I feel highly delighted to be part of this momentous occasion which marks a significant turning point in our political journey considering the pre-dominance and sweeping victory of our great party the APC, not only in Kano State but the country at large. For all intents and purposes, I consider our triumph in these elections, as a vote of confidence on our team, in recognition of the gigantic projects executed by the outgoing administration of Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
2. Accordingly, I owe it an obligation to first and foremost, express my profound gratitude to Allah (S.W.T) for our monumental victory in all the 2015 elections. I want to pay special tribute to our former Governor, Senator, Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso for his support and contribution to our success and for his selfless service to Kano State. I pledge to continue with the good works we started since the first tenure of our Administration. There is no gain saying the fact that the APC as a Party, and we as contestants in particular, gained tremendously from this colossal giant whose monumental strides virtually obliterated the political relevance of other parties in the State. I, on behalf of all other elected office holders therefore, assure you that we will continue to be good ambassadors of the Kwankwasiyya movement in the service of our dear State and the Country at large.
3. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the most popular slogan used by our party the APC during electioneering campaign across the Country is “Change”. The motivating factor behind the clamor for change at the national stage was informed by the need to find urgent solutions to numerous challenges facing the survival of our country due to laxity, insecurity and massive mismanagement of our resources.
4. Consequently, while the wind of change starts blowing across the Nation with the ushering of APC at the Centre, it is significant to observe that by virtue of the adoption of the Kwankwasiyya ideology in the running of our affairs, Kano State has in effect made Change as its guiding philosophy since May, 2011.
5. It is therefore a source of pride to observe that the cherished ideals which have been guiding our stewardship all these years are today being adopted as models for addressing the numerous challenges bedeviling our country today. In this regard, I am optimistic that with the synergy and common platform between the Federal Government and our Administration, we will be better poised to get the much needed support and cooperation in our quest to ensure all-round growth and development of our State.
6. As you all know, our journey towards the transformation of Kano State did not start today. We have jointly served the State under the able leadership of our indefatigable leader, Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso during the first tenure form 1999 – 2003 and then from 2011 – 2015 under the second tenure.
7. The strategy under which we approached governance was predicated on the principles of openness, transparency, prudence and accountability.
8. Accordingly, we blocked all avenues for leakages and wastage of public funds through strict fiscal discipline and a robust financial management in all public institutions of the State. This measure had generated savings which contributed tremendously in achieving the set targets during the period under review. In the course of these two tenures therefore, we as a team initiated and executed various policies and programmes that have impacted positively on various facets of lives of our people.
9. Our modest achievements in Education include the establishment of two universities, that is, University of Science and Technology, Wudil and that of North West University, whose work on the permanent site is on-going. The attractive primary school feeding is re-introduced, while over-crowded classrooms were decongested by the massive construction of classrooms all over the State. About five thousands students were sponsored to study at various Universities both within and outside the country.
10. In another development, gigantic infrastructural development projects were executed in various locations within the metropolis. They include Kofar Nasarawa flyover, Ibrahim Taiwo Road flyover, the on-going Murtala Muhammad Way flyover, Kabuga under-pass and Gadon Kaya under pass and also the on-going Jakara Wuju – Wuju road project. Other infrastructural development projects executed include construction and rehabilitation of various roads within and outside the municipality as well as provision of streetlights. Also the construction of 5km roads in all the 44 Local Government Areas has been embarked and is on-going.
11. Similarly, in another effort to provide more housing estate to our teeming populace, the Kwankwasiyya, Amana and Bandirawo cities which contain various categories of housing units were constructed. In the same vein, over 1000 GP Houses were sold to civil servants and other interested members of the public at affordable prices.
12. Against the backdrop of the prevailing inadequate power supply which negatively affects economic and commercial activities in the State, the Independent Power Project which has the capacity for generation of 35 Megawatts was embarked upon. When eventually completed, it is expected to provide electricity to Tamburawa and Challawa Water Works, street lights while a sizeable portion will be sold to interested industrial companies.
13. From the foregoing, it could be noted that successes recorded under two tenures have no doubt made a lot of difference on the lives of the people of this State. Accordingly, we regard our elections as another mandate, to enable us continue with the good works started right from the first tenure of the outgoing Administration. Consequently, the task before us will involve the consolidation of what has been put in place as well as the continuation of on-going development programmes while new projects will also be introduced. In a nutshell therefore, the fundamental direction of this Administration will be predicated on Continuation, Consolidation, Fine Tuning and the introduction of more people oriented policies and programmes.
The new projects we shall embark upon are as follows:-
1. Free and Compulsory Primary Education
Education plays tremendous role in transformation and development of societies. In the words of Nelson Mandela “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the World”. However, it is universally accepted that the foundation of qualitative education starts from the basic or primary level. This Administration intends to take necessary measures in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, with a view to ensuring that all children are enrolled in primary schools nearest to them as soon as they attain school age. Consequently, Primary Education in Kano State will be free and compulsory henceforth. Accordingly, relevant policies and legislations will be enacted to ensure the enforcement of this policy.
2. Re-Invigoration of Civil Service
An efficient, effective and result – oriented civil Service is a necessary ingredient for effective implementation of government policies and programmes. To fast – track the process of re-invigoration the State civil Service apparatus, the procedure and standards provided by the SERVICOM charter will henceforth be fully applied in operations of all the MDAs with a view to promoting probity and accountability as well as effective service delivery across the State. An ultra-modern training centre for Civil Servants will be provided. In order to reduce the cost of governance our administration will examine the possibility of reducing the number of Ministries in the State. However, we will ensure that nobody will loose his or her employment in the course of the re-organization.
The principle of honesty, transparency, probity and accountability remains crucial to providing good governance. It is a known fact the canter-worm of corruption has done incalculable damage on our collective ability to do what is expected of us as custodians and managers of the resources entrusted to us. To arrest this unhealthy development therefore, this Administration will have zero tolerance on Corruption. To facilitate this, anti-corruption agency will be re-invigorated for the agencies to discharge their duties more effectively, while those who engage in corruption practices will be punished accordingly.
4. Due Process Bureau
Due process is one of the most essential ingredients for effective, purposeful and responsible governance in accordance with international best practices. Because of its linkage with probity and accountability, it is used as yardstick for measuring performance both in the public and private sectors worldwide. Consequently, a Due Process Bureau will be established, with a view to instituting due diligence and reform culture in the operation of Government.
5. Kano Master – Plan
Kano is a fast expanding and bustling commercial city that has its own fair share of modern – day urban challenges like traffic congestion, inaccessibility, shanty settlements and erosion. In order to give impetus for proper planning and implementation of mega structures and infrastructures, the Kano Master Plan which has not been subjected to any re-appraisal for a very long time, will be subjected to a wholesale review in order to ease flow of traffic, accessibility to as many of areas as possible. Government will also initiate through the instrumentality of PPP, the introduction of light rail transport system under clearly defined transport policy.
In order to provide shelter to our teeming population, Government will pursue a housing policy that will provide affordable housing to the low-income groups of the State. The APC administration, in adherence to the United Nations convention on habitat, will promote housing development through public – private sector participation in mass housing schemes for the poor. We will also facilitate a home – ownership scheme for civil servants.
7. Regional Water Schemes
With massive settlement expansion and population explosion, there is the increasing need to expand the capacities of our water supply schemes. Accordingly, the existing Regional Water Supply Schemes will be expanded in order to cope with the increasing demand of portable drinking water in the rural areas.
Agriculture is the mainstay of our economy and over 70% of our population depends on farming as a source of food, income and labour. Basically, Kano is therefore an agrarian economy. As part of the efforts to boost production, wealth creation and employment, this administration will create the enabling environment for public and private partnership in the promotion of Fish farming and Poultry. To facilitate this, Government will provide infrastructural facilities for the establishment of Model Parks with the capacity to accommodate 50 – 100 farmers/entrepreneurs. The parks will provide shades for Feed production, Medication, Cold Room, Restaurant and whole sale marketing facility with total value chain for comprehensive business activities.
14. Similarly, considering the importance of fertilizer as the main inputs for boosting agricultural production, this Administration will resuscitate KASCO through public-private partnership to enable it engage in production of commercial fertilizer in such a way that, it will utilize the proceeds of the sales of commercial fertilizer to fund the distribution of the commodity to small, medium and large–scale farmers at subsidized rates.
15. Also, in the desire to expand dry season farming as well as discourage rural – urban migration, we will produce a blue print to provide the basis for laying a solid foundation of boosting small irrigation farming schemes along the dotted lines of our rivers and streams across the State for the benefit of the rural areas. Through public – private partnership our medium and small dams will be utilized for full commercial irrigation and electricity generation.
THE FULANI HERDSMEN
16. Ladies and Gentlemen, my speech cannot be complete without mentioning some issues on BANDIRAWO. The State Government is aware of the disturbing issue of the cattle rustling and the encroachment of grazing areas due to the high increase of our population. Our government will collaborate with the Federal Government to come up with a lasting solution to the problems of normads all over the country. The ultimate solution to the problems of Fulani Herdsmen is to fashion out a resettlement scheme that will take into consideration their educational, socio-economic and security well-being of the Normads.
17. We shall enhance the quality of cattle rearing by planting fodder to enrich the grazing areas that will be designated and well protected. In order to modernize the entire system of cattle rearing our Government will embark on the development of artificial insemination centres to ensure high quality meat and milk production. In this respect I solicit for the full cooperation of Fulani herdsmen.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION
18. The Local Government is an indispensable third tier of Government that operates solely at the grassroots level. Local Government are therefore closer to the people and in this respect, therefore, I would strive hard to harmonize, stabilize and re-invigorate this important tier of government to ensure that the dividends of democracy are consolidated at the grassroots level.
19. The APC Administration will focus on preventive approach to health care delivery system. This approach is mainly to reduce the prevalence of common killer diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, Polio, Malaria and dysentery to mention a few. The programme of Routine Immunization will be given top priority to protect our children from preventable disease. At this juncture I have to appreciate and acknowledge the contributions of Bill and Melinda Gates and Dangote Foundations in this respect. After adequate consultations with stakeholders, we will examine the policy of State Health Insurance Scheme. The target groups will involve public, private and communities. The service of Environmental Health Workers (Duba Gari) will be invigorated to be more functional at all times. They will be empowered to return to physical inspection of houses, markets, abattoirs etc. and enforce the relevant laws. A legislation banning tobacco smoking in public places will be forwarded to Honourable Kano State House of Assembly for appropriate legislation.
COMPLETION OF ON-GOING PROJECTS
20. This administration will complete on-going projects initiated by the out-going administration such as – The Hydropower Projects, Jakara Wuju-Wuju Road, and the Murtala Muhammad Way flyover. A master plan for urban beautification will be produced to give Kano the real features of mega city. The project will be supported by serious environmental sanitation policies.
21. Every Nigerian is a living witness to the failure of the out-going Administration at the Federal level to provide security to Nigerians. The clarion call for change across the width and breadth of Nigeria at Federal level was largely anchored on the need for the provision of adequate security of lives and properties. The ardent hope that comes along with the change of leadership at the Federal level is the responsibility to secure Nigeria and make it more fortified against insurgency and external aggression.
22. The APC administration in Kano State will establish a Security Trust Fund that will ensure the participation of the private sector for a robust policing of the State. The Trust Fund will provide modern security gargets to be located in black spot areas of metropolitan Kano. The security agencies will be mobilized and coordinated for a Rapid Response Programme within Kano metropolis. Our communities and traditional rulers will be involved in the overall security programme.
WAR AGAINST DRUG ABUSE
23. One of the major areas our administration had made positive impact is the relentless pursuit to fight the menace of drug abuse particularly among the youth. It is a well known fact that a cartel of drug barons who have been flooding our markets with fake, illicit and expired drugs and suffocating the health of the section of our youth were smashed and dislodged.
24. In this vein, Government had surmounted a lot of courage and expended resources to ensure that the scourge of drug abuse and other traits incidental to it were fought to its knees. Under this scourge, hundreds of millions of Naira worth of fake and illicit drugs were burnt over a period of time. As the cartel members are being forced to abandon the trade, others had unfortunately resettled elsewhere. Thus, in order to eradicate the menace of drug abuse in our State, efforts are going to be intensified to consolidate the gains recorded in that direction. The APC administration will dialogue with genuine drug dealers for a more effective programme to succeed in the War Against Drug Abuse.
INTERNALY GENERATED REVENUE (IGR)
25. Ladies and Gentlemen, as our nation and all the federating units are being faced with dwindling financial resources on account of the falling prices of oil globally, the ability of Federal, State and Local Governments to shoulder enormous responsibilities is greatly hampered. While assuring that this Administration is determined to keep the phase of development and the standards we have so far established, I wish to appeal to the good people of Kano State to show understanding about the current financial constraints and to cooperate with the Government in the Internal Revenue Generation derive to achieve the onerous task and responsibilities of Governance at all levels. In this respect the Kano State Board of Internal Revenue will be re-structured along the line of best practices to ensure that only honest, knowledgeable, committed and responsible personnel to form the new outfit for maximum collection and remittance of our revenues.
In concluding this address, I will like to re-iterate our commitment to total transformation of our dear state through the consolidation, continuation and introduction of more people – oriented projects, policies and programmes. In carrying out this mandate, we shall run a Government that will be open and receptive to ideas and other inputs aimed at moving our State forward.
I wish to once again express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to my party members the APC and the outgoing Governor, Senator Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso for his selfless service to the State and superintending its affairs for greater accomplishments within the last four years. I am also to extend additional appreciation for the affection he extends to me during our long years of political partnership. No doubt, during those challenging years, he has personally exhibited and practically demonstrated in a very clear terms his brotherly disposition to me. This I will continue to cherish forever. I therefore, wish him God’s guidance in his capacity as Senator under the new dispensation.
I also wish to extend similar appreciation to all important dignitaries that graced this occasion particularly our revered Emir, His Highness Muhammad Sanusi II for his fatherly presence.
I wish to thank the entire people of Kano State for their overwhelming support to APC candidates in the State. I thank the State Chairman of our party as well as the Party Chairmen of all the 44 Local Governments in the State, our campaign organization, Local Government Council Chairmen, Women, Youth, Members of the Academia. My appreciation also goes to the Ulama, Civil Servants, Members of the Press, Security Agents, NGOs, Business Community and our Community leaders for their support and understanding which led to our resounding victory in the elections. I also wish to appreciate the presence of diplomats and all other invited guests from within and outside the country for find time to grace this occasion. I wish to re-stress to the entire citizens of this State that we shall do our utmost best to justify the confidence reposed on us.
May the Almighty Allah in His Infinite wisdom guide us in the discharge of this onerous responsibility, ameen.
Thank you and God Bless.