The Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation (SABMF) was established in 2009 by the associate, well-wishers and the Family of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the late Premier of the defunct Northern Region and Sardauna of Sokoto in collaboration with the 19 Northern State Governors Forum to promote the exemplary ideals and legacies of Sir Ahmadu Bello. SABMF’s focal areas are Education, Leadership and Good Governance, Heath, Agriculture, Entreneuship, peace, and Security. This year 2020marks the 10years of its launching in Kaduna. There, it is worth looking back and mention some of its silent achievements as an organization set- up to emulate the good leadership qualities of the late Sir Ahmadu Bello Premier of Northern Nigeria.
The Foundation organized the Northern Education Summit Review in Arewa House, Kaduna in March 2011. The summit brought critical stakeholders from the 19 northern states and FCT to review the situation of Education in the region. It examined the success and challenges of education and proffered far-reaching measures to improve the situation based on the existing plans.
Under its undergraduate Science and Technology Scholarship Programme, the Foundation has been awarding scholarships of N100, 000.00k each to 190 students annually in 2012/2013, 2013/2014 academic Session, and in 2015/2016, 200 students were awarded the same comprising of 10 from each of the 19 Northern States and FCT giving a total 0f 390 students. In 2017/2018 scholarship batch screening and selection for 200 students had been done.
Sir Ahmadu Bello in collaboration with Maradz Education Consultancy Sponsored a training workshop on quality teaching/ teachers in Elementary Primary schools in Northern Nigeria from February 15th- 25th 2016. The training workshop was attended by one Hundred (100 participants from the 19 Northern states and each of these states was represented by 5 participants.
In November 2016, The Foundation supported an ICT training programme called Start-up Arewa. The start-up Arewa is an Information Technology Start-up and Innovation meet-up tour organized by Emerge Teach Africa and Network of Incubators & Innovators in Nigeria (NINE) which focused on the growth and development of Northern Nigeria Technology start-up Ecosystem. The programme designed to capture northern Nigerian Youth that has flair and knowledge of Information Technology and mentor them to launch successful IT start-ups.
Concerned about the poor performance of students in examinations, research on the state of Education in Northern Nigeria was conducted and it was fully sponsored by the Foundation.
January 15 of each year has been earmarked by the Foundation to mark the unfortunate event that took the lives of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Leader of Northern Nigeria, the premier of Northern Nigeria, the Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and many other illustrious leaders of the North in the Military coup on January 15th, 1966. They were leaders who worked for the nation and left a legacy of good governance.
The day is thus marked as the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial day, with an Annual Lecture, to remind us of the qualities of leadership and good governance they epitomized and discuss topical issues to proffer solution to social and economic challenges for sustainable peace, unity and progress of the whole Nation.
The Foundation under its Leadership and Good Governance Initiative accomplished the Maiden edition Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Lecture held in December 2012. It was delivered by Prof. ( Ambs) Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, The 50th Commemoration Conference of the demise of Sir Ahmadu Bello which was held on the 14th- 16th January 2016, The Agenda Setting Conference on Security and Development of New Nigeria, and the second edition of the round table was organized in July 2018 as moving forward.
The Foundation under its Health Strengthening Intervention Programme successfully conducted three zonal workshops on Emergency Trauma/ Blast Care Skills for 209 Doctors and Health Workers.
In January 20th-22, 2017 the Foundation organized and sponsored a Health programme packaged for less privileged men, women, youth, and children of Sokoto State within Rabah Local Government Area who are experiencing various health challenges and ailments. The special intervention programme was designed to promote healthy indigenes of the state.
This Medical outreach Programme has recorded the following deliverables:
Over 2,000 people were screened for various diseases.
All children who attended were given de-worming medication.
Those with symptoms of schistosomiasis were given pre-packed doses of medication to eradicate the disease.
Patients were registered and seen by a specialist physician where a diagnosis was reached, and treatment given and discharged. Such diagnosed diabetes, liver diseases, kidney diseases, schistosomiasis, and other worm infestations etc.
Fifty- six (56) Patients underwent general surgical operations including herniorraphies, hydrocelectomies and lumpectomies. In 7 such patients, the condition was on both sides and they had the operation done simultaneously. Some of these patients had these conditions for the fast 40 years.
Forty- four (44) eligible patients underwent cataract extraction within two days with the instant restoration of sight.
Patients had ultrasonography, which ordinarily is not available in the locality and various diseases were diagnosed because of the provision of this service.
Laboratory tests were done on patients including rapid malaria diagnostic test, random and fasting blood sugar, liver and kidney function tests, hemoglobin level, urine analysis, stool analysis, retroviral screening.
Identification of numerous major diseases and appropriate referral
Effective medical diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, and discharge of patients.
Effectively utilization of SABMF donated medical equipment and drugs.
On Agriculture the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation had partnered with Fahasa, Saliminah, and Hadis Foundation to implement nurturing of New Generation Farmers; Project Nature in Zaria, Kaduna State. The project under the intervention had trained 12 women and Youth on new farming skills; Constructed storage facility, and security House; Drilled borehole and procured thrasher for the farm. The intervention supports Youths and Women on a pilot scale, and it consists of integrated commercial farming, organic fertilizer making, modern harvesting, and post-harvesting training for the beneficiaries.
As part of its mandate to develop and empower women and youth in the North, the Foundation has organized a series of training under its women Vocational Entrepreneurship Development Programme (WVEDP). The Foundation’s economic empowerment and wealth creation scheme has helped various groups and individuals to realize their potentials and become catalysts for sustainable growth. The drive for the eradication of poverty in Northern Nigeria is one that has engaged the focus of government and non-governmental organizations. The training was conducted in all 19 Northern States and FCT, the total number of 2,000 participants were trained for 4 weeks.
The entrepreneurship programme had two components namely; the training component and the empowerment component. The empowerment component is currently being implemented as beneficiaries from the state are being given cash and start-up materials for their businesses.
The Foundation organized the programme with the objective of creating awareness and develop capacities of the Youth in the participating state on writing competitive Youwin Business plan, to generate jobs by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youth in Nigeria to develop and execute business idea’s that will lead to job creation.
As a result of the glaring exclusion of beneficiaries of YOUWIN programme from the 19 Northern States, the Foundation intervened to train women and youth of the region to access the grant.
Also, Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation in collaboration with I AM CHANGE Humanitarian Organization, launched its leadership, Entrepreneurship, and mentoring training programme. The objective of the leadership training is to Develop the capacity of Sokoto state Youth on leadership skills, Mentoring, and Entrepreneurship in order to take vulnerable Youth out of the street.
The Foundation procured and distributed essentials relief materials worth millions of Naira to the state governments for victims of flood disaster in many states in 2012.
The Foundation also in June 2013 procured basic relief materials and presented it to Borno State Government for the victims of insurgency in Bama and Baga area of the state. In addition, the Foundation donated the sum of N20MILLION to Borno State Government to assist the IDPs. The Foundation has spent a total amount of N115, 886,761.00 on General Humanitarian Interventions from inception to date
On its Peace and Unity Mission, the SABMF embarked on visits to three states, namely Bauchi, Borno, and Yobe in February 2013 for peace and Unity Mission, it was led by the late Hon. Justice Mamman Nasir, GCON. (Galadiman Katsina), a Chairman of its Advisory Council.
Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation in June 2018 participated in a National Consultation Forum organized by the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). Stakeholders were drawn from women in politics, Traditional and Religious leaders, INEC, CSOs, Women Groups and Young female politicians. The Consultation was on security challenges and how to achieve synergy with security agents as well as the role of stakeholders towards mitigation of gender-based electoral violence and sensitizing the public against gender-based electoral violence.
In April 2018, the Foundation attended Women Cross Learning Dialogue on peace building organized by Women’s International League for peace and freedom. The dialogue which is a continued on reclaiming the United Nation as a peace organization- ensuring women’s meaningful participation for peace and strengthening multilateralism, seeks to bringing Activists from the middle- east and North Africa (MENA) region and Activists from Northern Nigeria, as a first step towards creating a space to share experience and increase solidarity between activists from MENA and Africa.
Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation (SABMF) supported the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP) on a project aimed at removing Hate Speech from other daily lives. The project was meant to identify, track, document and analyze all recorded and reported instances of hate speech, ethnic or religious hatred in the country with a compilation of relevant legislation, jurisdiction, and policies.
There are some communities in Zamfara State which had been affected by lead poisoning due to mining activities in the state; Yar Galma village in Bukuyum Local Government Area is one of the affected communities. The Foundation in its Health programme intervention had constructed Solar Powered Borehole in the area with the purpose of providing access to safe and portable drinking water.
SABMF also gave some financial grants to several Non- Governmental Organizations and groups. Some of the major ones include. Sickle Cell Organization, Knowledge for the Blind, Gamji Students, Isa Wali Foundation, I AM CHANGE, YOUWIN and NEEM Foundation.
In conclusion, Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation has huge resources, both financial and human deployed to intervene in critical areas of need across all the 19 states of the North and the FCT. It is one of the very few NGOs in the country that maches words with practical action towards complimenting efforts of government in the socio-economic development of the North and the Nation at large.
The Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation is certainly an NGO that has redefined the NGO terrain. Its stature, programmes and outreach can only be compared to the ones operating at the global space. While appreciating and acknowledging the good work that it has been undertaking in the last 10 years, it is important to call on all well-meaning Nigerians especially of Northern extraction to join hands with the Foundation to help ameliorate the many challenges facing in today.
It is also hoped that the next 10 years of the Foundation will see it making ever more contribution, especially in the areas of security, peace building, conflict resolution, and education.