Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has reiterated his administration commitment ensure to free, compulsory and qualitative education in the state.
Ganduje who stated this receiving the Kano Correspondents’ Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Award of Excellence and Appreciation as the Father of Modern Free Education in Nigeria 2019 on Saturday, held in Kano.
He reiterated his desire to ensure that Almajirai in the state benefit from his free, compulsory basic and secondary education policy, though most of them are children from neighbouring states.
The governor described the status of Kano as the state with the highest number of out-of-school children in the country, as a challenge that must be faced and defeated.
According to him, with the free school feeding program and free education policy in place, all children in Kano now have the privilege to be educated, just as he charged parents to take advantage of the ample opportunity to send their wards to school for a better future.
He appreciated the award bestowed on him by the Kano NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel, adding that, “we are happy that you identified with the heavily-loaded statement we made here in Kano, which is free, compulsory basic and secondary education for our children.
“We are happy we are sending our children to school free-of-charge. We are happy that we are sending the Almajarai to go and learn just like other children. We want to live a legacy, and we believe that journalists are our partners in progress.”
Ganduje who was visibly excited recalled how he met and recruited his Commissioner of Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, who was two-time President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), into politics.
In a remark, the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta who was also honoured for his commitment to Digital Communication and Cyber Security in Nigeria, described journalists as very important professionals that are indispensable to national development and growth.
Delivering his lecture titled: “Media and Good Governance: Issues and Challenges,” the Guest Speaker, Prof. Balarabe Maikaba, lamented the poor living condition of journalists in Nigeria, and called on the Federal and state governments to take urgent steps to address it.
Prof. Balarabe, a Senior Lecturer in Mass Communication Department, Bayero University Kano (BUK), insisted that journalists, as members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm deserve better pay packages, just like their colleagues in developed countries, considering the risks and hazards attached to their job.
He, however, advised journalists to adhere strictly to the Codes and Ethics guiding their profession and desist from, “blackmail, yellow journalism and sensational reporting.”
In his welcome address, the Chairman of Kano NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel, Comrade Ibrahim Garba Shaibu noted that “Today marks a new dawn in the history of our great chapel. What we are witnessing today is the maiden edition of the Chapel’s Appreciation Award ceremony designed to reward diligence, excellence and uncommon achievements in governance, public administration and success in business, arts and others areas of endeavours.
“By the special grace of God, this event will hold annually. It is our believe that this is a better way to encourage leaders and administrators to put in their best and use their positions to change and lives and the society for the better.
“I am pleased to say that my leadership is in line with the oath I sworn to, has continued to do its best to ensure the welfare of our members. I and members of my executive have continued to rekindle the hope of our members, as well as instilling discipline and the spirit of unionism.
“It is with a heart full of gratitude that I appreciate our own, the Honourable Commissioner of Information, Malam Muhammad Garba for his continued support to the progress of the Chapel and welfare of our members. We are also grateful to the Commissioner of Local Government, Mutala Sule Garo and the Chief of Staff, Alhaji Ali Makoda, for the roles they played to the success of this programme.
Others who received award include the First Lady of Kano state, Prof. Hafsat Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, for being a Promoter of Women in Politics and Development; Alhaji Isyaku Umar Tofa, for his Humanitarian Services; and Dr Jamil Isyaku Gwamna, MD/CEO, Kano Electricity Distribution Company, for his commitment to Youth Employment and Empowerment.