11 January 2013

Nigeria: Security Concern Prompts Minister to Inaugurate Kano Projects in Abuja

The state of insecurity in Kano State, which has been under siege by Boko Haram, Thursday forced the relocation of a ceremony for the inauguration of 317 classrooms donated by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to the Kano State Government to Abuja.

All the dignitaries that were billed to attend the ceremony, originally scheduled for Kano, the Kano State capital, gathered at the office of the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, in Abuja for the official handing over of the classroom to the state government.

It was learnt that the ceremony was earlier scheduled to be held in Kano as expected but was shelved after security agents identified the state to be a flashpoint for attacks.

Rather than the usual cutting of tape to mark such an inauguration, Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ryuichi Shoji, in a symbolic gesture, handed over the keys to the classrooms to Wike, who subsequently handed them over to the representative of the state Governor, Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso. Kwankwaso was represented at the event by the state's Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Tajudeen Gambo.

Shoji also alluded to the security worry that prompted the change in venue of the event in his address where he said several security challenges were experienced while constructing the classrooms across 22 local government areas in the state.

Shoji added that JICA expended N2.31 billion for the construction of 317 classrooms and 308 toilet booths in 33 schools.

A total of 6,940 two-seater furniture, 317 blackboards, and 317 notice boards were also provided for the schools.

He added that the project would help reduce the congestion in some primary schools and boost enrolment and attendance, especially among girls.

Shoji cited various developmental projects that his country had donated to Nigeria while expressing the readiness of Japan to partner Nigeria in its quest for national development.

Wike, in his address, expressed appreciation to Japan for its contributions to the development of the education sector.

He pledged that the facilities would be well maintained to ensure that they remain useful for the purposes for which they were donated.

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