Concerned Northern Forum Calls for Speedy Passage of NBAIS Establishment Bill
By: Our Correspondent
The Concerned Northern Forum (CNF), has called on the National Assembly to hasten the process of the bill on the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS) to be presented for third reading and subsequent assent by President Muhammadu Buhari before the expiration of the present administration.
The Concerned Northern Forum, which is a coalition of over 73 Civil Society Organizations domiciled in Northern Nigeria, also called on the National Assembly to increase budgetary allocations to NBAIS to enable the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS) effectively carry out constituted functions.
Addressing newsmen in Kaduna yesterday, the spokesman of the group, Comrade Abdulsalam Mohammed Kazeem, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Education for their continuous support to the entire NBAIS management.
The group called on well-meaning Nigerians, especially members of the Civil Society, and religious and political leaders across the country and northern Nigeria in particular to come to the aid of NBAIS, stressing that at a time like this that Nigeria is determined to reform the almajiri system of education, all hands must be on deck to make it a success.
According to him, “We, therefore, want to use this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency and national development look into the many challenges of the Board in the area of staffing, mobility, and the procurement of furniture and comfortable office accommodations throughout the country. So far, the Board has offices in 26 States of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).”
He added, “The Tsangaya Centre will be a training and retraining Centre of Excellence for teachers and tutors of Tsangaya education all over the country. It combines conventional schooling with skill acquisition and entrepreneurship education. This innovative agenda is informed by the need to equip and empower Nigerian youths in a bid to take them off the streets, especially amongst children from economically disadvantaged homes, who often end up destitute in the guise of acquiring Arabic and Islamic education.
“This is a legacy of Prof. Shafi’u Mohammad Abdullahi and his team. History will forever be kind to him for his revolutionary strides and noble innovation as he strives to reposition the Board for greater national productivity. It will not be out of place to honour him in this year’s National Productivity and Honours Award.”
He noted that following the recent successful conduct of the first NBAIS national examination and the establishment of the Centre for Tsangaya and General Studies of the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS), accolades and recommendations have been pouring in from across the entire country, saying that those who did not believe in the vision and mission of the amiable Registrar have had a change of heart as Concerned Northern Forum is proud of the Board and the management for delivering on one of the very key mandates.
He explained that Concerned Northern Forum has in recent times monitored with keen interest the activities of NBAIS, superintendent by the erudite Professor Mohammad Shafi’u Abdullahi, whose leadership acumen has taken, the Board to lofty heights, adding that his leadership disposition has placed the Board above others as the best-performing agency of government as attested by the education stakeholders. Since its establishment in 1960, NBAIS has never had it so good in terms of leadership and administration.
He said that the open door policy of Prof. Shafi’u Mohamed Abdullahi has made it possible for every staff to have a say in the affairs of the Board, pointing out that that is teamwork at its peak, this was not just commendable but worthy of emulation.
The spokesman stated, “In celebrating his numerous achievements and patriotic dedication to duty for the service of our dear country, we unanimously pass a strong vote of confidence on the Registrar/CEO, Directors, staff of NBAIS and Federal Ministry of Education under the amiable leadership of Malam Adamu Adamu for seamlessly working as a team to deliver on a mandate that took more than 50 years to achieve. The level of infrastructural development currently ongoing at the National Headquarters and all Zonal offices of the Board, even with the resources allocated to the Board, can best be described as astute prudence and accountability.”
The decision by UNESCO recognizes the need to implement more wide-ranging cooperation between people through multilingualism, cultural rapprochement, and dialogue among civilizations, he explained, “This is more pertinent in Nigeria, where our cultural diversity has often been a source of disunity than unity, where our religious differences are often exploited negatively by selfish persons, especially during elections. Sound knowledge and understanding of Arabic will curtail these misunderstandings and create a cordial and beneficial relationship, especially between adherents of Islam and other religions. Islam is a religion of peace and it is the duty of specialized agencies like NBAIS to promote and encourage sound scholarship and understanding of the religion.”