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Kano tricycles: A boomerang of government’s bad policies.

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Abbas Yushau Yusuf

Governments in Nigeria are synonymous with lack of consistency in implementing policies for the welfare and wellbeing of the people, be they local, state, or federal these governments. When it comes to policy formulation and implementation governments are very passionate in organizing conferences and talk shows for the purpose of impressing the public that they are very serious in solving problems.

One of the sectors Kano is grappling with apart from healthcare and education is transportation. Kano is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. According to the 2006 population census, the state is the most populous with 9.5 million people. Instead of the city to boast of one of the best transportation systems in Nigeria, the transportation system in the state is one of the worst considering the nature and the population the state is blessed with.

The state has not prepared for a robust transportation system when new settlements are springing with ever increasing population. When Nigeria returned to democracy successive governments did not organize how the transportation system of the state will look like. Government should not shoulder all the responsibilities of how Kano people will be transported to their places of daily routine but it must be responsible for how the people will feel the best when going out from their houses in search of greener pastures every day.

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In the late and early nineties the best transportation system for the state then consisted of buses popularly known in local parlance as KIYAKIYA.  These are set of ruptured buses carrying passengers in Kano from nooks and crannies of the state emanating from the central nexus at BATA.

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Taxis which were plying some roads in the state were then not enough to transport people to their destination. The taxi business started dying with the abandonment of the business by a particular ethnic group in the state, and it has not been revived by indigenous business men of the state. That made the people of Kano to only survive with KIYAKIYA absorbing the heat of the dying vehicle which may have led to the passengers developing hypertension. Moreover the bus conductors were rude youths who had not attended any school and were not trained to respect anybody.

Ban on Achaba

Later came the Okada riders who were riding motorcycles in the state. These folks known as Yan Achaba littered the streets of Kano in less than two decades. Instead of Okada riders to become solution to the state’s transportation crises, they became daily causes of fractured limbs; most accident and emergency units of state hospitals became hosts to Achaba crash victims. As the days go by motorcycle riders became a nuisance to Kano metropolis before they became a total abomination due to insurgency in the year 2012.

Motorcycles were used by insurgents to attack soft targets in the state. That forced Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso’s administration in January 2013 to offer cogent reasons for abandoning the trade and that led youths who are mostly jobless within the state to resort to another transportation business, which is tricycle known as Adaidaita Sahu.

People welcomed the ban on Achaba but government’s abrupt ending of the business did not provide a plan for the restoration of robust transportation business which all and sundry can patronize in Kano. Instead of graduating to the 21st century transportation business in the state, Kano graduated to another nuisance, leaving the whole lot of masses to suffer with the  alternatives of Adaidaita Sahu even though it has led to the provision of Job to teeming youth, some aged men in the state who cannot have a means of living.

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In the next few years Kano roads will be hard to occupy with the resurgence of Adaidaita Sahu every day. The government is not serious in regulating their activities not banning them, as there are sources that say the government of Kano is even mulling the idea of banning Tricycle operators, despite the fact that some are using it to perpetrate crime.

Now Adaidata Sahu are plying the metropolitan roads without government knowing their exact number making it easy to carry out crimes with them.

Adaidaita Sahu what is it? Is it not government negligence and failure to checkmate their activities?

Abbas Yushau’u Yusuf, a Kano-based journalist and public affairs commentator can be reached at abyushau2@gmail.com

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BUK to fabricate ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients

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BUK

Nazifi Dawud

Bayero University Kano (BUK) has revealed plans to start producing medical ventilators to be deployed in hospitals and isolation centres for treatment of COVID-19 patients.

A ventilator is a machine that helps people who cannot breathe properly on their own by pumping air in and out of their lungs through a tube inserted into their windpipe.

One of the key symptoms of the COVID-19 is breathing difficulty, which is often life threatening for some of those infected with the virus, according to medical experts.

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In a statement obtained by KANO FOCUS, the university said it has assembled a team of engineers to start fabricating the machines for use in Kano state.

“The University’s Faculty of Engineering had set up a seven-man committee with a view to producing prototype ventilators for an emergency use in our hospitals and other isolation centres as part of efforts to contain the pandemic which has been threatening the country.

“Following the discussions on the Faculty of Engineering Forum on the need to contribute our quota towards the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic, a seven man Committee is hereby composed,” said the statement signed by the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Salisu Dan’ azumi.

Mr Dan Azumi added that the committee, to be chaired by Professor Abdussamad U. Jibia from the Department of Mechatronics Engineering “is expected to design and fabricate a prototype ventilator which would be use as an emergency measures in our hospitals.”

He said the team has been given two weeks “to present a report to the Faculty Board including the design and construction of prototype ventilator for emergency use in hospitals and homes to treat patients of COVID 19 pandemic.”

The dean also revealed that “the committee was charged with the responsibility of suggesting the modality for mass production of the designed and fabricated ventilators. It would also give an estimate of the cost of producing the ventilators.”

Hand sanitizers also

Similarly, the university said it has mobilized its staff for the production of hand sanitizers for use within the institution as well as the larger Kano community.

Dr Ibrahim Tajo Siraj, head of Pure and Industrial Chemistry department said a number of academic staff have volunteered to participate in the project as part of their contribution towards preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Mr Siraj explained that the volunteers are currently in the laboratories formulating the sanitizers based on specifications provided by the World Health Organization.

“As you are aware, Universities were known to be serving as research centres where solutions are proffered for any problem facing the society, and now it is time to prove to this, hence, our decision to mobilize our members to the laboratories with a view to producing hand sanitizers as stop-gap measures,” he said.

“As you can see now, our scientists from the Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry are currently in the laboratories mixing the chemicals to come up with a quality and standard hand sanitizers,” he added.

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COVID-19: NCC’s 112 emergency number offers succour to Nigerians

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Nasiru Yusuf

The National Emergency Number 112 established by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is providing succour to Nigerians in the nation’s collective efforts to fight the spread of Coronavirus pandemic, also known COVID-19.

A statement issued by deputy manager online media and special publication, NCC, said Nigerians are able to call emergency response agencies or first respondents with respect to any issue they may want to report on the Coronavirus or other health-related issues and emergencies.

He said already, states and federal government agencies are leveraging the 112 National Emergency Number, whose calls are handled through the Emergency Communication Centre (ECC) established by the Commission across the country.

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According to him the ECC project is the brainchild of NCC to enable easy communication by Nigerians with emergency first responders such as Police, Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, National Orientation Agency (NOA) among others, by dialing the three-digit toll-free Number 112.

He recallled that on assuming office as the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC in 2015, Prof. Umar Dambatta, quickly put machinery in place to accelerate the implementation of ECC across the country in line with the decision of the Nigerian government to enhance security of lives and property and as mandated by the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003.

He noted that the NCC fast-tracked the execution of the emergency project, whose implementation had hitherto been dragging, in recognition of its mandates to promote and enhance public safety through the use of a particular number, which shall be designed as the universal safety and emergency assistance number for telephone services generally.

He revealed that so far, the ECCs, with their operational 112 toll-free emergency number, have been implemented in 17 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He observed that aside FCT, beneficiary states of the ECC include Benue, Kwara, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Edo, Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers, Imo, Enugu, Anambra and Adamawa.

“Efforts are ongoing by the Commission to deploy the ECC facility in other states of the Federation.

“Today, the 112 National Emergency Number is fully available in all the aforementioned states and FCT and can be leveraged by Nigerians, as an alternate number to reach first responders at this period of COVID-19 when seeking help and assistance from applicable government response agency during emergencies.

“Already, the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, identified the centrality of the 112 number towards handling citizens’ calls for help in this time of Coronavirus pandemic,” the statement revealed.

Mr Obaseki, in a state-wide broadcast to sensitise the people of the state on the epidemic, urged the people of Edo State to take advantage of 112 three-digit, toll-free number to get help from response agencies in case they want to pass critical information to the government and the State Task Force on COVID-19.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 19, 2020, unveiled the Abuja ECC facility and flagged off the 112 National Emergency Number during the commissioning of the NCC’s Communications and Digital Economy Complex at the Mbora District of Abuja.

The President explained that the 112 Number demonstrates his administration’s resolve to keep Nigerians safe.

President Buhari said ‘We have taken advantage of digital technologies to ensure that Nigerians in distress are only a dial away from the relevant emergency response institutions in the country” via the 112 Number.

According to him, the NCC’s 112 National Emergency Number will go a long way in supporting our efforts to improve the security of lives and property.

With Coronavirus spreading across the globe and more people living in isolation, the NCC’s 112 Number is providing alternatives for people to stay in touch and institutions to provide the needed basic life-saving services to the populace.

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COVID-19: 500 beds arrive Kano for Dangote’s isolation centre

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Nazifi Dawud

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s leading business magnate has begun construction of a field hospital with 500-bed capacity at Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano city,  as his contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Dangote had announced that he would construct a 600-bed isolation centre for COVID-19 patients in the state.

Kano has not recorded any confirmed case of COVID-19 as all suspected cases have so far tested negative to the virus.

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In a statement sent to KANO FOCUS on Thursday, Hadiza Namadi, a spokesperson for the state Ministry of Health, said “equipment for 500 beds have arrived the venue today Thursday as construction has commenced in earnest.”

The statement added that a committee, to be headed by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa has been formed to supervise the project and to “determine how the center will function including issues on water and power supply and waste disposal.”

“Members of the committee include Commissioner of Youth and Sports Development, Alh. Kabir Lakwaya, Commissioner of Works, Alh. Magaji Mu’azu, Executive Secretary, Primary Healthcare Management Board, Dr. Tijjani, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr. Amina Abdullahi Umar, and a representative from Dangote Foundation,” the statement read.

Medical and health volunteers to apply online

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has also directed all volunteer medical and health professionals who wish to join the fight against the COVID-19 in Kano to make their applications online.

The volunteers have been asked to file their applications via www.kanostate.gov.ng/volunteers.

The ministry, in a statement said the decision to move the exercise online was to ease overcrowding at the Muhammadu Buhari Specialist Hospital, venue of the recruitment exercise.

Kano receives share of Jack Ma’s COVID-19 aid

Also, the Kano state government has received its share of protective medical items that were donated to Nigeria by a Chinese business Mogul Mr Jack Ma, who is the founder of Ali Baba foundation.

According to the state Commissioner for Health, some of the items donated by Mr Jack Ma include face masks, overall gowns and face shields.

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