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Opinion

Kano As future Headquarters Of Poverty In Nigeria

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Kano State

 

 

By Comrade Mahmud Shawai

 

Kano State is a great state in West Africa, which its history could be traced back to the 7th century or less than that according to historical checks. Kano is the commercial nerve center of Northern Nigeria, its motto is  “Centre of Commerce” in Nigeria.

 

Kano produced gigantic business tycoons in the past and is still producing.

Late Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, a grandfather of African richest man, Aliko Dangote was an indigene of Kano State,  a renowned business tycoon who was into the business of “kola nuts and groundnuts,” until his death he was the wealthiest man in West Africa.

 

Alh. Aliko Dangote GCON is an indigene of Kano who is a  business magnate and philanthropist. He is the wealthiest person in Africa and the richest Black person in the world.

 

With these two people and many others not mentioned, we can conclude that Kano State is a center of business not only in Nigeria but, in the whole African continent.

 

Unfortunately, the Kano of today is not what it was in the past. The riches and prosperity are continuously diminishing though, the pace differs with the state’s Democratic leadership.

 

A Nigerian based Researcher Malam Ibrahim Ado Kurawa has said “Kano has 7.22 Million poor people together with Jigawa.”

 

He further stated that  “Kano is the home of the first textile industry in Nigeria. Now Kano has 7.22million poor people along with Jigawa with its 5.05 million poor they contribute 15% of Nigeria’s poor people with less than 3% of the National Economy” (Nigerian Tracker).

 

It is obvious that if adjustments are not made these figures will keep multiplying until we reach the apex of poverty and become the epicenter and headquarters of poverty in the country.

 

Five factors that lead to the deterioration of poverty in Kano State.

 

1.Unexpertized Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA), Operations: The Agency was established in the year 2011, within the jurisdiction of controlling road and traffic-related problems. But today, the agency is literally a Semi Revenue Generation Department, which focuses on extortion instead of educating the folks on the dos and don’ts of the traffic.

 

Observations show that KAROTA stops a significant number of people from coming to Kano state for business due to their oppressions and intended traps against commuters.

 

2.Insecurity: Insecurity today, in Northern Nigeria becomes a daily routine that we sleep and wake up with, more especially terrorism/banditry, kidnapping, and Boko Haram.

 

This led a significant number of people to leave their homes and investments for survival and most of the wholesalers in these states come to Kano for purchasing goods.

 

3.Bad Governance: Kano State is also suffering from poor governance whereby, most of the political leaders are engaging themselves in programs that will promote their names publicly, maximize their wealth and achieve their personal whims without considering the outcome of that particular event.

 

Succinctly, the state is suffering from the deadly fever of misrepresentation. The  State Internal Revenue Service is always and promptly going after businessmen regardless of being small scale or large scale businesses, but unfortunately, the folks don’t get the feedback of what has been generated monthly, talk less of knowing where the revenue is allocated to.

Lack of transparency and accountability as well as misplacement of priorities gave a big blow to the state.

Just as recently, the federal government shared money to various states according to their transparency, accountability, and sustainability in a program named States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainable Initiatives.

 

Sokoto State which was rated the poorest state in Nigeria in 2021, by the National Bureau of Statistics, has the highest share of approximately six billion and six hundred million, while Kano State that happens to be the “Centre of Commerce” collected the lowest allocation approximately one billion and seven hundred million.

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4.Youths Low Self-Esteem in Modern Businesses: Kano youths of today dwell in their past in terms of business, most of them have the low self-esteem to compete with their counterparts in other regions of the country. Most of the Northern youths do not know how to promote their personal businesses on social media as well as improving and maximizing their businesses through educating themselves online to reach the International standard.

 

5.Youth Competition in White-collar Jobs:

The economic growth and development of every society lie on the shoulder of businesses. No, any humble and trustworthy civil servant can compete with businessmen in terms of riches, but most of the youths of today use to abandon their personal businesses and seek jobs under governments and companies.

 

Recommendations

  1. The state’s leadership should create a sustainable economic team that will be designed base on merit and not on political compensation
  2. There should be a continuous awareness for youths to embrace skills acquisitions and endure in nurturing their small businesses till they reach an appreciable stage.
  3. There must be synergy between large scale businessmen and small scale entrepreneurs. The former should have sympathy over the latter.
  4. Leaders should know that the offices they are holding are privileges for them to control and manage the wealth of the led, not fundamental rights to maximize their personal wealth.
  5. KAROTA, should be restructured and coordinated to operate within its jurisdictions.

 

Comrade Mahmud Shawai is the chairman North -West Youth Awareness Foundation

Opinion

Alleged Conversion Of Almajiris To Christianity: Breaching The Constitution And Parental Neglect

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Abdulmutallib

 

Abdulmutallib Mukhtar

I read from today’s edition of Daily Trust how DSS rescued 21 almajiris from a house which is under the custody of ECWA church in Jos North. The almajiris were alleged to have been forcefully brought there from another state. After their rescue, the almajiris revealed how they were forced to learn and practise Christianity.

Keep aside the pluralism of Nigeria and remember how Plateau State has been suffering from crises for over two decades now. The major cause of these crises is undeniably attributable to religious divides.

Taking and camping children from another religion in the name of educating them without parental consent, especially when they’re forced to receive religious instructions, take part in or attend religious ceremony or observance different from their own religion, is an act that clearly violates Section 38(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

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Therefore, the act of the Evangelical church is constitutionally wrong. It is unacceptable in the eyes of the law. More so, looking at the situation in Plateau State, it is completely unthinkable for the church to camp Muslim almajiris without the consent of their parents or guardians and teach them Christianity or force them to attend church services. This act is akin to throwing an ember into a tank of fuel.

Looking at the issue from another angle, it behoves any fair pen to tell truth to the parents of these almajiris. The remote places in the North still view almajiri system as a good way of learning, merely because of its ancestral tint. It is highly condemnable seeing little children roaming about the streets of our cities day and night, begging for food in the name of learning. Looking at the slavish lifestyle of almajiris in Arewa, it will not be surprising if someone acts in the belief that the parents of these almajiris have disowned them.

More strange news would continue to hit the headlines as long as the almajiri system remains what it is today. As life changes, people must adjust to take better breath.

Abdul Mutallib Muktar

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Opinion

Running Mate:The Malady Of Making A Mindless Mistake

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Asiwaju Bola Ahmad Tinubu

 

By Bala Ibrahim.

According to the dictionary, a running mate is an election candidate for the lesser of TWO CLOSELY ASSOCIATED POLITICAL OFFICES. I put the phrase, two closely associated political offices in capital letters on purpose, so as to compel the reader comprehend the closeness in the connection and correlation between the office of the principal and his deputy or vice.

It is also my ambition to make the principal realize the expected reckoning of the electorate, with regards the running of the two offices and how the occupants behave towards each other.

In short, while the choice of a running mate may be within the absolute control of the principal, because he or she would be his or her deputy, the consequences of his or her mistake in making a careless choice, could come with a combatant calamity.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been hammering upon the nemesis of such mistake since he left office in 2007, and I think as patriotic citizens, we owe it a duty to draw the attention of those that have been elected to lead, to be not only canny, but circumspect in the choice of their running mates, and here, more attention should go to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Jagaba of Borgu, and the presidential flag bearer of the ruling party, the APC.

While Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Waziri of Adamawa, had since named Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Arthur Okowa, the incumbent Governor of Delta State as his running mate, for the 2023 Presidential election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is still silent on who would be his authentic running mate in the battle.

In an attempt to beat the June 17 deadline for the submission of presidential and vice presidential candidates, some political parties submitted names of vice-presidential candidates or running mates, who they described as placeholders. The ruling APC and the Labour Party, LP, are the ones clearly caught in the web of this mess of a placeholder, in place of the running mate.

In the APC, Kabiru Masari, the party’s Welfare Secretary was named as the running mate to Jagaba, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, while Dr. Doyin Okupe, the current Director General of the Peter Obi Presidential Campaign Council is submitted as the placeholder for Peter Obi, in lieu of a substantive running mate.

Whether the term placeholder would pass the legal test, and secure a place in Nigeria’s constitutional and legal framework, is a task for the legal barons, but as public analysts and commentators, our task is to harp on the merit of making a careful choice, and the malady of making a mindless mistake, through the careless choice of a running mate.

For some times I have seized to be a fan of Obasanjo, because of his penchant for ridiculing everyone, and his self-appointed position of being the best God given gift to Nigeria, but when a man or woman keeps lamenting endlessly, on an issue that touches on patriotism, or selfless devotion to the support for one’s country, it would be foolish to flout such a forewarning.

There is a Hausa proverb that says, “Idan kunne ya ji, to jiki ya tsira”, whose literal translation is, when the ear hears, the body is safe.

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As a war veteran, and an indisputable patriot, that is prepared to defend his country against enemies or detractors, Obasanjo’s position on
Nigeria is unchallenged. Of course he has his weaknesses, but compromising national unity is not amongst.

Chief Olusegun Mathew Okikiola Ogunboye Aremu Obasanjo was Nigeria’s military Head of State from 1976 to 1979 and later the elected President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. In between the two tenures at the top, he served as a prisoner, after being convicted by a secret military tribunal for plotting to overthrow the government of General Sani Abacha in 1995. On his release and pardon by the regime of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Obasanjo was washed into the PDP and promoted to the position of an elected President.

On the advise of his backers, Obasanjo chose Atiku Abubakar, as his running mate, or Vice Presidential candidate for the 1999 presidential election. Together, they emerged victorious, and ran the offices of the President and that of the Vice President almost in conformity with the dictionary ambition of the phrase, CLOSELY ASSOCIATED POLITICAL OFFICES.

However, pursuant to his satanic scheme for a third term in office, beyond the second term that should expire in 2007, which runs contrary to the provision of the constitution, and which Atiku Abubakar fought tooth and nail, the relationship between Obasanjo and Atiku has been everything but wholehearted.

As Nigerians await the final decision of Tinubu on who would be his running mate, Obasanjo, Tinubu’s kinsman, though one that always takes an opposite position, has once more voiced out his grief or sorrow, with special reference to the two mistakes he made in life. The first was the choice of his running mate , while the second was his refusal to accept an asylum when he was told that the late Head of State, Gen.Sani Abacha, wanted to arrest him.

We don’t know what repercussion would have come had he succeeded in the third term plot, which his running mate aborted, but he clearly paid on his refusal to accept an asylum abroad.

So on the subject of choosing a Vice Presidential candidate, and in order to avoid lucid lamentations, occasioned by the malady of making a mindless mistake, I would advise Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to discard his political disagreements with Obasanjo, and take serious the issue of who becomes his authentic running mate.

“Idan kunne ya ji, to jiki ya tsira”,

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Opinion

Nigeria And The Permanent Partnership With Paucity Of Power

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Bala Ibrahim

 

By Bala Ibrahim

We woke up to a bad news this morning, saying, the residence of a close friend was razed to the ground by fire in Kaduna. This is the second time within a short spell, and the same stroke of bad luck had similarly visited another residence of the same person in Katsina. God can’t be wrong, and only HE knows why, but the physically assessed cause is attributed to electric inverter malfunction.

In Nigeria, because of the permanent paucity of power, the use of electric inverters has since become a necessity, particularly with the high cost of diesel, that is making the use of generators almost impossible. Those who can afford it, are compelled to install electric inverters, that convert direct current to alternating current for power supply in the house or office.

But from the look of recent happenings, this alternative source of energy is coming at a high price, because of the frequent cases of fire, occasioned by the permanent paucity of power.

Because the Nigerian power sector is so problematic, on coming to power, PMB made a promise to overhaul the system for the better. As a result, billions of dollars were spent on power, and many ministers and technocrats have come and gone, but the result seems the same: permanent partnership with darkness.

Successive stakeholders in the resuscitation exercise have talked about the privatisation of the sector, in a way that would give flexibility to the introduced lexicons like the GENCOS, DISCOS and TCN, but alas, the result seems the same: permanent partnership with darkness. And now the frequent visits of fire.

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The mystery of power supply in Nigeria got to a point where a former Minister of Power, Zainab Kuchi, was once quoted as telling a South African delegation that evil spirits were preventing the country from achieving sustainable electricity supply. In her wisdom, Kuchi recommended that all hands must be on deck to collectively exorcise the demons in the sector.

“We must resolve to jointly exorcise the evil spirit behind this darkness,” –Kuchi.

But in spite of all the promises made, and the volume of money pumped, Nigeria seems to be moving from bad to worse in power supply, it seems.

I read somewhere, a statement credited to the PDP presidential flag bearer, Alh. Atiku Abubakar, viz:

“The darkness that has enveloped the nation in the last couple of days with the collapse of the national grid is a metaphor for the collapsing state of our nation: collapsing unity, collapsing security, collapsing economy, collapsing education, collapsing well-being and collapsing value of human life and dignity. My expectation is that Nigerians will collapse the ruling APC in kind via the ballot and enthrone a viable pathway for the New Nigeria of our dreams that will be united and stable, prosperous and awash with opportunities; secured and inclusive. As One, we can get it done”.

I also read some where, some remarks, credited to the General Secretary, Electricity Union of Nigeria, Joe Ajaero, which clearly comes like a direct response to the comments of Atiku, thus:

“17 OUT OF 18 COMPANIES YOU SOLD UNDER PRIVATIZATION IN 1999 ARE YET TO BREAK EVEN, YOUR THREE-POINT AGENDA IS DEAD ON ARRIVAL. Today Osogbo Steel Rolling Mill is a glorified warehouse, what has been the performance indices of Generation Companies (GenCos) and Distribution Companies (DisCos) in the last eight years? 17 out of the 18 enterprises Atiku sold in the power sector, none is yet to break even. The Federal government has pumped about N2 trillion as subvention to the privately owned companies in the power sector, yet power generation has nose-dived from 4,000MW to 2,000 MW in nine years”.

The Union was quick to describe the three-point agenda of Atiku Abubakar, whose ambition is the privatization of refineries, rail sector, transmission company of Nigeria (TCN) and breaking the monopoly of all other infrastructure operations, as dead on arrival, asking Atiku to tell Nigerians, how many of the over 60 enterprises privatized under his chairmanship of the National Council on Privatization (NCP) in 1999 are functioning optimally today.

However, in something reminiscent to a respite, the Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Mr. Sanusi Garba, has announced to the press yesterday, that Nigerians would witness improved power supply from July 1st, following renewed efforts by industry stakeholders.

Garba said there was a meeting, which was attended by top officials of NERC, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Generation Companies as well electricity Distribution Companies, wherein an agreement was reached between the Gencos, TCN and the 11 DisCos that would guarantee the generation, transmission and distribution of an average of 5,000MW of electricity daily to customers effective July 1st. He said the contract would be binding on all the players across the sector’s value chain, with the stipulation of penalties for any party that defaults on the new arrangement.

How far the government would go in the fulfilment of this promise, remains to rescue the rift, between a miracle and a mirage.

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