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This week in Kano History September 29 – 05 October

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Hassan Katsina, Ado Bayero, Aguiyi Ironsi

1966 – Ado Bayero, Hassan Katsina quell army mutiny in Kano

On October 1, 1966, troops of the 5th battalion of the Nigerian Army mutinied in Kano and killed the second in command Captain Auna and the RSM Dauda Mumuni.

The mutiny was an attempt to avenge the killing of Northern Nigerian leaders by Igbo officers during the first military coup in Nigeria.

The troops broke out of the barracks and attacked Igbos in Sabon Gari area as well as Kano Airport and train station.

The military governor of the Northern Region, Lt-Colonel Hassan Usman Katsina, put down the mutiny by driving round Kano in an open Jeep accompanied by Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero.

1969 – World of Paperbacks book exhibition opens

Sarkin Bai at World of Paperbacks Exhibition

On October 1, 1969, a five-day exhibition of paperback books was opened in Kano.

The exhibition was sponsored by the United States Information Service (USIS).

Kano state commissioner of education, Alhaji Mukhtar Sarkin Bai declared the exhibition open.

Sarkin Bai called for the production of Hausa books in paperback.

1979 – Abubakar Rimi became 1st civilian governor of Kano

Abubakar Rimi

On October 1, 1979, Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi of the Peoples’ Redemption Party (PRP) was sworn-in as the first civilian governor of Kano state.

Rimi’s administration was outstanding for its cancellation of poll tax and human development projects.

Abubakar Rimi established among others the Kano State Agricultural Supply Company (KASCO), Kano Agricultural Rural Development Agency (KNARDA), Rural Electricity Agency, the Agency for Mass Education, the Science and Technical Schools Board, the Primary Education Board, as well as Kano State Environmental Protection Board.

He also introduced the Workers’ Day Holiday in Nigeria and sponsored Kano state students on overseas scholarships.

Rimi also established the Triumph Publishing Company and Kano state television (CTV) known named after him.

However he failed to win re-election after falling out with his political mentor Malam Aminu Kano.

He was sentenced to 10 years in jail by the Buhari military administration but the Babangida administration commuted the term to three years.

Rimi was Minister of Communication during the Abacha regime but was later jailed after starting the movement that transformed into the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) after Abacha’s death.

Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi died on April 4, 2010 after a confrontation with armed robbers.

1983 – Sabo Bakin Zuwo takes office as Kano state governor

Sabo Bakin Zuwo

On October 1, 1983, Aliyu Sabo Bakin Zuwo took office as Kano state governor after defeating Abubakar Rimi who had defected from the PRP.

Bakin Zuwo ruled for only three months before the Second Republic was toppled in an army coup.

Highlights of his tenure include the downgrading of the four first class emirates created by the Rimi administration and sacking of civil servants loyal to the former governor.

He also converted the Palace Cinema at Jakara Kano city into a clinic which was later christened Sabo Bakin Zuwo Maternity Hospital.

Bakin Zuwo was arrested by the Buhari administration and sentenced to 21 years but his sentence was commuted to three years by the Babangida administration.

He died on February 15, 1989 following a domestic accident.

2012 – Kano state government closes Triumph newspaper

Triumph Newspaper

On October 3, 2012, Kano state government led by Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso shut down the Triumph Publishing Company established by the Abubakar Rimi administration.

The moribund company was the publisher of Daily Triumph, Weekend Triumph, Sunday Triumph, and the Hausa Albishir newspaper as well as Alfijir written in Ajami script.

However, the Abdullahi Ganduje administration resuscitated the company in May 2017 with the maiden edition commemorating the 50th anniversary of Kano state.

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The importance of training and development in agricultural commodity trading in Nigeria

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Act Financial Training Centre, in association with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited, and ComX, Nigeria’s first digital commodity trading platform, recently organized a commodity trading course aimed at buyers, traders, and those interested in understanding how to manage risks, while positioning for profits in agricultural produce futures.

The course focused on the foundations of commodity markets in Nigeria.

It discusses how commodities markets are created, how commodities are traded from producers to final consumers, the role of transportation and storage, operational structure of the commodities markets, among other topics.

Attendees were also exposed to the elements of spot, futures and futures option markets, basis, hedging, price discovery, fundamental analysis, and risk management strategies.

They were gained knowledge of the various commodity assets in Nigeria, commodity evaluation and grading, and how to trade on AFEX ComX Platform.

It provided a broad and detailed discussion of economic theories behind markets, how they work in and the current state of these markets in the world.

Dahiru Usman, the course coordinator, says in the wave of the current economic down turn in Nigeria, and the Federal Government’s diversification plan from dependence on crude oil to agriculture and value-added agribusiness, there is need for proper development of manpower with the entrepreneurial skillsets in agricultural commodities as well as the development of the supporting market infrastructure that would enhance liquidity, price discovery and risk management for participants.

He added that asides its profit potential, knowledge of agricultural commodity trading empowers traders with a viable diversification option, agro-commodities trading provides effective hedging options against risks, especially in Nigeria, where farm harvests are vulnerable to weather uncertainties and disease.

Expert resource persons who facilitated the course were Mr. Kola Oyedokun, managing director, DSU Brokerage Services Limited, Abuja and Chairman of ACT Financial Training Centre, Mr. Akinyinka Akintunde, managing director, AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited, Mr. Sam Okoh, Chief Operation officer, Prime Commodity Exchange Limited, Mr. Yusuf Ogunbiyi, Investment Manager, AFEX/ComX, Mr. Zannah Hassan, Managing Director, Farmfields Agro Allied Services and Mr.  Bello Lafe, Country Manager, Collateral Management International Ltd.

Participants at the first edition included staff from Niger State Commodity and Export Promotion Agency, Niger Investment House, Kwik Kapital Limited, Jaiz Capital, Credent Investment Managers Limited, and Bauchi Investment House among others.

According to the organisers, the training will be held on the first Saturday of every month at Genius Business School, Gateway Plaza in the Central Business District of Abuja.

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SIMs/NINs Directive: Time to rescue telecoms industry

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THE directive last week by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy that the National Identity Number, NIN, has become mandatory for a subscriber to carry a mobile phone is not only a slap on the faces of Nigerians already going through very troubled times but a plain manifestation that arbitrariness is being elevated to the dizzy heights of national policy.

Operators have been given only two weeks to comply and ensure that over 190m subscribers on their networks are properly registered. Or your operating license withdrawn.

We view this as a death sentence for the telecommunications industry, and some experts cautioned last week that a reversal of industry fortunes has been set afoot by an obnoxious official proclamation. One operator moaned that the regulator wants to wipe out at least more than half of the subscriber base of the industry.

We agree that times are desperate in Nigeria, very desperate. Whole mass of students are spirited away from school and they reappear after a whole week in the den of criminals. Road travel has become a nightmare for the ordinary and the mighty ones. Bandits have taken over the roads and the farms.

Quite unfortunately even for the rich, air travel is beyond the reach of those who used to fly except the hedonists who steal the people’s money for plain pleasure.

According to figures from the National Population Commission, NPC, very bizarre decisions are being taken to rubbish the collective intelligence of a nation and expose the citizenry to ridicule before the international community. So, using failure in security as pressure point, the ministry under the grip of Isa Pantami has given a directive capable of destroying the entire communications industry except common sense prevails.

The December 15, 2020, statement signed by Public Affairs Director,  Ikechuckwu Adinde, which affirmed earlier directive for operators to totally suspend registration of new SIMs, stated among others: “Operators to require all their subscribers to provide valid National Identification Number, NIN, to update SIM registration records; The submission of NIN by subscribers to take place within two weeks (from today, December 16, 2020 and end by December 30, 2020).

After the deadline, all SIMs without NINs are to be blocked from the networks.” While conceding the pervasive security challenges, there has been outrage across the land; understandably, by subscribers who feel that apart from the suffering that has worsened more because of COVID-19, a major inconvenience is being added to their burden.

Recall that the country’s economy has gone into recession again and is not expected to recover until late 2021, a development that is forcing more Nigerians to fall into the poverty pit.

Journalists immediately reached out to a powerful industry source to ask if the directive could be executed in two weeks. The answer was an emphatic NO. They also reached out to a source in the regulatory institution. Is this what should have been done? The answer again was NO. Let’s try to unwrap the intricacies of the unfolding story.

The SIM Card registration regime started in 2011. The exercise was carried out simultaneously by licensed agents of the NCC and the mobile operators. NCC was to warehouse the data. An understanding at the time was that, because of the sensitive nature of personal data, all data will be handed over to the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, whose responsibility it is to manage the National Identity Database. Till date the progress recorded in that area opens windows to speculations and recriminations.

It is interesting to point out here that NIMC was established in 2007. In all the years of existence, the organisation has succeeded in registering only 43.6m! So what magic wand will it wave to accomplish the act in two weeks?

According to figures gleaned from the NCC website, there were 207,954,737 subscribers on the four mobile networks of MTN, Airtel, GLO and 9Mobile by October 2020. An industry source told Vanguard last week that of this figure, about 120m are unique subscribers, discounting double registration of mobile numbers, while the rest could be used in personal internet modems, sectors like banking, vehicle tracking and other sectors where mobile communications have become very handy. There has to be a way to capture these numbers and this cannot be enforced overnight.

Matching the 120m subscriber figure with their NINs is a nightmare which will rubbish the two-week window. For the journey to start at all, all the companies being licensed by NIMC, one expert explained, will have to source for their equipment and get them certified by NIMC before procurement and purchases can take place. To make any meaningful impact immediately, the industry may need at least 250,000 of those machines which are not manufactured here.

Moreover, the NIMC machines are not what are easily sourced in the open market. They are called the 442 machines because they can take four fingers at a go and take the remaining two fingers once. They are more robust than the SIM Card registration machines which can take only two fingers at a time.

The source told journalists that this is a logistics nightmare that can hardly be afforded by some of the companies being recruited by NIMC at the moment.  Industry observers are of the opinion that the President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly should put a leash on the minister before he totally destroys the telecommunications industry.

In attendance at the meeting that had to do purely with the regulation of the industry were the CEOs of NCC, the National Information Development Agency, NITDA, and NIMC. At least one operator told Vanguard they were never at the meeting; instead the minister is taking all the decisions which he is shoving down their throat, thus increasing the fear that the regulator is increasingly losing direction and hold on the industry.

Strains of helplessness are already showing. “We don’t know why the Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, is unable to call some meetings. We are not able to sit down to negotiate on anything,” the source lamented.

Those who fear the directive may become a dangerous super spreader of the COVID-19 pandemic may have been proven right when, last week, somewhere in Abuja, an eye witness told Vanguard that some youths who had gathered for two days at one registration spot, suddenly started demonstrating on noticing the near futility of the exercise and how some advantaged personalities were bending all the rules to favour a few.

The desperation to register will obviously rubbish the PTF recommendation on social distancing in a season of pandemic. Meanwhile, more trouble looms for the industry. A knowledgeable industry source told Vanguard that, if not properly managed, the directive could destroy half the base of the industry, stymie revenue and investment, and lead to massive job losses.

But all these could pale into insignificance if the minister ever executes his growing threats that “violations of this directive will be met by stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.” This is hardly the way to speak to organisations that have invested heavily in your economy.

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Kano approves free health care for 553 people living with HIV

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano State government has approved enrolment of 553 people living with HIV/AIDS to access free health care services through basic health care provision fund for the attainment of Universal healthcare coverage in the state.

Kano Focus reports that the executive secretary of the state contributory healthcare management Agency Halima Muhammad Mijinyawa disclosed this at a courtesy visit to her counterpart of the Agency for the Control of AIDS, Sabitu Shanono on Monday.

Mrs Mijinyawa said she was in the Agency to inform him the resolution for the selection of eligible beneficiaries and criteria for enrollment.

She explained that the Basic health provision fund is a federal government intervention that falls under the equity program of contributory health care scheme aimed at providing free health care service to the pregnant women, children under five, elderly, poorest of the poor and people with disabilities.

In his remarks, the Director-General of the State Agency for the control of AIDS, Sabitu Shanono expressed satisfaction with integration of people living with HIV/AIDS into the program.

He applauded the Agency for the gesture and pleaded for more slots of HIV/AIDS patient into the program.

The Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) is a key component of the National Health Act (NHA) that ensures basic minimum health package for Nigerians. It is derived from a minimum of one per cent (1%) of the federal government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

The act was passed into law in 2014 as part of actions towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria. Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means ensuring that people get access to quality healthcare without suffering financial hardships.

Kano state is expected to flag-off the enrollment of beneficiaries this December.

International partners such as UK funded Lafiya programme are supporting the implementation of the programme in Kano state.

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