By Abdullahi Safiyanu
A recent outburst of the ruling PDP against the governor of Kano state might be borne out of the fact that the leadership style of Gov. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State is uniquely different from the leadership style of the present-day leaders. By every measure or criteria of assessment, his achievements are beyond expectations and his foresight can only be likened to that of the great leaders in history. At a recent rally organized to receive former Kano State governor Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, the president queried, among other baseless posers, where Kwankwaso diverted the local government funds. In his address to a pocket of party supporters in Kano, the President alleged that Kwankwaso was a ‘devil’ and that his government (FG) did more than what Kwankwaso did to Kano.
The president and his co-travelers should note that there is no law that criminalizes ‘joint project’ between the state government and local governments. I learn that it is not only the urban area that is benefitting from this idea but the rural areas. Recently, the state government awarded about N2 billion road project in Riruwai village. Given the importance of the project to that particular community, the state government therefore initiated the joint project ostensibly to alleviate their sufferings. Without the mercy of joint project, Doguwa Local Government would not have the funds to execute the project.
Starting on a right footing, Kwankwaso stopped theft of public funds by canceling the infamous security vote, purging bogus overheads and wedging frivolous expenditures by MDAs. When compared with the monthly recurrent expenditures of the immediate past administration, Kwankwaso saves up to N500 million every month.
I also learnt that Kwankwaso initiated measures that jerked up the Internally Generated Revenue of the state from N400 million to about N2 Billion monthly. In ensuring fiscal discipline, Gov. Kwankwaso was able to make capital expenditure higher than recurrent votes (2012: 63% capital, 37% recurrent; 2013 75% capital, 25% recurrent) and achieved up to 85% budget implementation in 2012 and 2013. He is the first governor to achieve 2:1 ratio in favour of capital vote.
According to reports, Kwankwaso also ensured that all primary and post-primary schools are rejuvenated, fenced and equipped. He constructed more than 1,600 classrooms and 800 offices. As a measure to hop up the enrollment level and motivate the pupils, Kwankwaso reintroduced the free feeding and distribution of free sets of uniform for all primary school pupils. The workaholic governor also introduced the establishment of boarding primary schools in each of the the Senatorial Zones of the state, converted some abandoned public buildings into standard secondary schools (Governor’s College, GGSS Janbaki and First Lady’s College).
One of Kwankwaso’s media aides Jaafar Jaafar summed up some of the achievements of the governments in a recent article. To answer Jonathan’s questions, let me quote the governor’s publicist extensively: “On tertiary education, he established the first and second state owned universities; that is the Kano University of Technology, Wudil (in his first tenure) and the North West University in his second tenure. The government has also established 44 Technical Schools across the 44 LGAs of the state. On foreign scholarship, he has so far sponsored over 2,000 students to universities across the world. Additionally, Kwankwaso established 23 new training institutes for vocational training and professional development.
“On infrastructural development, three new cities of Kwankwasiyya, Amana and Bandirawo were established with the aim of decongesting the metropolis and providing planned layouts to meet the housing need of the people. The government is also constructing five kilometre dualised roads with drainages and street lights in each of the 44 Local Government Areas of the state. Kano’s superimposing flyover built by Kwankwaso at the city centre is captivating sight. The flyover, which is at about 85 percent completion stage, is the first of a kind in Northern Nigeria. The second flyover, covering more than one kilometer, is already taking shape as construction work takes place day and night.
“As a measure to reduce accidents in areas with high pedestrian traffic, pedestrian bridges and high-rise medians are changing the face of Kano. Bearing in mind that maintaining our roads is as important as building the roads, his administration established Kano Road Maintenance Agency (KARMA), vested with the responsibility of maintaining our road infrastructure. Upon inception, KARMA declared state of emergency on potholes, achieving a high degree of success in a short period of time.
Geared toward easing traffic congestion, reducing accident rates, prevention of stray animals on the road and employment drive, Kwankwaso established Kano Road Traffic Authority (KAROTA). The personnel of this agency are synonymous to Kano State, and their positive impact is felt by motorists. Toward turning Kano into a modern city of International standard, with spacious and well-planned districts provided with requisite facilities as obtained in advanced nations, Gov. Kwankwaso established Kano Geographic Information Systems (KANGIS) to enhance land administration and development. Government has built ultra-modern office complex with state-of-the-art facilities for this new agency. KANGIS now provides the correct and precise plot coordinates using geographic Information systems and computerized land cadastral information.
No doubt the present administration brings a new era in land administration. The prohibition of development in unplanned areas and abolishment of carve-out and informal plots in Kano State can only be achieved by a purposeful leadership. As a way of cushioning the effect of this policy, the administration embarked on mass housing projects in order to provide alternative to people and also meet the growing need for houses in the urban areas. Currently, over 100,000 site and services plots are being demarcated at western bypass corridor, Danbare, Kuyan Ta’inna, among other areas.
As obtained in developed climes, pedestrians in Kano now walk smoothly by the road as neatly laid interlocking tiles adorn the sidewalk of the roads. Street lights were installed and rehabilitated, ditto the traffic lights on all the major roads to reduce accidents and enhance security of lives and property. Pursuant to the present administration’s efforts at rejuvenating the metropolitan roads, Kwankwaso started by tiling 10 metropolitan roads in December 2011 and subsequently expanded the project areas. It may interest reader to note that so far over 80 roads in Kano city have been provided with interlocking tiles. The Jakara-Kwarin Gogau river which hitherto served as breeding grounds for vectors and haven for criminals, will no longer bear its features as standard gauge road with accompanying infrastructure is being constructed atop. Kwankwaso also anitiated a 35 megawatts Independent Power project at Challawa and Tiga Dams and initiated the construction of a metro-line (light train) across the city.
Under the present administration, over 620,000 indigenes of Kano were either trained and empowered or sourced employment for. This will positively impact on the lives of estimated three million people. As part of his effort to create jobs and boost economic prosperity, Kwankwaso established 44 Garment Industries, one in each of the 44 LGA of the State. They are currently being constructed alongside 44 Micro Finance Banks in the 44 LGAs of the state to support small and medium scale industries with loans. Kwankwaso also provided a N1 billion commercial Agriculture facility to support commercial farmers and also provide N2 billion loan facility in collaboration with Bank of Industry to support Small Scale Enterprises with soft loans.”
I have a strong belief that had Mr President recorded half of Kwankwaso’s achievements, the people that attended his rally would not be counted in dozens, nor would his popularity take this unprecedented nosedive.
Abdullahi Safiyanu, a Lagos-based business man, wrote from Sanusi Fafunwa Street, Victoria Island, Lagos