Niger govt, NIS to repatriate alien almajiris

By Ummi Ismaeel, Minna

Niger State government is working out modalities with the Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS) to repatriate 12 almajiris (kid beggars) who migrated into Nigeria from Niger and Benin Republics and two others whose state or country of origin is not yet known.
But residents have raised the alarm over the relocation of the kid beggars to abandoned buildings by proprietors in the cover of the nights.
Also, against the state government’s clampdown, some proprietors of almajiri system of education have gone underground to avert the state government’s directive banning the system, while others clandestinely operate.
Niger State commissioner for Education, Hajiya Hannatu Salihu, had while briefing journalists on efforts to rid the state of almajiris to check spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) said the state government rounded up no fewer than 806 almajiris.
Hajiya Salihu, who said it cost the state government N86 million to cater for the almajiris before they were repatriated to their states and countries of origin, explained that, 86 out of the number are from Minna emirate alone.
The commissioner also said that the state government was still dialoguing with critical stakeholders on the appropriate date for resumption of schools against fears expressed by the NUT over what it termed ‘Hasty’ opening of schools to check COVID-19 pandemic.

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