The administration of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state has kept with the people of the state with its clear vision and commitment to the policy consolidating and trailblazing in all facets of development. This is informed by its stand to bequeath a state in which there shall be effective health and educational systems, a bourgeoning agriculture, renewed urban infrastructure, more employment opportunities, enhanced security and peace to bolster economic growth and development.
Good performance can be seen to be the accomplishment of a given task measured against preset known standards of accuracy, completeness, cost and speed. The performance of a governor in our present democratic government is measured by the improvement of the quality of life in the state during the period of his governance. In the light of this review, Governor Ganduje, who believes in accountability, responsiveness, participation, transparency, the rule of law and government of equitable and inclusion has in his first 100 days in office made laudable achievements in a number of areas.
Ganduje has matched words with action by delivering his promise he made during his inauguration of providing free and compulsory education for primary and secondary school pupils and students. Modalities have also been worked out to ensure that the Almajiri system of education is integrated into the conventional Western education learning curriculum, designed to take the Almajiris off the street as beggars and also give them sound and adequate education that can equal them to other school children in terms of access to qualitative education.
Ganduje has already commenced direct funding of primary and secondary schools numbering 1,180 with a total student population of 834, 366 at a total cost of about N200 million per month which has been disbursed as monthly intervention by the state government. The government also has streamlined about 13, 619 Qur’anic schools with 2.5 million pupils across the state and integrated them into the free and compulsory education programme.
While it has initiated a pilot scheme with 52 selected mega schools to receive direct funding from government, the Ganduje administration is also expending the sum of N350.7 Million for the feeding of primary schools pupils in classes 4,5 and 6 to supplement the federal government home-grown feeding programme for pupils in classes 1, 2 and 3.
The administration has also expended the sum of N600 million on a joint post graduate scholarship programme between the state and French Embassy in Nigeria that covers indigent lecturers from the state’s tertiary institutions sponsored under the agreement.
In the last three months, Ganduje embarked upon a sweeping reform in the civil service to ensuring an impartial and unflustered service system as part of his broad vision to move the state to the next level. The governor gave teeth to the reform with the appointment of permanent secretaries based on merit, competence and track record. The appointees have adequately held forth, keeping the wheel of governance moving at a steady pace. The reform, which aims at repositioning the civil service to be more efficient to serve the people better, is also intended to rid the service of partisan politics.
One interesting thing about the development is that, out of the 36 Permanent Secretaries appointed, 11 are women, which is in compliance with the National Policy on Women that reserves 30 per cent for women under the affirmative action guidelines, and also in pursuit of Ganduje’s policy to empower and promote the cause of women in the state.
On infrastructure development, a deliberate policy on the provision of infrastructures in both urban and rural areas of Kano State continue to be vigorously pursued. These include the construction and reconstruction of roads, flyovers, underpasses and bridges for the smooth movement of persons, goods and services with a view to boosting the state’s economy.
Within the period under review, many of such projects have just been completed or are on the verge of completion. There is Burum-Burum-Sumaila-Kwanar Sumaila road, Karaye-Rogo-Makarfi road, Aminu Alhassan Dantata Flyover along Murtala Muhammad Way, the Dangi Overpass and Underpass which is about to be completed and commission next month. These are noble futuristic moves to decongest the roads to pave way for efficient traffic flow for enhanced business and economic activities such as dozens of major and link roads have been constructed across the state which makes Kano the most amazing infrastructural development strides in the north. All these have landed with a gigantic light-up of the state capital and rapid road modernization in the state as part of a strategic goal to create a conducive ambience for local and foreign investment in Kano with its teeming population and make the state a 24-hour economy.
Turning to the health issues, the Ganduje administration has approved the establishment of state-of-the-art cancer center at Muhammad Buhari Specialist Hospital. Contract for the project which will be the first of its kind in any public hospital is worth N2.4 billion naira and construction work is in progress at the project site as well as the construction of 50 bed hospital at Danladi Nasidi Estate.
As part of collaborative effort, the state government has also secured a facility of 64.5 million Euros from a French Development Agency as arrangements have been concluded for the take-off of the project this year. Approval has been given under the Integrated Water and Agriculture Development Project for the Islamic Development Bank’s water component facility of $200 million for water supply project in the state.
Other giant strides of the Ganduje administration in the last 100 days are in the information management. It has made investment in the sub sector to ensuring that it plays its vital role as medium of mass communication for enhanced free flow of information as well as the promotion of our culture. The state government has procured Antenna Marching Unit worth N39 million at Jogana sub-station of Radio Kano, in addition to procurement of working materials for the graphic unit of the state ministry of Information and Culture, as well as rehabilitation and equipping of the ministry’s Information and Communication Technology unit.
For effective sports development in Kano state, Governor Ganduje has dissolved the state Sports Commission and is coming up with a full pledged Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Ganduje has also consolidated his administration’s strategies that engender sustainable food production by creating enabling environment, adequate and timely supply of fertilizer to farmers at government’s approved prize, ground for easy access to credit facility for farmers especially rice and wheat farmers e.t.c. This has certainly been reducing the cost of production and enhance profitability for the farmers in the state.
Just as he continues to consolidate and trail blaze in all aspects of development, Ganduje is setting the phase for tangible future development plan for Kano in many years to come which will become imperative for subsequent administrations to adopt and implement for the betterment of the people of the state
Garba is the immediate past Commissioner for Information, Youth and Culture, Kano State