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2019 review: Top business, economic stories in Kano

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Abubakar Abdulkadir Dangambo

In 2019, Kano state witnessed tremendous business and economic activities. Below are s0me of the most important economic and business reports as captured by Kano Focus.

Economic policies:

During the year under review, a collection of courts–known as Small Claims Courts, were commissioned in Kano to ensure speedy dispensation of justice on matters bordering business transactions.

A Registrar in charge of one of the courts, Hajiya Hauwa Isa Abubakar, said the concept was adopted from Lagos and was gazetted in Kano on August 8, 2018.

She added that the business courts were commissioned in January 2019 by the Chief Justice of Kano, Hon Sagir Nura Umar.

Kano economic city

The Kano state government announced plans to construct a multi-billion Kano Economic City at Dangwauro town of Kumbotso local Government area.

A project engineer, Mr. Afolabi Muhyideen assured Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, during a site inspection, that the project was to take off by December, 2019.

“All things being equal the phase one of the economic city will take off by December this year, 2019. And we are doing our best to make this a reality,’’ he said.

On his part Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said Kano was fast becoming a modern economic city, striving to bring back its past glory on the global economy.

However, Kano Focus reports that the Kano Economic City is still under construction as is yet to take off as promised.

Economic development Partnership

Also, in 2019, Kano state government entered into a number of economic partnership including international agreements:

President of the Republic of Guinea, Prof. Alpha Conde solicited closer and stronger economic ties between Kano and his Country.

Alpha Conde made the call in Kano during a special business session with Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje and the Kano business community at the Government House in Kano.

Governor Ganduje assured the Guinean president that Kano State Government was ready and determined to work closely with the Republic of Guinea to leverage each other’s strength to mutual benefits.

In the same year, Mr Ganduje restated the commitment of his administration to continue to partner with relevant agencies to ensure higher level of economic transformation in the State.

Governor Ganduje gave the assurance while receiving delegation from the Federal Treasury under the leadership of the Accountant General of the Federation Alhaji Ahmed Idris who paid him a Courtesy Visit in his office.

The Governor who was then represented by his Deputy Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna said the partnership linkages would allow the state to provide a befitting atmosphere for both foreign and local investors to come into the state for business transactions..

He said “Kano has championed the issue of commerce not only in northern Nigeria but in the Sub-Saharan Africa, that is why His Royal Highness Malam Muhammadu Sunusi II has been made to be the chairman of the investment committee in the State”.

Also in the year 2019, a report by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) said, Kano State Government and the Shandong Province firms had signed an agreement in the areas of leather production, textile manufacturing, agro-allied and solid mineral mining to boost the state economy.

The report said the agreement was signed by the state Deputy Governor, Nasiru Gawuna, who led a delegation to the Shandong Province,, on behalf of the State Government on mutual investment relationship.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje restated his administration’s commitment to the partnership with the Chinese delegation at a meeting in Kano.

Kano, IDB sign $95 million Agro-Pastoral Project

In 2019, Kano government and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) signed a $95 million Agro – Pastoral Development Project.

Under the agreement, The Islamic Development Bank would contribute $90 million while the Kano State government will put in $5 million to the project, which will be implemented over a five – year period.

The project, which was supposed to commence last December, aimed to support the State government to develop pastoral communities, address security and other challenges caused by transhumance, ensure natural resources management, agricultural productivity enhancement, value addition and market access improvement.

The Manager Agriculture Global Practice(Economic and Social Infrastructure), Islamic Development Bank, Mr. Nur Abdi, revealed this during high level discussions with the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in Kano.

In his remarks, Mr Ganduje, said the project idea was conceived “to transform challenges inherent in pastoralism and agriculture in the state to opportunities for economic growth and enhancement”.

Economic targets

As part of efforts to boost food production locally, a Kano-based company, Amarava Rice Mill in 2019, said it was targeting to record 500 tonnes of daily rice production.

Subhash Chand, the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria revealed this in January last year.

The multi-million naira state-of-the-art rice mill, owned by an Indian national, was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in Kano in December 2018.

Also in 2019, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) urged Kano State Government to intensify efforts in making the Dala Inland Dry Port operational.

Mr Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary of NSC, made the plea when he led a delegation on a courtesy visit to the state government in Kano.

He said that with the population of the people of Kano, it was important that the government makes the Inland Dry Port operational for export

Responding, Nasiru Gawuna, the Deputy Governor of Kano State appreciated the Nigerian Shippers’ Council for partnering with the state government to promote the dry port.

Also during the year under review at least 27, 000 registered rice farmers in Kano state were targeted to benefit from the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the 2019 rainy season farming.

Alh. Abubakar Aliyu, the state’s Chairman, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), told reporters in Kano that the registered farmers were selected from the 44 Local Government Areas of the state.

Aliyu had explained that each farmer would collect, as part of a total package, seeds, fertiliser, chemicals, and some funds for the payment of labourers.

Economic/Business Development

Also it was during the year 2019 that, over 200,000 petty traders in Kano State benefited from the Federal Government’s social intervention programme, known as the TraderMoni scheme.

This scheme was introduced as part of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) under the office of the Vice -President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

The Chief Operating Officer, GEEP, Uzoma Nwagba,  said the scheme would provide an avenue for beneficiaries to engage directly with different stakeholders such as officials from the Bank of Industry, financial institutions and partner organisations from the private sector.

In the same year, the Federal Government inaugurated a mini milk collection centre in Tassa Village in Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area of Kano State.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono, said the centre would alleviate the plight of milk sellers and improve their business.

Sabo Nanono said government would establish additional centres in other states of the federation in order to further improve the economic wellbeing of the people.

Also, Kano witnessed a historic international trade fair, which attracted businessmen and women from within and outside Nigeria including Nigerian army for the first time.

The trade fair which started on 30 November ended on the tenth of December 2019.

The Kano 40th trade fair was attended by people from outside Nigeria, especially neighboring countries despite land border closure by federal government.

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Kano missing children: Court convicts Paul Owne 104 Years

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano State High Court has sentenced Paul Owne to 104 years without option of fine for abducting under five children and sold them in Onitsha, Anambra state.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Owne was reported to have conspired with six others in committing the crime.

Delivering the judgement on Friday Justice Zuwaira Yusuf sentenced the convict after pleaded guilty to all his 38 count charge against him by Kano State Government.

The court upheld that the convict was found guilty in count 2, 8, 9, 2, 27 and 34 therefore convicted him to 7 years each without option of fine in addition with the sum of N100,000 fine.

Similarly, the court found Owne guilty in count 3, 5, 10, 11, 22, 28 and 38 head count he was sentenced to 7 years.

Mrs Yusuf said the action of Owne was in contravention of count 4, 12, 13, 29 and 38, she convicted him to 4 years on each count without option of fine.

She ordered that all the count shall run Consecutively.

The 5 other defendants who pleaded not guilty to all the charges read over to them namely: Ogbono, Emanuel Igwe, Loise Duru, Monica Oracha and Chinelo Ifedigwe.

Kano Focus reports that the Kano Police Command had rescued nine missing children and paraded six Igbo persons who have confessed to abducting the kids, renaming and forcefully converting them to Christianity before selling them in Onitsha, Anambra state.

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Kano is the biggest sesame market in Nigeria – Ganduje

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Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna

Nasiru Yusuf

Governor Dr.Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has said that Kano with its commercial potentials being the biggest agricultural commodity hub in Africa is also the biggest Sesame market in Nigeria.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Governor represented by his Deputy Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna stated this on thursday in Kano while declaring open a Sesame seed conference with the theme “Developing the Sesame seed value chain for sustainable growth” organised by the National Sesame Seed Association in collaboration with Kano State Government.

Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna

According to him the conference will create an avenue for stakeholders in the industry to identify the most effective ways to promote value chain development in the Sesame seed sector and to also discuss mutually beneficial trade opportunity so as to improve economic development and livelihood of smallholder farmers.

The Governor described sesame seed as the most sought cash crop in terms of export value in Nigeria, being one of the fastest growing sectors due to its foreign exchange earning and as a main source of income for about 5 million smallholder farmers.

He however assured that his administration is committed to towards enhancing the production of sesame both in terms of quantity and quality through financing,improved techniques and productivity.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Sabo Nanono in his remarks highlighted the interventions given to the National Sesame Seed Association in the development of the sub-sector include the distribution of high yielding black,white and brown variety sesame seeds to boost productivity.

Alhaji Sabo Nanono

Similarly, he said 20 sesame cleaning machines were also distributed, in addition 2 model sesame processing centres were established in Nassarawa and Kano States respectively.

On her part, the Minister of state for Industries,Trade and Investment Maryam Katagum represented by a Deputy Director Irimiya Kaura explained that the ministry is committed towards providing enabling environment that will enhance the competitiveness of Nigerian agricultural commodities in the global trade.

She also revealed that in continuation of developing sesame seed,the ministry is implementing a robust agribusiness and industry development initiative to draw investment to the non oil sector in the country.

Speaking earlier the President of the National Sesame Seed Association of Nigeria, Sherif Balogun stated that for the past 5years they have been working assiduously to promote the sesame seed value chain as well as increasing the production from 300,000 metric tons to over 500,000 tons.

He therefore called on the public to engage in massive sesame production and processing in order to benefit from government policies like the Anchor Borrowers Programme.

While appreciating the Kano State Government for partnering with them in organising the conference,he also commended Governor Ganduje for his support and effort towards making Kano a destination for agribusiness investment.

Munir Babba Dan’agundi

The event was attended by the Jigawa State Commissioner of Agriculture Muhammad Alhassan who represented Governor Badaru Abubakar, Chaiman House of Representatives Committee on Agricultural Institutions Mannir Babba Dan’ agundi and other stakeholders.

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Kano refutes trending story on women driving ban

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Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje

Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state government has described as fallacious a trending story on social media platforms on a purported plan to officially disallow women regardless of any faith from getting behind the wheel.

KANO FOCUS reports that the state commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba who made the clarification in a statement issued on Thursday, said government had at no time contemplate on the matter.

He said the story, which could not be traced to any credible source, was nothing but the imaginary thinking of the authors.

“The trending story lacks any credibility and that is why it is wholly attributed to a source that cannot be substantiated,’’ it added.

Mr Garba pointed out that if at all there was such plan, the state government does not have to be involved in any secretive meeting to decide on a critical issue that has to do its teeming populace.

The commissioner stated further that even Saudi Arabia which for decades had laws that sanctioned women from driving has, after all, lifted the ban in 2018.

He said it was interesting that some of the scholars quoted to have supported the alleged ban have already dissociated themselves from the story.

Clerics denied the story

Earlie on Wednesday, some clerics alleged to have floated the ban Salisu Shehu, Abdallah Gadonkaya and Sani Rijiyar Lemo have all refuted the story.

In a text message sent to KANO FOCUS Shehu described the story as ‘completely false and mischief.’

“It is completely false. It is a mischief. I think some wicked people are desperate about causing unnecessary confusion, controversies and disaffection among Kano Scholars,” he said.

Rijiyar Lemo alleged that the story was concocted by Shiites who were not happy with the outcome of clerics debate with controversial Kano preacher Abduljabbar Kabara.

“Our attention has been drawn to a fake news in circulation, claiming that some ulama in Kano, including my humble self, have tabled a plan to stop women from driving in the state.

“This story, in all certainty, was hatched and being peddled by some Shi’ite elements, who are not happy with the outcome of AbdulJabbar’s saga.

“You are urged to discard this false story. May the Almighty protect us from the evils of our enemies,” Rijiyar Lemo said.

Gadonkaya, on a Facebook post described the story as ‘fake news’.

“I, Abdullah Usman Umar Gadon Kaya strongly say that this is a fake news. I don’t have any hands in it. It’s the act of enemies who want to  crack peace in our dear state (Kano) and Nigeria at large,” Gadonkaya said.

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