…Says LG officials must stay in localities
In a similar vein, our reporters, namely Muhammad Hamisu Abdullahi, Aliyu Umar, Ghali Mujtaba Kasim, Umoru Ibrahim, Usman Gwadabe, Abubakar Salihi Bello and Salisu Baso were granted an interview by the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Murtala Sule Garo. He says a lot on the performance of the local administration, especially with the swearing-in of the newly elected local government chairmen today. Excerpt:
On peaceful conduct of the recent local Government election:
In the name of Allah the beneficent, the merciful, the just concluded 2021 Kano State Local Government Election, which returned All Progressives Congress candidates as victorious, was as a result of Governor (Dr.) Abdullhi Uar Ganduje’s commitment in the provision of infrastructural development not only in the metropolis, but across other 36 local government areas.
If you could remember, recently NULGE has conducted one of its activities in the state and disclosed that only Kano governor and that of Delta are given their Local Government Councils all their allocations without tempering. They even added that the duo also support them where they failed to pay their salaries.
This shows Ganduje’s fairness in the working with the state third tier of government and was one of the reasons that made APC victorious in the election, which some opposition parties refused to participate because they know Kano is for Ganduje.
Some of the developmental projects initiated by the governor are Local Government Education Committees under CRC in which each committee of the 44 councils was given N20 million to renovate some primary schools in their domains as well as advise stakeholders and wealthy individual to assist basic education in their vicinities.
Also, local government councils under Ganduje-led administration engage in drainages construction to enable for free flow of water with a view to avoiding flooding, especially during rainy season, this forms part of the achievemnts.
Another development leading to the peaceful conduct of the polls is the upgrading of four hospitals in the new Emirate of Gaya, Rano, Karaye and Bichi to a status of 400-bed capacity facilities. The hospitals, when completed, will provide dental and eye clinical.
Furthermore, hundreds of Mosques were built and renovated based on request by communities as well as provision of empowerment to women and youths in each of the 44 local government areas.
This government gives empowerment of women and youth prominence. Even last week, the state governor had approved the release of N325 million for the training of youth in auto mobile at Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) in Kaduna State, which will be the fifth time. Already, the selection of patriotic youth has reached an advanced stage. Each local government area was given two forms – making it, 88 youths for the empowerment.
Additionally, there are projects under execution towards ensuring that peace reigns in the state, as you know Kano is enjoying harmony – which is the most peaceful state in the country. We thank God Almighty for this.
On what makes Governor Ganduje popular:
One of the things that make Governor Ganduje popular, it is his good interaction with different people and communities with respect. He never takes himself as superior to others. He always shares with people at grassroots, happiness and sorrows. Whatever concerns his people is important to him.
Recently, you have seen the stance of the government on Abduljabar Saga, therefore anything that affects them in term of Islamic religion, affects him much.
These are some of the reasons that made our party, the APC to continue shining among the citizens of the state. And we are continuing to do more to ensure rapid development and peaceful coexistence.
What is your expectation from the newly elected local government chairmen in the state?
Our hope is, as you may know, the local governments’ 2021 budget gives priority to education, health, agriculture and women and youth empowerments, therefore these elected officials are expected to continue from where their predecessors stopped up to the end of this fiscal year on these four cardinals as well as infrastructural developments.
We want the new comers to emulate those they may replace, in addition of trying to live in peace with the people as being demonstrated by Governor Ganduje, Khadimul Islam.
What is your ministry doing to compel the newly elected chairmen to stay at their locality instead of migrating to Kano city?
I’m very happy with this question. One of our ministry’s effort under the approval of the governor is to ensure that each chairman stays at his locality. This is very significant, because we have realize that chairmen that are out of metropolis, some of them own houses in Kano city. This makes them not to stay in the places of their primary assignment.
Now, we have taken a decision, as you know there are government houses at each local government area for the senior staff and also for the chairmen. Therefore, in this era, we have rehabilitated these edifices; any of them who is not feeling big could occupy one of them as official residence.
The ministry will also monitor their activities at the each council to ensure chairmen go to office and on time. We will not condone with the usual habit for going to office only at end of a month. We will even punish any chairman found not going to office.
However, one of the interesting things about the chairmen-elect is that most of them are young and also have the zeal to work towards providing meaningful projects in their domains.
Is the Karkara Salamu Alaikum project a reality or just a propaganda?
Yes, it is a reality. If you can go to my constituency Kabo, there was project, a project from Garo to Sarigirim, which was completed. Also there is one presently under construction from Kanye to Kabo to Dugabau.
Go to Tsanyawa Local Government Area, there are similar projects executed at 100 per cent at ‘Yargwanda – which passed through four wards of the area.
Also in Kunchi Local Government Area, a road from ‘Yarkuka, which is part of the Karkara projects, is 70 per cent completed.
The projects also feature at Sumaila, Warawa and Bunkure Local Government Areas, which are all near completion.
One of the major problems bedeviling the present administration is road network at rural area, that is why the government, under Governor Ganduje, accords priority to such projects.
What is the present administration’s stance on five kilometer road projects?
The project was initially initiated by the immediate past government and the project is a joint venture between the state and the councils – whereby 90 per cent commitment is responsibility of the third tier, while 10 per cent is for the state government. However, at that time the whole world found itself on economic meltdown, which caused set back to the project, the present administration has continued with some of the five kilometer projects in some areas, like in Rimin Gado, the project is about to be finished, while that of Tudun Wada was already completed.
Also in Doguwa, the construction is ongoing and God willing, Ganduje administration will complete them, but it will reduce the scope of the project. For instance, the roads are dual carriage, therefore the state governor set up a committee to review it to one lane as most of local government areas do not need such two lanes.
What do you want to be remembered for?
There are a number of projects about which I want to be remembered for. But the most important is the IDP rehabilitation centre in Mariri, which has been transformed by the state government based on the consideration of state governor who directed that the camp be given adequate attention notwithstanding that the inhabitants are not indigenes of the state. The governor has specifically directed they must be well cared for as they have been part and parcel of the state. I fell very happy each time I visit the camp when I see the children well fed and happy. I am always happy when I see them happy. It is indeed one of the projects about which I want to be remembered for. Another very important project that is dear to my heart is Kwa Girls Secondary School in Dawaki Tofa – which, before we came in, was in a sorry state of dilapidation but which has now been totally transformed.
The genesis of the rehabilitation was the visit of the governor’s wife, Prof. Hafsat Umar Ganduje to the school, where she discovered the pathetic state of affairs of the institution and then gave directive for an immediate renovation. I also visited the school, what I saw was highly disappointing.
Today, the school remains one of the best in the state in terms of infrastructure, having engulfed N150 million from the state government. Whenever I see the state of happiness of the students, I feel elated for being part of such successful undertakings.
Another very important project the state government has executed, which I am proud of, is the computer centre at Murtala Muhammad Library, which has been completed. I visited the centre and when I saw the equipment and the quality of works done in the place, I was very happy.
There are a number of such projects that I am pleased with and about which I want to be remembered. Some of these projects have been completed 100 per cent, while some are ongoing near completion. God willing, we will complete them.
Sir, is the present administration in support of local government autonomy or do you want them to remain under second tier?
I already stated my stance and that of Governor Ganduje. If you can remember, the state governor was once a chairman of four local government areas in the Federal Capital Territory. He was also a Commissioner for Local Government for eight years and he has disclosed his stance. At last, he wrote a book on Local Government Administration.
Therefore, our stance is for local government councils to have autonomy. There were some months whereby some local government councils could not pay their salaries, but since the state governor supported us with N200 million to N1 billion for the salary payment.
However, the state government is not receiving their allocation; each local government area receives its own from Federal Allocation Committee.
Do you think in feature, the newly four created Emirates could be scrapped and how do you see the development in these areas?
It is possible to be so. However, these Emirates were highly appreciated by the subjects. If any political dispensation plans to scrap them, it will surely be rejected by the inhabitants. Their people will not vote any party that they know will ban the Emirates’ creation.
Therefore, God willing these Emirates have come to stay. The Emirs are very honest and just.
On the development, the upgrading of their hospitals to 400-bed capacities is a milestone to them. Another issue is that, since the creation of the Emirate, the district heads are chosen within that area unlike before where they are sent from far away. Therefore, it is very impossible to amend the situation.
We thank you sir.
But I want to thank the Triumph Publishing Company’s staff, because since when it was revived, we have witnessed a lot of progress. The paper is now online we can easily browse and read latest news as it reports what is happening at all nooks and crannies of the state. Albishir and Alfijir are also doing their best. You shall keep on and to also continue enlightening public about government policies and to draw the attention of the government when necessary.