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Kano legislators and the need for social protection

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By Abbas Yushau Yusuf

Social protection is defined by the united nations as a way of designing programs that address inequality, extreme poverty, malnutrition, disease and other social problems that retard human progress.

Some northwestern states of Nigeria have been rated by international agencies among states that are ravaged by extreme poverty and malnutrition, those suffering from extreme poverty include women and children that nurse from infancy to weaning stage.

States like Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa and Katsina are among the Northwestern states that need serious intervention on social protection.

How will social protection work in these three key states of the North-Western part of Nigeria? Policy makers are the most important component in ensuring social protection in Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara and the rest of the northwestern states for the purpose of reducing extreme poverty and malnutrition.

Around September 2019 Action Against Hunger (AAH) had in conjunction with Save the Children inaugurated the child grant development program with the sole aim of addressing acute malnutrition in Kano and Jigawa states.

It has been observed that the first one thousand days of a child is very important in making a child well nourished as he starts growing into a complete human being.

Poverty is in most instances worsened by deliberate neglect or the difficulty men face in providing good food that will help nursing mothers to breastfeed their infant children with nutritious milk.

Question of sustainability

Since social protection programs are meant to impact on the people at the grassroots, particularly those suffering from extreme poverty, Kano state policy makers and the rest of the states including Jigawa and Katsina have key roles to play.

The question is: can our policymakers sustain the efforts of Save the Children and Action Against Hunger in implementing social protection?

Section 14 of the 1999 constitution said security and welfare of the people are the primary responsibilities of government. The above quoted section is under fundamental objectives and directive principles of states policy.

One of the main pillars of democracy is the legislature. That was why during the military intervention in Nigerian politics, the first thing the military men did after carrying out a coup was to suspend the Nigerian constitution and issued a decree that effectively scrapped the Nigerian legislature.

With uninterrupted 20 years of Nigerian democracy the legislative arm of government is expected to be significant in providing good governance.

The national and state assemblies can make state and federal executives execute policies for the electorate to feel the impact of governance including social protection.

State assemblies are the legislators that are very close to the people and in good positions to understand the needs of the society.

Sometimes governors bring their bills to state assemblies and those bills are passed in a haste to please the governors.

There are tons of bills state legislators are supposed to pass in order to fulfill campaign promises to the electorate.

Kano is the most populous state in Nigeria and to address malnutrition and extreme poverty among women folk, there is great need for the state’s legislators to pass a bill for social protection where large chunk of funds will be allocated to the sector in a yearly budget to mitigate extreme poverty and malnutrition in the swing state.

The media and the civil society must contribute in making Kano legislators initiate a bill on social protection and pass it to the state governor for assent.

The state legislators should not serve as rubber stamps that are there to do the biddings of the executive instead of satisfying the need of the electorate through social protection.

If the time of the donor agencies elapsed those responsible will continue with social protection in addressing extreme poverty.

How other nations are fighting extreme poverty

Nigerians appreciate everything foreign more especially in developing and developed nations of the world like India, America ,Germany , England and these countries arrest extreme poverty through social protection. It is not because there are no poor people in these countries or because there are no people ridden with poverty but they fight it through social protection.

If advanced countries should remove social protection strategies from their policies, extreme poverty will abound. Since government can not cater for the whole population on employment, social protection becomes necessary.

The taxes they collect from their populace are used to implement poverty-fighting strategies like social protection.

What Kano legislators should do

For Kano legislators to write their name in gold, social protection bill should come in so that huge financial resources that are being diverted can be used to ensure social protection in Kano, whose population is growing without control.

If a relatively smaller state like Jigawa, with far less financial resources than Kano, can allocate N1.2 billion in its annual budget for social protection why not Kano, the commercial nerve center of Northern Nigeria?

Abbas Yushau Yusuf, a journalist based in Kano can be reached at abyushau2@gmail.com

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TCN creates Kano transmission region

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Nasiru Yusuf

THE Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has carved out a new Kano transmission region from the old Kaduna Region. 

KANO FOCUS reports that the newly established unit brings the number of TCN regional centres to 10.

The TCN believes the step will improve commercial activities in the state.

A statement issued by TCN General manager of Public Affairs Ndidi Mbah explained that the creation of the Kano Transmission Region became necessary owing to the rapid economic and industrial development being witnessed within Kano State and its environs, as well as the gradual implementation of TCN’s strategic ‘Nigerian Electricity Grid Maintenance, Expansion and Rehabilitation Programme (NEGMERP),’ which has enabled the transmission company to complete some ongoing projects and increase the number of substations within that axis.

He said the  Kano Transmission Region had, under its supervision, one sub-regional office and several work centers, all housing 13 transmission substations (TS), including the Kumbotso TS, Dan Agundi TS, Dakata TS, Tamburawa TS, Kwanar Dangora TS, Wudil TS, Kankia TS, Katsina TS, Daura TS, Dutse TS, Hadejia TS, Azare TS, and Gagarawa TS.

The new Kano region currently according to the statement has ongoing transmission substation projects which when completed would further increase bulk transmission capacity in the new region.

The new Kano Transmission Region, the company said, would deepen operational efficiency within the region and enable its engineers to readily access and resolve technical issues within the new region.

Mbah explained that prior to the creation of the new Kano Region, major decisions had to be referred to Kaduna Region for directives, and the supply of materials was sometimes delayed due to logistic issues from Kaduna.

Mbah noted that the proximity of the new region would radically reduce downtime and eliminate time lost when materials had to be conveyed from the Kaduna Region.

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DSS arrests singer accuse of blasphemy

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Department of State Services have arrested another blasphemous singer, Ahmad Abdul, whose song was perceived to create chaos in Kano state.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Singer Ahmad Abdul was detained by the DSS because his free movement may likely cause violence reaction from Kano residents.

While in detention, Mr Abdul tender apology to entire Muslims, Kano state government and Islamic Scholars.

He told DSS operatives that he never thought that the song has violated Islamic teachings.

Commenting while witnessing the bail condition granted to Mr Abdul at the DSS Headquarters, Kano, the Executive Secretary of the Kano state Censorship Board Ismaila Naaba Afakallah recalled that he had received hundreds of petitions against the song from concerned citizens.

Afakallah said having realized the gravity of the song’s blasphemy, he reported the singer to DSS who swung into action and arrested him at a Hotel where he was hiding for days.

Mr Abdul Father, Abdullahi Isa thanked the DSS for their timely response on the matter which saved possible outbreak of law and order.

Also in August last year, An upper Sharia court in the Hausawa Filin Hockey area of the state has found one Yahaya Sharif-Aminu guilty of committing blasphemy for a song he circulated via WhatsApp.

However, the appellate division of the High Court of Kano State had on January 21 quashed the death sentence passed on Mr Sharif-Aminu and freed him.

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I’ll not run for President – Muhammadu Sanusi II

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Deposed Emir Sanusi

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The deposed Emir of Kano Malam Muhammadu Sunusi II says he is not interested in contesting for the presidency of Nigeria.

Kano Focus reports that Mr Sunusi revealed this at a Tijjnaniyya zikir held in Abuja on Thursday.

Muhammadu Sanusi said his current position as Tijjaniyya Khalifa in Nigeria is superior to the presidency.

The deposed Emir however said he is ready to help those he believe in their competence to win elections without his participation in politics.

“If we trust a candidate is out to serve the people, we will come out and help them.

“That is not joining politics but a civic duty to the nation and its citizens” Mr. Sanusi said.

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