The Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) says it has concluded the distribution of sensitive and non-sensitive election materials to its offices in the 44 LGAs.
Chairman of the Commission, Professor Garba Ibrahim Sheka, confirmed this to Channels Television on Friday in Kano, ahead of the local government elections on Saturday.
He said this would facilitate the commencement of the voting process on time and enable them to deal with any shortage of election materials on time.
“We engaged political parties, Civil Society Organisations, elections observer groups and other stakeholders in the distribution exercise to ensure close monitoring and to guard against diversion of materials.
“We have also distributed facemasks and sanitisers to the polling units in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.
“Voting will commence by 8:00 a.m. and close by 3:00 p.m,” Professor Sheka said.
According to him, the Commission is working in collaboration with the police and security agencies to ensure peaceful conduct of the election.
To further facilitate this, he noted that the Commission has recruited 48,000 ad-hoc staff for the council poll in the state.
Garba-Sheka said the Commission had deployed its staff to the 11,500 polling points in the 484 wards across 44 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state for the election.
He explained that four members of staff were deployed to each of the 11,500 polling units, to facilitate smooth conduct of the poll.
“We have trained electoral officers and ad hoc staff to enable them to discharge their duties effectively,” he said.
Commenting further, the Chairman said 12 political parties were vying for the 44 chairmanship and 384 councillorship positions in the election.
Garba-Sheka maintained that no political party has so far indicated an interest in boycotting the election.
While reiterating commitment to a free, fair and credible election, the Chairman urged the voters to cooperate with election workers, observe social distancing and conduct themselves in an orderly manner during the election.
The Kano State Government has approved the re-opening of all public and private health training institutions in the state effective from January 18.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa on Friday.
“His Excellency Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has instructed the re-opening of all public and private health training institutions across the state following a significant reduction in reported cases of COVID-19,” Tsanyawa said.
The institutions include Schools of Basic/Post Basic Nursing and Midwifery, Schools of Health Technology and School of Hygiene.
Dr. Tsanyawa, therefore, reiterated the need for the management of the institutions to ensure strict adherence to all COVID-19 protocols.
Ten persons who were involved in motor accident along between Jigawa and Kano State have been confirmed dead.
The young men were said to have been on theor way from Gagarawa Local Government in Jigawa State to Kano State for the Nigerian Navy recruitment when the accident occurred along Ringim.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Abdu Jinjiri who confirmed their death to Channels Television, said two others were injured and are receiving treatment at the Ringim General Hospital.
According to Jinjiri, the accident involved a trailer and a Volkswagen golf three which was carrying 12 passengers.
“There occurred a fatal motor accident along Hadejia/Kano Road in Ringim Local Government which involved a commercial golf three wagon with REG. NO AA 320 TAR JGW Conveying 12 passengers driven by one Auwalu Muhammad.” Sp Jinjiri said.
He added “the said number of occupants x on reaching Iabdullahii Masallachi area mine x he rammed into stationed daf truck x parked by one Aminu Hassan m’ age 25yrs of malam Madori LGA x after developing a mechanical fault x with registration number DUT201 x Jigawa State.
“As a result, 10 persons including the driver lost their lives while two are responding to treatment x corpses released to relatives”.
The Federal High Court in Kano State has discharged and acquitted a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali, who was accused of receiving N950 million as campaign fund from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2015 presidential election.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Mr Wali and Mansur Ahmed on three counts of the allegation, saying the act contravened Section 1 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.
Delivering the judgment on Friday, the trial judge Lewis Allagoa, said the prosecution failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Thereafter, he discharged and acquitted the defendants.
“Accordingly, we wish to express our concern on the tagging of Friday as ‘Black Friday’ and further inform you that the majority of the inhabitants of Kano State are Muslims that consider Friday as a holy day,” the letter signed by the Principal Executive Officer II, Abubakar Ali, on behalf of the Commander-General, Hisbah stated.
It added that “in view of the foregoing, you are requested to stop calling the day ‘Black Friday’ with immediate effect and note that the Hisbah Corps will be around for surveillance purposes with a view to avoiding occurrence of any immoral activities as well as maintaining peace, harmony and stability in the state.”
The Kano State Hisbah Board is charged with enforcing Sharia law in Kano State. Black Friday, an informal term used for the Friday following the Thanksgiving Day in the United States, is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
It is widely used as a promotional day for promotional sales and goods are sold at discounted rates.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N62.7 billion for the construction of the Dawakin Tofa road in Kano State.
The council approved the funds on Wednesday, noting that the project is expected to last a duration of 24 months.
Meanwhile, FEC also approved the ratification of Nigeria’s membership of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area from the Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment.
“The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, presented a memo today asking the Chief Executive Council to ratify the membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area,” the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed said.
“You will remember that on the 7th of July 2019, Nigeria signed the AFCTA agreement in Niamey during the 12th extraordinary session of the assembly of the African Union.
“The effective date ought to have been July 2020 but as a result of the pandemic, it was postponed to the 1st of January 2021 and all member states were given up to the 5th of December to ratify the agreement. That is precisely what Nigeria did today. The Federal executive council approved our membership of the AFCTA and as such, we have beat the deadline.”
Below are some facts to note about the agreement.
1. The agreement was brokered by the African Union (AU) and as of April 2019, 22 countries had ratified the agreement – the exact number of states needed to allow the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), come into effect.
2. It has a goal of creating a single market – the African Continental Free Trade Area, followed by free movement and a single-currency union.
3. The free-trade area is the largest in the world in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.
4. Member states are required to remove tariffs from 90% of goods, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent.
5. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52 per cent by 2022.
The Kano State Executive Council has approved the sum of N9, 834, 917, 458.61 billion as budget estimate to be financed from the contributions of enrollees and other approved sources and N301, 855, 669.80 million for capital expenditure of the state Contributory Healthcare Management Agency.
The state commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba who made the revelation during a press briefing on Saturday on the outcome of the council’s meeting which held at Aminu Kano House, Asokoro, Abuja, said the approval was to enable successful conduct of its activities for improvement of health of the people of the state in its drive towards universal health coverage.
He said the contributory healthcare scheme has entered its third year of implementation and enrollees are happily accessing healthcare in the engaged health facilities of their choices.
Garba also said that the council has approved the implementation of the 2020 Saving One Million Lives Programme-for-Results (SMOL-PforR) work plan in the state which is estimated to cost N2, 301, 271, 504.00 billion.
The commissioner said that SMOL-PforR is a Federal Government-led initiative aimed at improving health indicators.
He also announced the council’s approval for the procurement of two skyworkers and one skystairs at the cost of N65, 421, 062.44 million to the state Metropolitan Agency (KASMA) as part of steps being taken by the government to transform the metropolitan Kano to its megacity status.
The commissioner revealed that the council has approved the review of contract for flood control at St. Louis Secondary School, Sule Gaya road and Bompai Police Barracks from the initial contract sum of N40, 185, 236.33 million to N60, 226, 314.14 million to facilitate the smooth execution of the project.
Malam Garba said that as part of efforts to actualize the state Independent power Project from Challawa and Tiga Dams, the council has approved a six-month extension in respect of the consultancy services rendered by Messrs MBS Engineering Consultancy Services on power evacuation projects at the sum of N96, 578, 680.67 million.
He said the council has also approved the release of N63, 916, 365.76 million for award of contract for the construction and furnishing of a storey block of 12 offices and two conference rooms at the state Primary Healthcare Management Board headquarters to improve healthcare delivery in the state.
In a similar vein, he said the council has approved the sum of N23, 205, 946.07 million for general renovation of physical structures at Science and Technical Schools Board headquarters that involves the construction of physical planning and consultancy block, conference hall block, external work and general office furniture.
Malam Garba also stated that the council has ratified the executive approval granted for the general repairs, renovation and provision of additional structures at the Psychiatric Hospital Dawanau at the total sum of N163, 019, 404, 89 million; furnishing/equipping of the upgraded Fagwalawa Cottage Hospital in Dambatta local government and the award of the contract to Vagare Investment Limited at the cost of N69, 908, 220.26 million.
The commissioner added that the extension was informed by the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic resulting in low activities in most project sites in the state.
He said the council has approved the ratification of approval for the revised estimated total cost of the rehabilitation of Asphalt and Quarry Plant at Panisau at the cost of N39, 007, 499.95 million as additional cost of the project.
Among other things, the commissioner also announced that the council has approved the revised estimate cost of N303, 680, 300.17 million for the asphaltic concrete overlay of Ganduje-Saye road awarded to Gerawa Global Nigeria Limited.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has said that the multi-billion naira economic city under construction has reached over 70%, as his administration hopes to boost commercial activities in the country.
Speaking to State House correspondent on Wednesday, after a closed-door meeting with vice president Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Ganduje noted that the project has state-of-the-art features that would boost productivity and service delivery.
The project, which sits on 117.2 hectares of land, was commissioned in 2016.
It is a joint venture development agreement between the state government and Brains and Hammers Ltd, and the Governor believes the completion which is at an advanced stage will be an answer to the over-populated markets in Kano.
“Kano is a megacity, highly populated and therefore commercial activities must be encouraged, and so all the markets are terribly filled up because we need to expand them.
“So to create a new economic city is the answer and it has reached an advanced stage and there are so many facilities there; apart from the shops, there are mega-hotels, banking halls, and also, there are trailer parks and so many other things you expect to see in an economic city and the work has reached over 70%,” the Governor revealed.
Governor Ganduje also informed journalists about the efforts his administration is making to ensure that the compulsory free education from basic to secondary is implemented.
He stated that an education promotion committee has been set up with initial funding of N20 million for schools that need to be renovated.
The Ganduje added that the committee would interface with well-to-do indigenes from local governments who would contribute to funding free education in the state.
He said, “We have designed a package for direct labour, rehabilitation, and renovation of our respective schools; now we have created an education promotion committee and we have given them the sum of N20 million to identify schools to be renovated, with the scope of work to be undertaken and we have given them three weeks to complete that project so that there will be a report and our engineers will give a report.
“They will also invite the well-to-do indigenes of the local government who will also provide their own contribution.”
The Governor added, “After completion of the report, they will tell us how much they have been able to gather from the indigenes of the local governments and then we will give them money, and you know we have declared education to be free and compulsory from basic to secondary, so we have to involve community participation.”
Governor Ganduje also revealed that the state has been able to pay up to date, the counterpart funding for the Universal Basic Education Programme.
He also revealed how the state will generate adequate funds for the free education initiative for school children in Kano.
“I am happy we have been paying our counterpart funding for UBEC and we are up to date.
“And also, we have an education trust fund of which 5% of our IGR and 5% of the revenue earning from the statutory allocation of the local government and also, 2% of all contracts that have been awarded in Kano. We opened a basket where we keep such funds,” the governor stated.
Kano State government has suspended all Sallah activities and directed Emirs across the state to use motor vehicles going to Eid prayer grounds instead of the usual horses.
Addressing a news conference after the state executive council meeting, the state Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba said commissioners and other top government officials have been directed to monitor strict compliance on the use of face mask and social distancing during the congressional prayers.
“The council, after deliberations at its weekly meeting held on Tuesday at Africa House, Government House, Kano, agreed that the conduct of Eid congregational prayers across the state would be under strict observance of safety protocols.
“The congregational prayers will be strictly supervised by government officials to ensure compliance,” the Commissioner stated.
Kano State has one of the highest COVID-19 recovery rates in Nigeria, according to data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
As of Sunday morning, June 5th, 2020, Kano has 1,264 cases of the virus out of which 1,024 have been treated and discharged, meaning the state has a recovery rate of 63 per cent, one of the highest so far in the country.
The data from the NCDC shows that of the reported number of infected persons in Kano State, 52 have died with 188 still active.
Although as at Sunday morning, Lagos had the highest number of discharged COVID-19 patients in Nigeria – 1,653 – the figure only accounts for about 15 percent of the 11,045 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state.
Lagos State has also reported 132 deaths from COVID-19, with 9,260 still active, the NCDC figures indicated.
“That information is not correct because we undertook some survey and investigation (about the initial report of 70 deaths),” he said.
“We found out that it was only 13 deaths in that place and we will soon get a complete report but I assure you that that information is not correct.”
He added that “looking at previous reviews, there is nothing to show that there is an unusual frequency of deaths.”
‘Triggered’ By COVID-19
Following the dust the spike in death in Kano State generated, the Federal Government set up a Ministerial Task Team on a fact-finding mission to the state and five others.
Speaking after the visit of the team which he described as a game-changer, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the deaths recorded in Kano may have been ‘triggered’ by COVID-19.
“With regard to unexplained deaths in Kano which occurred in April, the team confirmed from graveyard records, that a total of 979 deaths were recorded in 8 municipal LGA in the state at a rate of 43 deaths per day, with a peak in the second week of April,” Dr Ehanire said during a briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Monday, June 8.
“By the beginning of May, the death rate had reduced to the 11 deaths per day it used to be. The verbal autopsy revealed that about 56% of deaths had occurred at home while 38% were in a hospital. With circumstantial evidence as all to go by, investigation suggests that between 50-60% of the deaths may have been triggered by or due to COVID-19, in the face of preexisting ailments.”
The Kano State Executive Council has approved the sum of N2.36 billion for the provision of critical infrastructure at the proposed site for the development of Inland Dry Port at Zawachiki in Kumbotso local government area of the state.
According to a statement signed by the state Commissioner of Information, Muhammad Garba, on Saturday on the outcome of the weekly council meeting which held at the Government House, Kano, the council also revisited the issue of the light rail project and revalidated the N1billion aspect of design works earlier approved in 2017.
Garba stated that the council equally approved the amended external loan of 684, 100,100.00 Euros for the project.
Meanwhile, the commissioner announced the council’s approval for the establishment of the Kano State Anti – Corruption Institute as part of the administration’s effort to strengthen its fight against corruption.
He further stated that the sum of N429, 248, 588.00 has been approved for the 2020 Routine Immunisation Work Plan.
According to the statement, approval has also been given for the release of the sum of N11,344,000.00 for the conduct of Batch ‘C’ N-Power enrollment exercise to be coordinated by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG).
He said that during the council meeting, which is the 12th into the second tenure of the administration of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the Council also deliberated on the Report of the COVID-19 outbreak response.
The Lagos State Government has stopped the reopening of worship centers initially scheduled for Friday, June 19 (mosques) and Sunday, June 21 (churches).
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced the decision at a press briefing on Tuesday.
According to him, the development became necessary as a result of the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state.
“Dear Lagosians, in the most recent guidelines which we issued on the gradual easing of the lockdown, based on the advice of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, I noted that we would shortly be permitting the restricted opening of religious houses, on the condition of strict compliance with detailed guidelines issued by the Lagos State Safety Commission.
“We have been closely monitoring the situation since then, and have now concluded that we cannot proceed with any form of re-opening for places of worship in Lagos State, until further notice,” Sanwo-Olu said.
“This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, it is simply in line with our ongoing evaluation of evolving scenarios regarding the course of the infection in Lagos State and the corresponding public health advisory guidelines issued by the experts.
“So, let me say this again: we are now hereby suspending, with immediate effect, the plan to re-open religious houses and places of worship in Lagos State, until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and continue to base our decision-making on data modelling; as well as on the responsibility we have to act in a manner that ensures the protection of all of you the people of Lagos State.
“Therefore, until further notice, all places of worship in Lagos State will remain closed. Social and events centers, and social clubs, will also remain closed, for now,” he added.
On Monday, Nigeria recorded 573 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 16,658.
Of the new infections, Lagos reported the highest figure with 216 new cases, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 7,319.
Consequently, the state has remained the epicentre of infections in the country, closely followed by the FCT with 1,264 and Kano state with 1,158.
To curb further spread of the virus, the Federal Government had in March, imposed a lockdown on the three majorly affected states at the time (Lagos, Ogun State and the FCT).
Subsequently, other states began to impose varying degrees of curfews and governors eventually agreed on interstate lockdowns as they began to record new infections.
But weeks after the federal government-imposed lockdown, President Muhammadu Buhari announced again that there would be a gradual easing of the lockdown in order to allow economic activities resume as the country could not sustain an extended period of economic inactivity.
While essential workers and other levels of workers have been allowed to resume so far, the government has still appealed to those who can afford to stay at home, to do so.
Reducing interpersonal contacts and maintaining social distancing of up to 2-3 meters is said to be one of the ways to curb the spread of the virus but that in itself has proven to be a difficult task for most Nigerians.
Other measures to stay safe include sneezing or coughing into your elbow, washing of hands regularly, use of alcohol-based sanitizers and wearing of face masks.
While most businesses have been allowed to resume with strict adherence to the above measures, schools, cinemas, clubs and other places of mass social gatherings remain shut.
However, on June 1, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 lifted the ban on religious gatherings in the country.
While the PTF had said it does not recommend that people resume at places of worship, it noted that if they have to, they must adhere strictly to the guidelines, some of which include the mandatory use of face masks by worshippers and provision of handwashing spots at the entrances.
Also, the use of hand sanitizers with at least sixty per cent alcohol content and mandatory temperature checks was advised.
The PTF also mandated that facilities be structured in a way that physical distancing can be observed and as much as possible, congregants avoid activities such a hugging, shaking or kissing.
In addition, it noted that church/mosque volunteers (ushers, choir, security etc) that have underlying illnesses should not be allowed to serve, while the time for worship services should not be more than one hour.
Following the announcement, states began to lift the ban placed on worship centers.
In Lagos State, the governor on June 4, announced that worship centers could reopen but limit the capacity of persons per time to 40%.
For larger worship centers, he said the maximum of attendees should be 500 persons per time.
The reopening was to commence on June 21 for churches and June 19 for mosques.