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Boko Haram Apologist Pantami Becomes Cybersecurity Professor

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Boko Haram Apologist Pantami Becomes Cybersecurity Professor

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, who was recently linked to extremist group Boko Haram, has become a cybersecurity professor.

Pantami is among seven Readers (Associate Professors) promoted to professor by the Governing Council of Federal Univerity of Technology Owerri (FUTO) at its 186th meeting, which was held on Friday, August 20, 2021.

Other promoted from Readers to Professor are –Dr. Okechukwu Onyelucheya of Chemical Engineering, Dr. Alex I. Opara (Geology), Dr. Conrad Enenebeaku (Chemistry), Dr. Chikwendu Okereke (Geology), Dr. Lawence Ettu (Civil Engineering), and Dr. Godfrey Emeghara (Maritime Management Technology).

Confirming Pantami’s new title to PRNigeria, a senior lecturer at the university explained that the academic institution is excited to have Pantami as one of its new seven Professors, even though the Minister as indicated that he would not receive remuneration because of his current position.

His words: “We gladly welcome this new set of Professors, in our reputable institution. It is even more heartwarming to note that Prof. Pantami has already communicated to the University that he won’t collect his salary for now because of his national assignment.

“As you are aware Professorial title on an individual connotes leadership and exceptional contribution at national and international levels in research, scholarship, teaching/mentorship, and learning.

“In Nigerian Universities, a professorial appointment has been a prerogative of the Senate of the Universities. Because of autonomy, the criteria for the appointment of a professor varies from one university to another.

“A criteria for appointment of a professor is usually a process unless strong evidence indicates some waiver. The professorship is not a theory, but a practical aspect; an expert with the ability to profess his expertise in his field/profession.”

An erudite scholar of information technology, Pantami who recently bagged the Security and Emergency Management Award (SAEMA) on Cybersecurity had lectured at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, on ICT, before joining the Islamic University of Madinah as Head of Technical Writing in 2014.

He was appointed the Director-General and CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in 2016, before he was appointed the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy on 21 August 2019.

Pantami’s link to Boko Haram

As reported on Newsrand, Pantami had been linked with global extremist groups –the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, after declaring support for them in his past preachings.

Pantami’s sympathetic utterances for the jihadists, dated to the early 2000s before becoming a minister, has since been attracting criticism from political stakeholders and members of the public at large. And they have since been calling for his removal from office.

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VAT In Nigeria: Elders Says Northern Region Can Survive Without South

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VAT In Nigeria: Elders Say Northern Region Can Survive Without South

Value Added Tax (VAT) in Nigeria controversy appears to have taken a new turn, as Northern Elders Forum (NEF) said the country’s region could survive without money from the southern part.

Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, made this known during an interview on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ breakfast programme, as he reacted to the issue some states were having with the federal government on VAT in Nigeria.

His words: “I will advise that we wait to hear what the court says. However, even the fact that it has become an issue suggests that we really do need to address the fundamentals and the manner in which the federation works.

“We have always supported restructuring. We have always asked that a major and genuine shift initiative either by groups or the National Assembly so that matters like this be addressed properly.

“If we don’t do that now, then we should get a leader that would do that in 2023. This administration appears not to understand the importance of restructuring; we do in the north, we recognise the fact that we need to change the manner in which we generate wealth and allocate (it).

“The thing about is: the north wants restructuring; the north wants fiscal federalism. We are a rich region and we can live on what we have, even if we don’t have the billions that accrue to others states. Our poverty is not a kind of problem that we would break this country over.”

Maintaining that the VAT in Nigeria tussle is a wake-up call to northern governors, Bala-Ahmed charged them to develop sustainable resources and encourage human capital development in the region.

The NEF spokesman continued, “North, you said you have many people but you are under-developing your own people – the biggest liability of the north is that we have a huge population that is under-developed. You need to develop the human capital that you have.

“We need leaders, the current governors don’t recognise this. Otherwise, they won’t be involved in this argument; allow the court to decide.”

“But for goodness sake, (they should) begin to think — what else can we do if the court decides now that Rivers State is right, Lagos State is right, and they won’t be getting all these billions coming in from VAT? What happens?” he queried.

Recent events about VAT in Nigeria

Recently, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers dragged the federal government to court over the allocation of revenue generated from VAT in Nigeria.

Wike argued that his government should be the legitimate collector of the tax type and not the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), as the case is.

Surprisingly to members of the public, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos joined in the suit against the federal government. In fact, days after Justice Stephem Pam of a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt ruled that Rivers State government had the powers to collect VAT within its territory, Sanwo-Olu signed the controversial VAT bill into law.

In a previous report, Newsrand detailed everything about VAT.

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Buhari To Present Nigeria’s Statement At The UN General Assembly, As Second Speaker On Friday

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Buhari To Present Nigeria’s Statement At The UN General Assembly, As Second Speaker On Friday

President Muhammadu Buhari who arrived in New York on Sunday, to participate in the ongoing 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, is to present Nigeria’s statement to the General Assembly on Friday, Sept. 24.

The Nigerian leader would be the second speaker on the fourth day and would deliver his address around 9 a.m. (around 2 p.m. Nigerian time) to other world leaders at the morning session.

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He had earlier attended the opening of the General Debate of the 76th session of the General Assembly.

Buhari was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, and Head of Chancery of the Permanent Mission, Muyiwa Onifade.

No fewer than 100 heads of state attended the General Debate in person in New York, while others spoke through pre-recorded videos, the UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

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Dangote Pledges To Increase Social Responsibility Projects

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Dangote Pledges To Increase Social Responsibility Projects

Nigerian conglomerate Dangote Industries has pledged to scale up its public social responsibility to better the life of Nigerians.

The multinational firm founded by business magnate Aliko Dangote made the promise in a statement signed by its Corporate Affairs Manager, Francis Awowole.

The statement quoted Dangote as expressing a desire to carry its host communities along in the organisation’s expansion plan.

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It said that Dangote made the policy plan known while hosting some visiting investors in his office in Lagos.

Amongst other things, the African richest man told his guests that the group was scaling up its social intervention in communities hosting its companies across Nigeria.

Dangote further made it known that efforts were already being made to impact positively on the host communities, adding that his companies have spent billions of naira in the states where their investments were located.

The corporate social responsibility projects undertaken by the companies is in addition to efforts by Aliko Dangote Foundation, which is presently giving out micro-grants to vulnerable women in all the 774 local governments across the country.

It will be recalled that the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, during his working tour of the Dangote’s expansive Savannah Sugar Company (SSCL) Ltd in Numan, Adamawa and Tunga sugar project site in Nasarawa, described the projects as ‘huge, impressive and amazing’.

Dangote’s sugar plantation in Nasarawa is a very impressive sight.  Amazingly, such a project exists in this place.

What we have seen so far from all the plantations we have been to are very impressive. We are impressed with the level of work they are doing,” the statement quoted Dangote to have said.

Dangote added that the execution of its Sugar Master Plan could fetch Nigeria over $700 million yearly.

He said that the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) when executed as designed could fetch the nation foreign exchange in excess of $700 million yearly from the backward integration component of the plan.

He however advised that the BIP scheme must be protected to insulate the Nigerian economy to be able to achieve the twin objectives of local manufacturing and job creation.

“If the national sugar master plan is followed strictly and the players all follow the rules, the country will be better for it as Nigeria will save between $600 million and $700 million annually as forex,” he said.

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