Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, on Thursday said that there are about three million out of school children, roaming the streets of the state, as Almajiri - pupils of Quranic schools forced into begging.
However, he said most of such kids were found out to be from neighboring states and some countries in West Africa. “What we discovered from our survey is that many of these Almajiris come from the Niger Republic, some from Chad, Northern Cameroon and some from other states of the north-west.”
Speaking during the Kaduna state Economic and Investment Summit, Governor Ganduje noted that a recent survey carried out in the state established the number of the Almajiri, saying this has now become a social and economic problem.
Ganduje’s statement corroborates the point earlier made by the Emir of Kano, Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi that the Northern leaders have abandoned their citizens.
The north is in denial of the under-development that has affected the region for many years, the Emir said.
Ganduje stressed the need for the northern states to work together
“So, if we can come together and have a common synergy to introduce a common legislation, preventing the movement of school age children from one place to another, I think the states will find it very easy to address the problem of Almajiri syndrome”, he said.
“It will be very important to have an integration commission which looks into the development capacity of our institutions, because whatever we want to do, if our institutions are not developed, then whatever we do may not be actualized”.
He said there is need to have a data bank that would contain demographic and economic facts from all the Northern states, for ease of planning and investment.