X-raying El- Rufai’s 60 Days In Office | Independent Newspapers Limited
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X-raying El- Rufai’s 60 Days In Office

Posted: Aug 6, 2015 at 12:58 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Gabriel John –  Kaduna


The achievements of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El- Rufai during his tenure  as the 12th Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) between 2003 and 2007 speaks volumes as he sets a standard that can hardly be broken by any of his successor. Perhaps, that accounts for high level of interest and confidence the people of Kaduna state had in him and was elected by majority votes and sworn in as governor of Kaduna State on May 29 .



El-Rufai by no mean has spent two months as the duly elected governor of Kaduna State and the steps taken so far has confirmed the confidence of the people in the state have in him to “make Kaduna Great again,” which is the thrust of the people of the state.

It is on record that  El-Rufai often times had cried loud even before his inauguration  as governor of the state that Kaduna State was left prostrate by the previous administration led by PDP Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero and that the state was at the verge of collapse. But one thing that gave the people of the state joy, confidence and hope of rebuilding new Kaduna State was that Malam Nasir El-Rufai vied for governorship position and was elected by the simple majority who threw their weight behind him because of his previous achievements in both public and private sector. These people believed and were convinced that he can turn the misery of the state to fortune.

At any given opportunity, he keeps reminding the people of the state that the former Kaduna State  and its local governments  under the leadership of Alhaji Muktar Ramalan Yero existed only to pay salaries as they live on borrowing monies to keep the government running.

Hear him, “ the civil servants and the political appointees- that is, the servants of the 8 million people of Kaduna State were consuming over 100 percent of the income of the state, leaving nothing for the development of education, healthcare, agriculture, roads and water supply.  The state therefore, became highly indebted. The total indebtedness of the state as at 31st May, 2015 stood at N74.297bn, comprising of N28.840bn in domestic debt and N45.44bn in foreign debt. The state government has an unsettle liabilities to contractors, consultants and suppliers of about N25bn and shortfalls in pension contributions of N8.371bn.”

According to him, apart from the huge debt, the new administration also inherited cash deficits and poor liquidity even as the previous administration incurred outstanding liabilities of N370bn as at May, 2015.

“In an effort to obscure the deficit they had placed the state in, the previous government resorted to pretending that committed funds were available to be spent. Committed funds are monies that cannot be spent by the government because they are already earmarked as counterpart and reserve funds for specific purposes such as MDGs, SUBEB, SURE-P and pension contributions. These committed funds amounted to about N8.56billion as at May, 2015,” he said.

Prior to the inauguration of his administration and based on his experiences as FCT Minister and administrator,  Governor El-Rufai  being the 9th civilian governor of Kaduna State had made key appointments of capable hands, trusted and experienced people devoid of religious bigot or ethnicity. These people are expected to assist him in moving the state forward.  This is because, on assumption of office two months ago, after carefully studied the situation on ground, he discovered that if Kaduna State should continue to be administered the old ways, it will soon be crumbled. Instead, an urgent step needs to be taken by cutting overheads spending by 60 percent even as he immediately directed the state Accountant General to release only 40 percent of budgeted overheads.

Besides, in his wisdom, he had decided to make the budget of the state conform to the state’s financial reality.  According to him, “over the years, the Kaduna budget became a process to justify spending, not a mechanism to achieve results, structure economic development and improve social cohesion. Even with that, less than 40 percent of the budget has been implemented since 2008. Actual spending stood at just 26 percent in 2013. In the same year, health sector implementation was just 14 percent of planned expenditure, while that for town, urban and regional development was just 1 percent.”

Interestingly, like the farmer who knows his farm implements, Malam Nasir El-Rufai had cut the cost of running the state by reducing the ministries from 19 to 13 and also reduced the number of permanent secretaries from the previous 35 to 18.

Already, the governor and his deputy have slashed their salaries by 50 percent for the development of the state and have decided to save the monies realizing from purported spending on feeding, gifts and pilgrimage for the development of the state. Besides, the first phase of Biometric verification has been completed with millions of naira realized and saved for the same purpose.

According to him, “We have signed the 2015 Kaduna State –UNICEF 2015 work-plan. The state government is ready with tits counterpart funding for the agreed initiatives in healthcare, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, water, sanitation and child protection. We have installed two dialysis machines and have repaired three  dialysis equipment at Barau Dikko Hospital. We hope to take delivery of four other dialysis machines to be installed at our general hospitals in Kafachan and Zaria.”

Expectedly, a number of measures are put in place to create jobs for the teaming unemployed youths in the state. An agreement has already been signed with United Africa Company (UAC) Property Development Company (UPDC) to build a shopping mall in the state.  High numbers of investors have indicated interest in building additional malls and 5 star hotels which will make Kaduna a centre for domestic tourism and an outstanding venue for national and international conferences and events.

Also, a scheme to revive taxi services in the major urban centers has been initiated. The scheme according to him, it will start with 200 branded, aired conditioned cabs in the city. Prospective owner-drivers are expected to deposit only 10 percent of the discounted price of the vehicles while paying the balance in installments over a period of four years.

It is on record that most of the policies and programmes initiated by this government are people oriented. It is the strong believe that his monthly Town hall meetings with the people of the state will assist greatly in moving the state forward. People will express their feelings, while necessary actions and corrections will be taken since no man is an island.

Political observers believed that since Kaduna Governor decided to run an open door policy as was the case while head sway as the FCT Minister, Kaduna State will be a better place that will be emulated by other states.