Four Years Into The Life of Mallam Nasir Elrufai as Governor of Kaduna

Politics

 
Achievements Of Governor El-Rufai 
Governance:
The administration of Governor El-Rufai hit the ground running in 2015 by introducing state-wide reforms aimed at cutting the cost of governance and achieving efficiency in public service. First, El-Rufai and his deputy announced a 50% slash on their salaries and allowances.

Next, government ministries were trimmed from 19 to 14. So, also the number of commissioners from 24 to 15. The cabinet led by El-Rufai was shrunk in size but highly effective. This, according to the governor, was to free up resources used in running the government for public goods. In 2015, for example, budgetary allocation for running Government House was around N3 billion (2015 under PDP) but was reduced to about N600 million in the first budget ever prepared by this administration in 2016.

Kaduna’s public service was gulping N2.7 billion monthly when El-Rufai took power in May 2015. This was brought down to N2.2 billion after the biometric exercise to verify employees in the state payroll, an exercise that eliminated ghost workers saving the state N500 million monthly.

Implementing Treasury Single Account:
In August 2015, at the onset of this administration, Kaduna state pioneered the implementation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) regarded as a policy tool that helps reduce waste and leakages. Kaduna State requested its bankers to close all government accounts and to remit the balances to the state’s TSA at the Central Bank. Having conducted a prior census of government accounts, Kaduna was given a baseline figure of 324 accounts belonging to ministries, departments, and agencies. When the banks submitted evidence of closure of government accounts, the government was surprised that there were 470 accounts from which N24.5bn were remitted to the state’s TSA. 


Adoption of Zero Based Budgeting:
Kaduna State adopted zero-based budgeting because budgets were not based on realistic estimates of revenues and thus did not deliver results, economic development or social cohesion. Zero-based budgeting ensures a result in a state budget that is credible, realistic and makes the best use of state resources. Adopting the budgeting System means that every expenditure item must be justified in term of its necessity, cost, and availability -of funds, vis-a-vis other competing needs before it can be included in the budget.


Transparent Public Procurement:
Further moves were taken to institute transparency in public procurement with the passing of the Public Procurement Law, 2016 and the creation of Kaduna Public Procurement Agency (KADPPA). All tenders for procurement and contracts are published and bidden opened and transparently conducted. Kaduna state-imposed transparency and accountability in managing public finances by publishing its audited financial accounts annually on its official website and the national dailies. By this, citizens and bodies can scrutinize the state accounts.

Adoption of IPSAS Accounting Reporting: Furthermore, Kaduna state also adopted the International Public-Sector Accounting Standards-IPSAS aimed at improving transparency and accountability in public finance management and reporting, a step that got the commendation of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria. 
This required all assets and liabilities of the State Government to be properly recognized, measured, presented and disclosed in line with the requirement of IPSAS to provide better information for public sector financial management and decision making.

Signing up to Open Governance Partnership (OGP): In September 2017, Kaduna state government signed up to Open Governance Partnership (OGP) as the first sub-national in the world to do so. By this, Kaduna has committed itself to permit citizens participation in governance and to run an open and transparent governance. OGP is principally designed to improve fiscal transparency, anti-corruption, access to information and citizens engagements and empowerment.

Annual Publication of Audited Account:
Since 2016, Kaduna state has consistently published its audited accounts on national dailies and online. This is to allow the public access and scrutinise the state’s financial transactions, further entrenching accountability and transparency in government affairs.

Local Government Reforms:
El-Rufai moved to save the Local Government Councils from the huge burden of carrying over-bloated civil servants and traditional rulers, whose burden hindered them from rendering services to the grassroots, a major constitutional mandate of the local government councils. As at May 2015 when El-Rufai took power, 15 LGAs were unable to pay salaries and allowances without support from the state government. This meant the LGAs could not implement capital projects.
The Government implemented a Staffing Order for LGAs in November 2017 which saw to the reduction of the staff strength of the 23 Local Government Councils of the State to 6,896, excluding primary school teachers and health workers.
By that Order, all the Generic Local Government Councils are required to have a total of 281 staff each, with a total of 5943 staff for the 21 Local Government Councils.

The state Government also restructured the Traditional Institutions reverting to pre-2001 status of 77 districts and 1429 village units, down from 390 districts and 5882 village units created in 2001. Government’s decision has relieved the 23 Local Government Councils of the heavy burden of paying 4766 staff to make them concentrate on meeting the obligation of providing public goods and services to the people with the resource available to them.
As of today, all the LGAs have become solvents, able to pay salaries monthly and execute projects without encumbrances.

Implementing a planned programme- (SDP 2016-2020)
The need to implement the restoration program, which is the APC Kaduna version of APC Manifesto on a sustainable basis led to the development of Kaduna State Development Plan (SDP 2016-2020).  The document serves as a medium-term goal of APC change platform which reflects the state government’s desire to restore Kaduna State to its lost glory through a planned, orderly and coherent development of the state.
This five-year plan outlines the aspirations of the state government to restore Kaduna to its former glory, including a strategic framework to realize the vision, resource projections to guide and prioritize expenditure, and an implementation plan to deliver results and monitor progress. 

The goals were linked to the budget through the Sector Implementation Plans (SIPs) with strengthened budget and expenditure management systems and processes.Infrastructure Masterplan
The recognition that modern infrastructure is critical for the basic needs and comforts of its citizens and fundamental for strategically positioning of Kaduna State for business and industry, the administration of El-Rufai sets to address the dysfunctional infrastructure that fraught the state. 
This led to the development of the Kaduna Infrastructure Master Plan (KADIMP 2018-2050), a 32-year plan aimed at addressing the state’s infrastructure needs. Implementing Kaduna State Infrastructure Master Plan requires the sum of $65.6b (N20 trillion) from government spending, private sector investment and support from development partners.

This bold vision is anchored on a long-term perspective, 2018-2050, in the hope that government, the private sector, communities and external partners will work together to achieve the ambitious targets set.

New Agencies created for essential services: A bid to make government organizations service-oriented led to the restructuring of some government agencies and creation of new ones driven by innovations and technology to provide services using best global practices. They include:• Geographic Information Service (KADGIS), created to the digitized land registry and spearhead the registration of all lands and properties in the state, ending a regime of land racketeering, fraud, and maladministration.• The Kaduna Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) was created to replace the old Internal Revenue Service, serving as the sole agency collecting tax and revenues for the state and the 23 local government councils. In its two years of operations, KADIRS has eclipsed previous records of revenue collected in the state without having to increase revenues for taxpayers. In 2016, Kaduna’s IGR rose from 11bn (2015) to N23 billion. This was further raised to N28 billion in 2017. KADIRS is moving towards achieving complete automation and has since banned cash transactions in revenue collections, blocked leakages and eliminated multiple taxations which were discouraging businesses in the state.
• KASTELEA to handle road traffic control, State vigilante service,

• Drugs and Substance Abuse Control Agency,

• Kaduna State Transport Regulation Authority,

• Kaduna Roads Agency-KADRA,

• Kaduna Peace Commission,• Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA),

• Kaduna Facility Management Agency (KADFAMA),

• Kaduna Water Service Regulatory Commission among others.

• Kaduna State Power Supply Company (KAPSCO)

• Kaduna Contributory Health Insurance Authority.

E-voting: On 12th May 2018, the people of Kaduna State made history when they chose new leaders for our local government councils using electronic voting. 
The Commission has also fixed Wednesday, 6th June 2018 to conduct rescheduled elections in some of the local government areas.In a state broadcast in December 2017, Governor Nasir El-Rufai had explained that the implementation of the Public Service Reform and Revitalisation requires the recruitment of professional and skilled staff to perform important functions in the 23 local government councils. During the broadcast Malam El-Rufai assured that the Local Government Commission would soon issue a recruitment notice in this regard. Prior to the broadcast, the 23 local government councils had successfully implemented the restructuring and staffing order which prescribed maximum staff strengths and deployments for each of them. Following that exercise, the Local Government Service Commission has identified vacant positions in 46 professional fields that need to be filled to enhance capacity in the local councils.

Our Achievements on Security:
Foster the security of lives and property throughout Kaduna State. The importance of peace and security cannot be overemphasized in the quest to achieve growth and prosperity for Kaduna State. Coming at the time when insecurity and violent clashes became recurrent in some parts of the state such as Birnin Gwari and parts of Southern Kaduna, Governor Nasir El-Rufai committed time and resources to providing fostering the security of lives and peace building in the state.

The administration of Governor El-Rufai inherited some security challenges including the following:

1. Herders and farmers clashes in some parts of the state leading to killings and destruction of lives and properties. This usually spiral into reprisal attacks and violent clashes.

2. Ethnic and Religious conflicts: Intolerance with political, ethnic and religious colorations have become recurrent in Kaduna since 1982 when violent clashes erupted at Kasuwan Magani in today’s Kajuru LG. Other violent clashes of this nature include the Kafanchan Riots of 1986, Zangon Kataf clashes of 1992, Gwantu religious clashes of 2001 and Sharia and Miss World clashes of 2000 and 2001 respectively. The most recent were the post 2011 presidential elections violence and its aftermath.

3. Urban gans (sara-suka):4. Cattle rustling and rural banditry5. Armed Robbery and6. Kidnapping.The very first task Governor El-Rufai handled after he took oath of office on Saturday 29th 2015 was to convey an emergency security meeting to address the security threats in Sanga Local Government which occurred the same day he was sworn-in.  This marks the first of many such efforts to address insecurity in the entire state. In a bid to understand the underlying security threats faced by the state, the governor studied all the reports of Judicial Commission of Inquiries which x-rayed remote and immediate causes of violence. There is one basic fact indicated in all the previous reports; failure to make culprits face the law has encouraged a circle of impunity and crisis.

Setting up Peace and Reconciliation Committee under Martin Luther Agwai: To guide the government to end the incessant attacks and reprisals in Southern Kaduna, which spanned from the 2011 post presidential elections to the time he assumed office, El-Rufai inaugurated the Martin Luther Agwai Peace and Reconciliation Committee to fashion out long-lasting solutions to the frequent attacks on communities in the southern part of Kaduna state. Setting up the committee was part of Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s multi-dimensional approach in finding lasting solutions to the killings in the area, which have continued since the post-election violence of 2011. Consequently, the committee was saddled with the task of identifying socio-political and economic factors that promote existing conflicts in Southern Kaduna and advice on measures to be taken by Government to address them; exploring ways of finding mutual solutions that engender reconciliation amongst and between communities in Southern Kaduna; and to advice on how the villages and communities of Southern Kaduna would be free from attacks bedevilling it. The state has implemented recommendations of the committee’s report by publishing white papers of the previous reports and establishing Kaduna Peace Commission for peace building.Expanding the Security Council: Governor El-Rufai drafted the Emir of Birnin Gwari, Zubairu Maigwari and the Kpok Gwom, HH Zaka Wyom to be part of Kaduna Secuirty Council, which reviews security situations and deliberate on measures to be taken. This measure is taken since their chiefdoms were under serious security threats as such, reviewing situations and taking decisions to end curb the problem will not be holistic without those who oversee those areas.Operation Sharan Daji: To end the menace of cattle rustling and banditry Kamuku and Kuyanban forests, Governor Nasir El-Rufai collaborated with the Nigerian Army and five states of Kastina, Kebbi, Niger, Zamfara and Kano to clear the forest off bandits.

The operation tagged- Operation Sharan Daji, saw to the arrest of bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers and recovery of cattle in their tens of thousands.  Prosecuting culprits involved in fueling crisis and purveyors of fake news and hate speech:The role of fake news and hate speech in fueling crisis in Kaduna is well established. Regrettably, no one has ever been prosecuted by the state for such crimes.   Failure of successive governments to make those involved in creating and participating in violence is largely responsible for the impunity and other circle of violence experienced in the state.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has however taken a bold step to discontinue from this trend.The state Government has arrested and taken some of the culprits involved in spreading false news capable of stirring crisis to court. There are hundreds of persons being prosecuted for involvement in banditry, kidnapping, spreading fake news, reprisals attacks and other forms of crimes against the society. This is serving as deterrence for other in the state.

The government has also succeeded in arrest of hundreds of bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers and recovery of thousands of cattle in Birnin Gwari corridor.

CCTV Control Room: Foundation laying took place on the 23rd January 2018 at the Head Quarters of Operation Yaki complex. This measure introduces a novel approach of deploying technology of crime detection and prevention in the state. The Office of the National Security Adviser has given the state government the approval to procure deploy and operate drones for surveillance in crime areas. Held Security Meetings in Kafanchan and Birnin Gwari:

Building more Police Stations across the state: The number of police personnel is grossly inadequate in Kaduna state. Currently there are 10,000 police men in the state with a population of above 8 million people. Consequently, Governor El-Rufai has sought to increase the number from the Head Quarters of the Nigerian Police. To this end, more police stations were built in different parts of the state, leading to the creation of more police divisions and area commands. The Governor has also encouraged local government councils to build more stations for the creation of more divisions.Creation of Peace Commission: Following recommendations of previous Committees of Inquiries into violent conflicts in Kaduna state, the state government set up Kaduna Peace Commission with a mandate to take proactive measures in developing strategies that would promote peace and harmonious co-existence. Kaduna Peace Commissioned will additionally work towards conflict prevention and non-violent intervention, mediation and peaceful resolution of conflicts and disputes in communal and inter-group levels across the state.This demonstrates the state government’s commitment to addressing causes of conflicts in the state. Through the Commission, the government is taking proactive measures in developing strategies that would promote peace and harmonious co-existence.

Additionally, the commission works towards conflict prevention and non-violent intervention, mediation and peaceful resolution of conflict and disputes in communal and inter-group levels across the state.  Since its creation, the Commission has been proactive in peacebuilding and mediation efforts in the entire state. It is being led by an eminent cleric and scholar, ArcBishop Josiah Idowu Fearon, the Secretary General, Anglican Communion Worldwide, and founder of Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian Muslim Relations.

Disarmament Programme: To curb the proliferation of dangerous arms, the state government planned a disarmament programme in areas known have people in possession of dangerous weapons. This programme, which targets the entire state have already begun and is recording significance compliance and success. The state government has earmarked funds to buy up the arms, but measures will be taken against those who fail to surrender their arms willingly at the expiration of the window period.

Establishing military bases in Birnin Gwari: As part of security measures towards ending the banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and cattle rustling in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna state government requested the approval of the President and Chief of Army Staff for the establishment of permanent military barracks in Birnin Gwari. The president and military authorities have graciously approved the request and construction has begun for their barracks. As a short-term measure, the state government has provided a facility to temporarily house the military.

Military Formation in Southern Kaduna: The people of Southern Kaduna have clamored for the establishment of military barracks and bases for decades, to help in tackling security threats promptly.   This is due to the repeated occurrences of violent clashes and banditry that has been taking place in the area. Security situation in the region worsened after 2011 post-presidential elections violence which spiraled into attacks and reprisals that lingered to 2015.In an effort to address this, El-Rufai sought Military authorities to establish three military bases in Sanga, Kauru and Kafnachan. It is expected that the presence of these military bases will make for quick response in tackling security threats. This request has been approved and the state government donated a piece of land and resources to build a base for the military in Zangon Kataf LGA, just few minutes’ drive away from Kafanchan. The military has approved for the other base to be built in Kachia and Sanga, which are expected to be established soon.No doubt, the presence of members of the Nigerian Army in Kafanchan has helped in addressing security threats by criminals in the area.

Procurement and Vehicles and other Hardwares for Operation Yaki: The state government procured 107 Hilux vans, fully equipped with modern communication gadgets for men of the Operation Yaki for effective policing of the entire state. Additionally, bullet proof vests and motorcycles were procured and distributed to the security agencies.  Creation of Kaduna Vigilance Service: On Monday 27th July 2018, Kaduna State Governor launched the Kaduna Vigilance Service to enhance community policing and assist the security forces in the state. Members of this voluntary security service played impeccable role I am quelling the recent violent clashes that erupted in Kasuwan Magani and Kaduna metropolis. The state Governor and the four metropolitan local governments of Kaduna South, Kaduna North, Igabi and Chikun pledged a 20million donation to support the men of the service.

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