El-Rufai: Buhari, APC, Kaduna People Are My Inspiration
Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that his administration has done its best not to disappoint President Muhammadu Buhari who had asked him to run for the office, the party on whose platform he ran and people who voted for him, in the last six years.
The governor said that his administration has done all it can to keep faith with APC’s manifesto in trying to make Kaduna State Great Again and the government is working hard to restore the state to the dreams of its founders.
El-Rufai noted that his administration spent the first four years changing the governance direction of the state, reforming public administration and investing in basic education, healthcare, agriculture and rural infrastructure.
The governor who made this known at a state banquet that was hosted in the president’s honour, recalled that ‘’we came into office in 2015 having campaigned on a Restoration Masterplan, the manifesto that gave muscle to our slogan of Making Kaduna Great Again.’’
’Though we inherited a state characterised by the economics of dwindling revenues, the politics of self-enrichment and an environment of depleted social capital and suspicion, we have done all we can not to disappoint Mr. President who urged us to run, our party members and leaders of the APC, for trusting us with the ticket, and the voters in Kaduna State who invested their hopes in us since 2015 by electing us to lead the state,’’ he said.
El-Rufai recalled that the president attended the November 2014 event where ‘’I publicly declared my interest in leading the rebirth of Kaduna State on the platform of the APC.’’
‘’In your speech at that event, you said that in voting for me people will not be doing me a favour, but will be doing themselves a favour. It was a most moving statement of confidence, and has over the years served as added motivation for our focused approach to governance,’’ he added.
According to the governor, ‘’we spent the first four years changing the governance direction of the state, reforming public administration and investing in basic education, healthcare, agriculture and rural infrastructure.
’We completed inherited water supply and other infrastructure projects that had remained uncompleted for decades. We ramped up tax collections, quadrupling it from N13bn in 2015 to N50.7bn in 2020.
‘’We made efforts to restore peace and justice amongst erstwhile hostile communities in the central and southern parts of the state. We developed plans for the economic development, industrialisation and physical development of the State, making it the premier investment destination in Nigeria by 2018,’’ he added.
El-Rufai reiterated that ‘’we then launched the Urban Renewal Programme in June 2019 to provide the organised framework for the most extensive infrastructure investment in the history of Kaduna State.’’
‘’ The projects of our Urban Renewal Programme are designed to improve the competitiveness of Kaduna State, support economic dynamism and promote the well-being of our people.
‘’The Urban Renewal Programme seeks to make the three major cities of Kaduna State friendly homes to their residents, pleasant places to live in that are equipped with the facilities to support and promote the livelihoods of our citizens,’’ he assured.
According to him, the Urban Renewal Programme responds to the accelerated urbanisation of Kaduna State.
‘’For instance, the metropolitan limits of the state capital, Kaduna, now straddles four local government areas: Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Chikun and Igabi. This metropolitan area is projected to be home to more than half of the state’s population by 2050,’’ he disclosed.
The governor added that Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria towns have grown tremendously in recent decades but the public infrastructure in these cities has not kept pace with the vast increase in their populations nor has it accompanied its expansion into new districts.
‘’In our view, it was not enough to acknowledge that the existing infrastructure is not robust enough to support the current population, let alone cater for the projected population. We identified a problem and have tried to do something to make things better by conceiving, developing, and implementing the Kaduna State Urban Renewal Programme,’’ he said.
The governor listed the 14 components of the Kaduna State Urban Renewal Programme, including, roads with covered drains, Mass Transit – BRT and LRT, Social Housing by Government and High-Income by private developers.
Other components include modernised Urban Planning and Improved Land Use, Solar Streetlights, Parks, Sporting & Recreational Centres, Markets, Shopping Malls & Neighbourhood Centres, and Enhanced Waste Management.