Sahara Reporters Latest News Tuesday 27th November 2018

Sahara Reporters Latest News Tuesday 27th November 2018

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 27/11/18

Read also Leadership Newspapers News Today Tuesday 27th November 2018

E2%80%99s-vocal-box-damaged-cannot-sing-or-perform-while target=_blank>Tekno’s Vocal Box Damaged… Cannot Sing Or Perform ‘For A While’

These are trying times for Nigerian singer, Augustine Miles Kelechi, popularly known as Tekno, as his health seems to be failing him, his management has revealed.
Tekno, who became a household name in 2013 after the successful release of his single ‘Holiday’, has been battling to get back to full health. 
In a post on Instagram, the singer’s management team led by Ubi Franklin called on Nigerians and the fans of the singer to pray for him.
Although the nature of his illness was not disclosed, the statement by his management revealed that Tekno’s vocal box was affected and he won’t be able to perform or sing “for a while”.
The statement read: “These past few months have been really trying times for your favorite boy TEKNO MILES.
“He had tried to down play the severity of his ailment hoping it will be short-lived, but after further diagnoses, doctors have advised that he takes time out to fully recover. His vocal box is temporarily damaged due to strain from overtime performances and cannot sing or perform for a while. 
“Please put Tekno in your prayers. Nevertheless, he also wants to reassure his fans that they have nothing to worry about because he has put in so much work so a lot of great music will be released during this period. Please send love and positive vibrations his way as this is a hard time for him. Thank you.”

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target=_blank>Ganduje Donates N10m To EFCC, ICPC Marathon In Honour Of Buhari’s Anti-Corruption War

Abdullahi Ganduje, Governor of Kano State, has donated N10 million to the organisers of the EFCC-ICPC Anti-Corruption Marathon.
The donation was made by the Governor for the first National Anti-Corruption Marathon organised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Crimes (ICPC), Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and other stakeholders, in honour of President Muhammadu Buhari, for his fight against corruption.
A statement by Ameen Yassar, Director–General, Media and Publicity, Government House on Monday, disclosed that the donation was made when the Governor received members of the main organising committee in Abuja.
He promised that the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Commission would collaborate with the organisers as an official partner, to ensure success of the event.
According to Ganduje, his administration not only engaged in sensitising the citizenry on the evils of corruption, but also reorganised and strengthened its anti-corruption agency to offer optimal professional services.
His words: “Before now, people find it difficult to access the services of the agency, but we established offices across the 44 local government areas so that the services can be available to the common man.
“We also facilitated the recruitment of additional personnel and subjected them to training by professional agencies like EFCC and ICPC so that they can deliver. We also ensured cooperation with these agencies and that attracted international organisations to support us in reinforcing our anti-corruption system.”
He noted that as a result of the renewed professional and vigour of the state anti-corruption agency, highly-placed individuals such as permanent secretaries in the state civil service and a commissioner were removed and prosecuted for involvement in fraudulent practices.
Jacob Onu, leader of the delegation that visited the governor, told the Governor that the organisers intend to “use the image and popularity of marathon races to create massive awareness and bring together all segments of the Nigerian population in support of Mr. President’s fight on corruption in all facets of national life”.
“This will strengthen unity among the citizens of this country and also satisfy the desire to exploit and harness the abundant talent in our youth for national integration,” Onu added.
According to Onu, the campaign was aimed at raising national consciousness on the scourge and danger of corruption to the country and humanity in general.

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target=_blank>73-Year-Old Prominent Adamawa Doctor, Wife Gunned Down By Unknown Assailants

Dr. Mwajim Malgwi, an Adamawa State-based medical doctor, and his wife Elizabeth were reported killed on Sunday evening on their farm on the outskirts of Yola by unidentified gunmen.
Othman Abubakar, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), confirmed the killing, saying: “Yes, Dr. Malgwi and wife were murdered by unknown gunmen on their farm at Boggare near the state capital.”
Dr. Malgwi, who is the proprietor of Freedom-Poly Clinic Yola, and his wife were brutally murdered in their car when assailants opened fire on their car.
Nuhu Malgwi, son of the deceased couple, told SaharaReporters: “My late parents who could barely harm a fly were murdered on their farm by only God knows who.

“Those who escaped and fled the scene only told us that they sighted two men on a motorcycle rushing towards the seating position of Baba and Mama.
“Alarmed by the unwelcomed strangers, they scampered to safety in the sorunding bush while my parents jumped into the car to drive off but rammed into a tree where the attackers cought up with them and opened fire on the car, killing both of them.”
Also on Saturday, Spandin Kalkiyan from Fawaire, a village in Girei local Government Area of the state, was gunned down by suspected herdsmen while harvesting his rice.
Incidents of violence and killings in Adamawa are creating terror and palpable apprehension across the state, especially as the killers remain unidentified.
Late Dr Malgwi was Commissioner for Health in the old Gongola State from 1988 to1989. He was aged 73.

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target=_blank>Buhari Counters APC NWC, Says Aggrieved Party Members Can Go To Court

President Muhammadu Buhari has countered the position of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC) asking aggrieved members of the party to withdraw all cases related to the primaries in court.
He made his position known in a statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), on Monday.
According to Buhari, the court should “always be the last resort for the dissatisfied”. Therefore, he urged members of the party who feel displeased to approach the court for redress.
“We can’t deliberately deny people of their rights. We agreed that party primaries should be conducted either through direct, indirect or consensus methods, and if anyone feels unjustly treated in the process, such a person can go to court. The court should always be the last resort for the dissatisfied. For the party to outlaw the court process is not acceptable to me.”
In a decision ascribed to the National Working Committee (NWC), the APC had threatened to punish members across the country who institute court cases over election primary matters.
Buhari also advised members to “work with the reconciliation committees empanelled for the six geo-political zones by the APC, and not a purported Presidential Committee on Reconciliation, stressing that the Party is the only body authorised to constitute such committees”.

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target=_blank>BREAKING: Buhari Approves Increase In Salaries Of Policemen

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the increase in the salary of the Nigeria Police Force.
He made the announcement during a meeting with security chiefs on Monday in Abuja.
According to a statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), Buhari said his administration will continue to give attention to the welfare and operational needs of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) with a view to restoring its lost primacy in the internal security framework of the country.
Speaking during an audience in State House, Abuja with members of the Nigeria Police Service Commission and the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force on a ‘Thank You’ visit following his approval of Rank Salary Structure Adjustment, which will see an increase in the allowances and pension of policemen, Buhari expressed regrets that the shortcomings of the Police in their constitutional role as the frontline force in the prevention of crime had led to military involvement in the maintenance of law and order throughout the country.
His words: “From Taraba to Sokoto, to the South-South, people don’t feel secure until they see the military. I am pleased to make the increase in salary and allowances in the hope that it will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system.”
Noting that the more efficient the police is, the more confident the government and citizens will be, he said: “The military should be reserved for higher tasks. The police should be able to cope well with the challenges of armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom and such crimes. In every town and village, there is the presence of the police. From all these places, they should be able to forward first class intelligence to you on which to act.
“There is a need to amplify the question of more men of the police, especially given the condition we are in – emergency in the North-East, pervasive insecurity and abduction for ransom and banditry in many parts of the country. I congratulate you on the success you recorded against criminals taxing people and stopping them from their farms. We are expecting more from you,” the President told the police.
Full-time Commissioner in the Nigeria Police Service Commission, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi (rtd), who represented the chairman, Musiliu Smith, informed the President that the Rank Salary Structure Adjustment would enhance police welfare and morale.
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, also assured that the police would redouble efforts to ensure free, fair and credible elections throughout the country next year.

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target=_blank>Six Dead, 38 Rescued From Collapsed Building In Rivers

Six persons were found dead, while 38 people were rescued alive from the rubble of the building which collapsed at a private seven-storey building at Woji road, New GRA in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The seven-storey building at Woji road collapsed on Friday.
On Sunday, Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State, directed the State Attorney-General to set up a Commission of Inquiry to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the collapse.
Noting that the incident was a sad one, he said: “I feel so pained that we have to face this kind of calamity at this time. I commiserate with the families that have lost their loved ones who came to seek their daily bread. Government will do all it can to give them the necessary support.
“I have directed the Attorney-General of Rivers State to ensure that all legal steps are taken to do what is right within the ambit of the law.”
The governor ordered the immediate arrest of the owner of the collapsed building, stating that the state government would bring all culprits to book.
“Whoever that approved this structure and those involved in the construction will face the law. Government will take every necessary step to ensure that the culprits are brought to justice. Whoever is involved, from the owner or the contractor or the officials of the state, they will face the full weight of the law,” he said.
He led top government officials to visit the site of the collapsed building on Sunday, noting that all officials of the Rivers State Government who defaulted in their duties will be sanctioned.
He said: “Government will take steps to acquire this property. We cannot allow this illegality. If you look at masterplan of this area, a seven-storey building is not allowed here.”
Governor Wike commended construction companies, security agencies and non-governmental organisations for working with the Rivers State Government to carry out rescue operations at the site of the building collapse.

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target=_blank>Female Suicide Bomber Killed Before Detonating IED In Adamawa

A female suicide bomber was killed on Monday after a failed attempt to detonate an improvised explosive device in Gulak, Adamawa State.
She was killed by soldiers in the early hours of Monday as she tried to detonate her explosive vest.
She had attempted to infiltrate a village when the officers at a checkpoint killed her.
A tweet by the Nigerian Army disclosing the incident read: “Troops of 143 Battalion deployed at a check point in Gulak Adamawa State, neutralised a girl with Person-Borne Improvised Explosive Device who tried to Infiltrate DAR Village to detonate her explosive vest in the early hours of 26 November 2018.
“The gallant troops in conjunction with hunters and vigilantes immediately cordoned off the incident area and subsequently conducted perimeter patrol around the community to ensure the area is cleared and to also exploit the area for BHT activities.” JUST IN: Troops of 143 Battalion deployed at a check point in Gulak Adamawa State, neutralised a girl with Person-Borne Improvised Explosive Device who tried to Infiltrate DAR Village to detonate her explosive vest in the early hours of 26 November 2018. pic.twitter.com/gumbRcqP4u— Nigerian Army (@HQNigerianArmy) November 26, 2018

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target=_blank>Teens From Correctional Homes Shine At Writing And Oratory Contest

Four teenagers from two correctional homes in Lagos have emerged victorious at the 2018 Banjo Damilola Writing and Oratory Contest finale held at Lagos Correctional Home for Boys, Oregun.
According to the organiser, Banjo Damilola, the competition which held on Saturday, is aimed at stamping the importance on education on the wards in the juvenile centers.
“Literacy is important to survive in today’s world. The teenagers in these homes have potentials that should and must be nurtured. The completion is to give them similar experience as their counterparts and also to show them how bright they can be if they do the work,” she said.
In the writing category, Chukwuemeka Santos from Lagos Correctional Home for Boys in Oregun, beat five others to emerge first. Omaga Victoria from Idi-Araba Special Centre for Girls came second, while Sunday Abejoye from Lagos Correctional Home for Boys, Oregun, came third.
In the oratory category, Idi Araba Special Centre for Girls, represented by Omaga Victoria came first while Lawal Korede and Chukwuemeka Santos from Lagos Correctional Home for Boys, Oregun, came second and third, respectively.
The participants in both categories discussed the role of teenagers in nation building and the effect of vote buying on the next generation.

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target=_blank>Nigerians Urge CBN to Stop Charges on ATM Transactions

Nigerians have urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop charges on Automated Teller Machines (ATM) transactions.
Noting that the charges were “worrisome and fraudulent, they made the call in Abuja on Monday during an interview with NAN.
The bank users noted that customers’ withdrawals with the ATMs of other banks had been unattractive because of the continued charge of N65 for every transaction, while commercial banks in the Federal Capital Territory had re-programmed their ATM.
The customers also lamented that if they had cause to withdraw N100,000 or more through other banks’ ATMs, it meant they would be made to part with more cash under the guise of ATM charges.
Godwin Onmonya, a Zenith Bank customer in Gwagwalada, said the ATMs of virtually all the banks in the neighbourhood dispensed a maximum of N10,000 per transaction.
“If you want to make withdrawals, you will discover that only a few ATMs are dispensing and they only dispense N10,000 per transaction. Recently, I wanted to withdraw above N100,000 and I went to another bank, only to discover that its ATM was dispensing only N10,000 per transaction. I also discovered I was charged N65 for every transaction, as I had exceeded the mandatory three withdrawals limit; this is outrageous,” he said.

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AGONY FROM AJEGUNLE: Tax Clearance, Flooding, Poverty Keeping Kids Out Of School

Apostle Kehinde Oluseinde
Mrs. Oluwatoyin Taoshe
Mr. Felix Ayejuni

Ajegunle is a small community sandwiched between Ketu-Kosofe and Ikorodu areas of Lagos State. The well-paved road that leads to the community is a perfect mask for the poverty and anguish tucked away on both wings of the aisle.
Rotimi, a teenager who appeared to have been roaming the corners of Ajegunle barefooted, scurried out of one of the adjourning streets, kicking a plastic bottle as he would a football. He walked past this reporter but suddenly retraced his steps to get her attention.
“Aunty, aunty” he called out, “please, buy ‘pure water’ for me”, he pleaded, curling up the fingers on one of his hands and raising the fist to his mouth like a cup. It was midday, a time every child is expected to be in school but Rotimi did not appear to have been in school. His bare feet were covered in dust, almost to his knee like a pair of brown socks. He cleaned up sweat from his forehead with the back of his hands as this reporter engaged him.
He is 12 years old, he explained. “I have finished primary school at Alagbado, but my mother sent me to live here with her mother so that she can take care of my sisters.

         

“They did not take me in Ajegunle secondary school. My mummy’s mother said she cannot pay for private school. I now learn how to make shoes but I did not go to work today because my senior said they will beat me if I come late.”
Rotimi is one of the many children in Ajegunle who have been forced out of school due to poverty and inability of their parents to meet the basic criteria required to gain admission into Lagos State public schools.
To enrol a child in any of the Lagos State primary schools, the parents or guardians are expected to have the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) slip, a year’s tax clearance, and national identity card or voter card, among other important requirements.
“I sell fish. Where do I get tax paper from?” Esther, a 32-year-old mother of two, said as she ignored the reporter’s further questions on why her two children were not in school. Esther is not alone; several other parents in the community keep their children at home because they cannot afford the fee for private schools, neither do they have tax clearance.
The headmistress of Anglican Primary School, the only public primary school in Ajegunle, said she cannot disregard the state’s guidelines for admission. “That’s the state’s requirement, I cannot go outside of it,” she told SaharaReporters.
Reacting to the situation, the Public Relations office of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), said the state gave the criteria but expects school heads to take initiative in special cases.

         

‘Willing But No Means’
Esther has made peace with her living condition. Although she wishes her children would get an education, life has thrust upon her a peasant life where she struggles to meet even the most minimal needs. “I am trying but I cannot do more than this. I left the village so that I can make money to take care of myself and my children, but things are very hard.
“I want my children to go to school. They used to go to a private school at Irawo but I can no longer pay the school fees. They have sent the two of them home since last year and they have been at home. I then say, let them go to Anglican [the only public primary school in Ajegunle], but they are asking for things I don’t have.”
Like Esther, Patience Paul also had to withdraw her two children from school following the demise of her husband.
She sold groundnut and garri, but exhausted her capital in burying her husband. The family member would not help, she told SaharaReporters.
In August 2017, Paul Johnson, a dry cleaner, came home complaining of chest pain and like a dutiful wife, Patience, on the advice of an elderly neighbor, massaged his chest with a hot towel and Robb ointment, but his condition got worse. He later died on September 7, 2017.

Apostle Kehinde Oluseinde

         

Mrs. Oluwatoyin Taoshe

“I was asleep, when he called me around 12 midnight complaining that he couldn’t breathe. I got up that midnight and prayed for him. He got better and we slept, but in the morning, he couldn’t move. I told my neighbour who brought drugs and gave him injection but he did not get better. He called his pastor; it was the pastor who took him to Gbagada hospital, from there we were referred to Yaba hospital.
“It was at the Yaba hospital that his sister came and asked that I take him to the village. He did not want to go but I persuaded him. We travelled that night but my husband slumped in the bus and before we could get to the nearest hospital in Imo State, he died.
“The family member said I should leave his corpse for the bus to bring him to the village and go back to Lagos to look for money, but I could not leave my husband on the road. I withdrew the money I had in bank so that I could get him home.”
Patience said she expended all her savings on burial arrangements, because the family members abandoned her with her two little toddlers — Miracle (aged six) and Favour (aged four).
Miracle was taken out of school six months after his father’s death because bills were piling up with no means to meet them.
“The church pays our rent and feeds us. I cannot ask them to pay school fees again. I am trying to raise money so I can get back on my feet but it is difficult with no assistance from anyone apart from the church.
“I don’t like it that Miracle is staying at home. You know children can easily forget things. He must have forgotten all he learnt when he was in school. If my husband had not died, this would not have happened to us,” Patience said with a shaky voice, as she fought back tears.

         

Mr. Felix Ayejuni

Christiana Wants School, But No Money — and Tax Clearance
Christiana, a happy-go-lucky eight-year-old, had sighted the reporter taking pictures of the scenery and was attracted like any child of her age would. She stayed close, smiling, occasionally running off and reemerging. Christiana was milking all the excitement in seeing this reporter cringe as she waddled in a pool of dirty water; she seemed accustomed to her waddling game.
Flood is one of the challenges residents in this community have become used to. For months, they are forced to live with the dirty water that takes over their rooms and streets. Some of the children, like Christiana, have come to see the flood as fun but for their parents, the situation is a harrowing yet hopeless experience. They devise means to cohabit with the flood because they have nowhere else to live. Christiana lives with her grandfather, Apostle Kehinde Oluseinde, in a church house made from wood and corrugated iron sheets. According to her grandfather, the eight-year-old has never been to school.
“There is no means [to send her to school] and I tried public school. I don’t have what they are asking for; they are asking for tax clearance, where do I get that from? I don’t have a job. They asked me to bring LASRRA slip. I was on a queue for more than one week, and I could not get it. Those are the challenges I have, and I cannot afford private school,” he said.
Christiana said she wants to go to school but would not mind if she’s left to play around all day like her other contemporaries in the community. “Jumoke too does not go to school,” she said. The toddler is yet to understand the importance of education and her grandfather who knows is incapacitated by lack of funds — and tax clearance.
A Teen Breadwinner
Johnson Taoshe is 15 years old but he carries burdens way too heavy for his mental and physical strength. He is the breadwinner of his family of four — himself, two sisters and his 44-year-old ailing mother. On one of the afternoons SaharaReporters visited the family, Jumoke, Christiana’s friend and Johnson’s immediate sister, was on her way to meet Johnson — where he learns wood work — for money to buy kerosene for their stove.
Johnson dropped out of Ajegunle High School in Junior Secondary School one, about three years ago, because of the transportation fare to the school. Similarly, his two sisters, Jumoke (aged nine) and Precious (aged seven) dropped out of school in primary three and one, respectively.
The family had moved to Ajegunle four years ago after the mother, Oluwatoyin Taoshe, developed a strange illness. After spending all her savings to treat the undisclosed sickness, she resolved to take spiritual treatment at Apostle Oluseinde’s Celestial Church, where she has been for years.
Oluwatoyin and her three children live in a one-room apartment just at the back of the Celestial Church. Inside her apartment is flooded, while the bed is propped up with old tires and wooden frames.
“I have pleaded with their father to help me but he refused. Even if it is to rent a one-room apartment, so my children don’t have to live in water like this.
“I have been very sick, but God is gradually healing me. I cry everyday because of the challenges with sending them to school, but there has been no help, not even from their father. It saddens my heart that my children don’t go to school, but I don’t know what to do. It is highly difficult to feed myself and the kids; the father left us unattended to.
“I used to trade but since my sickness, I have stopped working. I haven’t had the strength to work or do anything anymore since last year. It was because of their school I was managing to work before, but my sickness got worse and I cannot work anymore.
“When I took them to Anglican Primary School last year, I couldn’t get all the things I was asked to bring and also because I was sick. There was nothing I could do.”
In the absence of a father, Johnson is left to care for his two sisters and their mother. Apart from the stipend he gets from his wood work, the 15-year-old breadwinner relies on tips from people he runs errands for, to supplement whatever other gifts come to their home.

‘The Flood Has Taken our Livelihood’
When Felix Ayejuni was moving from Ijora Badia to Ajegunle three years ago, he thought he was stepping on to the next rung on the ladder of life. But six months ago, after water rented his apartment, his means of livelihood has been halted yet bills and school fees keep piling up.
Ayejuni and his wife sell smoked fish; while Felix smokes the fish, the wife hawks them but the flood has made smoking almost impossible. Worse, their customers have had to find other sellers because the road to their now-flooded home is covered in water.
“The water destroyed our means of livelihood that we have nothing to eat. In fact, we can no longer pay school fees. The school proprietors have been calling for the fees, but since I don’t have any money, there is really nothing I can do.”
In Ayejuni’s living room, his two-seater sofa is raised on a high wooden table to prevent it from getting soaked in the water that has now turned the living room into a mini pond, but he says he cannot afford to rent another apartment.
Many residents in the riverine and flood-prone parts of Ajegunle suffer the same fate biannually. The community endures financial crunch during this period but greatly affected is the education of the hundreds of children in the community. Without the added difficulties of the flood, the parents — many of whom are unable to provide three-square balanced diet — are already stretched thin to afford the basic needs required for a child to stay in school.
Olushola Olayiwola, proprietor of Trimmers Nursery and Primary School, one of the low-cost private schools in the community told SaharaReporters that the number of students who attend the school drastically reduces during the flood.
“Since the flood, the number of pupils in my school has reduced from 250 to 35. It has affected my living, my family. The school too is affected to the extent that I cannot meet up with provision of the basics; the rent, the staff salaries!  I had to reduce their number because I do not want to owe my teachers.
“My son, who is in Yabatech, had to withdraw from school, because I could not pay. I have an aged mother, 120 years old. I cannot take care of her and I am her only male child. Every other thing has been grounded and life has become difficult, not just for me but the entire family.
Olayiwola believes that if he is able to sand-fill his school to redirect the flood, children will come back to his school, which will mean financial stability for him, but will also put more kids back into the classroom.
The traditional head of the community, Baale Odo Ogun, who identified himself simply as Chief Adeshina, also lamented how the flood has been a huge hindrance to the education of the children of the area.
“As a result of this water upsurge, our secondary school has had to be relocated. It’s about six plots of land wasting away because of the water. I believe sand-filling the school is not difficult to do. We continue to lose students when they go to school or they do not go to school because of the heavy traffic,” he said.
Some of the children, who managed to complete primary education despite challenges, drop out of secondary school because of their parents’ inability to meet financial demands of transportation. Godfrey and Leonard dropped out in Senior Secondary School 2 and Junior Secondary School 3, respectively, when their single mothers couldn’t afford the transportation fare to Ketu where the secondary school was relocated to.
Poor and Uneducated: Faces in the Data
Ajegunle, like other low income communities, puts a face to the statistics showing the high rate of poverty and out-of-school children in the country. A recent Brookings Institution report pitched Nigeria as the poverty capital of the world, taking over India that has six times the population of Nigeria.
The report revealed that by the end of May 2018, Nigeria “had about 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared with India’s 73 million. What is more, extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six people every minute, while poverty in India continues to fall”. The 87 million Nigerians living in extreme poverty represent nearly 50% of the country’s population. The figure was much scarier in 2016 when the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that about 112 million of Nigeria’s population is poor.
The poverty level also has a link with the number of out-of-school children in the community. According to the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), 10.5 million Nigerian children, under the age of 6-14, are out of school. UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Nigeria, Pernille Ironside, said other sources say the number of out-of-school children is higher. Indeed, Ironside’s sources may be right because the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), pushed the number over 2 million higher when it said the number has increased to 13.2 million children.
Although, fact checkers have flagged UBEC’s quoted number stating that no data supports it, with the reality of many families in Ajegunle and similar communities, it has become even clearer that not all Nigerian children are in the classroom and it is so, partly, because of poverty.
Mrs. Olubukola Adebiyi, founder of Jakin NGO, an organisation that works with vulnerable groups in Africa to overcome economic, educational and health hardships, in x-raying the impact of poverty on the number of out-of school children, said except poverty is reduced, the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria will continue to rise.
“Let’s not even focus on private schools because if you can’t pay their fees, you can’t be admitted,” she said. “On government schools, even with the free education, the uniforms are not free, the total number of books needed to run a session are not free; transport fare for the children — to and fro — is not free and even with the government’s feeding programme, it is not enough to keep the children in school in the entire country.
She explained that it would be difficult to keep children from vulnerable homes in school, as such families can barely cater for the most basic needs of the children.
“There are kids with parents who still fall within the vulnerability index by reason of unemployment of their care givers; they cannot afford to stay in proper homes or cater for the daily sustenance of the children. For such families, education is not a priority. There is no point taking a child to school, if there is no home for the child in the first place or when the child has not even eaten.
Adebiyi, whose organisation caters for vulnerable families, also opined that there is a need for the Lagos State government to make concessions for parents who are unemployed and unable to pay tax so that their children can benefit from the state’s free education system. “The government needs to be looking at tax waivers for some particular income level and vulnerable groups,” she said.
“A mother that does not have roof over her head, and probably manages to get a bag of ‘pure water’ on credit to sell, and whatever little she makes is, what she uses to feed the children, I don’t know where she will be placed on the tax radar,” Adebiyi stated, adding that children of such mothers may not consider the importance of formal education for their children.
She also urged the government to review the criteria for transfer into its schools to accommodate vulnerable families.”

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