Connect with us

Headlines

Detained Kano rice workers – Ministry of labor denounces police intervention

Published

on

Detained Rice Mill Workers

Nasiru Yusuf

The Federal Ministry of Labor and Productivity has criticized the Nigerian police for rescuing hundreds of workers detained in a Kano rice mill.

Kano Focus reports that the police had rescued the workers after they had been detained in the Popular Farms rice mill at Challawa, Kano for about three months.

However, labor officer in the Kano office of the ministry, Abdullahi Ali told Kano Focus that the issue was not a police matter and that the company had treated the workers fairly.

Police rescue over 300 workers detained for 3 months in rice mill

“We visited the organization, we were conducted round, we interviewed workers and they confirmed to us that they were held in the company willingly.

“As far as we saw with our own eyes, the workers were treated well by the management.

“They were given feeding allowance, and even allowed to periodically visit their homes.” Mr Ali said.

The labor officer added that if the workers had any complaints they should report to the ministry of labor rather than the Nigerian Police.

“In the first place, an employment issue is not a police case.

“If there is any case of forced, compulsory or slave labor, the ministry of labor’s attention should have been drawn, and every agency has its own role to play.

Abdullahi Ali

Abdullahi Ali: Labor Officer

“As far as industrial issues are concerned, we have sole prerogative. “We are on exclusive legislative list of the federal government so when you have industrial issues you address it appropriately and rightly to the labor office and we can assign a labor officer to go and address it.

“We did not received such complaint; we only heard of it over the radio,” Mr Ali said.

The Kano Command of the Nigeria Police is yet to respond to this statement.

The labour officer also denied accusations by the National Union of Food,  Beverages and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) that he has connived with the company’s management to sabotage the inauguration of the union’s branch.

Union alleges “Compromise”

Kano state secretary of the NUFBTE, Usman Muhammad told Kano Focus that Mr Aliyu had been “compromised” by the company.

“There was a time we visited the factory along with the labour officer, the national president of the National union of food,  beverages, and tobacco employees, his deputy, general secretary, national treasurer and state leadership but the admin manager denied us entry.

“The labour officer’s approach to the matter showed that he has been compromised.

“Instead of taking decisive action, I overheard him pleading to the admin manager to allow us to enter.

“If he has done his work, the factory will not dare to maltreat workers,” Mr Muhammad said.

He said the union will prepare and send a comprehensive report on the incident to the Kano state branch of the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) for prompt intervention.

Influential people connive with foreigners

Meanwhile, Kano state chairman of the NLC, Kabiru Ado Minjibir has condemned the action of the company pending the receipt of the  report from the NUFBTE.

Mr Minjibir lamented that some Nigerians connive with foreigners to maltreat indigenous workers.

“Some influential people in Kano have contributed in degrading indigenous workers in the sight of expatriates.

“The last time labour leaders visited the said factory to inaugurate union leaders, they met resistance from management of the factory who at the end invited police to arrest the labour leaders.

“But if the matter involved indigenous factories, they don’t get such privileges.

“I don’t know why our leaders support foreigners to enslave our people in their factories.” Mr Minjibir said.

Detained workers not our staff

In its defense, Popular Farm Rice Mill said the labourers are not its employees and it is therefore not responsible for their welfare.

The administrative manager of the company, Kareem Saka told Kano Focus that the labourers are sourced from outside contractors.

“They are not our staff; we contracted loading and offloading contractors who hired those labourers.

“They had an agreement which they are paying them on daily basis. “And out of our own magnanimity we didn’t stop there, we still provided them with allowances, detergents, medical service and so on and so forth.” Mr. Saka said.

He added that the company provided a sleeping place for the workers in its farmland because they live far away from their homes.

Mr Saka however denied any knowledge that the workers were not allowed to go out at all.

“Our agreement is only with the contractors and not with their staff. “They are the ones who discussed with their labourers and agreed on their terms of employment,” he said.

Kano Focus had made several attempts to get the Kano state Ministry of Commerce and Industry to respond to the matter.

However, after several phone calls and text messages to the Ministry’s spokesperson, the commissioner Mahmoud Muhammad is yet to respond.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headlines

Kano missing children: Court convicts Paul Owne 104 Years

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Kano is the biggest sesame market in Nigeria – Ganduje

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Kano refutes trending story on women driving ban

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Trending