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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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Just in: Finance Minister suspends Accountant-general over alleged N80bn fraud

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Aminu Abdullahi

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, has suspended the embattled Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, from office over his alleged involvement in N80billion fraud being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

KANO FOCUS reports that Idris was arrested on Monday by the operatives of the anti-graft agency over alleged diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80billion.

He was arrested after failing to honour invitations by the EFCC to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.

EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, had said the commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF  raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

He said the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja.

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Kano experiences heavy rainfall in next three days – NiMet

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

The Nigeria’s meteorological agency, NiMet, has forecast moderate to heavy rainfall within the next three days in Kano.

KANO FOCUS reports that NiMet announced this in its weather advisory on Tuesday.

“As a result of the expected moderate to heavy rainfall in the next three days, there are chances of flash flooding of roads and low-lying settlements,” the agency said.

It added that “there could be disruption of traffic due to flooded or closed roads, reduction in visibility, likely damage to mud houses and possible disruption in flight operations.”

The rain is expected to be accompanied by strong winds, lightning and thunder, hence the falling of weak buildings and displacement of makeshift structures are likely, NiMet said.

Hence, it advised the public to exercise restraint, disconnect electrical appliances before, not during the storm, and avoid standing or parking cars under trees as much as possible.

NiMet urges emergency agencies to be prepared and keep monitoring to avoid low-level areas and fast-flowing runoff waters.

It also advised the public to be prepared for these events to avoid damage from rain-related hazards.

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VP Osinbajo visits scene of  Kano explosion

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has visited the scene of Kano explosive where he commiserated with the government and people of Kano state over the gas and explosion at Sabon Gari area of the state capital.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Vice president arrived at the scene of the explosion in company of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

Osinbajo during the visit to the scene of the incident expressed shock that little school children were among those injured.

The Vice President who described the incident as devastating, sympathised with the victims and enjoined relevant authorities to take preventive measures against future occurrence.

He prayed for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives and quick recovery of injured victims.

The Vice President and governor Ganduje were received and briefed by the Commissioner of Police Kano Command Sama’ila Shu’aibu Dikko.

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje thanked the vice president for the concern and pledged medical and financial support to victims of the explosion.

The Vice President was in Kano to meet APC delegates ahead of party’s primary elections.

At least nine people are confirmed to have died in an explosion in the Sabon Gari area of Kano state on Tuesday morning.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in a statement said nine corpses have been recovered from the scene of the explosion.

NEMA’s spokesperson, Manzo Ezekiel, said the Director-General, Mustapha Habib, who visited the scene of the explosion, coordinated the rescue operations.

Mr Ezekiel said: “Nine dead bodies have been recovered so far from the rubbles of a collapsed building beside a primary school following explosions from a gas cylinder at Aba Road in Sabon Gari area of Kano.

“Director-General National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, was at the site of the incident and coordinated the rescue operations.

“He mobilised excavators being used for the rescue operations and said NEMA team will ensure complete removal of the rubbles to retrieve all trapped persons.

“Furthermore, the DG instructed the NEMA rescue team to remain at the site until the conclusion of the rescue and to work together with security agencies and other response organisations present at the location.

“NEMA is presently coordinating the rescue operations involving members, Nigerian Red Cross, military, the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Kano SEMA, the official statement said.

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