Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, says the Federal Government is committed to integrate ICTs into the socio-economic development in order to transform the country to a knowledge-based economy.
Pantami stated this at the opening of 7th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Communications and Digital Economy in Gombe on Monday.
Pantami, who was represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Musa Istifanus, said connectivity, capacity building and inter-agency collaboration were key factors that would bridge the digital divide and enhance technology development across the nation.
“We can only address these new challenges by ensuring that we actively engage with stakeholders.
“The society has realised the gains of ICT and we are committed to utilising these possibilities.
“New policy interventions will be required that address global challenges in areas such as digital economy and local challenges of societal cohesion,” he said.
According to him, new technology capabilities offer new ways to make it achievable.
He, therefore, called on the participants to take advantage of the meeting and come up with solutions to addressing challenges of the present day realities.
In her remarks, Dr Aishatu Maigari, Commissioner Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations, Gombe state, thanked the minister for choosing Gombe for this year’s meeting.
She gave assurance of the readiness of the state government to take the advantage of ICT for the development of the state.
Mr Gideon Biya, Director ICT, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations, in the state commended Federal Government for organising the meeting annually.
He said as the results of such meeting held in Bayelsa, Gombe had the privilege of having the ICT directorate in 2016.
Biya noted that the meeting come at a time when ICT was witnessing unprecedented attention by the state government.
Edited & Vetted By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/ Dada Ahmed
NiMet predicts cloudiness, thunderstorm Sunday to Tuesday
According to it, reports of thunderstorms activities are anticipated over the southern parts of the country.
“ In the afternoon and evening period, thunderstorms are anticipated over the Southern Sokoto, Gusau, Southern Borno, Kano and Katsina while the other places in the north should have patches of clouds with intervals of sunshine.
“Cloudiness is anticipated over the central cities in the morning hours with prospects of thunderstorms over Jos, Kaduna, Abuja, Ilorin, Mambilla Plateau, Kogi and Makurdi during the afternoon/evening period, “ it said.
It predicted the southern regions to be cloudy with a few thunderstorms over parts of Calabar, Yenegoa and Port Harcourt in the morning hours.
The agency envisaged prospects of thunderstorms over the inland while coastal cities are better during the afternoon/evening period.
“ Cloudy morning is expected over the central cities with possibilities of a few thunderstorms over parts of Abuja, Minna Lafia, Mambilla Plateau and Jalingo.
“ Later in the day, pockets of thunderstorms are anticipated over Bida, Kaduna, Abuja, Jos, Mambilla Plateau and Makurdi, “ it said.
It further forecast thunderstorms over most parts of inland and coastal cities during the afternoon/evening period.
“For Tuesday, increased cloudiness should prevail over the northern region in the morning hours with chances of thunderstorms over Sokoto, Kano, Potiskum, Bauchi and Gombe during the afternoon/evening period.
“Patches of clouds should prevail over the central region in the morning hours with possibilities of thunderstorms over the high ground areas of Abuja, Jos, Bida, Jalingo and Ilorin during the afternoon/evening period.
“Inland cities of south should be mostly cloudy in the morning with prospects of thunderstorms over the region in afternoon/evening hours.
“Coastal belts should be predominantly under the influence of thunderstorms within forecast period,“ it said.
Hungary, Germany to lift travel restrictions to each other’s citizens: FM
Hungary and Germany will lift travel restrictions for each other’s citizens from 8 a.m. on Sunday, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said on his Facebook page on Saturday.
“Germany is our biggest trading partner. Many Hungarians work in Germany. Their employment and contact with their families have encountered very serious difficulties in the recent period,” Szijjarto said in a video message.
Germany’s management of the pandemic has proven to be effective, the minister said, adding that this provides an opportunity to lift restrictions on passenger traffic between the two countries.
German nationals will be allowed entry into Hungary, and Hungarians who return home from Germany are exempt from the quarantine obligations, according to the minister.
In another development, travel restrictions between Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia had been completely lifted starting from Friday.
NASFAT seeks stricter punishment for rape
An Islamic group, Nastrul Lahil Fatih Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), has called for stricter penalties against gender based violence in the country.
The Chairman of NASFAT in Kaduna State, Engr. Muhyideen Yusuf made the appeal in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Kaduna.
Yusuf expressed concern over the escalation of gender based violence against women and the girl child in the country and called for urgent action to stem it.
He stressed that the recent rape and gruesome murder of Barakat Bello, Vera Omozua and many others was unacceptable.
“This cruelty is alien to all faiths and cultures in our dear country and we condemn these barbaric violence in all ramifications.
“There is no excuses or any justifications whatsoever that is acceptable from the perpetrators of these cruelty.
“We hereby call on all religious organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations and citizens to join hands with government at all levels to stop these evils that has infested our society,” he added.
“NASFAT prays for the repose of the souls of all departed victims of these violence and condole with their families, ” he said.
Kebbi Governor donates N5m to victims of bandits attack in Sokoto
Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi has donated N5 million to victims of recent bandits attacks in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
A statement issued in Birnin Kebbi on Saturday by Malam Yahaya Sarki, the governor’s Special Adviser on Media, said that the donation was announced when Bagudu visited Sokoto on sympathy visit on Friday.
Bagudu noted that the obnoxious mayhem unleashed on innocent victims had left many people injured and multi-million naira worth of property destroyed.
He recalled the recent visit by Tambuwal to President Buhari where he intimated him on the sad development.
”The condolence visit is also, to express support and solidarity to the government and people of Sokoto State.
”I prayed to Almighty Allah to repose the souls of the deceased and grant their respective families and the state government the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses,” he said.
Responding, Tambuwal commended Bagudu for the visit and the uncommon show of love, support and solidarity.
He appreciated Bagudu’s style of leadership in Kebbi and as Chairman of APC Progressive Governors Forum.
He also said Sokoto and Kebbi States were one and would remain inseparable and that whatever affected one affected the other.
Tambuwal said that the Federal Government had responded to the ugly development in the state and other neighbouring states.
He restated his commitment to securing the lives and property of the people of the state .
He also acknowledged the role played by the Sultan in taking decisions to curtail the spread of the raging coronavirus apart from providing plausible solutions to the recurring security challenges in the country.
While praying for the souls of the deceased, Sultan also harped on the need for sustained unity amongst the two states.
The Sultan acknowledged the ongoing concerted efforts by the governors to bring to an end the obnoxious acts of banditry in the region.
He said: “We will continue to play our role as leaders and offer useful advice to leaders, to serve the people better.
“Let me reiterate that COVID-19 is still around the corner, I am appealing to the Governors to continue to take plausible measures to contain the spread of the disease,” Abubakar said.
Don cautions youths against social media addiction
Mr Babatunde Abdulkareem, Head of Department of Political Science, Kwara State College of Education, Oro, has cautioned youths in the country against addiction to social media as it can affect their academic performances.
Abdulkareem gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ilorin on Saturday.
He said teenagers’ early exposure to social media might cause distraction to their studies and academic pursuit.
According to him, teenagers spend most of their time on internet access facilities like phone, computer set accessing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp instead of studying their books.
“Teenagers spend most of their time on phone without considering their books. They chat with friends and make video calls forgetting they need to read their books.
“They prefer to spend 24 hours on social media than sacrificing just 30 minutes for their books.
“That is why most teenagers’ academic performance has dropped drastically. They perform poorly because they don’t read again all in the name of chatting,” he said.
Abdulkareem also urged parents to checkmate their children by forcing them to read at the right time instead of pressing phones.
“Parents should stop over-pampering children. They should always ensure that children spend more time on their books instead of hanging out with friends on social media,” he advised.
The don also warned teenagers against abuse of social media, saying that it could cause distraction and lead to failure.
Indonesian capital eases novel coronavirus-related restrictions
A woman wearing a face shield walks on a road in Jakarta, Indonesia, on June 5, 2020. Indonesian capital Jakarta‘s administration began easing the novel coronavirus-related restrictions in weeks ahead as the country is preparing for a new normal scenario. (Photo by Edy Susanto/Xinhua)
Finnish researchers depict full gene structure of Nordic reindeer
Finnish researchers have solved and depicted the full gene structure of the Nordic reindeer, reported Finnish national broadcaster Yle on Friday .
One of the researchers, professor Juha Kantanen from the Finnish Institute for Natural Resources (LUKE) told Yle that the researchers have identified many such genetic traits that have helped reindeer adapt to the harsh natural conditions.
According to the research, the retina of the eyes of Nordic reindeer has adapted to the changing light conditions of northern Finland’s Lapland area. In winter it is dark there nearly all day, while in summer there is almost no sunset.
Lapland area is a main habitat of Nordic reindeer. In today’s international folklore, Lapland is well-known as the home area of legendary Santa Claus. In most countries his image is associated with flying reindeer.
Reindeer also have genes that create an excellent ability to scent. “They have to be able to scent lichen, as their food, covered by a thick crust of snow,” Kantanen elaborated.
There is also a gene system for the annual development of antlers of Nordic reindeer, Kantanen said. The genes trigger the antlers to drop off and begin to grow again.
Kantanen noted that humans tamed the half-domesticated Nordic reindeer of today from the mountain deer. Last wild mountain deer disappeared from Finland in the 19th century.
“But contemporary research does not support the view that the taming took place in Northern Europe at all,” Kantanen said. He gave the Yamal peninsula on the Arctic Sea or the Altai Mountains in Central Asia as likely areas.
Kantanen said though that it is not clear when the taming took place. Views range from the Neolithic era to the Iron Age, or even later.
Group decries loss of over N5m worth of rice to movement restriction
The Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS) has decried the loss of over N5 million worth of rice to restriction of movement occasioned by COVID-19.
The National Coordinator of the group, Mr Retson Tedheke, made this known in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday.
Tedheke said one of its trucks, conveying rice from Nasarawa state to Lagos state, took 28 days to get to and fro its destination due to hitches encountered at several checkpoints across states.
According to him, the development led to the rice being exposed to rainfall, leading to destruction of over 233 bags.
According to him, many farmers have lost millions of naira to the development, which he described as unfortunate.
“There is no restriction on movement of agricultural products, however, when you get to the road, it is a different ball game.
” The security agents on the road do not care, making life unbearable for farmers.
“Until government begins to make example of these officers, who do not have recourse to regulations, we will not go far in this country.
“We contacted relevant authorities, but what happens usually is that they follow up, which is a good thing.
“However, our drivers sometimes get to locations where they cannot be reached on network and these things happen in such places.
“You can imagine those carrying perishable goods, and we know time is of the essence when it comes to some agricultural products,” he said.
According to the coordinator, coming from Keffi, in Nasarawa state, to Abuja takes several hours because of the numerous checkpoints.
“So, you can imagine what people go through across the country. It is a situation that needs urgent attention,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government had on April 24 inaugurated a seven-man Joint Technical Task Team on Emergency Response to COVID-19.
The seven-man task team is chaired by Austin Agbonlahor, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in-charge of Operations.
Paris police ban protests at United States Embassy, citing health restrictions
Paris police have banned two protests they said were planned for outside the United States Embassy on Saturday.
Several thousand Facebook users have said they are “interested” in an anti-racist protest at the embassy on Saturday linked to the killing by United States police of African-American man George Floyd.
Some 20,000 people – according to police estimates – braved a ban to attend a protest in Paris on Tuesday called by the family of Adama Traore, a black man who died in disputed circumstances in 2016 after his arrest by gendarmes in a town north of the capital.
The protest was overwhelmingly peaceful despite the ban, but some confrontations took place towards the end and police made 18 arrests.
Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
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