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CITAD Launches the Nigerian School of Community Network




As part of the Work Package 2 of the Supporting Community-led Approach to Addressing Digital Divide in Nigeria Project which the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) is implementing with support from Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) through Association for Progressive Communication (APC), today CITAD launched the First Nigerian School of Community Networks for Micro-organizations.

The aim of the project is to connect the unconnected areas in Nigeria where conventional market players find it unprofitable to deploy their networks and the purpose of the School of Community Networks is to build capacity of community based organizations called the micro-organization who are working to deploy community networks in their communities to meet local communication need.

The first School, which holds at Stonehegde Hotel, Kaduna began with an opening ceremony where we have number of speakers gave goodwill messages to the participants.

In his opening remarks, the Executive Director of CITAD Malam YZ Yau gave the background of the project as well as a ran down of the activities the organization had been doing over the last two years, culminating with the School.

The Executive Director Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) stated that over the last two years, CITAD had been working tirelessly to catalyze the emergence of community networks in Nigeria, given that there has been no policy to guide the growth and flourishing of the of Community networks, CITAD took step to engage with policy makers and regulators in the sector such as Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the ministry of communications as well as other relevant agencies to ensure that an appropriate policy is developed for Community Networks in the Country.

He also stated that part of the objective of the School is to train champions with technical skills on how they can design, deploy and manage community networks. The school will hold in two phases, the phase one is an intensive physical one-week residential training which starts today, followed by four-month online training which is part of the phase two activities.

While giving reports of the efforts CITAD has made to engage policy makers on the need for community network policy, the Director of CITAD called on both the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy Prof. Isah Pantami and the Management of NCC to honour their promises they made about setting up the processes to develop a national policy on community networks for the country. He said this urgent because at the moment more than 88 million of Nigerians remain unconnected and excluded from the benefits of digital technology.

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The opening ceremony also received goodwill message from the Executive Director of Fanstuam Foundation Mrs. Comfort Kazanka, Mr. Olusola Taniola, National Coordinator of Alliance for Affordable Internet and Mrs. Edith Udeagu, the immediate past COO of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) who expressed their gratitude for being part of the project as well as advising the participants to be good ambassador of their communities by applying the knowledge gain. In her goodwill message, Mrs. Kazanka urged that the School of Community Networks be turned into a either a institute for community networks or a specialized university.

On his part Mr. Olusola Taniola said, his organization was ready to join hands with CITAD to push the advocacy for a national policy on community networks in the country.

Mrs. Edith Udeagu who offered her Goodwill message on her personal capacity noted that “The National School of Community Networks provides this opportunity for all to learn and share knowledge. We thank CITAD, its CEO, Mr. YZ Ya’u and team and its partners for providing this opportunity for all and pray for its success. I say congratulations to CITAD. I congratulate its partners and contributors for their participation. In this country, we need to address the issues of digital divide. People in various communities face various challenges. We need to assist as much as possible to address these issues and give them the opportunities to better their lives”.

The keynote address was given by the Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone, represented by Mr. Abdulmalik Suleman, staff of the company. He stated that one of the objectives of Galaxy Backbone is to help in connecting the underserved communities. He commended CITAD for embarking on this project, noting that it was not an easy thing to do. He disclosed that Galaxy Backbone currently is implementing the second phase of the National Information Communication Infrastructure Backbone (NICTIB) which he said would provide access to backbone across the country. He welcomed communities to take advantage of this in their plans for their community networks.

He also appreciated the effort of CITAD for setting up the School of Community Networks, which according to Galaxy Backbone is another important step will help strengthen the impact of shared internet experience and shared Network in our Nation. The opening session was chaired by Dr. Sana Mauz of the Department of Software Engineering, Bayero University, Kano. Dr. Muaz urged the participants to make the best use of this opportunity which is a crush programme to acquire critical telecommunication knowledge.

Shortly after the opening session the first technical session of the School began with a presentation on Spectrum and how Spectrum is Allocated as well as applying Spectrum by Dr. Abdulkari Yusuf of the NCC. The presentation explained to the participants what Spectrum was all about, how was allocated and how it is deployed and shared. Twenty-one youth leaders from different parts of the country are attending the school, which is proposed to run annually. Most of them were from underserved and unserved communities such as Pasepa, Laileyin Gwari, Tugan Ashere and Dakwa in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, rural Kafanchan in Kaduna State and Itas as well as Jamaare in Bauchi.

The Nigerian School of Community Networks is the first attempt in the country to build local skills and expertise for the organic development of grassroots telecommunitions infrastructure in the country. Community networks is a telecommunications infrastructure deployed and operated by a local group to meet their own communication needs and also a communications infrastructure, designed and erected to be managed for use by local communities. This communication needs can be voice, data, etc. and can be point of convergence for community to come together to address their common community problems.


PDP Chieftain Lauds Governors’ Forum Decision on Adherence to Electoral Guidelines





A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Ibrahim Ali Amin “Little,” has lauded the decision of the party’s governors’ forum to ensure that the constitution and laid-down guidelines on the election of party executives are followed strictly in the forthcoming state, local government, and ward congresses.

The Kano PDP chieftain explained that the governors’ position taken at their just-concluded meeting in Enugu has established the fact that the party is committed to reclaiming Nigeria come the 2027 general election.

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Ali-Amin, a grassroots mobilizer and former gubernatorial candidate in Kano, said staging free, fair, and transparent congresses will also attract more Nigerians to join the party, pointing out that Nigerians have more hope in PDP than in any other political party.

While urging all party members in Kano to join hands in moving PDP forward, the chieftain expressed hope that the party leadership will adhere strictly to the provisions of the party’s congresses and electoral guidelines in the forthcoming congress and election of the Kano executives.

He also reiterated his resolve to continue to work for the PDP at all levels for ultimate victory, noting that Nigerians need to be salvaged from the current hardship through sincere and committed leadership, which the PDP is set to provide.

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Unidentified Persons in Kaduna Assault APC Chieftain for Allegedly Criticizing Governor



Some unidentified persons, in a video footage going viral on social media platforms, have assaulted APC Chieftain Abdulmajeed Danbilki Kwamnada from Kano.

Danbilki, popularly known as Kwamnada, is notorious for criticizing politicians on radio in Kano and some northern states.

The yet-to-be-identified assailants were seen interrogating Danbilki while handcuffed, asking why he insulted the Kaduna governor. He replied, “I don’t insult the governor.” They further asked if he was from Kaduna, to which he responded, “I am not, but from Kano, a northern Nigerian and a Nigerian.”

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While giving them the answer, they started flogging him. During the assault, he complained, “I have sugar and heart problems,” then lay down and began begging them to stop.

Many people, even Danbilki’s detractors, condemned the assault and called on human rights organizations to intervene

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Imminent Fuel Increase as Petrol Landing Cost Rises to ₦1,117 Per Litre



Fuel Pump



The landing cost of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, was N1,117/litre as of Tuesday, July 16, 2024, the Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria announced on Wednesday.

MEMAN disclosed this during a webinar with journalists on Wednesday.

The association revealed that the landing cost of diesel was N1,157/litre, while that of aviation fuel was N1,127/litre.

Reports indicate that the N1,117 landing cost of petrol is far above the pump price of the product in Nigeria.

At the moment, filling stations operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and those of the major marketers sell PMS at between N617/litre and N660/litre, while independent marketers sell for N700/litre or more.

NNPC, the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria, has consistently denied subsidising the cost of PMS but refused to disclose the landing cost of the product.

Our correspondent reports that the revelation from MEMAN is almost the first from marketers in the industry as the landing cost appears to have been shrouded in secrecy by the importer of PMS.

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MEMAN’s Executive Secretary, Clement Isong, said the costs were obtained from independent energy price benchmark providers.

The association maintained that it would release similar information regularly to keep the masses informed.

Recently, independent oil marketers accused private depot owners of hiking the ex-depot price of petrol from N630 to N720/litre.

An expert in the energy sector, Prof Wumi Iledare, told our correspondent in an interview that the cost of PMS in Nigeria was far below the international price, considering the price of diesel.

“The gap between the cost of diesel and petrol in Nigeria is much. It is never like that all over the world. That means something is wrong.

“I don’t know if NNPC is paying subsidies or not, but somebody is absorbing the difference. You can call it under-recovery or subsidy, but the price of petrol today does not reflect the market cost of producing a litre of petrol,” he disclosed.

Iledare added that with the current exchange rate, the price of petrol should not be less than 80 per cent of the price of diesel.

Corroborating this, a Professor of Economics at the University of Ibadan and President of the Nigerian Economics Society, Adeola Adenikinju, said, “The current price of PMS is being subsidised by the government. The government buys at higher rates and sells to us at subsidised rates. That is what they call under-recovery.”

The International Monetary Fund recently warned the Nigerian government to remove what it called implicit fuel and electricity subsidies.

In a report published recently by the IMF, the organisation told Nigeria that the subsidies would guzzle three per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product in 2024 as against one per cent in the year before.

President Bola Tinubu declared the removal of fuel subsidies during his inauguration on May 29, 2023.

IMF noted, however, that “adequate compensatory measures for the poor were not scaled up promptly and subsequently paused over corruption concerns. Capping pump prices below cost reintroduced implicit subsidies by end-2023 to help Nigerians cope with high inflation and exchange rate depreciation.”

However, the NNPC and the Federal Government have vehemently denied subsidising the current price of PMS


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