Kano state Governor Umar Ganduje has reiterated his commitment to ensure that every child in the state gain unhindered access to free, compulsory and qualitative education.
Ganduje stated this while 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”, held at Bristol Palace, Kano state north western Nigeria,
He also expressed his desire to ensure that Almajirai in the state benefit from the free, compulsory basic and secondary education policy, despite the fact that most of them are from neighboring states and other countries.
He said the status of Kano as the state with the highest number of out-of-school children in the country is a challenge that must be faced and defeated.
With the free school feeding programne and free education policy in place, all children in Kano now have the privilege to be educated. Parents should 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.”
“Journalists are part of governance. You criticize us. You criticize our policies, and you make us get down to work. Sometimes, your reports get us angry, sometimes your reports make us laugh. But in all, you put us on our feet and always remind us of the mandate we have with the people. Indeed, you are partners in progress and we will continue to partner with you for the development of our dear state and the welfare of the good people of Kano state.” said Ganduje.
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.
Danbatta who assured Nigerians that NCC is doing everything possible to ensure that they get adequate services from service providers, confessed that the achievements recorded so far, under his watch at NCC “would not have been possible without the partnership, contribution and cooperation of the media.”
He further appreciated journalists for helping to propagate and disseminate the activities of NCC, while assuring Nigerians that “NCC have already solved the problem of receiving unsolicitated messages from service providers,” adding that “in recent times, over one million complaints received from tele-com consumers were resolved.”
Delivering his lecture entitled: “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 who is 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 “as the watchdog of the society, we will continue to hold government accountable and ensure that good governance is always in place for the development of the society and good living standard of the masses.
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.