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Editor’s Pick: 74% of children in Jigawa are multi-dimensionally poor – UNICEF



Editor's Pick: 74% of children in Jigawa are multi-dimensionally poor – UNICEF

…Says it’s an emergency call for policy makers, politicians, to improve current human development situation*** 

In spite of Jigawa being reportedly rich in gold, the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has declared that about 74 percent of Jigawa State children were multi-dimensionally poor.

Zamfara is one of the epicenters of banditry and the entry points for its pupils into the federal unity schools, had been allegedly very low.

The Chief of UNICEF Kano Field Office (KFO), comprising Kano, Katsina and Jigawa, Mr. Rahma Farah, stated this at the launching of the State’s 2022 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) in Dutse on Thursday.

“Today we have gathered in Jigawa to launch the findings and results of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 6) for the Jigawa state.

“This MICS survey was carried out in 2021 and the results are released in Aug. 2022.

Gov. Mohammad-Badaru-Abubakar

“MICS is a survey carried out at the household level to provide statistically sound and comparable data on key development indicators related to children, women and vulnerable groups in the society.”

Farah said children in Nigeria faced severe multi-dimensional deprivations.

The official added that in the Northwest of Nigeria, almost all states were having multi-dimensional poverty rates higher than the national average.

According to him, about 65 percent of Northwest children are multi-dimensionally poor.

Farha, however, added that among KFO states, Jigawa had the worst child deprivation rate as 73.9 percent of children in the state were multi-dimensionally poor.

He noted that the high rate showed a striking reality that children’s rights in the state were not being fulfilled.

“Most children in Jigawa are deprived of their basic rights for survival, protection and development.

“The MICS results from 2021 for Jigawa State reveal that while the state has made significant progress in some indicators, there are still indicators that either did not improve (such as the case of child birth registration) or are still below the national averages such as the under-five mortality rate.


“For example in health, Jigawa has the highest under-five mortality, compared to the other two states of the Kano Field Office – with  70 points more than the national average,” he said.

Farha further stated that in spite of the high under-five mortality, from 2011 to 2021, the state (Jigawa) reduced its under-five mortality by 37 percent, a substantial progress that needed to be continued and sustained.

He stressed the continuous need for effective health and nutrition interventions to reduce under-five children’s deaths by carefully analysing and addressing the underlying and contributing causes that precipitated them.

In terms of immunisation, MICS Data for 2021 indicate that Jigawa State made significant improvement in Penta III coverage.

In education, 44 percent of children that are supposed to be in primary school are still out of school, according to him.

The official added that in terms of learning achievement in schools, the MICS 2021 introduced a new foundational learning module that measured the level of foundational numeracy and literacy skills of children between the ages of seven and 12.

He further stated that the MICS data showed that the learning achievement situation in the state was deeply worrying.

“We are seeing that less than two percent of the children assessed have demonstrated foundational reading and numeracy skills. This is an urgent call for immediate action.

“Today’s launching of the MICS in Jigawa is an urgent call for action.

”This is an emergency call for policymakers, community leaders, civil society organisations, politicians, state parliamentarians and international actors across all sectors to put in the most effort and design innovative strategies to improve the current human development situation in the state.”

This is especially for improving the well-being of children and women who suffer the most, he said.

Responding, the Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning, Alhaji Babangida Umar, expressed concern over some of the outcomes of the survey.

Umar, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Budget and Economic Planning Directorate in the ministry, Aminu Adamu, said Gov Muhammad Badaru of the state had raised concern over the development.

“Concerns were raised on some of the outcomes of this survey at a meeting where His Excellency was present.

“His Excellency (Badaru) and others have raised concerns on why in spite of all efforts of the government, some indices or outcomes are very poor.

“Jigawa is second in the country in terms of provisions of potable drinking water, also in the area of health, education and other sectors we’re doing our best.

According to him, the governor is expected to set up a committee to seat with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to find out why the negative outcomes are so.

“However, we understand that surveys are very essential in assessing yourselves. So today’s meeting is very critical for us to help our sectors restrategise to mitigate some of our challenges,” the Commissioner said.

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MAN Warns: Cash-strapping may lead to 25% Drop in Sale of locally-made goods



MAN Warns: Cash-strapping may lead to 25% Drop in Sale of locally-made goods

 The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Friday in Lagos, warned that Cash-strapping may unwittingly lead, to a 25 percent drop, in the sale of locally-made goods.

The Director General, MAN, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, stated this, emphasizing the need for the CBN to intensify efforts at ensuring a seamless transition from old naira to new naira notes, as anything to the contrary would be inimical to manufacturing.

He said if the current hardships being experienced in accessing money persisted for the next three weeks, there would be a possible drop of 25 percent in monthly sales of made-in-Nigeria goods.

He noted that as purchases from the retail end, mostly transacted in cash dry up; there would be a sharp drop in wholesale purchases leading to a glut of unsold inventories in factories.

He added that the situation which was no good for manufacturing, for the government and for the ordinary citizen would lead to compounded crippling lack of patronage for the domestic manufacturer.

Ajayi-Kadir also stressed that the development would also deny government the revenue that would have accrued from consumption taxes and result in the disruption of the daily life and need of the average Nigerian.

“To be clear, there is no doubt that the currency redesign is desirable; there are socioeconomic and political imperatives for the change.

“It is a critical element of the CBN cashless economy policy that should have far-reaching positive results for the economy.

“However, the continued scarcity of the newly redesigned naira notes is quite worrisome.

“With our growth prospects heading further south, we can ill afford a downturn in our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“The negative impact it portends for local producers, the agricultural and distributive segments of our economy is huge.

“It may worsen the bashing our economy has received from both external and internal shocks in recent times,’’ he stressed.

Ajayi-Kadir cautioned that adequate measures should be put in place to ensure a smooth currency transition, particularly in the unbanked areas of Nigeria.

He charged the CBN and Bureaux de Changes to be most engaging at the highest level at this time.

According to him, there is a need for strategic communication and joint operations to ensure widespread and sustained availability and circulation of the redesigned naira notes.

“It is baffling to approach a bank only to be told that there are neither the old nor the new naira notes.

“We hope that the resumption of payment across the counter in the banks and the intensification of the CBN special cash swap arrangement in remote areas will yield positive results.

“I hope that what the country is experiencing is temporary pain and that government will do well to bring the hardship to an end immediately.

“We must make haste to ensure that the price to be paid for this otherwise laudable policy does not outpace the gains,’’ he also cautioned.

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Disdain Towards Nigerian Passport: My regret as Foreign Affairs Minister – Onyema



Disdain Towards Nigerian Passport: My regret as Foreign Affairs Minister – OnyemaDisdain Towards Nigerian Passport: My regret as Foreign Affairs Minister – Onyema

…Shed tears, when he saw Nigerian girls forced into prostitution in Libya***

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, says his regret as minister is the disdain with which Nigerians are being treated outside the shores of the country and upon siting their international passports.

The Minister disclosed this in Abuja at the 22nd edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023) organised to project the achievements of the government.

Onyema was responding to a comment by a journalist who expressed displeasure about how Nigerians travelling abroad were being subjected to harassment upon sitting on their green passports.

The Minister agreed with the position of the newsman and attributed the challenge to the desperation of many Nigerians who took desperate and illegal measures to travel out of the country.

“If there is one thing that I look back to with the greatest regrets in my seven and half years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is the situation of Nigerians in foreign countries,” he said.

The minister gave some of the instances he had witnessed and had to wade in to rescue trapped victims in the middle of the desert.

“I went to Libya and I actually shed tears when we went to this camp where they were holding Nigerians.

“There is that whole issue of slavery and of course, all the exploitations that go with it and they told us that there were only a hundred or two hundred Nigerians there,”

“So, we went to the yard and it was one of the most touching things I ever experienced.

“We have all these young boys, 13, 14, 15 years old and they all came out, over a hundred of them and they all stood up to attention,” he narrated.

The minister continued: “As soon as they saw us, they started reciting the Nigerian national anthem and tears came to my eyes.

 “We were told that the girls were used as prostitutes at night.

“When we saw them, the girls told us there were more Nigerians and we insisted they should bring them out.

“Lo and behold, twenty minutes after, they brought out another set which was about 200 Nigerians.

“The President gave directives, that we should charter planes in order to get them out and we did.”

Onyema attributed the despicable situation to the push factor leading a lot of young Nigerians to take desperate and ridiculous risks through the deserts and the high seas.

He said when they even finally got to their so-called dream countries, they got involved in drugs and all sort of crimes which made it difficult for Nigeria’s passport to be respected.

“Those of us in government have to blame ourselves, particularly in the immigration and even in foreign affairs,” he said.

Onyema narrated another scenario where the U.S., Ambassador to Nigeria came to show him the list of Nigerians that were issued visas through Note Verbal to go to the U.S. but they never attended the events they were scheduled for, but absconded.

He said he was also shown the list of those who were not respecting their visa deadlines and requirements, including top Nigerians.

The minister said all the illegal acts and sharp practices contributed to the manner Nigerians were being treated with disdain abroad when they cited their passports.

“In order to reverse the situation and ensure Nigerian passport is given the due respect it deserves, we all have to work hard and behave ourselves.

“We are all suffering from this because we have people with genuine missions seeking to travel abroad looking for visas and they are denied.

“It is a challenge for each and every single one of us and it is impacting negatively on our country.

“We all have the responsibility to salvage the situation,” he said.

Onyema said President Buhari had never rested on his oars on the issue because whichever country he travelled to, he stressed to Nigerians in Diaspora to be good ambassadors of their country.

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Digital Economy Crucial to Nigeria’s Dev’t — Pantami



Digital Economy Crucial to Nigeria’s Dev't — Pantami

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami on Thursday said the sector was crucial to the realisation of Nigeria’s full potential.

Pantami said this in Abuja at a two-day workshop on Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS), a flight demonstration within the Nigerian Airspace by Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Ltd using the NigComSat-1R payload, the L-Band.

The NigComSat-1R navigation (L-Band) payload provides Navigational overlay Services, which have disruptive applications in the aviation and non-aviation sectors.

The event was organised by the SatNav Africa Joint Programme Office (JPO), in collaboration with the ANGA programme and NIGCOMSAT and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).

The overall aim was to provide a knowledge-sharing platform to support stakeholders’ decision-making in the creation of synergies.

This is to enable the collective reaping of benefits provided by SBAS in the continent, including safety, efficiency and environmental protection benefits.

The minister said communication and digital technology was the key enabler of other sectors like security, defence, health, agriculture, education and aviation.

“The satellite covers part of the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean, it covers parts of Asia and Europe.

”Our satellite here in Nigeria has the capacity to provide the navigation overlay services.

The Nigerian Communications Satellite has the capacity to support the implementation of the SBAS not only in Nigeria but in the whole of Africa with 54 countries,” Pantami said.

He, however, urged African nations to consider the Nigerian Communication Satellite when the need arises.

Pantami also said the deployment of SBAS by using the navigation overlay services would significantly improve accuracy of signal, its availability and integrity.

“I have directed NIGCOMSAT to collaborate and reach out to the aviation sector to ensure successful implementation of SBAS in Africa,” he said.

The Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT Ltd, Mr Tukur Lawal said the success of the flight demonstration underscored the need for collaborative efforts by the relevant agencies.

He said that this would facilitate the efforts of the Federal Government in meeting the desired goals of a digital Nigeria, which he said would bring unprecedented results.

”For NIGCOMSAT Ltd to contribute its own quota in digital economy and industrial revolution, we cannot remain in the comfort zone, but rather look for areas of exploring the market both local and international.

”We will give all the support needed and innovations that will meet and convert all weaknesses to successes,” Lawal said.

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