Connect with us

North Direct

Gov. Idris pledges free feeding during Ramadan



Gov. Nasir Idris of Kebbi, on Monday, pledged to identify one Mosque in every Local Government Area (LGA) of the state for free feeding during the holy month of Ramadan.

He made the pledge when he received people of Arewa and Dandi local government areas, who paid him a thank you visit on the victory of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the just concluded re-run election held in the two LGAs.

Recall that Arewa/Dandi federal constituency was one of the constituencies that the re-run election took place on Saturday, Feb. 3, where the APC reclaimed the seat with a slight margin.

Gov. Idris said the Ramadan feeding was meant to earn reward from God Almighty, in addition to satisfying the yearnings and aspirations of people, especially the downtrodden in the society.

He also promised not to appoint persons who were not useful to their community, saying: “before we give anybody a position, we must find out what he/she has done for his people.”

The governor added that the state government, under his watch, would not tolerate imposition of candidates on the electorate, assuring that he would allow people to elect candidates of their choice for smooth democratic governance.

Idris restated the commitment of his administration to spreading developmental projects across the state, observing that the essence of democracy was to execute projects and empower the people.

He promised to renovate residences of District Heads by allocating money directly to the royal fathers to execute the projects themselves to their tastes.

Earlier, Shikon Kamba, Alhaji Mamuda Zarumai, who is also District Head of the area, and one of the APC chieftains, Alhaji Hussani Kangiwa, attributed the victory of the party to the visit of the governor and his wife to the area.

While assuring the governor that they lacked words to qualify their happiness, they said they were in government house to show appreciation to the governor for his gigantic efforts which culminated in victory for the party.

On his part, the elected member representing Arewa/Dandi federal constituency, retired Col. Garba Rabi’u-Kamba, also thanked the governor and promised to ensure quality representation.

He appealed to members of his constituency to support all government policies and programmes at all levels to gain more dividends of democracy.

North Direct

Taxes, levies too heavy for ordinary Nigerians — ACF laments



By Austine Emmanuel, Kaduna

Arewa Consultative Forum, (ACF) has decried the addition of new taxes and levies on essential goods and services, saying it has become increasingly burdensome and too heavy for ordinary Nigerians to bear.

This is as the Forum with concerns called on government at all levels to confront the decline in the living condition of citizens by giving adequate attention to the plights and yearnings of the Nigeria populace.

In a communique issued to journalists in Kaduna on Tuesday after an intense meeting of the ACF National Working Committee, (NWC) the National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Prof. Tukur Muhammad-Baba stated that the need for a roll out of public policy programmes and projects aimed at addressing low purchasing power challenges can never be overemphasised.

ACF in a meeting presided over by the National President, Mike Mamman Osman, SAN called on citizens to rally around the government and seek God’s interventions. They identified justice, equity, love, righteousness, amongst other virtues as factors capable of the rebirth of a prosperous Nigeria in the place of current despair and hopelessness.

The Northern sociocultural umbrella further called on public officials to shun and recklessness in spending of public funds, while noting that such an act will inspire the spirit of needed sacrifices by citizens.

“On the national front, and specifically applicable to the Northern states, NEC notes that the times continue to be tough and challenging for the average citizen who is daily confronted with runaway inflation, unemployment, rapid deterioration in standards of living, all in the face of incidents of insurgency, terrorism and banditry, etc. These problems that have remained dire, acute (or even chronic in some places) in the North in particular.

“The immediate causes of the problems have been policies put in place by government over the past months, including but not confined to removal of subsidies from the prices of petroleum products, floating of the Naira, and astronomical hike in the cost of poorly supplied electricity, increasing tariffs and taxes against the seemingly insensitive profligacy in spendings by public officials, to list a few.

“NEC acknowledges the efforts of the Federal, state and, to a little extent, local governments have been making efforts to tackle the problems identified above. However, overall, it is undeniable, perhaps due to the quantum and widening dimension of the problems, that public policy response to the problems remains weak and ineffective at best.

“NEC noted with grave concern, regrets and decries the continuing, the deterioration or escalation in the spate of insecurity-related incidents in all three (3) geo-political zones under which the northern states are grouped. These problems reflect on the region’s cascading political, social, economic challenges. NEC reiterates ACFs earlier expressed position that the emergent protracted dimension of these problems, if untamed, are harbingers of citizens discontent, social chaos.

“Equally worrisome to NEC is the widening regional disparities in social demographic factors, such as access to education, health public, infrastructure, economic inclusion, political participation, living conditions, etc.

“Governments must move to curb such disparities so as to ensure that Nigeria does not become two-states-in-one. Factors that unify, rather than divide citizens along any lines, should attract the attention of all concerned, government and citizens alike,” the communique read in part

Continue Reading

North Direct

Renewed Hope Initiative: Women in Agriculture, persons with disabilities benefit in Kebbi



By Laiatu Bamaiyi

Wife of the president, Oluremi Tinubu, has disbursed N70 million to 140 women farmers in the North West

The gesture saw 20 women in agriculture from each of the seven states going home with N500,000 each, disbursed under Renewed Hope Initiative Women Agricultural Support Programme (RHI-WASP).

She also disbursed N100,000 each to 100 persons living with disabilities in the region.

The First Lady, while presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries said the Federal Government would continue to empower women to contribute to sustainable development while also helping to achieve food security.

Speaking at the disbursement ceremony in Birnin Kebbi, she said the maiden edition of the scheme was launched in February in Imo State to encourage women farmers to grow more food in line with the agricultural agenda of the Tinubu administration.

The first lady, who was represented by the wife of the speaker, House of Representatives, Fatima Tajuddeen Abbas, in Birnin Kebbi, affirmed commitment to energise women in agriculture to improve production, including animal husbandry.

“Agriculture plays a pivotal role in achieving sustainable development and food security. Consequently, we are introducing ‘Every Home a Garden’ competition to encourage each Nigerian woman to cultivate a garden at home to feed the family and share with neighbours, we want to see food on every table,” she said.

She disclosed the winner of the competition would pocket N20 million star prize.

The ceremony was attended by wives of the governors of Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna, Jigawa and Kano states who also gave goodwill messages.

“Today, we are supporting 20 women farmers per state in the North Central zone with N500,000 each. To this end, a draft of N10,000,000 per state for the North Central zone  Coordinators for onward disbursement to all beneficiaries in their respective states.”

She said the Renewed Hope Initiative will be collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to empower more potential farmers, adding that in this phase, 75 percent of the beneficiaries will be young female farmers while 25 percent will be for young male farmers who will all be specially identified, trained and empowered.

Tinubu stressed that the pre-identified 80 women farmers in each state for the agricultural support programme will be carried along and implored  women farmers receiving support to seize this opportunity to expand their agricultural ventures, contribute to local national food production, and serve as role models for others aspiring to join the agricultural sector.

The event also featured the empowerment of 100 Persons with Disabilities.

Continue Reading

North Direct

Gombe, UNICEF launch N11bn four-year action plan on food, nutrition



…Spend N100m on child nutrition fund

By Rauf Oyewole, Gombe

The Gombe State Government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have launched a four-year Multi-Sectoral Strategic Plan of Action on Food and Nutrition (GMSPAFN), spanning through 2023-2027 projected to cost N11bn.

According to the UN Agency, over 50 percent of children and women in Gombe are anemic, contributing to the high rate of malnutrition, stunting and wasting.

While speaking at the official launch of the action plan in Gombe on Tuesday, the Chief Field Officer of Bauchi, Tushar Rane urged the state to strive to eradicate malnutrition in the state.

Tushar said that the Food and Nutrition Policy would guide the State in addressing the problem of food and nutrition security from individuals, households, communities, local governments to state levels.

“The Costed Multi-sectoral Strategic Plan will promote diets, services and practices that support optimal nutrition, growth and development for all children, adolescents, and women.

“The strategic plan estimates that the interventions across the state would require a public investment of N11,169,423,741.16 with an average annual public investment cost estimated of N2,035,892,400.00 over the next four years (2023-2027),” he said.

Tushar, who was represented by the Field’s Nutrition Specialist, Philomena Irene, said that Gombe state has contributed N50 million as counterpart contribution for the Child Nutrition Fund (CNF) to address all forms of malnutrition particularly wasting, anaemia and stunting.

He said, “Today, millions of young children are not reaching their full potential because of inadequate nutrition.

“It is our hope that the new policy will provide an overarching framework, covering the multiple dimensions of food and nutrition improvement, with the special focus on nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions.”

The UNICEF Chief added that children in the state “are experiencing chronic food poverty. About 30.7 percent of newborns are exclusively breastfed; only 22.5 percent of children aged 6 to 23 months in Gombe receive a minimum acceptable diet and only 8.4 percent receive minimum dietary diversity.

“More than 50 percent of women and children are anemic. These statistics are available in the 2021 MICS. We envisage that the effective implementation of this policy can contribute to alleviating these nutrition gaps in the state. Hence, at UNICEF, we delightfully supported the development of this policy from the scratch. UNICEF mobilised financial and technical support in terms of providing data on nutrition indices and supporting the costing of the policy,” he said.

Also speaking, the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Manassah Daniel Jatau, said that the implementation of the Food and Nutrition Policy and Multisectoral Plan of Action is a task that must be carried out effectively for the optimal nutritional status of residents of Gombe State, within the time frame of 2023-2027.

He admitted that 2023 is gone and that all hands must be on deck “to avoid a situation where set dates and targets by concerned authorities are not met, for example Health for all by year 2000, Shelter for all by year 2000. My contribution to attaining this Policy is that we must encourage an improvement in the production of protein and vitamin sources from our local, indigenous farm produce, such as sorghum, groundnuts, soya beans, etc.”

Continue Reading