairman, Bishop Anselm Ologunwa; PFN chairman in the state, Bishop Joshua Opayinka; State Pastor, Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor Jacob Osubiojo; APC state chairman, Ade Adetimehin; heads of security agencies in the state; top government functionaries and public servants, among several dignitaries.
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Yuletide: Governor Ikpeazu provides free buses for Abians in the North

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In line with the Christmas and New Year celebrations which normally see Christians, especially Igbos travelling to the hinterland to join their families for the celebrations, the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has provided free buses for Abians living in the Northern part of the country to enable them travel to the State for the celebrations.
The free buses which are provided for Abia residents in Jos Plateau, Mararaba Nasarawa, Minna Niger, kwara and Gwagwalada FCT this morning, 30th December, 2022, took off from the various cities to Abia.
Speaking to news men on the development, the Liaison Officer Abia Liaison Office Abuja, Mr. Joseph Nwagbara said Abia government in a bid to subsidise transport fares for Abians living in the North, provided the buses. He added that it is one of the democracy dividends of the administration of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
In their separate remarks, some passengers of the bus from Mararaba Nasarawa axis including Mr. Udo Ibezim from Ubakala and Christy Ibe from Umuahia South expressed joy at the gesture by the Governor. They said, with economic crunch biting so hard on Nigerians, many could not afford their transport fares back home.
According to them, the free bus has given them the opportunity to travel home to relate with their families as well as know what is happening in the State, including the developmental efforts of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. They commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for the gesture and prayed God to bless him and his administration.
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UNN, Enugu Campus, Business Administration (2008 Set) Reunion

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The University of Nigeria (UNN), Enugu campus the 2008 set of Business Administration faculty, had their Reunion.
The former classmates arrived Lagos from different parts of the world on Friday, 28th October, 2022.
The main activity was hosted at Ronke Beach with a boat cruise sponsored by Easy-E, Anusi Marcel (Tiger) and Valentine chinedu Aniekwe.
(Nwachinemelu)
Mr Ogan, Rogers John, the National Financial Secretary of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association encouraged graduates from the Institution to try and visit “The DEN”. He attended the event in the company of his wife, Mrs Chioma Rogers-Ogan, who happens to be one of them.
The highlight of the Reunion was the financial donations to set-up a Charity foundation in order to support the low income classmates..
They departed on Sunday, 30th October, 2022.
The occasion was chaired by Chief Ikelo Idika popularly known as Mamba.
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