​Insecurity Bane Of Girl-Child Education In North, Says Emir Of Argungu, Others

Emir of  Argungu, Samaila Mohammed Mera has said that insecurity, poverty and Illiteracy are among major factors affecting girl child educational development in the North.

This  is just as he called on relevant authorities to continue to step up efforts in campaigning for girl-child education in the Nigeria and the North in particular.
The Royal father who is also the Coordinator, Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development who stated this while fielding questions from newsmen in Kaduna shortly after a 3-day programme, and launching of the national network of the “Keeping Girls In School” (KGIS) said the aim of the programme was to discuss, “why our girls are not in school what stopped them from not completing their education, to resolve the issue keeping our girls out of school, how to keep girls educated for the benefit of the community”.

Emir Mera said, “We have many challenges why our girls drop out of school. This include illiteracy, economy, insecurity. We are here to know what we can do as individual and also what government can do to address the issues, how do we keep our girls in school, for the better of our societ, at the end of the day each state will come up with work plan.
“We have been grouped into States, at the end we will come up with solution.

Borno is the most affected state because of insecurity, but here we have Zamfara, Gombe, Sokoto and kebbi which according to statistics are the worst when it comes to girl child education, our next tour will be in Ethiopia where girl-child school enrollment is also very low.
Also speaking, the Lead Advocate for keeping girls in school in Africa, Dr. Mairo Mandara said the campaign is to ensure that every girl complete at least secondary school education.
“Our objective is to ensure how to raise awareness to ensure that every girl in Africa complete at least secondary education and in the process she learns skills.
“In this unique campaign we do something that is different , we all know for  years, a lot of money has  been spent by government, international partners, civil society in trying to ensure girls complete secondary school  but we realized that the missing links have not been put in forefront.
“So, we are getting the traditional leaders and religious leaders to be at the (Lead) forefront. We will only be their followers, so government will support the initiative of traditional and religious leaders, young people, women group will also support them.
“The ultimate thing is to ensure that every girl finishes secondary school in the process she also learn market relevant skills which means  learning important skills like  repairing of telephone, repairing computers , how to do programming, so as she goes before finishing school she is a professional she will be able to get money to help her self and her family.
“The major challenge for keeping girls out of school is poverty, culture not religion , no religion condone lack of education, in this meeting it is a consensus between Moslems and Christians neither Christianity nor Islam condone education,  education is for both male and female there is no distinction according to the two religion , early marriage was discuss and we know it happened between Christian and moslem , we must just all agree to keep our girls in school.
“Research have shown that it is only  by completion of secondary school that you get girls to have significant impact in the lives of females, when girls finish their secondary before marriage that is when they themselves attend antenatal clinic, immunize their children, she delivers in heath facility , she does not have IVF,  maternal mortality reduces, infant mortality reduces and the health and survival of  children under 5 increases.
“So, the real bullet is  to ensure girls remain in school until they finish secondary school and that time they are about 18, 19 years, that  time their  pelvics are big enough to carry pregnancy and be able to deliver, they can’t have Virginia fistula.
“We did research and found out the places where it is difficult to enroll girls to the completion of secondary school , we are specifically targeting to start with those areas in Nigeria and Ethiopia  in the next 18 months.
“Specifically, the Emirs and religious leaders that came here are those that came from communities that are backward , there is a place where you don’t have a single girl in secondary school , we saw similar things all over , so these things are our target, the beautiful thing about this campaign is that no body is giving them a kobo it is their children, it is their community , it is their problem , they will solve their problems themselves, then once they start doing it they will then look for help , so is not like NGO where somebody will come and tell them to do it”. She stated.
Chief Imam of Waff Road Mosque, Kaduna,  Mohammed Sani Isah added his voice to keeping girls in school campaign, saying, “The government is not doing enough. We need to sensitize parents so that they can pressurize  on the government to do what they are suppose to do, so we need that kind of sensitization and education so that we can see the need for us to make positive pressure on the government to do their own side in this regard”.

​Lagos APC clears air on Sanwo-Olu’s proposed abrogation of pension for former Governors

The All Progressives Congress, APC, Lagos has described as falsehood a widely circulated statement from some quarters about the proposed repeal of the pension laws in Lagos State as they affect the past governors and their deputies.

The governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while disclosing this during votes mentation of Y2021 budget proposals to Lagos House of Assembly on Tuesday, made it explicitly clear that it was a move to cut the cost of governance and a sincere indication of political will to re-order the priorities of the government in the face of current realities.

The state Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr. Seye Oladejo made the remarks in a statement on Thursday.

Oladejo noted that the move which had been widely applauded by a cross-section of well-meaning people actually jolted the enemies of progress.

The statement read in part: Our attention has been drawn to the widely circulated falsehood about the purported truth behind the proposed repeal of the pension laws in Lagos State as they affect the past governors and their deputies.

“The after-thought response would not have been dignified with a rejoinder if not for the deliberate misinformation and falsehood tainted with bitter politics.

“While the state government acknowledges and appreciates the tremendous goodwill its efforts to immediately kickstart the rebuilding process necessitated by the mayhem,

The governor, typical of his administration, consulted far and wide before arriving at the decision to repeal the public officers’ pension law for our collective good.

“We commend his exemplary courage which has added to his lofty credentials.

“Since its inception, the Sanwo-Olu administration has focused on cost-saving measures to make funds available for important projects.

“The deliberate refusal of the governor to acquire official vehicles and the low-priced brands allocated to high ranking state officials were moves in the right direction.

“The claim that Lagos State intends to borrow additional huge sums of money from the Capital Market again, but it must cancel the illegal payments to Governors/Deputies by revoking Ex Governors Pension Law in order for PENCOM to qualify it’s new borrowing for PFAs’ investments” is completely false.

“While we encourage opposition as part of the development of our democratic culture, deliberate falsehood and outright lies do not represent the quality of minds that our people deserve and are not the kind of culture we want our children to imbibe.

“Lagosians are indeed glad and appreciative of the steps taken by Mr. Governor to signal selflessness and personal sacrifice in governance and public service. If this is a good step for the people of Lagos, only someone who does not wish Lagos well will disparage it; especially using lies and falsehood.

“It is expedient to state that the circular issued by Nigeria Pension Commission in January 2020 to Lagos was basically on queries relating to operational differences between the Pension Reform Act of 2004 and the Lagos State Pension Reform Law 2007. It had nothing to do with pensions to Governor’s or their deputies.

“Pencom being a very professional organization and regulator will not raise a valid point and make a u-turn on it, without a resolution of those points. They issued a letter of no objection being satisfied with the resolutions of all the points raised.

“Mr. Governor is focused on Infrastructural projects like the Regional roads, the Lekki Expressway rigid pavement, the three-lane dual highway from Eleko junction to Epe, the urban roads, regeneration projects in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Ikeja, and Kosofe. He is focused on the Red line rail project amongst many others in Alimoso, Agege, Somolu, Ikorodu.

“While the Lagos State government is not in need of praise-singing from any quarters, it remains a disservice to deliberately feed the unsuspecting public with falsehood at a time like this.”

​Abubakar Shekau, 85 others top list of Army most wanted terrorists

The Commandant, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Farouk Yahaya, on Wednesday, declared Abubakar Shekau and 85 other terrorists most wanted in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Army last night released a list of 86 persons wanted in connection with an act of terrorism. Those on the list are alleged to be members of the Boko Haram sect.

Among those on the list are Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abu Musa Al Barnawi, Modu Sulum, Malkam Umar, Bello Husba, Yan Kolo, Ibrahim Abu Maryam, Baka Kwasari, Bana Gonna, Mohammed Abu Maryam, Abu Imma, and Abu Dardda.

The list was released by Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff, alongside Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State, at the Nigerian Army Super Camp, Chabbal in Konduga local government area of Borno.

“Identifying the enclaves of the terrorists as they move from one location to another is useful. The counter-insurgency fight should not be left to the military alone,” Tukur Buratai, said at the inauguration of the civilian joint task force into the Operation Lafia Doyle formation in Maiduguri.

‘Bauchi Rank 8th Poorest State, We Must Turn The Tide’—Bauchi Gov

Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, Bauchi State governor says the state is the 8th poorest state in Nigeria despite the abandoned resources at its disposal.

The governor gave the indication on Wednesday when he hosted the Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Investment Programmes at a town hall meeting in Bauchi.

Governor Mohammed who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Baba Tela said the rate of poverty and social inequalities were partly aided by the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east.

The governor said the state was ranked 8th poorest state in Nigeria due to the activities of the insurgents which had a trickle down effect on the State.

“In Bauchi here, poverty and social inequalities is sustained by the ongoing conflict with the Boko Haram and the effect of migration in the Northeast which has greatly overstretched our limited resources and exerted pressure on the little we have.

Tela said existing data has shown that 83 million Nigerians are now living below the poverty line, even by Nigerian standard.

Tela argued that it was necessary for the state to rise up to the challenges by taking decisive measures to revise the trend.

The Deputy Governor said the town hall meeting was organised by the state government in collaboration with the senate committee and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

He said the town hall meeting was conducted with the view to creating an enabling environment to better the lives of the people of Bauchi State especially the youths in terms of skills acqu
isition programmes.

​We’ll ensure equity in distribution of N11bn road projects — Reps

The House of Representatives on Tuesday assured that they will ensure that the N11 billion voted for road projects in the 2021 budget as proposed by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) is evenly distributed to all the six geopolitical zones.
Rep. Yusuf Gagdi who queried the controversial increase in the FERMA’s budget, gave the update on the Committee’s position, while he reacted to allegations that the proposal was ‘hurriedly considered ’without taking members’ input, as raised by Rep. Bamidele Salam (PDP-Osun).

While noting that the issue of N11 billion allegedly inserted into the FERMA budget proposal was addressed during the budget defence, Hon. Gagdi maintained that the Committee will stop at nothing to ensure the projects spread across all the six geopolitical zones if at all it would be adopted into the 2021 Appropriation Act.

“Every member believed that, yes we agreed and we have not passed the budget. There was an envelope that was given to FERMA by Ministry of Finance through the Ministry of Works, which is the supervising ministry of FERMA and I came to discover that the project was increased not by the National Assembly.

 Normally Ministry of Finance has enveloped budget because we operate envelope budget so I was aware of the fact that the envelope that was given to FERMA was not up to 30 billion, it was 20 something billion.

“And all of a sudden, I just discovered that they have submitted from the Ministry of Finance to the National Assembly over 30 something billion with an increment of about 11 billion. I raised that issue and I still stand on my feet that no how did you increase it? It is even the right of the budget office to submit whatever they want to submit to the National Assembly I won’t even call it padding because they have increased the money beyond the envelope of their Ministry.

“But my argument is this, where will you increase about 11 billion to one state? It is not possible. Then the committee on FERMA agreed that the purpose of the elective representative is to ensure equity and fairness to all the geopolitical entities. We now say you have brought this budget, that it is once sided. If you look at my comment very

well, I tackle the fact that the budget is not balanced. So we must balance the budget as the people that have the right to do it in such a way that it resembles the interest of Nigerians. So my position on the 11 billion still stands that from somewhere between the Ministry of Works and Ministry of Finance, 11 billion was increased at an inter-ministerial level in the budget of FERMA. And I still stand by it”, he said.

According to him, “I will give you the document, you will see it clearly. The predominant state that got that 11 billion that was

increased it is Imo State without any fear of political contradictions but I don’t know who increased it”.

Speaking earlier after the budget defence session, Mr. Salam observed that “there was an attempt to rush the passage of

the budget and prevent those of us who had observations from doing so.

“Immediately the FERMA MD presented the budget, a colleague was raising a motion for the adoption of the budget and I raised a point of order. By parliamentary procedure, a point of order should take precedence over every other matter. In the attempt to make my point of order, I saw that the person who moved the motion was behaving like the spokesperson for FERMA.

“The observation that I made was very simple: first is the fact that in the 2021 budget proposal analysis that I have before me, out of the 420 projects proposed, the South-West zone which I am from has the least allocation which is 48, and least allocation which is about N3 billion. That is just a part of it.

“The larger part of it is that the constituency that I represent, Ede-North/Ede-South/Egbedore/Ejigbo Federal Constituency, does not have a single allocation of a project out of the 420 projects. Even the whole of the state where I come from, Osun State, which is represented by nine members in the House, does not have a single projected allocated to it, out of a budget of N38.2bn proposed by FERMA.

“I felt I should at least have a right of the audience but, unfortunately, the person who was preventing that from happening is from Plateau State and I can see in this same budget, Plateau is getting about 18 projects. Why should he not want someone who does not have anything in his own state to raise a point of order and make this observation? This is unfair, unjust and against the spirit of the Nigerian Constitution.

“That was the point I was trying to make before he came up and the whole session came into a rowdy conclusion.”

Salam said further that, “No. Certainly not, because if the budget would be passed, we would have to vote on the motion that was purportedly moved by him. But like I said, it ended up a rowdy session.”

The lawmaker added, that “The National Assembly should be tired of being called a rubber stamp Assembly. We are not; we are it supposed to be. If a ministry, department or agency brings in a document, we should subject that document to thorough scrutiny.

“We should scrutinise it with the eye of the law, and equity, fairness and justice. That is what the parliament should do but that is what some people are trying to resist, from what happened at this meeting. I think we should go back to look at this document and ask ourselves honestly: does this budget proposal by FERMA reflect the spirit of the Nigerian Constitution and the budget which is supposed to bring even development to all parts of the country?

“To me, the answer is no. And if the answer is no, then we should go back to the drawing board. It is still a proposal; it is a bill before the National Assembly, which is subject to being tinkered with. I am expecting that the committee, under the chairmanship of Hon. Bamisile will reconvene and address the concerns that I expressed.”

While reacting to the question on the rowdy session between members of the Committee during the FERMA budget defence, Chairman, House Committee on FERMA, Rep. Femi Bamisile who dismissed the allegations bothering on the unfavourable allocation of road projects to the South West and Osun State, raised by Salam, explained that the Committee has resolved to re-invite the FERMA Managing Director, Engr. Nuruddeen Rafindadi on various issues raised by members.

“We needed to study the budget before we pass it. I have told them this. This is the same thing that we said last year. You cannot bring us the budget the same day of passage. These documents are voluminous. Sometimes, they go as high as 70 or 80 pages. Do you expect a member to be reading 80 pages as they pass it?

“They will take time to do that and that was why we asked them to come back today and when they came, everybody has had time to study the document and questions were asked. There was an issue there when one of our members was raising a point of order that his state did not have enough projects.

“I made it clear to him that if you have read the budget, you will see your state represented. I can tell you what each state has. I told the member the number of projects in his state. Unfortunately, he didn’t see it there. Even after I have made my ruling, I still allowed him to move his motion and I made it clear to him that every state was carried along.

“On Thursday, there was this notion that N11 billion was thrown into the budget. But after studying it for 72 hours, everybody, including those who moved the motion was convinced that all was well with the budget”, he said.

​NUC approves establishment of CUSTECH, Kogi as 50th State varsity in Nigeria

The National Universities Commission (NUC), has granted approval and recognition for the establishment of Confluence University of Science and Technology, (CUSTECH) Osara, Kogi State as the new addition to the list of State-owned Universities in Nigeria.
This was contained in a statement released by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Onogwu Muhammed.

Speaking while reading out the letter of recognition for the institution’s establishment at the NUC office in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Prof. Adamu Abubakar Rasheed noted that the newly recognized State University would have the maximum support of the commission.

He enjoined the state government to take full advantage of both professional and technical advice that the commission statutorily provides for the establishment, funding and operation of the University, adding that all other supporting agencies including Tertiary Education Trust FUND, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) have been notified.

Prof. Rasheed lauded the effort of the State Government towards investing in education, noting that such drive remained the best approach in adding value to the lives of its citizens.

Earlier in his address, Governor Bello noted that the future of the country would be driven by Science and Technology, hence the recognition by the state to establish an institution of learning that would help utilize the State and Nation’s resources for its ultimate benefits.

The Governor assured that the Institution would be of international standard in the quality of its staffers, students and the learning environment, as it would focus on functional education.

He pointed out that the Nation and even the state is blessed with numerous resources required the establishment of such institution which would promote local manufacturing and reduce dependence on importation.

Governor Bello revealed the state’s readiness to commence activities ranging from the establishment of the institution which was introduced through an executive bill to the State House of Assembly which has been signed into law.

He also notified that the state was already funding the institution’s account while they were sourcing for other avenues for the running of its operation in the nearest future.