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EU launches £40m education, youths empowerment scheme in Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa



The European Union (EU) has launched a 40 million euros education and youths empowerment support programme for Sokoto, Kano and Jigawa States.
Inaugurating the programme on Wednesday in Sokoto, Gov. Ahmad Aliyu, described the programme as a landmark achievement towards salvaging educational decay in the participating states.
Aliyu said the programme would surely facilitate the reversal of ugly indicators of out- of – school children and ensure advancement of education sectors in the state.
He explained that the education sector was given priority by his administration, with the highest budget allocation.
This was in recognition of the poor state of infrastructure and service delivery his administration met on the ground.
According to him, banditry has been affecting education in the states where the government trained Community Guards Corps in order to augment the efforts of the security agencies in protecting the schools and beyond.
He pledged to provide the necessary support to the partners, stressing that a youths empowerment scheme had already been started on leather processing, tailoring and other occupations in the state.
Earlier, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi, said the support programme was a symbol of sustained commitment towards improving education and youths empowerment in spite of the challenges faced in Nigeria.
Isopi said schools were witnessing attacks including Almajiiri pupils, reiterating that the EU stands with the citizens and is committed to supporting the country to overcome the challenges.
She added that it was designed to improve healthcare, nutrition, gender equality, safe learning and innovations, overall educational planning and livelihood needs.
According to her, it was a multi- sectoral education and youths empowerment project that will be executed with Conditional Cash Transfers, parental support on agricultural productions and complete improvement of quality education.
In her address, UNICEF Country Representative, Ms Cristian Munduate, said the programme was a significant investment in education.
She said it was also timely to scale effective models on bringing children back to school, improving foundational literacy and numeracy and expanding education information management systems.
” We have come a long way in identifying what works to improve access to education and to improve learning in Nigeria.
” In the North-West, where the partnership will be implemented, our engagement with government, and traditional and religious leaders has been crucial in bringing back 1.5 million girls to school in 6 states.
” The out-of-school problem and learning challenges are significantly exacerbated by a fast-growing child population, poverty, violence, and insecurity in the North-West,” she said.
Munduate said some factors put additional pressure on the education system, which itself was constrained among others, a shortage of classrooms, qualified teachers and lack of data.
She explained that the programme adopted a life cycle approach by supporting students’ educational journey from early childhood education to secondary education
According to her, the programme also recognised that learning can take place in multiple settings, including formal schools, Integrated Quranic Schools and community centres.
” Sokoto State has a high number of out-of-school children and learning achievement in literacy and numeracy is low.
” Through a multi-year grant, Sokoto state will reintegrate children into schools by providing cash transfers to poor households and schools, engaging with communities and creating a safe learning environment.”
She expressed optimism that the programme will enhance learning outcomes by offering continuous teacher professional development, provision of teaching and learning materials and fostering foundational, transferable and life skills.
Munduate said, ” The digital learning tools will enhance the education system’s resilience to shocks like climate events and insecurity ensuring uninterrupted learning.
” Advancing education hinges on adequate financing and reliable data.
”Strengthening planning and decision-making processes will involve investing in robust education information systems and enhancing the system’s capacity to plan, budget, and monitor education financing. ”
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, who was represented by Dr Jabbi Kilgori, the District Head of Kilgori, commended the donors on the initiative and pledged the traditional rulers’ support in order to achieve the desired impact.


Emirate crisis: FG will be held responsible for violence in Kano – Atiku



Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said that the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government would be held responsible if violence breaks out in Kano State over the emirate crisis.

Atiku said Tinubu’s government was inviting anarchy to Kano State by providing security for the deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero.

On Friday, Governor Abba Yusuf had deposed Bayero while reinstating Lamido Sanusi as the 15th Emir of Kano.

Posting on X, Atiku cautioned the federal government against destabilising Kano State.

According to Atiku: “The action of the Federal Government in deploying soldiers in Kano in the tussle over the throne of the ancient city is an upset to the peace and security of the state, and also in breach of the 1999 Constitution as Amended.

“The foregoing circumstances happened within the confines of the law and in compliance with the powers conferred on the governor as provided by Section 5(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended; and also in consultation with the kingmakers of Kano, reappointed Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (also known as Muhammadu Sanusi II) as the 16th Emir of Kano State and accordingly handed him a letter of appointment.

“It is surprising that in the early hours of today, exactly at about 5:30 am the former Emir of Kano, His Majesty Aminu Ado Bayero, backed by Federal might made their way into the Nasarawa Palace of the Kano Emirate while the reappointed Emir, Muhammadu Sanusi II was at the Gidan Dabo, which is the main residence of the Emir of Kano.

“In this wise, the former Emir could not have made his way into the Nasarawa Palace without the support of the Federal Government having done so with the support of the army and other security personnel in his company. The deployment of soldiers in extra constitutional matters such as this undermines the integrity of the Nigerian military.

“We need to remind the Tinubu administration that Kano State is known for peace and harmony spanning thousands of years and any attempt to destablise the peace of the Land of Commerce shall be resisted. Recall that Muhammadu Sanusi II was dethroned on 9th March, 2020: dethroned, Kano forged on in peace without any fracas.

“We wish to state unequivocally that if for any reason, law and order breaks down in Kano State, particularly Kano Municipal, the Federal Government should be held responsible as the act of providing security cover to the former Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero to come back to Kano is an invitation to anarchy.”

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Justice’ll prevail – Deposed Kano Emir Bayero breaks silence



The deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero, has said justice will prevail over the issue surrounding the emirates in the state.

Bayero urged relevant authorities to ensure justice because nobody is above the law.

Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State had dethroned Bayero as the 15th Emir of the state.

Speaking on Saturday, the deposed Emir urged residents to maintain law and order. He spoke at the mini-palace where he has since returned to after his dethronement.

According to Ado-Bayero: “I call on the people to remain law-abiding while awaiting the outcome of the legal process in this tussle.

“We call on the authority to do justice in this matter. Kano is a very influential state in Nigeria. Whatever affects Kano affects Nigeria. May peace reign in Kano. We pray for Allah to bless Kano with responsible and just leaders.

“Justice is the way to go on every issue. There will be justice. Nobody is above the law. We will accept whatever the law says. I appreciate all the people who have shown concern. As I said, justice will take its course. We will keep on praying for peace in Kano State. May Allah the Almighty protect us.”

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Nigerian airports most expensive globally – NAHCO



Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc has set an N100 billion revenue target within the next five years.

The projection was made known by the Group chairman of the company, Dr Seinde Fadeni, at the sideline of its Annual General Meeting held in Lagos on Saturday.

In achieving this, the company noted that it had concluded plans to diversify its investment portfolio to create new jobs and contribute significantly to resolving the country’s foreign exchange crisis.

NAHCO which was established in 1979, provides aviation cargo, aircraft handling, passenger facilitation, crew transportation, refuelling and aviation training services from its base at Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

According to Fadeni, the company is convinced that the food export holds significant potential for foreign exchange earnings because of its impact on the livelihoods and prosperity of Nigerians.

He said though the company is navigating safely around the myriad of challenges confronting the air transport space, he urged the government to look at ways to improve airport infrastructure and reduce the financial burden for airlines and passengers to keep pace with the future growth plan.

He said ” NAHCO believes that the government at the centre should work towards reducing the financial burden for airlines and passengers by reviewing applicable taxes. This way, more payees would be brought into the tax net. Not too long ago, the International Air Transport Association declared that Nigerian airports charge foreign airlines about 27 levies.

“This makes Nigerian airports the most expensive in the world, discouraging airlines from flying into the country. This is not the kind of laurel Nigeria should be proud of. It is a disincentive to investment for both active and prospective investors. The government should address this situation. Government should also heed the industry’s calls for the harmonisation of the regulatory environment, particularly at the ports in a way that aligns with global best practices. The nation’s Ease of Doing Business mantra should be in practice and not in theory only.”

He further said that though multiple cost-related challenges characterised 2023, the increased cost of handling an aircraft cannot be easily passed on to the airline by ground handling companies because any proposed rate hike would require the approval of the industry regulator – Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

He said, “The very act of getting new rates approved has its challenges as well. It is therefore not uncommon to see ticket prices rising geometrically while ground handling rates charged by service providers to airlines remain solidly stagnant.

“Our push towards birthing a global integrated logistic giant is taking good shape with the coming into operations of new subsidiaries.”

Also speaking, its Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Indranil Gupta said the company intends to diversify investment into other sectors of the economy to grow.

“We will continue to leverage our strength and market insights to pursue organic and strategic growth initiatives to expand our market presence and revenue streams

“We plan to comprehensively refresh our fleet of ground support equipment to replace ageing equipment and increase the numbers in our fleet to meet the ever-increasing customer needs and expectations.

“We are already embracing digitalisation and innovation, investing in cutting-edge technologies and solutions to enhance our service offerings, operational efficiency and competitiveness. By harnessing the power of data analytics, automation and predictive maintenance, we aim to stay ahead of the industry trends and deliver superior value to our clients ”

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