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Opinion: Between KAROTA and Kano motorists

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Adnan Tudunwada

Since his assumption of office, Baffa Babba Danagundi has proven his capacity of bringing developmental reforms to the Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA).

KAROTA was established by former governor Rabiu Kwankwaso in 2012 to sanitize the roads by ensuring every vehicle owner and road users in the state abide by the law.

It is a fact that the roads in Kano are becoming sanitized as vehicle owners gradually strive to abide by traffic rules, unlike in the past, when total recklessness was the order of the day, with accidents occurring almost on a daily basis.

The pioneer Managing Director of KAROTA Mohammed Diggol had done so much in bringing this institution to limelight.

The introduction of road markings to control traffic by KAROTA has helped motorists to exercise caution not to breach traffic rules while driving just as drivers are also forced to acquire valid licenses and vehicle particulars. Those found breaching these rules are fined thousands of naira to serve as deterrent to others. .

All the other former heads of KAROTA namely Mustapha Hamza Buhari Bakwana, AIG Mohammed Hadi Zarewa and Arch. Ibrahim Garba Kabara had equally brought developments to the agency just the current managing director  Mr Dan-Agundi is also making commendable efforts in further re-shaping the agency for effectiveness.

Mr Danagundi, has proven to the citizens of Kano that no one is above the law through his seeming abhorrence for nepotism.

I met the KAROTA boss last Friday to lodge a complaint against an operative who treated me unjustly.

While I was with him, a case was brought of how a top government official sent someone to secure the release of a motorist who engaged a KAROTA personnel in a fist fight after he, the motorist, was arrested for breaking traffic rules.

Mr Dan-Agundi told the civil servant who wanted to seek favour that the offender must be punished for breaching traffic rules.

The MD gave me other examples of how top politicians and government usually support offenders, pointing that the law should not spare anyone.

He also narrated how his own sister committed a traffic offence and called him to intervene after she was arrested, but he flatly refused, telling her instead to pay the prescribed fines.

Mr Danagundi told me that he did all these to set an example that would give the KAROTA personnel the courage and motivation to do their work effectively without any fear or favour.

To understand the success achieved by the road agency, I think one should imagine KAROTA personnel staying off our roads for just 48 hours. Certainly, the messy accidents, recklessness and madness that would ensue would be incredible.

However, while citizens need to encourage KAROTA, Mr Dan-Agundi should also pay attention to the allegations of bribe-taking, extortion and assault of motorists against some personnel of the agency especially on the outskirts of Kano  city.

I believe the MD of KAROTA should organize a workshop for his personnel to further enlighten them on how to conduct their duties professionally and safely, while also considering constant training for the traffic officials.

KAROTA officials need training on how to approach and talk to drivers and clarify offences committed in a professional manner. This will earn the personnel respect from even the most recalcitrant driver.

I came across a KAROTA official who insulted me and my profession, thinking he would go scot-free but I reported him to the MD, who summoned him and demanded explanations from him. The official was eventually found at fault and Mr Dan-Agundi, immediately formed a committee to investigate the matter.

Such rude personnel who bring disgrace to the traffic agency due to their penchant for bribe-taking, arrogant and abuse of authority should not have a place at KAROTA under Mr Dan-Agundi’s leadership.

Adnan Tudunwada, a media personality can be reached at adnanmukhtaradam@gmail.com or @adnanmoukhtar on Twitter.

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House of Representatives holds valedictory session for Ghali Na’abba

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, held a valedictory session in honour of a former Speaker of the House, Ghali Na’Abba.

KANO FOCUS reports that Na’Abba, who served as the speaker of the Fourth House (1999-2003), passed away in December 2023 at the age of 65.

Numerous former members of the House attended the valedictory session. They include the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, who served as the speaker of the Ninth House; Aminu Masari, the speaker of the 5th House; Emeka Ihedioha, and Lasun Yusuff, deputy speakers in the 7th and 8th Assemblies.

Others include former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Chibudom Nwuche, who served as deputy to Na’Abba, the family of the late lawmaker, and others.

In his speech, Mr Gbajabiamila said the former legislator met very little in terms of “rules and protocols” to guide the House when he became the speaker in 1999.

He stated that Na’Abba championed the “institutionalisation of the legislature” after years of military rule.

“When our nation returned to democracy in 1999, the rules and protocols that guide us now did not exist at that time. But he worked to guide the House,” he remarked.

Mr Gbajabiamila, who served as the speaker of the House from 2019-2023, said he received valuable counsel from Na’Abba while he (Gbajabiamila) was in office.

“I did not meet him while he was the speaker but I consulted him during my speakership. I treasured the words and the advice he gave,” he said.

He said Mr Na’Abba could have chosen the path of family business, but he chose to serve his people.

Masari, who is also a former governor of Katsina State, also spoke on the role of the former late speaker in shaping the National Assembly. He saluted his courage and doggedness in building Nigeria’s legislature into a formidable institution.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Abbas Tajudeen, said Na’Abba fought the battle for the budget of the National Assembly to be on the “first line charge” and created the current legislative aide system.

“His tenure was marked by efforts to ensure the independence of the legislature, recognising that a truly democratic society thrives when its legislative arm operates without undue influence, freely articulating the will and aspirations of the people.

“He worked diligently with his colleagues to ensure the National Assembly budget was put on the first-line charge. He also formalised the legislative aides’ system we operate today, which continues to boost the capacity of legislators for enhanced performance,” he said.

Tajudeen promised to ensure that Na’Abba’s legacy is solidified through quality legislations.

“As we honour his legacy, let us also acknowledge our collective responsibility to build on the foundations he laid. The legislature remains a vital organ of our democracy, with the potential to drive Nigeria towards unprecedented growth and development.

“As legislators, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that the House continues to serve as a forum for meaningful dialogue, a catalyst for change, and a protector of the rights and freedoms of our citizens,” he said.

Two weeks ago, the House, through a motion, resolved to name the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) after Mr Na’Abba. However, the implementation of the motion is subject to concurrence of the Senate.

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Naira Freefall: EFCC arrests 7 BDC operators in Kano

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

No fewer than seven Bureau De Change operators and others have been arrested by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Wednesday in Kano state.

KANO FOCUS reports that the persons were arrested by the operatives who carried out a raid on the BDC operators at the popular forex exchange WAPA market in Fagge local government area.

The Chairman of the market, Malam Sani who confirmed the development to newsmen in Kano, said the operatives raided the market in search of hoarders of dollars.

Wada however maintained that members in the market don’t engage in hoarding and are all operating with licenses from authorities.

“It was a joint taskforce that raided the market in search of those who are hoarding dollars and causing the depreciation in the value of Naira.

“They have arrested no fewer than seven individuals, some of them are our members and others are only passerbys. They said they are going to screen them to confirm who is who. We are yet to meet the taskforce now.

“All of them were arrested randomly and non of them was arrested carrying even a dollar on him.

“The WAPA Forex Market is licenced and there are no fewer than two hundred licenced individual outfits here in the market. All our operations are operating within the ambit of the law.

“When they struck, they hindered activities in the market as people closed down there offices, however things have since returned to normal.

“I advised the authority to implore the whistleblower tactic to track down those who have Dollars hoarded. But there is no Dollar anywhere in the market at the moment. Nobody has it. Even if you see it, it will not be more that $100 or $200 that’s all. We don’t have Dollars.

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Education Summit: Kano Govt frowns at late coming to school among pupils

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Kano state government has expressed displeasure over staggering lateness among pupils, warning that it will not condone late coming to school by children.

KANO FOCUS reports that the commissioner of education Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa gave the warning on Tuesday at a two-day education summit organised by the government in conjunction with Adolescent Health and Information Projects AHIP, PLANE, CSACEFA and Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).

Doguwa said said the government would collaborate with Hisbah corps to monitor students who move around the streets during school hours and take action them.

Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa

At the Summit with the theme, ‘Towards Strengthening Retention and Completion of Girl’s Education‘, the commissioner informed participants of strides of this administration in revitalising and fortifying the education sector with focus on empowering and retaining girls in the school system towards completion.

According to him “the government is collaborating with European Union EU and other development partners to improve education in the state.”

He noted that, to improve better system, the government would also constitutes Council on Education and Education data bank for effective monitoring.

Diginatries at the event

Recognising transportation barriers, Doguwa explained that, Kano state government has reintroduced dedicated 57 shuttle buses for girl students in the state to ease transport.

The commissioner said; “Within the 8 metropolitan Local Government Areas. We are currently looking at the ministry of Education proposal of expanding the shuttle bus service coverage to reach remote and underserved areas.”

ACF representatives at the event

Speaking on lack of schools attendance by students, he said the government would collaborate with Hisbah paramilitary to monitor students who move about the streets during school hours and take action them.

The Director Adolescent Health and Information Projects, Hajiya Mairo Bello identified education as the first foundation of life, stressing that “AHIP is determined to promote Girl Child Education not only in Kano state but the entire Northern Nigeria.”

She said other thematic areas of AHIP includes youth Development programmes, Women Empowerment initiatives, Health promotions, life skills training, Community Mobilization and Networking and Gender and Social inclusions among others initiatives.

Diginatries at the event

“Our Adolescent girls must retain and complete their education for Nigeria’s brighter future and economic prosperity,” Hajia Bello said.

She noted that promotion of education is moral responsibility of all, adding that her NGO is ready to partner with the Kano state government and others to advance the course of girl child education.

Representatives of Traditional Institutions

Also speaking, Professor Ismail Mohammed Zango while presenting findings from a Research conducted on Exploring the Adolescent Girls’ Education in Kano state said, school attendance completion ratio in Kano indicates that boys seems to complete their junior and senior secondary Schools more than the girls in Kano state.

He stressed the need to bridge the gap, identifying critical roles of parents in achieving Girls retention and completion of schools.

Zango also identified poverty as a great factor to school retention and completion of girls Education.

The Chairman Arewa Consultative Forum ACF Kano Chapter, Dr. Goni Umar Farouk called on the business community to contribute to Education and not leave it to the hands of governments a lone.

He also, called on the Kano State government to invest in ICT Education of children as the world is going digital.

 

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