Senate Urges State Govts To Ensure Financial Inclusion For Poor Citizens

File photo of Senator Uba Sani

 

The Senate Committee on Banking and Other Financial Institutions has urged state governments particularly in the northwest zone of the country to ensure financial inclusion for poor citizens.

They raised the concern on Sunday that over 70 per cent of adults in the northwest zone are financially excluded while addressing reporters in Kaduna.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Uba Sani, who attributes the problem to factors such as insecurity and lack of access to financial systems, urged the Northern Governors to come with a sustainable framework as soon as possible.

He described the situation as a threat to the realization of the Federal Government’s poverty reduction plan.

While stating that his committee and the Central Bank of Nigeria are keen on the issue of financial inclusion and desirous to see millions of poor Nigerians empowered through the extension of credit to them, Senator Sani says state governments must hasten the establishment of microfinance and community banks to help deepen access to financial services in the rural communities, where the majority of the country’s excluded population live.

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Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has yet again reiterated his administration’s commitment to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, saying it is achievable if there is synergy between the government and the people.

Speaking during the commissioning of the first National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) Integrated Farm Estate in Katsina on July 19, President Buhari noted that reliance on oil had turned a drawback on the economy over the years, with unpredictable and fluctuating global prices that made it more difficult to effectively plan budgets, implement and measure outcomes.

He said the mainstay of the Nigerian economy remains agriculture, where the country already commands a competitive advantage, with good weather conditions for crop and livestock farming, available manpower and willingness to learn new skills and good soil types for all-season farming.

“We can do it, and we will do it. No excuse will be good enough to remain a mono-economy with all the challenges in oil production and fluctuating global prices when we have vast opportunities in crop and livestock production,” the President said.

The recent rise in banditry, kidnapping and herder/farmer clashes has, however, had a huge impact on the ability of farmers to freely go about their businesses.

Nigerian Army Vows To Intensify Efforts In Tackling Terrorism

 

The Nigerian Army has pledged to intensify efforts in its fight against all forms of insecurity in the northwest region, specifically in Zamfara State and its environs.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Burutai, represented by Major General Lamidi Adeosun, gave the assurance on Monday during the inauguration of exercise Harbin Kunama III.

He believes that the exercise which was planned to hold from July 2 to 27, 2019, will help to reinforce troops in the region.


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He added that the Force was optimistic that it would help to stamp out kidnapping and all sorts of insecurity that are bedevilling the northwest.

“It is on this premise that Exercise Harbbin Kunama III is planned to mitigate the current threats to security challenges bordering the region, specifically Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara States,” Adeosun said at the Headquarters Brigade 1 in Gusau, the state capital.

The assurance comes on the heels of fresh attacks which left several persons killed and property destroyed in Zamfara.

On March 3, at least 30 persons were reported killed by armed men who raided a Kware village in Shinkafi district of the state, and burnt several homes.

Three soldiers were also said to have been killed in another attack in state.

Troops Intercept Gunmen, Recover Ammunition In Katsina

Troops, NSCDC, KatsinaTroops of 35 Battalion, One Brigade of the Nigerian Army in a joint patrol with officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Katsina State, have killed a suspected cattle rustler and recovered weapons.

A statement by the Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, revealed that the troops and the NSCDC, under the auspices of “Operation SHARAN DAJI”, carried out the operations along Tsambe-Fafare road in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State, northwest Nigeria.

“The operation was predicated on information received by well-meaning citizens that three gunmen were sighted on motorcycles.

“The team swung into action and pursued the suspected armed bandits towards Dumburu forest in Zamfara State.

“During an encounter, the team killed one of the suspected cattle rustlers and armed bandits while the other two escaped with gunshot wounds,” the statement read.

Colonel Usman said that the troops recovered an AK-47 rifle with registration number 1985PS6288, additional AK-47 rifle magazine and three rounds of 7.62mm (special) ammunition.

He hinted that another combined team arrested a notorious cattle rustler and armed bandit, Abubakar Mohammed, otherwise known as Gora with his accomplices, Anas Gora and Bello Sani, during special raids operations along Faskari-Sheme-Mairuwa road also in Katsina State.

The team recovered 49 cattle and 25 sheep from the group and handed them over to the police.

The recovered animals have been handed over to Faskari Local Government Area Council Secretary for handing over to the rightful owners.

Troops Kill 10 Suspected Terrorists, Arrest 64 in Kaduna

troopsTroops of One Division of the Nigerian Army have killed no fewer than 10 bandits and suspected terrorists in various joint operations tagged “Operation Restore Peace II” in the Northwest zone of the country.

During the operation, 64 suspected terrorists and bandits were arrested and handed over to the Police and the Department of State Security (DSS) for further investigations and prosecution, while 119 cattle, sheep and goats were also recovered from rustlers and bandits who have been terrorising people from the zone.

The zone comprises of Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna, and Kano, while the operation has extended to Niger and Kogi states in the north-central.

According to a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations of the One  Division Headquarters in Kaduna, Colonel Usman Abdul, the operation was carried out by a combined team of Nigerian Army, Nigeria Air Force, Police, DSS and Customs Personnel among others.

Colonel Abdul said: ” In Kaduna State and its immediate environs, the expanded security outfit involved in the operation have made recovery of 2081 animals like cattle, sheep and goats. 27 suspects were arrested and lots of weapons were recovered from the bandits.

“In the axis of Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi States over 3027 animals which included cattle, goats and sheep were recovered. 33 suspected bandits were arrested with 11 weapons seized in the course of the operation.

All the suspects were handed over to Zamfara DSS and the Police Command while the animals were handed over to Zamfara State government officials.

“Similarly in another joint operation,  covering Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States, the troops recovered a total of 2011 animals ,4 suspects arrested and 10 bandits were killed during encounters and 8 assorted weapons recovered.

“Arrested suspects were handed over to Katsina Police Command, while animals recovered were handed over to Katsina state government officials.”

Colonel Abdul noted in a statement that since the commencement of the operation calm has been restored to the area, farming and commercial activities has commenced.

He said the Army and other security agencies in Kaduna have through various operations been able to reduce and subdue activities of bandits and insurgents, warning supporters and sympathizers of bandits to desist in their activities as the Division is poised to uproot them from the zone.

Syria Air Raid Kills 6 Children From Same Family

SYRIA 1Six children from the same family were killed in an air strike by government forces in a village of the northern province in Aleppo on Wednesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing local residents, said three boys and three girls from the  family died in raid on Wahshiyeh.

The village is located in a rebel-held area of Aleppo province that has come under constant aerial bombardment since late last year.

The Human Rights groups has slammed the regime for its air strikes saying, they fail to discriminate between Military targets and Civilian areas.

According to the observatory group on Tuesday evening, a 15-year-old child was killed in an air raid on Latamneh in the central province of Hama and seven-year-old girl died in army shelling near Jisr al-Shughur in Idlib province, northwest Syria. In the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, which is controlled by the Jihadist Islamic State, a regime air raid also killed a six-year-old girl.

UN report has put the number of person that have died as a result of the Syrian conflict at 170,000, including more than 9,000 children. it has also forced nearly half  of the country’s population to flee their homes.