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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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Kano domesticate social protection policy

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Abdullahi Ganduje

Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has approved the domestication of National social protection policy in the state.

Kano Focus reports that the Social Protection Policy is designed to show the commitment of the Government to the effective mobilisation and efficient utilisation of state resources to improve the quality of life of its citizens.

The state Commissioner of planning and budget Nura Muhammad Dankadai revealed this on Friday at a one day interactive session with with journalists and civil society organizations.

Alhaji Nura Muhammad Dankadai

Mr Dankadai said governor Ganduje approved the domestication of the policy on Thursday.

According to him when domesticated the policy will provide legal framework for school feeding programme, ante natal and post natal care, addressing gender based violence and protecting people living with disabilities.

On the meeting with journalists, Mr Dankadai said it was aimed at intimating them with on the state government’s projects and received some inputs for possible submission to the government.

The commissioner uses the opportunity to appeal to civil society organizations and journalists to sensitise people on the current economic challenges which made it difficult for the state to pay workers salary for the month of March.

In their separate contributions Akibu Hamisu, I. G Maryam and Wali Ado Rano advised Kano state government on the need to address multiple taxation, grant local government financial autonomy and holding periodic interactive session with CSOs and journalists.

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AKTH honours NCC Boss UG Danbatta

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Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, being presented with an appreciation award by Prof. Abdulrahman Sheshe, Chief Medical Director, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Kano, during the courtesy visit.

Nasiru Yusuf

 

The management of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital has visited the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communication Commission Umar Garba Danbatta.

Kano Focus reports that during the visit the AKTH team also presented an award to Danbatta as an expression of the hospital’s appreciation for the enormous contributions of the EVC and the Commission to the development of health institutions over the years in the country.

Speaking during the visit, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of AKTH, Abdulrahman Sheshe, who led the delegation on the courtesy call, said, “the objective of our being here today is to appreciate your contribution in person and as EVC of NCC to the growth and development of the teaching hospital.”

According to Sheshe, through the support and donations from Kano people like the EVC and institutions like NCC, the hospital has increased its bed capacity from 250 to 700, as well as performing 57 successful transplant surgeries.

“You have also made enormous contributions in this regard and that has helped us to get new dialysis machines through your assistance and these machines are being put to use, aside from other state-of-the-art equipment already in place,” he said while appreciating the EVC.

The CMD, however, sought NCC’s support in the area of a Health Information Management System (HIMS) and digital capacity for staff.

Responding, however, Danbatta thanked the hospital management for the visit and the award, noting that the Commission supports federal institutions with necessary ICT equipment across the country and is ready to assist AKTH in this regard.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

“As a Commission, we are working to bridge the infrastructure divide, which is an element of the entire digital ecosystem. We do this via a lot of ongoing regulatory initiatives. And, through our training arm, Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), we provide digital literacy to critical sectors of the economy, including the health sector, we also intervene through our Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme,” he said.

According to Danbatta, digital divide can be bridged by making computers available and ICT services accessible to people and key sectors of the economy.

Danbatta (middle) flanked by top management committee of AKTH and NCC staff during the courtesy visit

“Infrastructure that can host this massive flow of information and knowledge is broadband infrastructure and this is top-most in the agenda of the Commission. Indeed, ICT is transforming every sector of the economy and the earlier we embrace the vast opportunity brought by ICT the better,” the EVC pointed out.

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Police arrest bandit who abduct his uncle for one million Naira ransom

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Abubakar Musa displaying the two AK-47 ripples

Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

 

Police in Kano said they have arrested a 27 year old Abubukar Musa who confessed to have abducted his uncle and received one million Naira ransom.

Kano Focus reports that the police spokesperson in Kano Abdullahi Kiyawa announced this in a video clip sent to journalists on Sunday.

He said the suspect was arrested with two AK 47 ripple suspected to be used for kidnapping and banditry.

Mr Kiyawa said preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is among the bandits terrorizing some parts of Kano, Birnin Gwari in Kaduna state and some Northern states.

Mr Musa an indigine of Rurum village in Tudun Wada local government Kano state recalled how in the past abducted his uncle and collected one million Naira ransom before he release him.

The suspect also told police that he borrowed the guns found under his possession from Muhammadu Bakanoma in Zamfara state to confront another bandit called Malam at Birnin Gwari whom he accused with abducting his wife and daughter.

“I am a cattle rustler. I once abducted my uncle Alhaji Haruna and my cousin Bappan Jauro six years ago. These are the only two persons I have ever abducted. I abducted him (Alhaji Haruna) because his two children (Medi and Bappan Jauro) have kidnapped my younger sister Hafsat.

” I released him after receiving one million Naira ransom. We are now living with him (Alhaji Haruna( in the same compound,” Mr Musa said.

Mr Kiyawa said investigation is ongoing and will issue a statement when completed.

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