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Opay reacts to police closure of Kano office

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By Mukhtar Yahaya Usman

Opay, the online payment service whose office was shut down by the Kano State Police Command on the orders of the Kano state government has said it is working to resolve its differences amicably with the state government.

KANO FOCUS recalls that armed police personnel stormed the office of the online payment company and shut down its operations on Thursday for alleged non-compliance with rules and regulations set for it by the state government.

The police dispersed the company’s staff members as well as scores of commercial tricycle riders, who were at the premises to settle their balances.

However in a statement, Ridwan Olalere,  the Director of Operations of the company in Kano said Opay is a legally registered platform that is seeking to assist members of the Kano public to enjoy affordable transportation through the use of government-recognized Keke Napep associations.

“This is in continuation of the founding vision of ORide (a service on the Opay app) which is, to make smart commuting accessible to people of all walks of life, at an affordable rate. ORide is about creating opportunities by helping people move from where they are to where they need to be,” he said.

He explained that the company, which started operating in August 2019, had empowered the tricycle riders (aka Adaidaita Sahu) with smartphones as part of their on-board kit while training them on international safety and security standards, before it was invited by the government to clarify its operations.

“While engaging with relevant stakeholders within Kano state Government to introduce the
platform upon launch, OTrike was invited by the Government to further clarify and educate
the Government on its business model including topics on its pricing approach which is
surprisingly very low, as well as accreditation and certification to operate its business,” he said.

“Upon concluding government verification, the state is now confident in the platform. Partnership discussions have been opened with the platform in a bid to leverage OTrike’s solutions for regulating the tricycle business in Kano. This has led to the government requesting that the organization restructures its business to fully integrate with the state’s commerce laws as another round of Keke registration via KAROTA begins soon,” Olalere added.

He also said the launch of the Opay online app “has been met with positive reactions from the residents of Kano state”.

OPay is a subsidiary of Opera Internet Group. The company is registered in Nigeria as
Paycom Nigeria Limited and began operations in August 2018 with a CBN license to operate
microfinance services via its mobile wallet.

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Kano closes hospital where a doctor performs multiple surgery alone

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Kano State Private Health Institutions Management Agency (PHIMA) has shut down Green-olives Hospital, Gadon kaya, Gwale local government area.

KANO FOCUS reports that the hospital was indicted for professional misconduct and poor service.

A statement issued by the spokesperson of the agency Abba Dalha said the agency has received a petition that the facility has recorded two death cases in the last six months.

After thorough investigation, the agency found that, the hospital do not undertake proper investigation nor issue consent form to patients before conducting a surgery.

According to the statement the surgeon is found to be to be doing the task of anaesthetic nurse, peri operative nurse and assistant surgeon which is grossly unethical.

The statement added that the surgeon is not inclined to any speciality of surgery as one of the recorded death case was a Paediatric surgery to three year old child, while the second death was Obstetrics and gynecology surgery.

The Agency threatened to deal with the culprit in accordance with it’s   guidelines and appealed to people to report quacks and professional misconduct for appropriate action.

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Ganduje seeks Assembly’s approval to borrow N20bn

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Nasiru Yusuf

The governor of Kano state Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has sent a letter to House of assembly seeking for approval to access 18.7 billion loan from the federal government to cushion the effects of COVID-19.

KANO FOCUS reports that the speaker of the assembly, Hamisu Ibrahim Chidari read the letter on the floor of the house.

According to the letter, the state government is seeking the approval of the house to enable it access the funds which many states have been granted access to by their state house of assemblies.

He said,the federal government had approved the disbursement of over 18 billion Naira to all the 36 states as bail out funds.

The governor has also sent another letter to the House seeking for approval to secure a loan of over two billion naira for the procurement of 100 BRT buses.

The letter pointed out that earlier the Kano state government had paid five hundred million naira as deposit and wish to secure a loan for the completion of payment to expedite the delivery of the vehicles which will go a long way in curtailing transportation problems in the state.

After extensive and exhaustive deliberations, the house has granted the approval.

In a related development the house had received a letter from the office of the secretary to the state government, notifying the house of the swearing in of the chairman and members of the assembly service commission and the reappointment and elevation of the clerk and deputy clerk to the post of head of legislative services and permanent secretary respectively as well as other directors at the Kano state house of assembly.

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Revenue sharing formula: Kano demands 1% allocation, increase for states and LGAs

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano State government has demanded a one per cent special status in the Federal revenue  allocation formula.

KANO FOCUS reports that the demand was made in a memorandum presented by the Secretary to the  State Government and head of Kano state delegation, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, (Wazirin Gaya), during the North West Zonal Public Hearing on the review of the current vertical revenue allocation formula organized by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission in Kaduna on Monday.

Alhaji Alhaji noted that the demand is genuine, justifiable and in no way controversial considering the enormous responsibilities the state is currently shouldering due to high influx of people displaced or affected by insecurity in neighboring states including Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto and others.

He also highlighted the status of the state as the most populous in the country, its cosmopolitan and heterogeneous nature as “mini Nigeria”, as well as being the commercial hub for the north that attracts and accommodates people from all parts of the country and beyond, as other reasons for the demand.

The Secretary to the State Government therefore urged the federal government to positively consider the special status demand so as to support the development of Kano particularly in the areas of agriculture, trade and commerce and manufacturing as “it will translate into rapid development for the country generally.

“Our reasons are for the development of Nigeria as a whole”. He added.

The SSG further noted that the current revenue sharing formula is skewed largely in favour of the federal government to the detriment of states and local governments as the federating units, which he described as uneven, unfair and unjust.

He noted that the decision of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to review the current revenue sharing formula, in line with its statutory constitutional responsibilities,  is commendable as it is long overdue in view of the changing political, economic, social and ecological realities in the country.

Alhaji Usman Alhaji further noted that despite taking the lion’s share, the federal government could not effectively and adequately discharge most of its responsibilities in states, like ensuring security and provision of healthcare services which, he said, were left for the states to take care of.

” The insecurity and violence in the North can be link to the uneven distribution of the national wealth. …Some have too little while others have too much to spend. As federating units, no one should be left in dare need “, he added.

While noting that states spend more than the federal government on healthcare and other services in addition to huge expenditure for the police and DSS, he suggested that states should have larger share in the revenue allocation formula.

The SSG therefore, on behalf of Kano State Government, proposed a new sharing formula of 41 percent for Federal Government, 34 percent for states and 24 percent for local governments while the 13 percent derivation should be maintained.

The Kano State delegation to the North West Zonal public hearing comprise commissioners, Special Advisers, top civil servants, traditional leaders, representatives of CSOs, NGOs and students organizations.

Other states that presented memoranda at the occasion include Jigawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara.

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