The Niger State Government has expressed its commitment to providing qualitative education in the state.
Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago made this declaration during the 17th graduation ceremony and commissioning of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Second Chance Project, held at the Maizube Nomadic School, along Minna-Bida Road, on Thursday.
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Comrade Yakubu Garba, said the present administration in the state considered education a veritable tool that teaches skills and helps to broaden the horizons and perspectives of people towards becoming more useful to themselves and the community at large.
"I make the commitment here that we will pursue every avenue capable of ensuring qualitative basic education for all school-aged children in Niger State, particularly as we are determined to reduce the indices of out-of-school children," said the Governor.
He also stressed that in life we all need a second chance at achieving our goals, expressing optimism that the beneficiaries of the UBEC second chance project will be better off for themselves and the entire community through the life skills they will learn from the project.
While commending UBEC for its continued support of the growth and development of basic education in Niger State, the Governor added that they were determined to pursue further partnerships with the commission to access the UBE matching grant for the improvement of basic education in the State.
He equally commended and appreciated the former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, for leading the way in providing free access to education in Niger State, saying the establishment of Maizube Nomadic School has enormously complimented the government's effort in providing basic education for the people.
The Governor also called on the people of the community who were the direct beneficiaries of the project to ensure proper maintenance of the facilities so that many more people will benefit from the gesture, urging UBEC to also consider other communities across the state that require similar laudable projects.
In his remarks, the Founder of Maizube Nomadic School and former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami A. Abubakar, observed that education was the only legacy parents should bequeath to their children, saying it was necessary for parents to prioritise their children's education.
He also appreciated the parents of the pupils and students for entrusting their children to them, praying that as some of the products of the school are now teachers in the school, one day they will have medical personnel and engineers as products of the school.
While appreciating UBEC for considering Maizube Nomadic School for the second chance project, the former Head of State added that the country was witnessing a difficult moment but urged the parents not to relent in educating their children and also asked the graduates of the school to continue to be good ambassadors of the school.
In his address, the Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Bala Zakari, disclosed that the ultimate goal of UBEC was to provide basic education to every child and that the second chance project aimed at providing opportunity for those who could not access conventional education.
He added that it was a good thing worthy of emulation for Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar to pick up interest in education after his retirement and appreciated him for his partnership with the UBEC as well as the state government for its support of basic education in the state.
The Acting Chairman of the Niger State Universal Basic Education Board (NSUBEB), Dr. Fatima Jella Suleiman, said the day was a significant milestone in the lives of the graduands and that as they step out into the world armed with knowledge and determination, they should remember that education was not merely about acquiring facts but about learning to think critically, adapt to change, and be compassionate human beings.
"Education empowers you to make a positive impact on your own life and the lives of others around you," she added.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Principal of the school, Mallam Kolo Mohammed, said the school was established in 2002 by former head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami A. Abubakar, because of the love he has for the nomads and to give back to humanity through education, training, and empowerment of the less privileged within the host communities around Maizube, Dogon Ruwa, and Sabon Dagah, irrespective of their tribal and religious affiliation.
He disclosed that about 700 pupils and students had so far graduated from the school from the primary, junior, and senior secondary sections, as well as from the literacy and adult education sections, adding that a greater number of them were excelling in their various tertiary institutions across the country and making the school proud academically, while some had already graduated.
A passionate appeal has gone to Niger state Governor Hon. Umaru Mohammed Bago to pay adequate attention to cooperative sector to ensure the development of the state.
The president of Niger State Cooperative Federation (NISCOFED) Comrade Labaran Garba, made the plea at a stakeholders meeting of various cooperative unions held at the Conference Hall of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Secretariat Minna, on Wednesday.
Comrade Garba said that the appeal became necessary and imperative as he described cooperative as a veritable tool that complement government efforts in poverty reduction, driving sustainable programmes of government which is recognised by the United Nations as resilient business model.
The president of state cooperative federation disclosed further that the need for government to give adequate attention to cooperative sector was equally necessary as cooperatives contributes towards achieving sustainable development in any given society, adding that formation of various cooperative societies was to support the people and the communities for them to achieve their goals and objectives.
Comrade Garba said that cooperatives have contributed to the growth and development of Niger state economy over the years by providing members in micro, small and medium enterprise with loans at affordable interest rates to develop their business investments, thereby creating more jobs and wealth.
According to him, many cooperatives across the state was involved in agriculture and manufacturing of agro allied products, while many cooperators in Niger state as well as various cooperatives have huge investments in land, education, housing and health facilities worth millions of naira and urged the cooperators to continue to show more commitment to the ideals of cooperative prinicples and values, and drive to promote the growth of cooperative movement in all sectors of the economy.
The president who spoke on the essence of the stakeholders meeting, however said that it was aimed at assembling the stakeholders to brainstorm so as to strengthen the cooperatives, discussed on how to address the challenges and chat a way forward, adding that it was also aimed at marking the 101st day celebration set aside by International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and United Nations by every first Saturday of July every year with the aim at increasing awareness on the actitivies of cooperative movement, by highlighting the credible impacts of cooperatives socities.
Speaking at the occasion, the Director Cooperative, Ministry of Investment, Commerce and Cooperatives, Musa Mohammed Erena, appreciated the organisers of the programme and called for robust synergy between the management of various cooperatives in the state and the ministry for them to succeed.
The stakeholders meeting was attended by chairmen, secretaries of various cooperatives across the state.
The Theme for this year's International Cooperative Day according was "Cooperatives for sustainable Development."