Kaduna Will Be Great Again – el-Rufai’s Aide | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Kaduna Will Be Great Again – el-Rufai’s Aide

Posted: May 6, 2015 at 3:50 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Juliet Oyoyo, Kaduna


People have been crying for “change”. Now that the change has finally come to Kaduna, what does the in-coming government have in stock for
the people?

Thank you very much. Like you rightly said, change has come by the grace of God and first and foremost, we want to appreciate God Almighty for His divine intervention in ensuring that this change
really came to be and it is a thing of the past now.

People are in the mood of celebration; it is not time to celebrate yet because if you have a sober reflection and re-examine the state in which Kaduna has found itself in, it is worrisome and very disturbing.

This is because, the income and the treasury has been depleted
completely. Kaduna is in a terrible financial state therefore, it is not going to be a magic to change the situation that is seemingly ugly, very disturbing and worrisome like I earlier mentioned, into a
stage where people will begin to jump and celebrate. It is a process.

Like we all know, to build takes time but in destruction, it is in a
split second and it is done.

Mallam Nasir el-Rufai is a fantastic human being; a man of noble character, a man whose integrity is not in doubt in any way, a man who is prepared for this big task of moving Kaduna forward to make it great again. The campaign slogan is, ‘Let us make Kaduna Great Again’.

What it simply means is that there was a time that Kaduna was great and that Kaduna is no longer great again and Kaduna has to be great again. And so, he chose that as his campaign slogan. We are calling on all and sundry to put hands together and work with
us. Let them understand the vision that Mallam Nasir el-Rufai has. He mentioned five-key issues that he is going to concentrate on and this is
not far-fetched from sampling opinions and making researches on areas of needs.

That is the first major point of attack. He will pay attention to energy, focus on expertise and quickly turn around Kaduna
into a habitable place, an economic viable environment, education knowing environment and a healthy environment where people will be
healthy, where people will be happy and security is guaranteed so that
people can sleep with their two eyes closed.

Mallam Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai is a utopian reformer, a great
philanthropist who has taken a stand to study the design of Kaduna State as that was the original plan and he has taken his time to look at this and I am sure he is going to do a lot, because, the duo, that
is the team; he is a Quantity Surveyor, his Deputy is an Architect and with that combination, you do not need to be told what they are going
to do to the face and the beautification of Kaduna State. And because he also understands economics and understands what it means to have a buoyant environment where fitness will thrive and encourage and stimulate the environment, he has earmarked projects that will conduct
change such as the Ikara Food Processing Company, the Kachia Ginger Company where about a million people will be employed. This is because
we have to shift from the dependence on oil into dependence on what is
also natural to us. Before the oil, we had the groundnuts pyramids in Kano, we had the cotton in Funtua and other places, we also had the
tobacco which people used to come and export. So, we have to concentrate now.

We have ginger in southern Kaduna; Jabba area in large quantity which is about the best in the world and it is just to
intensify more on the ginger and all the pepper and the natural produce that we have, farm them in large quantity using modern day
farming implements to increase the yields. This will help to grow the economy through the trading in these products, create employment for our teeming youths, the graduates and others in the state.


You have enumerated so many things which the in-coming government will do. You also talked about the treasury being
depleted. How then do you hope to get funds to finance these projects?

It is no longer news that the Kaduna State treasury has been depleted.

In the last eight years, over N600 billion came into Kaduna
from the Federation Account and shared with the local governments and
what have you. There is a Joint Account with the LGs. If you go round the 23 LGs in the state (we went round during our campaigns before the
party primaries and elections) there is nothing to show for the monies collected.

This government has not done one single project of N10 billion except of course, the Governor’s Office in the Government House that was earmarked initially for N2.9 billion and at the end of the day
after completion, we were told that about N10 billion was spent. What brought about that?

It only became a conduit for the siphon of over N6 billion. What
happened to these monies? If you go to Kano State and you are told that N600 billion was spent, you will agree with them there. Physically you can see developmental growth there in that state. Go to Plateau
State, in spite of the insecurity, the Governor there has tried. The man there has vision and worked. Unfortunately, one cannot say the same about Kaduna as what you see today in the state has been the same
since the time of Sarduana.

Someone made a joke sometime ago that, if you drop him in Jaji, he will find his way as nothing has changed. It will tell how terrible the government has been. So much money has gone
with an empty treasury.

Nasir el-Rufai is in talks with some international bodies that are willing to come to render support so that we get out of this situation.
There is serious income leakage through Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of the state. The government did not bother about this. It is shameful that a state like Kaduna is making only about N500-700 million
when states like Sokoto is generating over N4 bllion monthly as IGR. It was only once that Kaduna hit the N1 billion mark and fell
back. We will block all the leakages and any one found wanting will be brought to book.So, this is one of the ways that government will
generate revenue to attend to pressing issues.

Also, the state stands to benefit from the centre because of the
presence of (Muhammadu) Buhari as there will be some compensation; I am sure, to
certain projects that will be channeled to Kaduna as quick
intervention so that the state can focus on other things, and don’t
forget, we talked about reviving the ginger industry, which as we all know is a major revenue booster that will help in creating more opportunities for the state and its people.


Successive democratic governments since 1999 have made all these promises but at the end of the day, the people have remained the same, complaining of
neglect. How are we sure that these promises will be fulfilled?

That is why I said that there is a track record. If you look at what Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai did in Abuja and if you enter Abuja, there are some communities that almost worship him. There is no case of corruption against him or anything of such. I worked with him as his Director General in charge of campaigns and I know the kind of things
I am talking about. He is a man that has zero tolerance for
corruption. There is this saying that, “he who must go for equity must go with clean hands”. He will start from himself and so, any person willing to work with him must be ready to be like him.

All we are asking is just give us the chance and you will come back to tell the story.