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Started by Nuruddeen, March 07, 2009, 06:52:41 PM

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Jibo Nura

I know that education is getting harder and harder to deliver, especially amongst the children of Talakawa in Jigawa state due to government's lack of relative wealth distribution to the poor, ineffective/ defective social security delivery and Talakawa's limits to decision making over government's public action/policy  that directly affect them. This has a chain effect on the lives of the rural hapless, which in turn under develop the poor man's negotiating power and statutory role in society.
All of us have seen the empirical evidence of educational backwardness that bedeviled the state for eight years, and I do not think we will allow ourselves to be deceived again, this time by any foreign individual(s) who may not necessarily have a genuine agenda of changing the social status of Talakawa for good. In fact, we have seen enough of child's labour in poor families, because of lack of past government's support and investment in children's education.
We shall therefore begin to question and search for truer answers in order to improve the downtrodden revenue earnings and income to make them afford the education of their children. Hence it is pertinent to quickly outline to Governor Lamido the theorizing government social security policies that make it fail as a result of monotonous ideas that are usually not well articulated.  The government is big and therefore the followers, particularly the Talakawa expect to see how it behaves in managing their lives so as not to get stuck in a bad equilibrium. Government has a monopoly over state's resources, which is "normally" abused by those who control it. The question here is: why is this abuse so tolerated by the general public? Perhaps, one may find answer on the imperfection of the political control mechanism.
Indeed, the most problematic of all these theorizing social policies is generally found in government's run ideologues. Because our political process today favours ideologues, and those ideologues take decision that do not make economic sense, and they eventually leave people in between some chain of social welfare broken dreams.
Therefore, governor Lamido and Adagbo Onoja must take bold steps and target on efficiency for social welfare expenditures that can reach the Talaka whom they seem to be identifying with. They need to engage in active Community Driven Developments (CDDs) by coming down to the level of the masses just the way Mallam Aminu Kano of blessed memory did and won the confidence of his immediate community.
The issue is: it is not only building physical structures within the state's capital or pursuing banks in secondary/primary schools' repairs that are solution to our own calamity. No, this I believe, is development at higher energy level, which may not necessarily descend to the lower level and get the common man excited by revolving around the outskirt of that government central control.
Even if we build and repair schools, there are still lots of work to be done. For example, I was just passing through the premises of one Fatimatou  Islamiyya school along Layin Dabinai in Gida Dubu. I then curiously dashed into some of the school's classrooms that were in session. It was quite surprising to see almost 130 pupils per class room i.e. on the average. And majority of the teachers around Dutse neighbouring primary schools that I visited, that is, at Fagoji, Garu and Madobi, are grade II failures. Importantly, I was made to understand that Lamido has asked the Jigawa teachers without grade II certificate to immediately acquire one. I was also told that he engaged these kinds of unqualified teachers in extramural classes that can help them re-write their grade II exams in the very near future. This is certainly a good step. Otherwise, one wonders nowadays what kind of education is given to our primary school pupils in the state. Though most of the blames I suppose should largely go to the longest serving administration that presided over our educational affairs with impunity. But nevertheless, we people and our traditional rulers, especially our royal fathers have contributed largely to our own state's comatose situation. Because even if we point an accusing finger on Saminu Turaki for our woes, we should at the same time blame all the people that worked and served under his inept and worst administration in Jigawa's history. We should also blame those traditional rulers who could have politely advised him, but could not do just that, because of their personal interest. Some of them were shamefully engaged in contract awards and execution. It may interest the reader to hear that one of the royal fathers was duly involved in contract, which is quite unwholesome to the integrity and dignity of royal tradition. Since my childhood, I got to understand that it is never the royal attitude to engage in any activity(s) that is tantamount to denigrating royalty status in society. The Talaka that they rule and work for can now hardly see those kinds of royal kings and emirs as people of principle, because some of them are even into politics. Sadly, they that can be seen as role models were then duly involved in governmental affairs, and some I understand used to accompany the past administration to its incessant travels abroad. A clear case that tallies with the Hausa adage that says: In Bera na da Sata to Daddawa ma nada wari i.e. every evil deed has its own repercussions.
Indeed, my understanding of Jigawa's chronic predicament lies in the people themselves, especially the workers. Most of the civil servants who work in the state capital are eager to go for weekend since Thursday i.e. even before the week runs out. They hardly and quite frankly do not want to stay in Jigawa and build the state, because they have built houses in Kano, Abuja, Bauchi and Kaduna simply due to the fact that everything is within their reach. These working class people I understand do not simply like staying there. A good friend of mine who works in the Ministry of Land and Housing complained thus:
"Honestly, I cannot stay here because my families are in Kano and it is not possible for me to relocate and live in Dutse. After all, I hardly enjoy my life here, because I don't get most of the things that I need".
But one cardinal question here is that who are we expecting to come and develop Dutse and provide those things that are out of our reach?
In fact, all the above problems are secondary and can be addressed, but go to our villages and rural areas and see how people are starving, moving stranded without three (3) square meals to eat per day. I have seen an instance where people in Majingini and Rukutu in Sule Tankarkar local government area, and some neighbouring villages in Babaldu, are boiling and eating shrubs that they fondly call Tafasa and Yadiya as food for survival.
Of course no prophet of doom-be him a soothsayer or fortune- teller can say that Lamido has not or is not working for Jigawa. At least, the government under one year has done what others have not done in eight (8) years. But we have to look beyond the banal by actively embarking on sustainable local community development that will emancipate the have-nots from hunger, starvation, disease and squalor.
In view of this therefore Governor Lamido and Mr. Adagbo Onoja should use the 3-D Development triangle technique, which encapsulates social development, environmental management and economic development at local level. The 3-D is surely the best alternative for their so-called social policy programme, because it allows people's integration, participation and personal responsibility. As they do this, I urge them to move from agenda to action by calling for stakeholder's participation from state to the grassroots levels. They should fully integrate into their programme environmentally friendly and sustainable socio-economic development plan and activities. The Talaka must be aware and involved in information sharing to replicate and/or adapt the experience and orientation of the programme.
It is my humble submission that within a year and a half the social security policy and Talakawa summit initiative should be able to achieve the 3-D model in three (3) dimensional stages i.e. environmental management, economic   and social developments.
The environmental management should be based on formation of Functional Community Based Organizations (FCBOs) or groups, promotion of environmental education and awareness, implementation of forest resource conservation, promotion of biodiversity conservation and establishment of local networking and information systems.
The economic development should directly focused on establishment of institutional support for Functional Community Based Organizations such as farmers,  traders and self help cooperatives for agro-based industries, enhancement of local production systems and promotion of credit mobilization and microenterprise development for both men and women groups.
The social development of functional CBO must be in terms of education through literacy classes and awareness activities, promotion of capacity building of rural hapless to identify, plan and implement environmentally sound small scale community development schemes such as health care, sanitation, drinking water, school buildings and establishment of local information.
Community Driven Developments (CDDs) should be the key to poor people's livelihood and their institutions got to be respected and must be seen as assets and partners in the development process. Their problems have to be broadly defined by giving control of decision and resources to our local community groups. Government at state and local government levels must operate on the principle of local empowerment, participatory governance, demand-responsiveness, local administrative autonomy, greater downward accountability and enhanced local capacity.
Indeed, experience has shown that given clear rules of the game, access to information on Talakawa's  progress, appropriate capacity and financial support, poor men and women can effectively organize in order to identify community priorities and address local problems, by working in partnership with local governments and other supportive institutions.
The East Asia and other pacific regions are now taking the lead in local community development programmes. China's 11th Five-Year plan, for instance, recognizes that creation of "harmonious and well-off society" requires new approaches to poverty alleviation. For Jigawa to realize its goal on her social security issue and Talakawa summit, poor households and communities must themselves be active participants in local development, while our local governments must dedicate themselves to serving the needs of poor communities. We should know that Allah Has given Lamido and his people the mantle of Jigawa's leadership in order to use the opportunity to improve local infrastructure and public services; collectively manage government's fund to households wanting to pursue income-generation activities; consider sustainable natural resource management and other environmental improvements in determining local development priorities.
Jigawa government should as a matter of fact embark on sustainable community development programme as outlined in the Agenda 21 adopted by the 1992 Earth summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Contained therein the programme's objectives is building capacities of local people and state policies to ensure workability and maintainability of rural community development that integrates effective and sensitive poverty eradication strategies with sound "watershed" management.
Specifically, the government should provide and give room for Sustainable Development Facilities (SDFs) through NGOs or CDDs support organizations (SO) in each rural district to support the communities in the long run. These SDFs must be autonomous institutions who can provide technical as well as loan support to develop micro-enterprises. The Jigawa's SDFs should partner and collaborate with different line agencies and development partners such as UNDP, DFID, USAID and many others on small grants and other assistance funds in order to promote synergy efforts.

Jibo Nura, a Quantity Surveyor, is on assignment in Jigawa state. Email:
o try and fail is atleast to learn. That will save one the inestimable loss of what might have been (positive or negative).