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Kano gov’t shuts down Tiamin Rice mill for ‘aggravating coronavirus’

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Ganduje Coronavirus

Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state government has closed down Tiamin Rice Limited, one of the major rice factories in the state over allegation of air pollution which it says “aggravates coronavirus patients” in the state.

An order for the closure, obtained by KANO FOCUS on Sunday, directed the management to close the facility immediately “due to complaints of air pollution that aggravates coronavirus patients”.

The notice, dated April 18, 2020, said the factory is to remain closed till further notice.

Confirming the development, the state’s Commissioner for Environment, Kabiru Getso said the rice mill was closed following two abatement notices issued to the company’s management to desist from polluting the environment.

The notice of closure issued to Tiamin Rice Limited by the Kano state government

According to Mr Getso, the ministry had earlier received a complaint from the management of Dangote Skills Acquisition Centre, located a few meters away from the rice mill–that dust particles released by the factory disturb the installation of equipment.

He said the environment ministry had also received a 15-page petition accompanied by findings of a research that link the type of pollutants released by the rice factory to “aggravating coronavirus and other respiratory diseases.”

“You know, I am a medical doctor. Coronavirus is a respiratory disease, which can be aggravated by pollution. We have written two abatement notices to the company to address this challenge of pollution, but no avail.

“As a government ministry, we don’t have any option but to seal the company. It will only be re open after meeting government’s requirement,” Mr Getso said.

However, Deputy Managing Director of TiAmin, Aliyu Ibrahim denied receiving any warning or abatement notices from the state ministry of environment on pollution.

He recalled that, during inspection, the officials of the ministry used to commend the company for its effective management of pollution.

On alleged aggravation of coronavirus disease, Mr Ibrahim said the company has stopped production in compliance with the government’s lockdown directive despite exemption granted to rice mills to continue production.

Mr Ibrahim added that the company has over 320 staff on its payroll, with a total capacity to produce 300 metric tonnes of rice daily.

“To set the records straight, there are nearly 30 rice mills operating in Kano State, but our company is the ONLY one affected by the order.

“The fact of the matter is that neither state nor federal health officials, nor Ministry of Environment inspectors came to our premises to take any samples of the said pollution.

“Although the Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN), which we are a member, has been exempted from the lockdown order by the state government, we nevertheless halted our production for one week to put in robust internal measures against the spread Coronavirus.

“Since halting production on Wednesday April 15, 2020, our workers have been on break and our engines and boilers switched off. When and how did the ministry arrive at the premise of “pollution that aggravates Coronavirus patients” when our plant is deactivated?

“We view this orchestrated plan to close our 320-tonne plant as economic sabotage against President Muhammadu Buhari administration, who in his recent speech assured Nigerians that food processing, distribution and retail companies would be exempted from the lockdown,”

“While following legal avenues to seek redress, we wish to assure our loyal customers and distributors not to panic over this temporary setback. It is also heartwarming to inform our customers that our 600-tonne capacity plant in Bauchi is at the advanced stage of completion,” Mr Ibrahim said in a statement.

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Ganduje donates N3.6m to families of Doguwa flood victims

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Nasiru Yusuf
 
 
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state has paid condolence visit to the families of 18 Doguwa flood victims and donated the sum of two hundred thousand Naira to each of the victims family.
 
KANO FOCUS reports that Ganduje prayed for the repose of the departed souls of those who died as a result of the heavy downpour.
“When the information of this sad tragedy reached us we were seriously shocked. May Allah Forgive the victims, who died as martyrs, being washed away by flood. May He give them the ultimate reward of Jannatul Fiddaus, ameen,” the governor prayed.
Families of the victims expressed appreciation to the governor and his entourage and prayed to God to guide him in steering the affairs of the state.
It will be recalled that on July 23, about 18 persons including six members of a family have perished in a ghastly car accident in Doguwa Local Government Area.
The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Kano State, Zubairu Mato, said the accident occurred when a bridge linking Riruwai and Doguwa broke down as a result of the heavy downpour, and the driver wasn’t aware that the bridge had broken down.
He explained that the vehicle plunged into the water, killing all the 18 passengers on board including six members of same family.
The family members have been identified as Bashir Doguwa, Malami Gidan-Tanimu, Safiya Mukhtar, Shahida Bashir, Fatima Rabi’u, Uzairu Bashir, all of Doguwa Local Government Area of Kano State.
Doguwa and his family were on their way from Doguwa to First Lady Secondary School in Dambatta Local Government Area of the state to visit his daughter, Firdausi Bashir, who is among the students writing the ongoing NECO SSCE examinations.

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Kano records highest number of sickle cell patients in Nigeria

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state has the highest sickle cell patients in Nigeria, a consultant haematologist at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital said.

KANO FOCUS reports that Dalha Halliru Gwarzo disclosed this in an interview with Hospital’s newsletter as part of the 2021 World Sickle Cell day.

He added that Lagos is the second state with highest number of sickle cell cases in the country.

Mr Gwarzo said India, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria constituted 90% of the sickle cell patients worldwide.

On the causes of sickle cell disease, Mr Gwarzo said it is a genetic inherited disease from parents who are either SS, or AS genotype as a result of genetic condition or mutation of abnormal form of red blood cell.

He advocated for compulsory screening of infants after birth and school children, pre-marital counseling/tests, subsidising cost of medication/treatment and mass sensitisation campaign on dangers of the disease.

Mr Gwarzo noted that, although there is no known cure for sickle cell disease, but developed countries are using a high technology for manipulation of the genetic cells by bone marrow and stem cells transplant, which cost about fifteen million Naira in countries like United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Canada.

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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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