Kano-Port Harcourt Train Services Begin

Nigeria-air-conditioned-trainTrain services from northern Nigerian State, Kano, to Pot Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, have started, twelve years after the Nigerian government launched a revitalisation project of the railway.

The mixed service train will leave Kano to Port Harcourt every Thursday and from Port Harcourt to Kano every Tuesday.

At the commissioning ceremony of the new trains in Kano on Thursday, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Cooperation (NRC), Adesiyi Asijuwade, said train services in Nigeria was back on track.

The first Kano-Port Harcourt mixed train services was in 1914, technically carrying both passenger and goods from the north to southern part of Nigeria.

However, in view of the ongoing efforts by the NRC, train services are now being resuscitated in phases across Nigeria.

Two 68-seater air conditioned modern first class passenger couches had been put in place to traverse a rail distance of 1,139 kilometres, stretching from Kano to Port Harcourt, with stops at some cities across Kano, Kaduna and Benue among other states in the south.

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, represented by the Speaker State House of Assembly, Alhassan Doguwa, assured the corporation of the State government’s continued support and patronage.

At the event, the Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sunusi II, urged the management of the NRC to ensure continuity of the train services at an affordable price in order to allow free flow of economic exchange between the south and northern parts of Nigeria.

“We are indeed happy that train services from Kano to Port Harcourt have returned and we pray that Allah will ensure the continuity of the program and may it be a source of our economic strength,” the Emir prayed.

During the British colonial era, train services were regular and one of the best means of transportation in Nigeria, but lack of maintenance of the infrastructure led to a huge setback in that sector, forcing business owners to rely solely on the use of trucks for the movement of goods from one part of the nation to the other.

The dearth in the sector further affected the movement of agricultural produce from farm settlements that were located in towns where the rail line traverse.

The resuscitation of the train services will no doubt bring succour to farmers that may need to move produce from Kano to states along the rail line and in southern Nigeria.

Kano Govt. Debunks Movement Restriction On Sundays

muhammed garbaKano state government has debunked reports  peddled around, alleging that the state has banned Christian residents from going to church on Sunday’s as part of new policy of operation keep Kano clean. 

In an interview with Channels Television, the State Commissioner of Information, Muhammad Garba described the story as false as it lacks any iota of truth.

However, according to the government spokesperson, Muhammad Garba the administration extended the monthly sanitation up to Sunday but only for the staff of the State Refuse Management and Sanitation Board. (REMASAB)

Earlier on Saturday, rumour started in Kano about the possible restriction of movement on Sundays due to the ongoing aggressive refuse clearing exercise by the State Government, many Christians were traumatized as they feel unsafe due to the decision.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kano, Bishop Ransome Bello, says the state governor Abdullahi Ganduje has assured him that there was nothing like movement restrictions on Sunday and urged all Christians to discard such rumours and continue with their worship on Sundays.

Christians are therefore seen going to church as REMASAB continues its clearing exercise.

Military Alone Cannot Win Boko Haram War – Akinrinade

MilitaryA former Chief of Defence Staff, General Alani Akinrinade, says the military alone cannot win the war against the Boko Haram terrorists, as it requires the support of the political class, businessmen and indeed all citizens.

The former Defence Chief, who spoke at a security seminar organised by non governmental organization, Gusau Institute in Kaduna North-West Nigeria, maintained that for Nigeria to rout out the insurgents from the north-east, every citizen must assist the military in one form or another through information sharing and intelligence gathering.

The keynote speaker and the Executive Director of the Institute for Security Studies based in South Africa, Dr. Jakkie Cilliers, was of the opinion that Nigeria and indeed Africa have the potentials of controlling at least 20% of global power by the year 2040 if its present and upcoming leaders would enthrone good governance and transparent leadership.

According to him, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia and Algeria have made significant progress over the years in terms of infrastructural and economic development, but lamented that some other countries in the continent that are being ravaged by war and other economic challenges have made this success insignificant.

Serving state governors, technocrats, serving and retired military officers as well as members of the diplomatic corps, converged on Kaduna for the security seminar with the theme; “Power and Influence in Africa”.

Some of the state governors gave the assurance that the Nigerian Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to enthrone good governance by tackling corruption which many consider the major cause of the country’s underdevelopment.

The governors include that of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje and his Kaduna State counterpart, Nasir El-rufai.

The Gusau Institute, established by a former Minister of Defence, General Aliyu Gusau, offers training and research on good governance and enhancement of peace and security in Africa.

Kano Governor Sets Up IGR Committee, Flags Off Sanitation Exercise

Ganduje sets up igr committeeKano State governor, Mr. Abdullahi Ganduje, has set up an Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Committee to tackle the state’s current financial situation and also reduce over dependence on federal allocations.

The committee which was given four weeks to submit its report will also recommend to the government possible ways of increasing the state’s IGR.

The state is said to have over three billion naira debt to settle, among other liabilities.

The Chairman of the committee, Professor Isah Dandago, a Professor of Accounting from Bayero University, Kano, said he chaired the same committee in 2003, but the report which should have tackled the situation was abandoned by the then government.

The committee is, however, optimistic that the situation will be over if government will work on their recommendation after four weeks.

The governor has also flagged off a 7-day sanitation exercise tagged ‘Keep Kano Clean’, in all the 44 local governments of the state.

Mr. Ganduje also directed the state’s sanitary inspection workers to closely monitor house-to-house compliance.

Kano Government To Embark On Aggressive Revenue Generation

KanoIn the face of Nigeria’s oil revenue crisis, Kano State Government is set to embark on an aggressive internally generated revenue programme backed by an anti corruption agency that will prosecute corrupt government officials.

Addressing journalists on his new master plan, Kano State Governor, Abdulkahi Umar Ganduje, said that his administration will be committed to serving the good people of Kano State.

Ganduje said that he would begin with a rigorous drive for internally generated revenue to be able to complete the ongoing projects and introduce new ones.

In addition, Ganduje will establish an anti corruption agency to fight anyone who may be involved with any form of corruption.

Although Mr. Ganduje would have to settle a debt liability of N379 billion naira incurred from the Government of Mr. Kwankwaso, he was optimistic about his master plan’s chances of success, insisting that the huge debt will not stop him from performing.

On the security situation, Ganduje said that he would soon set up a security trust fund as part of step to bring the security problems in the state to an end.

The trust fund will be charged with the responsibility of sourcing fund to assist various security agencies in the state.

Shettima Emerges New Chairman Of Northern Governors Forum

Shettima_BornoThe Governor of Borno State, Mr Kashim Shettima on Monday emerged Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum.

The body, which has 19 members, also voted Kano State Governor-elect, Abdullahi Ganduje, as Vice Chairman.

Shettima will replace the outgoing Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, whose tenure ends this month.

Speaking after the closed-door meeting held at the Niger State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, Aliyu said the northern governors were determined to mediate in order to unite governors across party lines for the development of the nation.

Aliyu said, “The goal is to mediate and unite the Nigeria Governors Forum, that has been fragmented in the past few years.”

He explained that the northern governors resolved, among other things, to address the Boko Haram insurgency in the North, tackle the problems of poverty, marginalisation and unemployment.

Aliyu added that the forum was also working with the office of Vice President, Namadi Sambo, to revive the New Nigeria Company, located in Kaduna.

In his acceptance speech, Shettima assured his colleagues that under his leadership, governors would unite in the war against Boko Haram menace.

He also promised to work together with his colleagues, irrespective of religious, ethnic or political affiliation, to confront the challenges confronting the North.

Ganduje, Others Get Certificate Of Return

GandujeKano State Governor-elect, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has been served with his Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kano State, North West Nigeria.

The Certificate of Return was handed over to the elected representatives by the INEC National Commissioner in charge of North West region, Ahmed Wali.

This was after observing one minute silence for the late Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mikhail Abdullah, who died during a fire incident shortly after the presidential elections in Kano.

Speaking shortly after receiving his Certificate of Return, the State Governor-elect, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, thanked the people of Kano State for turning out en masse to vote for him. He promised to work hard for the betterment of economic activities in the state.

Mr Ganduje also pledged his allegiance to the constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He charged Kano residents to continue to have confidence in government by way of extending their support and corporation for the progress and development of Kano State and Nigeria in general.

All others newly elected as members of the National Assembly have also collected their Certificates of Return.

Ganduje Declared Winner In Kano, As APC Sweeps State Assembly

KanoKano State Deputy Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has been declared winner of Saturday’s governorship elections under the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

Announcing the results, the Kano State collation officer, Professor Muhammad Hamisu, said that Ganduje scored 1,546,434 votes to defeat his PDP counterpart Salihu Takai who polled 509,726 votes.

A total of 2,109,811 votes were cast out of the 2,238,369 accredited voters from a total of 5,006,713 registered voters across the 44 local government areas of the state. 2, 073,165 votes were valid while 36,646 votes were rejected.

The All Progressives Congress, APC, also won all the 40 seats of the state House of Assembly in Kano State.

In Katsina State, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bello Masari of the APC was declared winner having polled 943,815 votes to defeat his PDP counterpart Mr. Musa Nashuni who scored 496,768 votes.

The APC also won the 33 seats in Katsina State and all the 25 seats in the Zamfara State House of Assembly respectively.