Monday, 2 May 2016

Nasir A El-Rufai’s Account of Stewardship

 We are devoted to the many who need the most - Remarks by Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the 7th Town Hall meeting, held in Kachia; Saturday, 30 April 2016

I am honored to welcome you all to our Zone 3 Town Hall meeting. It feels nice to be back in Kachia. I recall with delight our visit to Kachia last year to launch fertilizer sales for our farmers. We have come a long way since then. I shall this morning present an account of what your government has been doing. It is our political obligation to do this, and to listen to your comments, and discuss your concerns about the things we are doing or need to do.

For the first time in the history of the state, the Kaduna State Government has presented the first quarter budget performance report to the House of Assembly. Finance Commissioner Suleiman Abdu Kwari presented the budget performance report in furtherance of our quest to ensure accountability and transparency in governance.

We designed the 2016 Budget based on 60:40 expenditure profile for Capital and Recurrent. Key priorities for the budget are: Infrastructure, Healthcare, Security, Jobs and Agriculture with Education Sector being given the utmost priority. Capital spending in the first quarter amounts to an unprecedented N7bn, with N4.9bn going to the Education sector for school renovation, furniture, and uniforms, and almost a billion naira as payments for the Zaria Water Project.

Despite the sharp fall in revenues, we remain committed to protecting personnel costs and capital projects. To this end, the State Executive Council has approved a Budget Adjustment Mechanism to help ensure that dwindling revenues do not hinder the capital budget.

·         At the beginning of this month, we hosted the Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit (KADInvest).
·          The two-day summit helped put Kaduna on the map as an investment destination
·          We attracted new investments to the state in the Agricultural and Mining sectors
·         Olam has already done the groundbreaking for the largest integrated poultry and feedmill project in sub-Saharan Africa
·         The Dangote Group has decided to build a tomato paste factory which will be supported by an outgrowers scheme for tomato farmers.
·         The Flour Mills of Nigeria has chosen to target the production of maize, wheat and soya bean
·         The Reliance Group wants to grow rice in Kaduna 
·         KADInvest will be an annual event

We have done or are doing the following
·         Free basic education for the first nine years of schooling guaranteed.
·         Abolition of the collection of fees and levies in public schools is saving Kaduna State parents N3 billion every year. Government has also prohibited the sale of forms to students seeking admission to public schools; all forms are to be given free
·         School rehabilitation to repair classrooms, provide water and toilet facilities to 4,254 public primary schools have began
·          Contracts to provide furniture to address the situation where 50% of pupils have no chairs or desks
·         Recruitment of teachers in core subject areas
·         Needs assessment conducted to identify areas where the capacity of current teachers can be improved
·          Implementation of policy that allows teachers to rise to Grade Level 17 without having to stop teaching
·         School feeding in primary schools
·         Improved standard of feeding in boarding secondary schools
·         Provision of uniforms in secondary schools

       Contract to modernize and equip 255 Primary Health Centres, one in each ward, awarded to GE
       GE to also equip 23 secondary health centres, one in each local government
       The state is getting USD 2million from the Save One Million Lives programme
       Kaduna State ranked first in the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week for screening and testing 80,000 pregnant women for HIV in one week
       Five general hospitals selected for improvements to their maternity wards by MTN 
       General hospitals to be equipped with labs that can screen even unborn children to determine their genotypes 
       Accreditation for Barau Dikko Hospital

       Township roads being constructed;
       Street lights, solar-type, are being installed on major roads; a few delayed because the road is earmarked for dualisation;
       Engineering designs and feasibility studies are ongoing for a Kaduna Ring Road project to link Eastern and Western sectors of Kaduna
       Preferred bidders selected for two five-star hotels;
       Cremona has been selected from six companies that submitted bids to construct three private grain silos;
       18 companies submitted bids to build a rail-based mass transit system for Kaduna metropolis; 12 of the companies including Alstom of France, Gauff of Germany and several Chinese companies have been approved for the next stage to submit designs, business plans and evidence of financial capacity
        Projects to construct 20,000 affordable homes have kicked–off;
       Groundbreaking done for UPDC Shopping Mall;
       Water resources get an additional N11.4 billion for projects such as Zaria Water and dams across the state.

       School feeding: 17,000 catering vendors, each of whom has to employ people 
       School uniforms: at least 4,000 tailors across the state
       KADSTEP is training 5000 entrepreneurs in business skills and assist them to develop business plans that can be funded by the Bank of Industry 
       The Kaduna Artisan Training Academy (KADAT) has been approved to train artisans with skills in construction industry trades
       Entrepreneurial hub MoU signed with Stanbic IBTC to assist the incubation of new businesses
       Waste collection currently engages about 6500 youths
       The Kaduna Cabs scheme

Governance Reform
       Reducing the cost of Governance
       Restructuring ministries from 19 to 13
       Treasury Single Account, and continuing efforts to stop leakages of public funds. No cash collection is permitted by any government agency. All payments are made to banks or by electronic means such as POS and internet banking
       Zero-based budgeting
       Verification of Civil Servants and Pensioners
        Passing legislation to reform governance: 
       Contributory Pensions: the current government inherited N14.3 billion arrears of pensions and gratuities. There is a need to reform the law to remove pain for pensioners and provide for them a more reliable way of funding retirement. 
       Codification and Consolidation of Taxes: all taxes and levies payable in Kaduna State are listed in one law which also appoints only one agency to collect all the taxes and revenues.
       Fiscal Responsibility
       Public Procurement
       KADGIS: Kaduna State Geographic Information Service – first set of digitized Certificates of Occupancy have been issued
        KADFAMA: Kaduna State Facilities Management Agency to take over the maintenance of al government assets in a cost-effective manner

       Eliminated the fertilizer racket
       Price guaranty system for farmers to be implemented once storage capacity is expanded through new silos
       KADGIS to provide title to land for farmers so that they can unlock the value in their lands
       State of Emergency declared in forests; ongoing efforts to reclaim forests, stock routes etc
       Tree planting

       This week, your government donated 51 motorcycles to the police and other security agencies. This is in continuation of other support that includes 107 vehicles and bullet proof vests.
       Launched and executed operations against cattle rustling and criminal gangs in the forest ranges around Birnin-Gwari, in collaboration with neighbouring states and with the support of the military, the police and the SSS
       Set up the Agwai committee into the insecurity in Southern Kaduna, and the processes and recommendations of that committee have reduced the intensity and frequency of the killings.

In this journey, we are committed to implementing our governance agenda. We believe that governance has both the power and the duty to improve lives. One of the most powerful ways to attain this is by removing the barriers to education and easing access to healthcare.

We have spent our first 11 months laying the foundations for a different Kaduna State, attracting investments, plugging leakages, and cutting costs. We showing in practice that change is about substance, not merely replacing the previous men of power. As we go forward the fullness of our governance agenda will be implemented for the benefit of our people. Equality of opportunity is a cardinal value for us. That means that we are not wired to create exclusive benefits for the politically powerful. No one can doubt that we have the vision and the will to drive our state forward, to make it a place that offers much to the many who need the most. That is the sustainable way to make Kaduna great again.

Thank you for listening.

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