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Court orders Dangote Cement to pay truck driver N.8m hospital bills, 1 year salary

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 Nasiru Yusuf 

The Presiding Judge, Kano Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Justice Ebiye Isele has ordered Dangote Cement to pay one of its former truck drivers, Anas Ibrahim accumulated salary from August 2020 to August 2021 and the sum of N847,450 representing the settlement of the Claimant’s hospital bills forthwith.

KANO FOCUS reports that the court held that “since Mr. Ibrahim suffered the injuries while in the employment of the firm and was subsequently hospitalized for months for treatment, it is only fair in the interest of justice and the circumstance of the case that Ibrahim be paid his salary from August 2020 to August 2021 when the company repudiated the employment relationship.”

However, Justice Isele held that Mr. Ibrahim had not shown the court that there is a duty of care which the firm owed him leading to the accident and trying to blame the company’s staff that were at the depot for not allowing him to stay over does not amount to a good excuse because the depot Managers were never named and were not called to give evidence.

From fact, the claimant, Mr. Ibrahim had submitted that on 01/07/2020 during the normal course of employment, he transported Cement Products from the Company Factory in Ogun State to the Company Depot at Ikorudu, Lagos State, and was thereafter directed by the Management of the firm’s depot to return to Ogun State that same day due to the Defendant’s policy that unloaded Trucks are not allowed to be parked at the premises.

The Claimant also averred that he was forced to leave the premises of the depot the same day at around 5pm and after navigating the Sango Ota toll gate successfully, a truck driver who was driving recklessly at the top speed lost control of his vehicle and ran into him and he lost consciousness and was taken to hospital where his medical expenses totaled the sum of N874,450 were incurred.

He averred further that Dangote Cement had refused to pay his salaries from August 2020 till date, and compensation, urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.

In defense, the defendant, Dangote Cement denied Ibrahim’s assertion and maintained that no duty of care was breached and from its investigation, it was found out that the Claimant was sighted exiting the premises without any forewarning and nobody could have stopped him from leaving because it is generally known that Claimant’s duty post is at Ibese Ilaro Ogun State.

defendant also averred that it was instrumental in taking Mr. Ibrahim to the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta from the Sango Ota Hospital in a bid to provide him access to a better medical facility with an initial deposit of N100,000 while also gifted his family with another N100,000 for other medical bills.

In a further submission, the firm also denied abandoning the Claimant as it sent its staff to check up on him from time to time and even made money available for the test, X-rays, drugs, and ambulance throughout the Claimant’s stay at Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta before the Claimant suddenly disappeared, urged the court to dismiss the case for lacking merit.

In opposition, the claimant’s counsel averred that the defendant breached the duty of reasonable care for the safety of his client when the staff of the Defendant Company at the Ikorodu depot refused the request of the Claimant to spend the night at the premises of the Cement Depot and his yet to be compensated for the accident and injury sustained.

Delivering the judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Ebiye Isele held that the only fact found capable of making the defendant responsible is that the claimant was its employee at the time of the accident every other fact in this matter does not favour the Claimant’s case.

The Court further explained that clause D in exhibit A1 which provides for driving hours and conditions are to be strictly adhered to. These are from 6 am to 7 pm and no driving while rain falls, poor visibility, the influence of alcohol and drugs.

“From the above, I find that the Claimant was not in compliance with the defendant’s laid down rule in continuing to drive after 7 pm after enduring a more than two hours gridlock at the Sango toll gate from where he continued to drive makes him contributorily negligent.

“I hold that it was careless of him to have continued since he knew he was even fatigued,” Justice Isele ruled.

The Court dismissed N50m compensation and other claims for lacking merit as published in National Industrial Court website.

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Girls Education: UNICEF commends FCDO for spending $100m in Northern Nigeria

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Nasiru Yusuf 

The United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has commended the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), for their financial investment of $108,493,125, 871 in girls education programme in Northern Nigeria.

KANO FOCUS reports that Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kano Field Office, Mr Rahama Farah, gave the commendation at the official closing of the 10-year intervention project GEP3 in Kano on Monday.

He said that the 10-year project had invested heavily in teacher development which improved the learning of teachers in Integrated Qur’anic and Islamic schools.

Farah said that the trained teachers demonstrated the minimum teaching competencies to about 30 per cent against the 2 per cent baseline impacting on learning outcomes.

According to him, “in spite of achievements of the project, there is still need for more investment in education and girls education in Nigeria and Kano, to ensure that all children had equal opportunity in education.

“Kano has the highest transition rate to junior secondary schools of only 28 per cent, which means that we need to work hard to remove the bottlenecks that prevented positive transition,” Farah said.

The Chief also pledged continous partnership with Kano state government in providing educational support for all.

In his remarks, the Kano state Commissioner for Education, Abdullahi Yan Shana, has commended the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) for their intervention project on Girls education project (GEP3) in Kano.

He said that the project had indeed improved the capacity of teachers to deliver effective learning and improved governance to strengthen girls education.

According to him, “The 20172018 annual schools census of the primary school pupils stood at 3,807,588 with 1,9778, 884 as girls.

“But in 20192020, the Annual School Census indicates 3,933,572 in which 2,050,309 were girls.

This signifies that there was 96.5 per cent increase of girls enrolment and retention in the state.

Yan Shana specifically commended some component of the intervention such as community engagement of mothers association.

He explained that the intervention had indeed gingered and sensitised rural women to the benefits of girls education.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Girls Education Project (GEP3) is a 10 years intervention supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The project was implemented in partnership with the Federal and state ministries of education and other educational agencies in Kano and was funded by the UK government through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

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Ganduje Inaugurates Committee on inter-religious conference

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

 

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has inaugurated a very powerful committee on inter-religious conference, aimed at organising a befitting national conference towards a more tolerant Nigeria. 

KANO FOCUS reports that the event took place at Africa House, Government House, Kano, Monday.

The event was attended by some popular clergymen from Islam and Christianity as 23-member committee was inaugurated.

The occasion, according to him, is being “Considered very well for the development of the state, the nation and humanity in general.

“The management of diversity in Nigeria has become an issue. A very important issue. There must always be respect of one religion on other religions.”

Governor Ganduje argued that, Kano, being an oldest civilisation, that is highly cosmopolitan, “…for the state to continue coexist with other nationalities, we need programmes like this. We are trying to consolidate on that.”

Sheikh Muhammad Bin Uthman, Chief Imam of Sahaba Juma’at Mosque, is the Chairman of the Committee. While Arch. Bishop Peter Ogunmuyiwa (PhD) is the Co-Chair of the Committee. State Commissioner for Information Muhammad Garba serves as the Committee Secretary.

Governor Ganduje said “The membership of the committee looks at the diversity of this nation, the utterances you people are making, your behaviours towards diversity management and your commitment to nation building.

“You are to organise a befitting inter-religious Conference, you choose the appropriate theme, select appropriate date, day and venue for the proposed Conference. Part of your terms of reference, is to also provide adequate publicity, before during and after the conference.”

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BHCPF: WDCs, PWDs laud Kano Govt for Increasing the number of beneficiaries

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

 

The leadership of Ward Development Committees and People with Disabilities have commended Kano state government for increasing the number of beneficiaries of the basic healthcare provision fund (BHCPF).

KANO FOCUS reports that the state chairman of Ward Development Committee (WDC) Malam Bashir Adamu Jigirya Secretary General of Nigeria Association of the Blind Kano state chapter, Comrade Abdralrazak Ado Zango, made the commendation in an interview with journalists at PERL/ECP office.

Jigirya commended Kano state government for its prompt response to their demand saying that BHCPF has improved the health of the vulnerable and people with special needs.

Malam Bashir Adamu Jigirya

He however, raised concern on how National Identification Number (NIN) submission hindered some beneficiaries from accessing BHCPF services citing new born babies as example.

Also speaking Comrade Abdralrazak Ado Zango,  explained that they advocated for the increment due to the fact that, despite the total number of 3,474 forms allocated to the 9 clusters of PWD, leprosy survivors are yet to be enrolled into the BHCPF scheme because of finger print capture.

Comrade Abdralrazak Ado Zango

He maintained that, discrimination against people with special needs,choice of health facilities, failure to refer spinal cord injury patients to facilities, are some of the challenges bedeviling the scheme.

“We are calling in KSCHMA to ensure continuous orientation of health workers to change their attitudes towards PWDs,” Zango appealed.

BHCPF enrollment

It would be recalled that Kano state Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (KSCHMA), has approved the enrollment of more beneficiaries of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF), to promote inclusive access to health services.

The approval was sequel to an advocacy letter, signed by coalition of citizens groups which comprises of CSOs, PWDs, WDCs dated August 23, 2022, supported by PERL/ECP, addressed to the Executive Secretary Kano State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (KSCHMA) Dr. Halima Mijinyawa.

BHCPF enrollment

The advocacy centred around increase in number of beneficiaries, to reduce out of pocket expenditure to access health care services.

Similarly, another letter was sent to the Kano state ministry of finance by the group, seeking for the status of 1% consolidated Revenue fund (CRF), to address vulnerable package for contributory beneficiaries.

A circular obtained by KANO FOCUS showed approval of increasing the number of people living with special needs and vulnerable groups, into the Programme across the forty four local government areas.

BHCPF enrollment

Lafiya programme and PERL/ECP are providing technical support to Kano State Led Accountability Mechanism (KanSLAM) and Ward Development Committees (WDCs) towards successful implementation of BHCPF.

The Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) scheme.

The BHCPF is a health intervention scheme established under National Health Act (2014) to provide basic health care services to poor and vulnerable.

It is to reduce maternal mortality rate by 31% (from 576 to 400 per 100,000 live births), neo maternal rate by 33% (from 39 to 26 per 1,000 live births) with 50% of BHCPF.

The purpose of the BHCPF is to ensure the provision of basic health care package of health services to all Nigerians through National Health Insurance Scheme NHIS and state Kano State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency KSCHMA.

Another purpose of the programme is “Strengthening the Primary Health Care (PHC) system through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) with 45% of BHCPF.

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