FG Targets Growing Economy Through ICT

ICT in NigeriaThe Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, says the Federal Government will partner with the organised private sector to grow the economy via the use of Information and Communication Technology.

He made the remarks at a forum in Abuja with indigenous ICT professionals who have contributed to the growth of the Information and Communication Technology sector in Nigeria.

According to him, the Federal Government is already reaching out to ICT professionals across the country, considering the huge potentials that the sector possesses.

Meanwhile, other guests in the forum appealed to the government to make internet accessible to all by opening up the broadband.

They believe that availability of internet service would give birth to businesses that will have multiplier effect on the economy.

In another development, a group of professionals in Information and Communication Technology trained youths in a workshop organised to also to explore the opportunities in the ICT sector.

They advocated an education curricular that would encourage vocational studies in ICT.

Information and Communication Technology has become the bedrock of many developed countries of the world and experts at the gathering say Nigeria cannot be left behind, urging leaders to fully explore the ICT sector to grow the nation’s economy that is already in recession.

Oyo Declares Public Holiday For Olubadan’s Coronation

OlubadanThe Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has declared Friday, March 4, as public holiday throughout the state to commemorate the coronation of the 41st Olubadan of Ibadan land.

The new Oba Saliu Olasupo Adetunji will be installed at the historic Mapo Hall in the heart of Ibadan on Friday.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication and Strategy, Mr Yomi Layinka, in an interview with Channels Television, said that preparations were in top gear for a successful coronation.

Dignitaries are expected from all walks of life both within the country and from the diplomatic community.

Mr Layinka added that all arrangements have been concluded with security agents to ensure that no breach in security is recorded during and after the historic event.

He, however, warned all corporate organisations not to litter the state with any illegal branding of any sort for the event as the entire programme is sponsored by the Oyo State Government.

He added that market places and business premises are expected to be closed for business while the event lasts to honour the new king.

The last coronation of this nature was done for the late Olubadan, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade, in 2007.

We Have Paid N50 Billion To NCC – MTN

MTNMTN Group appears to have paid about N50 billion out of the N780 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). 

The company, in a statement, explained that the payment was made “on the basis that this will be applied toward a settlement, where one is eventually, hopefully arrived at.

MTN also agreed to withdraw the matter from the High Court in Lagos to achieve an “amicable settlement.

“In renewed steps towards a negotiated settlement and to create a conducive atmosphere for further negotiations, MTN Nigeria today withdrew its case against the NCC at the Federal High Court of Lagos in response to a request by the authorities.

“MTN Nigeria has paid N50 Billion to the Federal Government as a gesture of good faith and commitment to continued efforts towards an amicable resolution”, the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Special Assistant to the Minister of Communications, Mr Victor Oluwadamilare, in a telephone interview, said the ministry cannot ascertain the claimed payment from MTN Nigeria.

The company’s stock has declined 31 percent since the fine originally set at $5.2 billion was made public in October last year.

The NCC had imposed a N1.04 Trillion fine on MTN Nigeria in October 2015, for its failure to disconnect 5.1 Million improperly registered lines within the prescribed deadline.

The fine was adjusted by 25% to N780 billion, an amount that was considered inimical to the survival of the business.

Buhari, Ajimobi Others Pay Last Respect To Olubadan

OlubadanPresident Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians to emulate the exemplary lifestyle of the late Olubadan of Ibadan land as an epitome of honesty, courage and dignity.

Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the President made the call on Wednesday at the funeral service of the departed monarch held at the St. Peters’ Cathedral, Aremo in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

He said that Oba Samuel Odulana, Odugade I, exhibited the fear of God throughout his lifetime and this informed the progress made in Oyo State.

The President stressed the need for Nigerians to work towards being celebrated while alive as well as to leave a good legacy after death.

He said that the whole of Nigeria was proud to have the like of the late Oba Odulana because of his life of honesty and forthrightness.

In his remarks, the chief mourner and host Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, paid a glowing tribute to the late traditional ruler whom he said had exemplary attributes.

Governor Ajimobi said that the late Olubadan left an indelible mark in the sands of time in the areas of politics, civil service, military and other leadership positions he was privileged to occupy before his ascension to the throne.

In his sermon, Most Reverend Olusegun Okubadejo said that the myriad of orations and tributes from different categories of people were testimonies to the fact that the revered monarch had secured heaven.

Dignitaries from all walks of life on Wednesday paid their last respect to the departed Olubadan of Ibadan land as his remains was committed to mother earth.

Among them were the Governors of Osun and Lagos States, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, and Mr Akinwumi Ambode and the Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu.

Lesotho ‘Coup’: Prime Minister Returns After Fleeing

LesothoLesotho’s Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, has returned home after fleeing the mountain kingdom to neighbouring South Africa on Saturday.

Thabane, who has been in a fractious coalition government with his political rival, Deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing, left for neighbouring South Africa on Saturday (August 30) after the army surrounded his residence and police stations in Lesotho’s capital, Maseru, and gunshots rang out.

One policeman was shot dead and four others wounded during the confrontation, according to police.

At the time of fleeing, Thabane had accused the military of staging a coup. Regional leaders rejected his call for troops to be deployed to restore order.

The army denied trying to force the Prime Minister out of power, saying it had moved against police officers suspected of planning to arm a political faction in the small southern African kingdom.

The unrest is thought to be linked to a struggle between Mr Thabane, reportedly supported by the police, and Deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing, said to have the loyalty of the army.

Diplomats in Maseru told Reuters on Saturday that the army was largely seen as loyal to the Deputy Prime Minister, while the police force largely supported the Prime Minister.

Regional power, South Africa, condemned the army’s actions and later invited the Deputy Prime Minister to talks there on Sunday, Lesotho’s Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Selibe Mochoboroane, said. He did not specify who the talks would be with.

Deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing, has, however, taken charge of the government after the Prime Minister fled.

People on the streets of Maseru said the situation appeared to be returning to normality.

Mr Thabane has headed a unity government since elections in May 2012, but suspended parliament sessions in June to avoid a vote of no confidence amid feuding in his coalition.

Lesotho, which is surrounded by South Africa, has experienced several coups since independence in 1966.