About 150 young candidates contesting for political offices in northern Nigeria converged in Kano state for the Yiaga Africa and NotTooYoungToRun convergence 4.0.
KANO FOCUS reports that the Convergence 4.0 is a capacity-building event aimed at training young candidates on the tenets of leadership and governance.
Speaking at the occasion the Development Director of the British High Commission, Christopher Pycroft, has tasked young Nigerians to join politics as their role in political leadership and governance generally is hugely important for Nigeria’s development and democracy.
Mr Pycroft explained that “Your active participation as young people is critical to the quality and outcomes of Nigeria’s democratic engagement and progress.”
Adding that “Nigeria is a young country with an average age of its population is just over 17. But young people are too often excluded from Nigeria’s political processes, left without a voice, without influence”
“Inclusive political participation is crucial to building stable and peaceful societies, and to building an effective social contract that establishes the relationship between the state and its citizens“ He added.
The Development Director described the passing of the “Not Too Young To Run” Bill as a major milestone.
“It was followed by a clear increase in the number of young candidates and elected officials at the last general election”
“From 5.1 percent of elected officials in 2015 to 6.6 percent in 2019, a modest increase, but an important trend.” he applauded
He explained that despite recording 76 percent of newly registered youths since the last general elections.
Adding that, yet at the 2019 general elections, only 46 percent of young people turned out to vote at the Presidential and National Assembly elections
“YIAGA Africa’s assessment shows a decline in young candidature from 2019 to 2023.” he pointed
Mr Pycroft stressed that young women are being further left behind in the push to strengthen youth political participation in Nigeria as women accounted for less than 5 percent of elected officials in the 2019 general elections.
“Nevertheless, I am encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment to youth and women’s participation by organizations such as YIAGA Africa and other partners in the room” he said.
The Development Director revealed that the UK has been a long-term strategic supporter of Nigeria’s democratic journey.
Adding that “we believe that peaceful, transparent and credible polls in 2023 are fundamental to consolidating the gains of Nigeria’s democratic journey.”
The Development Director pledged that the British High Commission will continue to support and work with YIAGA Africa and its partners to secure a more inclusive and strong democracy.
Earlier, the Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo vowed to mobilize support for young politicians vying for elective offices especially those who have competency, character and capacity to address the underdevelopment challenge facing the nation.
Itodo, said the participants were drawn from the northern parts of the country and were mentored and exposed to understanding the electoral law, INEC guidelines, technical resources, leadership skills, and political communication among others to prepare them ahead of 2023 general elections.
He said that the aim of the movement is to create awareness on the need to enlighten the youth to summon courage to replace the expired politicians who constituted themselves to the progress of youths in the country.
He noted that the population of the country was dominated by young people but they were not having chance of being elected into governance of this country, a situation that the Yiaga Africa is selling to the youth to wake them up from slumber.
According to him, the political leaders in this country were in minority going by the huge population of the youth in the country.
He however noted that the call is yielding result because for now, “we have elected members between 25 years and 39 who ran offices in 2019 and won their elections.
“Today, over 48 percent of candidates presented by political parties for 2023 elections are young people.”
In his presentation Deputy General Editor of Daily Trust Newspaper Abdulaziz Abdulaziz identified some obstacles that poses seeious challenge to young candidates in including lack of inexperience and resources to favourably compete with veterans politicians.
He therefore advised them to leverage on effective political communication to stand out of the crowd.
“With veterans and moneybags, some of whom have been in the game since the return to democracy in 1999, the space is very competitive. The young aspirant, often by default the person with the least political experience and financial muscle, would have to be ingenious.
“You need to market yourself and your vision directly and aggressively to the electorate. You are your number one
marketer. In marketing yourself, the first and most important issue is defining your vision or message. You need to be clear and definitive about this,” Mr Abdulaziz advised.
He stressed that “To achieve preferability in the minds of the voters. You need to communicate, effectively, in order to stand out from the crowd. You therefore need to reach out the voters as aggressively as you can.”
NCC orders telecom operators to block SIMs without NIN
Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim
The Nigerian Communications Commission has reiterated its directive to telecom operators to bar telephone subscribers not linked to their National Identification Numbers on or before February 28, 2024.
KANO FOCUS reports that the Executive Vice Chairman, National Communication Commission, Dr Aminu Maida, spoke at the NCC’s Special Day during the ongoing 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair on Wednesday.
Maida who was represented by Reuben Mouka, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, insisted that as a matter of critical national security, telecom consumers must link their NIN to their SIM.
He reaffirmed that the February 28th deadline given to telecom operators to bar subscribers who failed to link their NIN to SIM, stands.
“To this end, the National Communication Commission has directed all telecommunication operators to bar phone lines of subscribers whose lines are not linked to their NINs on or before February 28, 2024,” he added.
This, the executive vice chairman said, was apt as the theme resonated with the principles and objectives of the commission in promoting local content development in the telecom industry.
Maida also said the NCC was committed to protecting consumers’ rights while ensuring their satisfaction and noting that the commission has created a universally acceptable environment to access “affordable and equitable service and supports the nation’s economic growth.”
“As a regulator of the telecommunications sector in the country, the Commission carries out its functions to ensure service availability, affordability, and sustainability for all categories of consumers, who are leveraging on ICT/Telecoms to drive personal and business activities,” he said.
For instance, he continued that the Telecom Consumer Assistance, Resolution and Enquiries (TELCARE) Desk at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Internatonal Airport Abuja The TELCARE desk was set up to further provide an additional platform to make enquiries on customer issues, receive and facilitate the resolution of telecom consumer complaints.
He explained that by “working together, we can create a more vibrant telecommunications industry that contributes significantly to the economic recovery and growth.”
According to him, as of 2023, the telecoms industry’s contribution to the nation’s GDP stood at 13.5% (Source – Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report November 2023-A publication of the National Bureau of Statistics.
“Conversely, as we promote economic growth through the development of local content, we must also address the challenges faced by consumers and NCC is committed to protecting their rights while ensuring their satisfaction.
The NCC boss, therefore urged telecom firms to prioritize customer satisfaction and uphold the highest standards of service delivery, noting that the commission has implemented measures to safeguard the interests of consumers and businesses alike.
One such measure, he said, was the NCC’s directive on May 17, 2023, that all licensed Mobile Network Operators commence implementation of approved Harmonised Short Codes for providing services to Nigerian telecom consumers.
“The new initiative is enabling consumers using the over 224 million active mobile telephone lines in Nigeria to use the same codes to access services across all networks,” he added.
Meanwhile, the NCC boss disclosed that as of 2023, the telecoms industry’s contribution to the nation’s GDP stood at 13.5 per cent, according to the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report November 2023 – A publication of the National Bureau of Statistics.
ACT closure: Kano beneficiaries share testimonies
Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim
As the the Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) programme held a close out event in Kano, some beneficiaries have shared their testimonies during their engagement.
KANO FOCUS reports that the beneficiaries take a cue to share positive experience obtained during their engagement with ACT programme.
The president of Kano Civil Society Forum (UCSF) Comrade Ibrahim Waiya was the first to share experience on the benefits derived from ACT programme.
KCSF had received €1 084,63 to create awareness and sensitise the public on
the spread of COVID-19 in Kano State.
In her testimony, the Executive Director of SACALSUN Hauwa Adamu Kakuri, a breast cancer survivor who set up an NGO for cancer awareness campaign recalled how the mentorship she received from CS-CRIN, one of the ACT grantees, empowered her to secured a 10,000 dollar grant.
Appraising the implementation of the programme in Kano state the programme officer of CARAV Abba Bello said they have secured a grant from ACT where they work on strengthening community response on gender based violence at Nassarwa Dala and Kumbotso local government areas.
He cited an example of one intervention at Sheka quartees in Kumbotso local government area where they rehabilitate some young girls who engages in commercial sex.
For Abdurrazaq Alkali, the Executive Director of OCCEN, said ACT has supported them to promote good governance and accountability in Kano where their advocacy led to the passage of procurement law.
Also commenting chairman of Kano State Accountability Forum on Education (K-SAFE) Professor Muhammad Bello Shittu commended ACT for identifying credible Civil Society Organisations and supporting them.
He equally commended ACT engagement with regulatory bodies such as Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) during the course of their intervention especially by developing a regulatory framework that is humanly understandable.
Professor Shittu expressed optimism that the lesson learned from the project would be sustained even after the exit of the programme.
He lamented that in many instances once the donor leave, the project dies, despite huge capital and material investmentinvestment.
The event featured presentation from the commissioner of special duties Hajiya Amina Abdullahi Sani (GOD), representative of Emir of Kano Alhaji Sule Gaya (Dan Goribar Kano), ACT National Programme Manager Damilare Babalola, ACT Kano state Focal Person Hajiya Rabi Adamu and ACT communication and media engagement adviser Hajiya Lauratu Abdussalam.
The Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) is a four-year EU programme funded by the European Union and implemented by the British Council, Nigeria. The programme is linked to the reform objectives of the three EU focal sectors of the 11th National Indicative programme (NIP).
The ACT programme was designed as a response strategy to the EU’s identified need to invest and engage more with the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Nigeria as required under the larger global EU CSO roadmap framework. EU-ACT recognises that strengthened civil society actors have great potential to contribute to thechange achievement of sustainable development, ACT programme focused on strengthening the capability of CSOs to become more effective and credible drivers of change.
High Court jails two bureau de change operators in Kano
Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim
The Federal High Court Kano presided over by Justice Mohammed Nasir Tuesday, convicted and sentenced two illegal bureau de change operators to one year imprisonment each for operating BDC without an appropriate licence.
KANO FOCUS reports that the convicts: Munkaila Sani and Mohammed Sani were jailed after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge bordering on engaging in financial operations of bureau de change without a requisite licence, upon their arraignment by the Kano Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The lone-count charge reads ‘’That you Munkaila Sani sometime in February, 2024 in Kano within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did engage in a financial operation of bureau de change without a valid licence and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 57 (5) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, 2020 and punishable under Section 57 (5) (B) of the same act.’’
Upon arraignment, the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges when they were read to them. Based on their pleas, prosecution counsel, Aisha Tahar Habib prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
Counsel to the defendants, Abdulrahman Isah pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the suspect are elderly and have become remorseful for their actions.
Consequently, Justice Yunusa convicted and sentenced the defendants to one year imprisonment each.
The convicts’ began their journey to the Correctional Centre when they were arrested by operatives of the Commission around Wapa BDC market and Grand Central Hotel, Kano, following reliable intelligence about their involvement in a syndicate operating bureau de change businesses without an appropriate licence.
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