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69 per cent of Nigeria’s out-of-school children in the North

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Nigeria needs N959 billion to eradicate open defecation by 2028 -- UNICEF

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday said 69 per cent of Nigerian out-of-school children are located in the northern part of the country.

According to UNICEF, Bauchi State has the highest number with 1.1 million children that are out of school followed by Katsina with 781,500.

UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Nigeria, Pernille Ironside, made the announcement at a Northern Nigeria Traditional Leaders Conference on Out-of-school Children held in Kaduna.

Ms Pernille said a ministerial strategic plan states that Nigeria has 10.5 million children aged 6-14, out of school.

“When we speak of out-of-sohool children, who are they? It is too easy to keep them nameless and faceless. The latest MlCS data tells us that 69 per cent of out-of-school children in Nigeria are in northern states.

“These children are in your communities, on your streets, in the households, in your council area.

“Other sources say the number of out-of-school children is higher. But the focus is not the precise number, the focus should be on boys and girls in your communities who lose out on education, lose out of livelihoods, and lose out on hope and the future they can have for themselves, their families, their communities and their country. Nigeria loses out on a literate and skilled workforce it needs to grow economically.

“Nigeria needs to take leap to bring more children into education and into learning. Partnerships and collective actions are essential.

“This is the reason why we are here today at the Northern Nigeria Traditional Leaders Conference on Out-of-School Children. Together we can take the quantum leap to give more children the opportunity to go to and stay in school,” she said.

Ms Pernille explained that in the North-east and North-west states of Nigeria, more than half of primary school aged girls are not in school.

“There are several reasons why these children are not in school. Gender is an important factor in the pattern of educational marginalisation.

“In the conference, we will not only discuss these barriers, we will focus on actions that need to be taken to reduce them. Many parents in northern Nigeria prefer Islamic education over formal education but they are not mutually exclusive.

“Children need both. They also have a right to learn to read and write, mathematics and develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to be contributing citizens of Nigeria. One approach to address both needs is the integration of basic education subjects into Islamic centres.

“Quranic Islamiyya and Tsangaya to reach more children with basic educaion skills. Approximately 26 per cent of muslim children in northern Nigeria only attend Islamiic education,” she said.

The official also said UNICEF recognises the key role of traditional institutions in northern Nigeria to positively influence parents and ensure that children under their councils are literate.

“UNICEF also recognises the leadership of Sultan of Sokoto for this conference and for his partnership with the Sultan foundation for Peace and Development, FME, UBEC, as well as development partners in changing the story of children in their communities,” she added.

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Cloudy, sunny weather, thundery showers to prevail on Saturday – NiMet

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What the weather will look like on Friday - NiMet

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted cloudy and sunny weather conditions with chances of thundery showers over most parts of the country on Saturday.

NiMet’s Weather Outlook by its Central Forecast Office (CFO) on Friday, predicted partly cloudy to cloudy morning over the central states with day and night temperatures of 29 to 33 and 18 to 23 degrees Celsius respectively.

It added that scattered thundery showers over Abuja, Nasarawa, Bida, Southern Kaduna, Minna and thunderstorms over Mambilla plateau and parts of Jalingo during the afternoon and evening period.

The agency predicted that Northern States would experience partly cloudy to sunny conditions during the forecast period.

It also predicted chances of thundery shower over Yelwa during the afternoon and evening hours with day and night temperatures of 35 to 37 and 21 to 25 degrees Celsius respectively.

According to NiMet, Southern States will experience cloudy conditions with slim chances of rains over the South East coast during the morning hours.

“Later in the day, there are chances of scattered thunderstorms over the region with day and night temperatures of 30 to 31 and 21 to 22 degrees Celsius respectively.

“Cloudy to partly cloudy conditions with chances of scattered thunderstorms and rainfall activities are expected over some parts of the country in the next 24 hours,” NiMet predicted.

(NAN)

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900 Nigeria Airways retirees die

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Nigeria Airways pensioners lament tedious verification procedure

Shu’aibu Alfa, Member Ministerial Committee on the verification of payment of retired Nigeria Airways workers, on Friday revealed that 900 retirees have so far died nationwide from 2004 till date.

Alfa, a captain, who is the Supervisor, Kano Verification Centre, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano.

There are three centres where the ongoing verification exercise for the Nigeria Airways retirees are being conducted.

He said during the 15 years, no fewer than 900 of the retirees died, while the medical cases of some of them became worse, homes were broken and some were in situations beyond human imagination.

“The verification exercise has been going on very well, we made sure retirees were former staff of Nigeria Airways and we have their records.

“We ask questions and when they are certified, we clear them to start the verification process.

“In the verification team, we have people from the Ministry of Aviation, Ministry of Finance, Accountant General’s Office, Head of Service, EFCC, ICPC, PITAD and we also have our representatives on each desk,” Alfa said.

Mr Alfa, who was the Secretary, Nigeria Airways Pilots Association, commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Aviation and the Minister of Transportation, for approving the payment of their long awaited entitlement.

He also commended the support of the traditional rulers, religious leaders, political leaders and many other well-meaning Nigerians.

He appealed to the retirees to exercise patience during the exercise, as the committee was doing everything to ensure they were promptly screened.

(NAN)

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Lebanese convicted for currency trafficking in Nigeria

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Lebanese convicted for currency trafficking in Nigeria

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday secured the conviction one Haytham Aldahrah , a Lebanese who was arrested at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport while trying to board an Egypt Air flight to Cairo for refusing to declare the sum $105,000 and €65,000 respectively to the Nigeria Customs Service.

Upon his arrest, Mr Aldahrah declared the sum of $95,000 (Ninety Five Thousand Dollars) but a search conducted on him, revealed that he was carrying a further sum of $105,000 (One Hundred and Five Thousand Dollars) which he concealed from the authorities.

When the convict was arraigned on October 16, he pleaded not guilty to the two count charge but, two days later changed his plea to ‘guilty’.

In view of his latest plea, prosecution counsel Mohammed Gambo urged the court to convict him accordingly.

Justice Allagoa granted the prayer of the prosecution and convicted the defendant on the two counts charge. The judge sentenced the convict to forfeit 50% each of the undeclared sum he was found with, that is $52,550 and €32,250 to Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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