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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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NCC orders telecom operators to block SIMs without NIN

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission has reiterated its directive to telecom operators to bar telephone subscribers not linked to their National Identification Numbers on or before February 28, 2024.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Executive Vice Chairman, National Communication Commission, Dr Aminu Maida, spoke at the NCC’s Special Day during the ongoing 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair on Wednesday.

Maida who was represented by Reuben Mouka, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, insisted that as a matter of critical national security, telecom consumers must link their NIN to their SIM.

He reaffirmed that the February 28th deadline given to telecom operators to bar subscribers who failed to link their NIN to SIM, stands.

“To this end, the National Communication Commission has directed all telecommunication operators to bar phone lines of subscribers whose lines are not linked to their NINs on or before February 28, 2024,” he added.

This, the executive vice chairman said, was apt as the theme resonated with the principles and objectives of the commission in promoting local content development in the telecom industry.

Maida also said the NCC was committed to protecting consumers’ rights while ensuring their satisfaction and noting that the commission has created a universally acceptable environment to access “affordable and equitable service and supports the nation’s economic growth.”

“As a regulator of the telecommunications sector in the country, the Commission carries out its functions to ensure service availability, affordability, and sustainability for all categories of consumers, who are leveraging on ICT/Telecoms to drive personal and business activities,” he said.

For instance, he continued that the Telecom Consumer Assistance, Resolution and Enquiries (TELCARE) Desk at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Internatonal Airport Abuja The TELCARE desk was set up to further provide an additional platform to make enquiries on customer issues, receive and facilitate the resolution of telecom consumer complaints.

He explained that by “working together, we can create a more vibrant telecommunications industry that contributes significantly to the economic recovery and growth.”

According to him, as of 2023, the telecoms industry’s contribution to the nation’s GDP stood at 13.5% (Source – Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report November 2023-A publication of the National Bureau of Statistics.

“Conversely, as we promote economic growth through the development of local content, we must also address the challenges faced by consumers and NCC is committed to protecting their rights while ensuring their satisfaction.

The NCC boss, therefore urged telecom firms to prioritize customer satisfaction and uphold the highest standards of service delivery, noting that the commission has implemented measures to safeguard the interests of consumers and businesses alike.

One such measure, he said, was the NCC’s directive on May 17, 2023, that all licensed Mobile Network Operators commence implementation of approved Harmonised Short Codes for providing services to Nigerian telecom consumers.

“The new initiative is enabling consumers using the over 224 million active mobile telephone lines in Nigeria to use the same codes to access services across all networks,” he added.

Meanwhile, the NCC boss disclosed that as of 2023, the telecoms industry’s contribution to the nation’s GDP stood at 13.5 per cent, according to the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report November 2023 – A publication of the National Bureau of Statistics.

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ACT closure: Kano beneficiaries share testimonies

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

As the the Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) programme held a close out event in Kano, some beneficiaries have shared their testimonies during their engagement.

KANO FOCUS reports that the beneficiaries take a cue to share positive experience obtained during their engagement with ACT programme.

The president of Kano Civil Society Forum (UCSF) Comrade Ibrahim Waiya was the first to share experience on the benefits derived from ACT programme.

Comrade Ibrahim Waiya

KCSF had received €1 084,63 to create awareness and sensitise the public on
the spread of COVID-19 in Kano State.

In her testimony, the Executive Director of SACALSUN Hauwa Adamu Kakuri, a breast cancer survivor who set up an NGO for cancer awareness campaign recalled how the mentorship she received from CS-CRIN, one of the ACT grantees, empowered her to secured a 10,000 dollar grant.

Appraising the implementation of the programme in Kano state the programme officer of CARAV Abba Bello said they have secured a grant from ACT where they work on strengthening community response on gender based violence at Nassarwa Dala and Kumbotso local government areas.

He cited an example of one intervention at Sheka quartees in Kumbotso local government area where they rehabilitate some young girls who engages in commercial sex.

For Abdurrazaq Alkali, the Executive Director of OCCEN, said ACT has supported them to promote good governance and accountability in Kano where their advocacy led to the passage of procurement law.

Abdurrazaq Alkali

Also commenting chairman of Kano State Accountability Forum on Education (K-SAFE) Professor Muhammad Bello Shittu commended ACT for identifying credible Civil Society Organisations and supporting them.

Professor Muhammad Bello Shittu

He equally commended ACT engagement with regulatory bodies such as Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) during the course of their intervention especially by developing a regulatory framework that is humanly understandable.

Professor Shittu expressed optimism that the lesson learned from the project would be sustained even after the exit of the programme.

He lamented that in many instances once the donor leave, the project dies, despite huge capital and material investmentinvestment.

The event featured presentation from the commissioner of special duties Hajiya Amina Abdullahi Sani (GOD), representative of Emir of Kano Alhaji Sule Gaya (Dan Goribar Kano), ACT National Programme Manager Damilare Babalola, ACT Kano state Focal Person Hajiya Rabi Adamu and ACT communication and media engagement adviser Hajiya Lauratu Abdussalam.

The Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) is a four-year EU programme funded by the European Union and implemented by the British Council, Nigeria. The programme is linked to the reform objectives of the three EU focal sectors of the 11th National Indicative programme (NIP).

The ACT programme was designed as a response strategy to the EU’s identified need to invest and engage more with the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Nigeria as required under the larger global EU CSO roadmap framework. EU-ACT recognises that strengthened civil society actors have great potential to contribute to thechange achievement of sustainable development, ACT programme focused on strengthening the capability of CSOs to become more effective and credible drivers of change.

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High Court jails two bureau de change operators in Kano

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Federal High Court Kano presided over by Justice Mohammed Nasir Tuesday, convicted and sentenced two illegal bureau de change operators to one year imprisonment each for operating BDC without an appropriate licence.

KANO FOCUS reports that the convicts: Munkaila Sani and Mohammed Sani were jailed after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge bordering on engaging in financial operations of bureau de change without a requisite licence, upon their arraignment by the Kano Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The lone-count charge reads ‘’That you Munkaila Sani sometime in February, 2024 in Kano within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did engage in a financial operation of bureau de change without a valid licence and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 57 (5) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, 2020 and punishable under Section 57 (5) (B) of the same act.’’

Upon arraignment, the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges when they were read to them. Based on their pleas, prosecution counsel, Aisha Tahar Habib prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

Counsel to the defendants, Abdulrahman Isah pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the suspect are elderly and have become remorseful for their actions.

Consequently, Justice Yunusa convicted and sentenced the defendants to one year imprisonment each.

The convicts’ began their journey to the Correctional Centre when they were arrested by operatives of the Commission around Wapa BDC market and Grand Central Hotel, Kano, following reliable intelligence about their involvement in a syndicate operating bureau de change businesses without an appropriate licence.

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