The Federal Government has selected six northern states for the pilot phase of its Open Schooling Programme (OSP).
OSP which was launched in early 2019 is an open learning programme aimed at reducing the high number of out-of-school children in the country.
The beneficiaries, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kano, Adamawa and Niger, are among the 10 states which, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), are worst hit by the problem.
According to UNICEF, eight million children are out of school in the 10 endemic states, which include Bauchi, Zamfara, and the FCT.
OSP is a collaborative effort between the government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), an educational development platform of The Commonwealth.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a five-day workshop for OSP Content Developers and Centre Managers opened in Abuja on Monday.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, said the intervention was informed by government’s concern about the high number of out-of-school children in the country.
Represented by Mr Edwin Jarummai, the UBEC boss said the programme was designed to last for two years with an option for expansion.
He added that UBEC would not relent in its series of effort aimed at curbing the challenge.
“UBEC, as part of its statutory responsibility in the Act 2004 to put in place measures that will address the Out-of-School-Children (OOSC) initiative, enter into collaboration with COL to introduce the OSP in the country.
“To this effect, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between UBEC and COL in July 2019, and the agreement is for the programme to last for two years with an option to extend, “he said.
The UBEC boss added that 51 content developers had been selected for the programme to run in 58 learning centers in the six states.
Bobboyi said: “Fifty-one content developers have been selected for the programme.
“The selection was made by the states in conjunction with relevant stakeholders like NERDC, SUBEBs, Education Resource Centers, National Teachers Institute and universities,” he said.
Dr Tony Mays, Consultant COL said that the whole idea was the importance of e-learning and to help children get back to school.
“We hope at the end of the training, everybody who is part of the workshop will be able to develop some content which will be based on Nigeria schooling curriculum and will be freely available as open education resources.
“We also hope that the results of this initiative will be available for no fewer than 10.5 million out-of-school children back to school in the country.”
Hajiya Khadija Jibo, Head of Unit, OSP, thanked UBEC and COL in putting together the building blocks for the implementation of the initiative. (NAN)]]>
Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State has signed an Executive Order restricting the use of motorcycles and tricycles between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. across the state with effect from Jan. 20.
The state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Alhaji Ahmed El-Marzuq announced this on Wednesday in Katsina.
“Section 5, sub section 2 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, conferred on the governor power to sign the order.
“The order is Motorcycle and Tricycle Restriction Movement 2020. Under the order, he has prohibited the movement of motorcycles statewide from the hours of 7pm to 6am, with effect from 20th January, 2020.
“This order shall apply to all and sundry in the state.
“However, there are exceptions. The order shall not apply to the members of the armed forces, the police, other paramilitary agencies like the FRSC, civil defence, immigration, customs and other security agents,” he said.
He said it is pertinent for all and sundry to obey the order, warning that violators would be jailed for up to one year with option of fine or both as prescribed by the penal code.
El-marzuq said that the measure was aimed at protecting the lives and property of people of the state.
“Most of the kidnappings and other criminal activities are perpetrated within these hours using this means of transportation.
“People are not restricted to move, they can use motor vehicles.
“By the time the situation normalise, the order will be reviewed,” he said.(NAN)]]>
The Emir of Daura, Alhaji Farouk Umar has commended the loyalty of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN to President Muhammadu Buhari and their commitment to the transformation of Nigeria, describing their relationship as unequalled in the history of the country.
Alhaji Farouk who stated this on Saturday in Daura at the turbanning ceremony of Alhaji Musa Haro as Dan Madamin Daura said, the honesty and commitment shown by the Vice President and his relationship with President Buhari, is what Nigeria requires to attain greatness.
According to the Emir, “I want to specifically commend the Vice President for his loyalty, his commitment and dedication towards the transformation of Nigeria to its present state.
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“We are fully aware of the situation President Buhari and his deputy, Osinbajo, met the country but today, things are changing for the better because of their efforts.
“This is attributable to the excellent working relationship between President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo. Prof. Osinbajo is the most honest person and leader Nigeria has produced in recent times.
“His relationship has remained cordial with Buhari largely because of his honesty, I commend you, Vice President. I am particularly happy with the Vice President for the way he has shown loyalty to President Buhari, Daura Emirate is extremely grateful, for your commitment and confidence transforming Nigeria despite the challenges.”
The Emir urged Vice President Osinbajo not to relent in his efforts noting that it would facilitate the actualisation of the goals of the Buhari administration.
He pldeged the support of the traditional institution in the transformation agenda of the administration.
“The traditional institution will continue to support the policies and programmes of this administration so that the dreams of building a new and better Nigeria can be actualised,” he added.
Dan Madamin is one of the highest traditional titles in the Daura Emirate Council.
The vice president graced the event along side Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustpha, Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State and Deputy Governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Mannir Yakubu.
By Shehu Danjuma
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has slated by-election for Sabuwan constituency in Katsina state House of Assembly for Nov. 30, 2019.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Zarewa, disclosed this on Wednesday in Katsina during a news conference.
“The by-election will be conducted following the death of Alhaji Mustapha Abdullahi in a motor accident on July 25, 2019 on Funtua-Zaria road,” he said.
He said the commission had directed political parties to conduct their primaries on or before Oct. 24 to produce their candidates for the poll.
Zarewa disclosed that the commission had slated Nov. 8 for the submission of form CF 001 for nomination of candidates.
He said INEC had also slated Nov. 18, 2019 for the submission of names of party agents by the political parties.
Zarewa said that 63,135 voters were registered by INEC in the constituency and only 61, 991 collected their Permanent Voters ‘Cards (PVCs) leaving 1, 142 PVCs uncollected.
He said that those who had not collected their PVCs would be allowed to do so before the election. (NAN)]]>
Irked with the poor power supply they get, leaders from five communities in Daura, Kastina state, yesterday told President Muhammadu Buhari that the communities hardly have 24 hours light except if he (Buhari) is around.
Mohammed Saleh, one of the leaders disclosed this when Buhari hosted the leaders for Sallah celebration.
Saleh, according to TheCable, said; “Anytime the President is around we enjoy 24 hours power supply. But if he is not around, the power supply is not always stable.”
In his response, Buhari said; “Truly, the people know and understand my mission. This is what the votes showed. The administration will dwell on our campaign issues – security, economy and corruption. We will fight for the poor,” he said.
Katsina Stage governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has signed an amended Act of the Penal Code law prescribing the death penalty for the offences of kidnapping and cattle rustling.
Henceforth, also, any person convicted of the offence of rape will be sentenced to life imprisonment, apart from paying relevant fines and compensation to the victim.
Speaking on Friday at a ceremony at the Government House, Masari said government took the decision to review the laws to serve as deterrent to persons who might have the intention of committing the heinous crimes.
The governor also signed an amendment to the Criminal Justice Act as recommended by the Federal government, pertaining to the administration of justice in the country including speedy trial of cases in the various courts.
According to Masari, “as you are all aware, Katsina State is currently facing certain security challenges. The two laws: the penal code especially sections dealing with kidnapping, cattle rustling, rape and other related offences.
“Cattle rustling and kidnapping are now capital offences which attract the death penalty. The offence of rape carries a penalty of life sentence apart from fines and compensation to the victim.”
Katsina State within the past few months joined Zamfara and Kaduna states in acquiring the inglorious tag of notoriety in kidnapping and cattle rustling as bandits continue to unleash terror on a number of communities in the area, killing residents without restriction and burning down entire villages.
From Batsari to Faskari and Dan-Musa and Kankara local government areas, the bandits strike and retreat into the Rugu forest, while surviving residents flee, sometimes to nowhere and in most cases the security agencies arrive several hours after the attacks.
The latest massacre of 18 farmers at a Batsari community last Tuesday might as well be a reflection of the situation in villages and semi-urban centres in the eight local government areas which bandits have since turned to killing fields.
Apparently worried by the development, the Federal government on Thursday despatched senior military and police officers to Katsina for an assessment of the security situation.
The resurgence in the wanton killings by bandits in Katsina State comes several weeks after the launch of a special security task force tagged, “Operation Puff Adder,” specifically designed to fight banditry in the area.
The membership of the squad is drawn from the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), IGP Special Tactical Squad (STS), Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD), Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
According to the Katsina State Commissioner of Police, Salisu Buba, personnel from the squad would be camped in three strategic locations which cover all the eight frontline local government areas. As the police boss stated then, “the squad has the mandate to tackle crimes in all parts of the state, in addition to flushing out bandits and other criminals from the frontline local government areas.”
Parts of Batsari, Jibia, Safana, Dan-Musa, Faskari, Sabuwa, Dandume, Kankara and parts of Kafur local government areas of Katsina State share boundaries with the Rugu which reportedly stretches from the neighbouring Niger Republic covering parts of Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna states.
Troops of Operation Sharan Daji have killed 21 bandits, captured 17 and rescued 89 persons taken hostage by the hoodlums in Zamfara and Katsina states.
Giving an update on the operation in a statement, Major Clement Abiade, the acting Force Information Officer, Operation Sharan Daji, said the incident happened between January 22 and January 28, 2019.
He explained that no fewer than 55 of the freed captives were held captives in Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
Abiade said they had been debriefed and reunited with their families, adding that most of them were from communities in Zamfara State.
He also disclosed that two bandits’ informants, Musa Amadu and Auwalu Mutairu, were arrested at Danfumi village in Birnin Magaji and were currently assisting troops with intelligence.
“It is significant to inform the general public that 11 civilians and one vigilante were killed by the bandits during the period in focus.
“It is also important to state that six persons were kidnapped at Asoula village in Tsafe Local Government Area and not in Birnin Magaji as reported by some media houses,” he said.
Fred Ezeh, Abuja
United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), on Thursday, confirmed that Kano and Katsina states account for over 30 percent of children affected with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in Nigeria.
Both states are among the states in Nigeria with high population. Katsina has produced twin Nigerian presidents and Kano prides itself as Nigeria’s center of commerce.
The UN children agency said it was saddened that both states are not among the epicenter of Boko Haram activities like the three northeast states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, but have high number of SAM affected children.
Its 2018 Nigeria Nutrition Health Survey (NNHS) revealed that over 2.6 million children under the age of five, are threatened by SAM and three north east states, regrettably, accounted for larger percentage of the children.
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The report revealed that one in two children in north east and north west are stunted while one in five children in the south face the same challenge of stunting.
UNICEF Nutrition Expert, Dr. Bamidele Omotola, told our correspondent that the situation has assumed national emergency status that could portend huge danger to the health of future generation if not properly addressed.
He insisted that government, community and religious leaders and must rise to salvage the posterity of northern children.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom government through its agency responsible for administering foreign aid, the Department for International Development (DFID), said it contributed to the procurement of over 200, 000 cartons of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) to carter for 240, 000 children being affected with SAM.
Its Nutrition Officer, Dr. Martin Jackson, said the intervention brought life to few of the affected children. He suggested that double of such intervention is required to urgently protect the lives of children.
A 25-year-old suspected armed robber and cattle rustler, Ibrahim Umar, says he acquired an AK47 rifle for N470,000 to aid his cattle rustling operations.
Umar, described as dangerous by the police, was among 17 suspects paraded for various crimes at the Katsina police command headquarters on Wednesday.
Umar, who is better known as Oro, is a resident of Yankuzo Village in the Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
He told Northern City News that he acquired the AK47 rifle “in the bush” and could not really identify the seller of the weapon.
“Yes, I acquired an AK47 rifle for N470,000 while in the bush and I was using it for the cattle rustling operation,” he said curtly in response to questions about his gun-handling skills.
The Commissioner of Police, Katsina State, Besen Gwana, said Umar had voluntarily confessed to being a member of a 15-man armed robbery/cattle rustling gang hitherto operating in Katsina and Zamfara states.
Umar was said to have displayed special skills in arms handling before the police.
He was also said to have confessed that he participated in more than 30 different armed robbery/cattle rustling operations both in Katsina and Zamfara states.
The commissioner of police said Umar equally confessed to killing four persons during operations at a village in Gusau, Zamfara State.
Two of his brothers, Haladu Rabiu, 15 and Rabi’u Yahaya, 20, were said to have been killed through accidental discharge.
Gwana stated that Umar would be arraigned in court after police investigation.]]>
From: Agaju Madugba, Katsina
Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State, has ordered the immediate demotion of Principal, Unity Junior Secondary School, Malumfashi, Malam Nuradeen Abubakar, and Head Teacher, Rimaye Model Primary School, Kankia, Malam Yakub Ibrahim.
A Katsina State Government House statement, on Wednesday, also noted that Governor Masari equally directed that the Principal of the Senior section of the Unity Secondary School Malumfashi , Malam Nasiru Muazu, be sternly warned to sit up and face his responsibilities with more commitment.
According to the statement signed by Masari’s Senior Special Adviser on Media, Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, “The Governor further directed that all retired secondary school teachers still living in government quarters must vacate the houses with immediate effect, saying that the government does not owe gratuity to any retired teacher in the state.
“The Governor’s directives came as a result of his dissatisfaction with the condition he found the schools, suggestive of indifference by the management, when he visited on Sunday, 15th May, 2017.
“The schools which are undergoing unprecedented rehabilitation, have some of the renovated sections looking very dirty and unkempt due to neglect by teachers and students. Indeed, a part of the wall surrounding the Malumfashi Unity Secondary school , which had only recently been re-erected broken down to create an an illegal entrance.
“And, at the Rimaye Model Primary School which has also been comprehensively renovated, most of the doors and windows were found to be ajar and at the mercy of the elements.
“The action, the Governor stated further, was aimed at sending a warning to other principals and head teachers to sit up or face similar or worse punishment.
“The Governor dismissed the claim of the retired teachers still occupying official quarters of not being paid their gratuity as incorrect, declaring that Katsina State government is not indebted to any retired teacher as everyone has been paid their gratuity to the last kobo.”