By Abdullahi Yusuf
The Kano State Government says it is building houses for teachers across the state to make the teaching profession attractive, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has said.
Governor Ganduje disclosed this while declaring open a two-day NUJ delegates conference held in Kano.
The conference which is being attended by about 300 delegates has as its theme: “Conflict-Sensitive Reporting And Nigerian Journalism.”
The Governor informed the conference that over 2,000 of the houses had been completed, out of which about 750 would be commissioned in the Kano metropolis by President Muhammadu Buhari during his visit to the state.
Ganduje said the houses were not free of charge, but that the state government would provide the enabling environment through the banks for the teachers to acquire them.
He also told the gathering that his administration had increased the retirement age of teachers from 60 years to 65 years in order to enhance the quality of the teaching profession in the state.
Similarly, the Governor disclosed, the state government had allowed teachers in the state to further their education so as to improve their qualifications as well as the quality of education in the state.
This, the Governor said, had made the Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) the minimum teaching qualification in the state.
He commended the decision of the NUJ to hold the conference in Kano which he said is the commercial nerve center of the North and some African countries, as well as the most peaceful state in Nigeria.
Ganduje said his administration had ensured excellent working relations between it and practicing Journalists in the state and the media in general, as well as the freest environment for the expression of opinion.
To strengthen the relationship, he said, the state government had constructed corner shops at the state NUJ Secretariat to help serve as a source of revenue for the union,” in addition to the standardization of its Conference Hall.”
He also said that the state government had released funds for the purchase of a code machine for the state-owned Triumph Publishing Company for the possible resumption of daily publication of its Newspapers such as the Triumph, Weekend Triumph, Sunday Triumph, Alfijir, and Albishir.
Similarly, the Governor disclosed that the state government had digitized the state-owned Abubakar Rimi Television with the supply and installation of state-of-the-art equipment, while the studious Radio Kano had been fully equipped with modern transmission gadgets.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Information and Internal Affairs, Malam Muhammad Garba, described Governor Ganduje as a media-friendly Governor in view of his commitment to the enhancement of the welfare of Journalists and the Journalism profession.
The two-term NUJ president said the Governor had done everything to enhance the growth of the profession in the state, citing the equipping of the state-owned media – the Abubakar Rimi Television and Radio Kano, as well as the reopening and revitalization of the Triumph Publishing Company, among other gestures.
Earlier, the Chief Host and President of the NUJ, Chief Chris Isiguzo, thanked Governor Abdullahi Ganduje for his financial support and participation in the conference.
“This occasion would have been less attractive and exciting without the financial support and participation of our beloved Special Guest of Honour, His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State.
“Your Excellency, we shall cherish your kindness and support for a long time to come.
“Thank you very much, Sir,” the president added.