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Sunday, October 2, 2022

Niger Community Deprived of Basic Social Amenities and Rights

Niger needs good roads, security, electricity, healthcare services, good water, schools and good governance

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Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga is a graduate of Mass Communication and aspiring investigative journalist.

NIGERIA. Niger State: A poor road network has become a persistent endemic for many rural towns in Nigeria, including those in Niger State. For this report, I travelled to Katapka, a small settlement where the pothole-riddled road connecting it to the larger towns disastrously affects farmers’ income. Katakpa is a community in Lapai local government area of Niger state in north-central Nigeria. 

Niger needs good roads, security, electricity, healthcare services, good water, schools and good governance. 

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The lack of these basic amenities has held up development in Niger.

Not only this but the community’s youngsters were being denied access to a proper education while being served by outdated medical facilities.

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Katapka, located in the Lapai local government region of Niger state and mapped under the Ebbo Gbacinku ward, is home to roughly 250 farmers and their families.

Since motorbikes are the primary mode of transportation during the six-kilometre trip from Kuchi Kebba to Katapka, it is easiest to characterise the ride as an adventure. Choosing a car as the transport would result in a frustrating tale.

Potholes are responsible for maximum accidents. Photo Credit: Hamzat
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Residents claimed that although motorcycle riders charged passengers $3 (N1,500), they frequently advised them to walk a short distance until they found a less-slippery path on the road.

“This road is so difficult for us, and that is why we charged a customer exorbitantly,” a motorcyclist told Transcontinental Times (TCT). 

“However, we end up spending a lot on repairing our bikes because of the deplorable situation of the road. Many of my colleagues always avoid this road.” 

Photo Credit: Hamzat

Alhaji Isah Aliyu, the leader of Katapka village, begged the Niger Status government to upgrade the village’s only Primary Health Centre (PHC), lamenting its terrible state and the fact that it employs no one.

In our already dilapidated primary healthcare facility, there is not a single member of the medical staff, claimed Aliyu. “We have to go six kilometres to the nearest health care facility in Kuchi Kebba town in order to get access to medical personnel whenever the need arises.”

Idris Manarakis, an on-air personality who also visited the town, claimed that the facility was frequently left in the care of goats and other household animals that were out foraging.

The facility was constructed, according to research findings, during the tenure of Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, the former governor of Niger State who succeeded Abubakar Sani Bello in 2015.

Bello’s administration, which ends in a year, has sadly forgotten about the dilapidated building.

Education in Niger

According to the parents of the children, two teachers teach about 100 students in the primary school. Unfortunately, one of the teachers is the Arabic instructor, and the other is the principal.

TCT got to know that he was not deemed eligible to teach the students because the Arabic teacher was discovered to be employed by N-Power, a programme established by the Nigerian government to combat the country’s socio-economic problems.

The local head revealed, “Our lone primary school has one headmaster as a staff and one N-Power Arabic teacher from a neighbouring hamlet.” 

“The teacher is no longer coming since N-Power payments have stopped,” he added.

The village chief encouraged the educated teenagers in the neighbourhood to volunteer as teachers in the school as part of his solution-based campaign. Parents provide stipends to promote the kids while saving their future.

Aliyu, the village chief, said to TCT, “Again, the initiative crumbled when the stipends stopped coming.”

Muhammad Shuaibu, Secretary-General of the ‘Katakpa Youngsters, Must Grow Community Association’, spoke on behalf of the community’s youth and expressed shock at the neglect shown by his neighbours.

He claimed that some of the millions of naira spent on the upcoming election should be wisely applied to save Katapka’s future.

As of the time of publication, neither the head of the Lapai local government Mua’azu Hamidu Jantabo nor the commissioner of education for the Niger state, Hannatu Jibrin Salihu, had returned calls or texts.

The government should focus on providing the basic amenities that the country lacks.

It should provide education, health, good roads, power supply, employment, water to avoid diseases, and corrupt-free government. The government needs to play a positive role in infrastructure development of Niger and shun unnecessary actions that won’t benefits the country.

Also Read: Reporter’s Diary: How a Reporter Escaped Death from Soldiers In Niger IDPs’ Camp

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