Niger State Government is to provide free transportation for pupils in public schools in the state to increase the enrollment of children and cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government.
A press statement issued by the Governor's Chief press Secretary, Mal. Bologi Ibrahim, quoted the Governor as saying that the efforts will encourage children to go to school.
The statement said Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago had received officials of the National Examination Council (NECO) at Government House, Minna, led by its Registrar and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Prof. Ibrahim Wushishi, on a courtesy visit.
The Governor explained that the free transportation for the children at the basic level of education will "encourage pupils to go to school".
He observed the need for the examination body to collaborate with the state in addressing the challenges of out-of-school children and girl-child education, adding that the use of ICT in the education sector will serve the purpose.
The Governor also suggested that NECO should find ways of supporting Vocational training in the education curriculum, so as to have students that are self-reliant.
While charging the council to do more in terms of Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSRs) to the state, the Governor assured them of his support.
"As a government, we cry foul. We have not felt NECO in terms of Corporate Social Responsibilities, we have not seen a block of classrooms that has been fixed by NECO. You cannot be a tenant in our state and not add value to our people and communities'', the Governor bemoaned.
He added that "NECO needs to sponsor educational activities like essay writing and also deploy some of their human resources to classrooms to teach and do mentorship".
On the issue of fluctuating turnout and performance of registered students for Senior Secondary School Examinations (SSCE), the Governor directed the Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG) to look into the root causes.
He also disclosed that he has approved N30M monthly to clear the outstanding debt owed the body, while also volunteering to do follow up on how it can recover debts from other states of the federation.
Earlier, the NECO Registrar and CEO, Prof.Dantani Ibrahim Wushishi had said their visit was to congratulate the governor on his victory at the polls and successful inauguration.
Prof. Wushishi who sought for more collaboration between the council and the state government, said it will bring about immense mutual benefits.
He explained that Niger State has experienced fluctuating registration figures for the SSCE from 2018 to 2022.
The Registrar urged the state government to make their examinations compulsory for all the public schools in Niger State and assured him of its readiness to partner with the state to enhance education in line with its core values.
The Chief Magistrate Court No. 1 has ordered the remand of a suspected internet fraudster in police custody pending the arrival of the Presiding Chief Magistrate from pilgrimage in Makkah.
The 23 years old Damilola Victoria Akinnawonu was earlier arraigned before the Chief Magistrate Adamu Abubakar on three count charges which bordered on criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal misappropriation.
According to the police First Information Report, marked MM/CR/41b/ 2/023, made available in court and obtained by Newsline Newspaper in Minna, the three count Charges contravened sections 312,323 and 309 of the penal code law.
Damilola Victoria was arrested by the Operatives of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) of the Niger State Police Command, following a report lodged by one Emmanuel Jibogun of Bosso Estate in Minna that the defendant deceitfully and with the intent to defraud them, introduced an online business to her victims.
“She advertised various items for sale such as: Iphone, sewing machine, Keke NAPEP, washing machine, electronic gadgets, and she made them pay the amount for the item they needed with a promise to make available the items paid for within two months.
"Based on the above, the nominal complainants and 142 others, made huge monetary payments for various items in the sum of above N150, 000,000 million.
"And that upon receipt of the money you Daramola Victoria Akinnawonu failed and deliberately refused to supply the goods paid for despite repeated demands.
“Police detectives swung into action and arrested Damilola Victoria Akinnawonu and during police investigation, it was revealed that you confessed to the commission of the above crime and converted the same to your own personal use" the first Information Report stated.
The overseeing Chief Magistrate, Hajiya Fati Hassan Umar, gave the order in her ruling on the application made by the counsel to the defendant, Barrister Jerry Ekeh.
Earlier, the Police Prosecutor Abdullahi Mayaki Asp had told the court that he wished to apply for the withdrawal of the first Information Report that the defendant was arraigned in court with on the ground that more facts emanated from the police investigation.
At this point, the counsel to the defendant Barrister Jerry Ekeh objected to the oral application of the police Prosecutor on the ground that the First Information Report should not be withdrawn as police shouldn't have arraigned his client in court " without completing their investigation. I objected to the application of the prosecutor", he told the Chief Magistrate.
Ruling on the objection of the counsel to the defendant, the overseeing Chief Magistrate Hajiya Fati Hassan Umar overruled, and ordered that the defendant should be remanded in correctional custody pending the arrival of the Chief Magistrate; and she adjourned the case to July 27, 2023.