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NBC proposes Joint Technical Committee to resolve Kebbi, Niger boundary dispute

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The National Boundary Commission (NBC), has proposed a Joint Technical Committee towards resolving the lingering interstate boundary dispute between Niger and Kebbi states.

The Director-General of the commission, Mr Adamu Adaji, made the proposal in Abuja on Friday, during a joint meeting of officials from the two states to agree on way forward.

Adaji explained that the Kebbi State Government had written to the commission, over an alleged encroachment of their lands in Bagudo Local Government Area by the people of Kwankoso Community of Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State.

He added that the government had asked the commission to resuscitate action towards ensuring that the boundary between the two states was clearly defined and demarcated.

He recalled that in 2005, a Joint Committee had identified and articulated some documents adjudged to be relevant in the definition of the boundary.

He, however, said that the expected fieldworks to translate the documents to a physical demarcation on ground could not be carried out over the years.

Adaji expressed optimism that the technical committee, if constituted, would re-visit identified documents and re-evaluate their appropriateness for use in the definition and demarcation of the interstate’s boundary.

He explained that the meeting was organised to find a lasting solution to the boundary dispute.

He also advised the two states to establish a functional Local Government Boundary Committees in each local government area, to prevent boundary disputes from escalating into a crisis.

“There is also the need for the committees to investigate and articulate all facts on the issues and submit report to the State Boundary Committee as inputs for the state’s position:

“There is equally the need for a physical fieldwork to trace the boundary in accordance with relevant documents, if available, or the use of the principle of ground-to-paper, to supplement the insufficient relevant documents.

“The NBC will re-visit the identified documents and re-evaluate their appropriateness for use in the definition of the boundary.

“States and the Local Government Committees should enlighten and sensitise the affected communities on the essence of interstate boundaries, the importance of peaceful co-existence and solicit their cooperation during the field work,” he said.

The DG also called for a joint sensitisation of the affected communities, preparatory to the fieldwork to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

He explained that the Kebbi and Niger interstate boundary spans about 640-kilometre, adding that in 2004, a Joint Committee articulated a set of documents for use on the boundary.

He, however, said that the expected fieldwork was not carried out due to some challenges beyond the commission’s control.

“As we know, both Kebbi and Niger States emerged from what used to be the North-Western State of Nigeria.

“Niger and Sokoto States were created out of the then North-Western State in 1976 with the separation of what used to be the Sokoto and Niger Provinces. This development created a Sokoto- Niger inter-provincial boundary.

“Subsequently, with the creation of Kebbi State out of the former Sokoto State in 1991, part of the hitherto Sokoto and Niger interstate boundary was transformed into the present Kebbi and Niger interstate boundary,” he said.

In his remarks, Surveyor General of Niger, Mr Idris Auna, agreed with Adaji that the dispute required a technical approach that would ensure proper and physical demarcation of the boundary.

Similarly, Mr Sadiq Diggi, Special Adviser to Gov. Nasir Idris of Kebbi on Boundary Issues, also supported the establishment of the technical committee to effectively resolve the crisis.

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Senate summons Minister of Education over stranded Nigerian students abroad

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The Senate, on Tuesday, summoned the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, and the leadership of the Federal Scholarship Board over the delay in the payment of outstanding grants to Nigerian students stranded in other countries.

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to impose appropriate sanctions on officials responsible for the pain and suffering the students are going through.

This is just as the upper legislative chamber said Prof. Tahir would provide a detailed report on the status of all Nigerian students under international scholarship programmes including a breakdown of their unpaid entitlements.

The Senate in plenary on Tuesday also urged its President, Godswill Akpabio, to, as a matter of urgency, “carry out a holistic investigation into the matter and ensure that necessary measures are taken to rectify this situation promptly.”

The resolution of the Senate followed a motion on a matter of urgent importance moved by the lawmaker representing Kwara Central Senatorial District, Salihu Mustapha.

He said, “These scholarships are part of a broader initiative to promote specialised education through partnerships with foreign institutions, facilitated by entities such as the Federal Scholarship Board under the Federal Ministry of Education.

“This initiative supports the government’s commitment to Bilateral Education Agreements and Multilateral Agreements with the Commonwealth and other international partners.

“There are reports of Nigerian students facing hardships in Algeria, China, Morocco, Russia and the United Kingdom due to non-payment of tuition and living stipends, leading to negative media coverage and national embarrassment.

“The recurrence of these issues suggests systemic failures, despite previous interventions by this distinguished chamber to prevent such situations.”

He added, “The Federal Government’s failure to meet its financial commitments under these international agreements for over ten months, will jeopardise the welfare and academic progress of the affected students.

“The failure to fulfil these obligations not only undermines our national reputation but also poses significant diplomatic concerns and risks pushing our students towards unlawful activities to sustain their livelihood abroad.”

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Shettima, Atiku, others attend Lamorde’s burial in Abuja

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Dignitaries from various walks of life gathered at the National Mosque in Abuja on Tuesday to pay their last respects to a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde.

Vice President Kashim Shettima; National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu; and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar were among those who attended Lamorde’s  Jannazah (funeral prayer).

Also in attendance were the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum and the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintri, among others.

PUNCH Online earlier reported the burial schedule as announced by a former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, on his X handle.

The former EFCC boss died at the age of 61 in Egypt while undergoing medical treatment on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Atiku has prayed that Allah grant the deceased eternal rest.

Taking to his X, he posted, “It was with a heavy heart that I joined the funeral prayer for the late Ibrahim Lamorde at the National Mosque this afternoon.

“I pray that his family and friends be comforted. May Allah SWT forgive his sins and grant him a peaceful return. Amin.”

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Senate passes bill to reintroduce old national anthem

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The Senate has passed the bill seeking to make provision for Nigeria to revert to its old national anthem.

The Upper Chamber passed the bill following deliberations on a report presented by Tahir Monguno, the chair of the judiciary committee.

The Senate decision followed that of the House of Representatives which earlier passed the bill.

The old anthem “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” was replaced with the current one “Arise, O Compatriots in 1978.

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