Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has reaffirmed his administration’s readiness to make effective the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011 with a view to empowering the citizens to participate actively in governance.
The state commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba disclosed the governor’s commitment in a statement on the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) on Monday, September 28.
He said with the signing of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) by the state government, which is a transparency initiative, access to information is one of the pillars of the OGP and hence the Ganduje administration’s commitment to it.
Garba said this would also go side by side with the state government’s anti-corruption crusade spearheaded by the Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission, which is fully provided with its requisite without any interference in order to operate in line with its federal sister agencies.
He said while the state government has agreed to adopt and implement the FOI Act through the OGP process, its adoption is being subjected to wide consultation and will go through the legislative process and passed into law.
The commissioner, who described the FOI Act as the bedrock and foundation of all human rights, urged relevant stakeholders in the state to participate actively in the drive towards operationalizing the Act.
Garba, therefore, described the media as one of the most vibrant institutions in the management of information flow. He assured that the government will not do anything to stifle press freedom.
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, was removed from his position on Monday after a long-running row with the state government.
The Secretary to the State Government, Usman Alhaji while making the announcement on Monday said the removal was in line with the recommendation of the Kano State Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission.
The state government also stated that the dethronement was part of its move to safeguard the “sanctity, culture, tradition, religion and prestige” of the Kano State Emirate which was established over a millennium ago.
Sanusi was also accused by the state government of disrespecting lawful instructions.
While the news of his dethronement continues to generate buzz all over the media and might stir debates in various quarters, there are certain things about the now exiled emir which many should know, as these things aid to shape a full narrative about his person.
Below are seven things you should know about the former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.
1. Outspoken and fearless
Muhammadu Sanusi was an outspoken and fearless monarch but did not begin to show these traits only upon the accession of the throne. Prior to his becoming Emir of Kano, Sanusi was known for speaking passionately about issues regarding the polity and economy of Nigeria.
Sanusi as a traditional ruler was not shy to delve into the politics of the day, he accused political and religious leaders in the north of not doing enough for the region, adding that the lackadaisical approach to governance within the region was a major contributing factor to the widening of the poverty gap between the mainly Muslim north and the majority-Christian south.
2. A chip of the old block
Lamido Sanusi ascended the throne in 2014, taking over from his granduncle Ado Bayero. His grandfather, Muhammadu Sanusi I, was the 11th Emir of Kano from 1953 until 1963.
Like in his own case in 2020, Sanusi’s grandfather was deposed by his cousin Sir Ahmadu Bello. The reason for the dethronement was also similar, Sanusi like his granddad was accused of insubordination.
3. An erudite scholar and banking guru
Born into a ruling class, son of a career diplomat who served as the Nigerian Ambassador to Belgium, China, and Canada, Sanusi went on to establish himself as an indispensable asset in the Nigeria banking and finance industry, rising from management roles in different banks to becoming the CEO of First Bank, one of Africa’s largest financial institutions.
After his education at the King’s College in Lagos, where he graduated in 1977, Sanusi proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, where he received a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1981. He later received a masters degree in economics two years later from the university and lectured at the faculty.
With his performance academically and his growth within the banking industry, it was no surprise when On the first of June 2009, Sanusi was nominated as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
4. Modern reformer
During his earlier role as central bank chief, Sanusi earned a reputation as a straight-talking modern-reformer, who was not afraid to speak out against corruption, even though there were some charges of graft against him, allegations which he denied.
Sanusi initiated several extensive banking reforms that were built around “enhancing the quality of banks, establishing financial stability, enabling healthy financial sector evolution and ensuring that the financial sector contributes to the real economy”.
He is credited with leading the central bank in rescuing top tier banks with N400 billion of public money and dismissed their chief executives. He also introduced a consolidation process which reduced the number of Nigerian banks through merger and acquisitions, in a bid to make them stronger and more accountable to depositors.
5. Suspended whistleblower
In 2014 Sanusi was suspended as CBN governor by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The suspension came after the former CBN Governor accused the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of not remitting some $20 billion to state coffers.
Sanusi had written to Jonathan detailing that the NNPC had not remitted over $49.8 billion proceeds of crude oil sales. The NNPC responded that no money was missing thus leading to the constitution of a reconciliation committee whose findings were debated.
Unsatisfied with the reconciliation process, Sanusi brought the matter to the attention of the Senate. a forensic audit was carried out by PwC and the result poked holes in the arguments put up by the NNPC and the Ministry of petroleum, but no one else bore the brunt than the whistleblower himself.
6. Controversial accession
There are some who believe that Sanusi’s willingness to become Emir of Kano was politically-motivated.
Those who champion this thought, say Sanusi accepted the appointment of the throne in a bid to avoid fraud charges from his tenure at the Central Bank.
For some, the rightful heir to the throne was his cousin, and to this effect, some protested saying Sanusi was not the right one to ascend the throne.
Sanusi, however, was crowned Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II on 9 June 2014, as he became the Emir of Kano, he automatically became a leader of the Tijaniyya Sufi order, the second-most-important Muslim position in Nigeria after the Sultan of Sokoto, leader of the larger Qadiriyya Sufi order.
7. Perceived as a dissident
During his time as Emir of Kano, many saw Sanusi as a dissident to Northern norms.
He received many criticisms from conservatives in the North, for making several comments on socio-political issues impacting the region.
Some of those comments that earned him criticisms include the calls for an end to child marriage, building more schools instead of mosques, and infrastructural development.
He also called for population planning and said that polygamy is increasing poverty in the region.
Also part of his calls were certain solutions proffered to solving the almajiri issue.
In November 2014, after Sanusi urged his followers to fight Boko Haram, the Great Mosque of Kano was bombed, with over 150 killed.
Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the insurgent group Boko Haram, accused Sanusi of deviating from Islam and threatened his life; Sanusi replied that he is “safe with Allah”, and likened Shekau’s extremist comments (describing Sufis as unbelievers) to those of the heretical Islamic preacher Maitatsine.
While on the throne of the Kano Emirate, Sanusi spoke out on government policies, breaking with royal tradition. He criticised the state government of misplaced priorities and it is believed that this stirred the investigation into corrupt practices within the Emirate.
Though the investigation was later called off by the state legislature following intervention by the ruling class, the government headed by Ganduje went on to create a law that saw to the rise of four new Emirates, thereby receding the powers of Sanusi.
In a motion presented to the House by the Majority Leader Baffa Babba, the House unanimously agreed that creation of more Emirates will assist in job creation, dispute, and community conflict resolutions among others.
The passage of this bill paves way for the decentralisation of the Kano Emirate council thereby decentralising the power of Emir of Kano.
Although, the State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje is yet to assent the bill, it is expected that the bill will be presented to him for approval.
Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has instituted a N3billion suit in a Federal High Court against an online newspaper, Daily Nigerian, and its publisher, Mr Ja’afar Ja’afar.
The governor is suing both the online newspaper and its publisher over alleged defamation of character, slander, libel over publications and release of video clips alleging that the governor was involved in bribery.
According to a Writ of Summons dated November 13, 2018, the defendants are expected to appear before the High Court 13, sitting in Kano within 14 days.
Ganduje through his Counsel, Nuradeen Ajagi, prayed the Court to declare that, “the act of publishing and circulating libellous statements, false and doctored video clips attacking and impugning the character and integrity of the plaintiff amount to defamation of character of the character plaintiff by the defendants and thus wrongful.
“Outright and unqualified imputation of theft, fraud, corruption and dishonesty which are all criminal offences by the defendants’ publication against the plaintiff without any conviction by a court of laws, is slanderous, libellous, injurious and wrongful.”
Ganduje’s counsel added that the plaintiff is entitled to damages against the defendants for defamation of character by way of libel and slander.
He then asked for an order compelling the defendants to write a public apology to the plaintiff and broadcast such apology through their online platforms and other news media with global accessibility.
Daily Nigeria last month, published a story, accompanied with video clips, alleging that Governor Ganduje collected $5 million bribe from some contractors.
Some online media have however reported that the President during the interactive session noted that the alleged bribery video has been sent to security agencies for further scrutiny.
President Buhari’s reaction comes on the heels of bribery allegations leveled against Governor Ganduje. This was after a video clip allegedly showing Governor Abdullahi Ganduje receiving a bribe was published by an online newspaper.
The video had generated reactions as Human rights groups including Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have called on the President to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, or appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate the claim without delay.
President Buhari is currently in Paris where he, alongside other world leaders are participating at the Paris Peace Forum.
The Kano State Government has signed ten Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with various companies and investors for some major development projects across the state.
At the closing ceremony of the second edition of the State’s Economic Summit and Investments, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje said one of the MoU was targetted at the construction of the N146 billion Kano economic city by Brain and Hammers Nigeria Limited.
The government of Kano State had within the last one week engaged investors and other relevant stakeholders in seeking a solution to the state’s dwindling economy.
After two days of negotiations and deliberations, economists, investors, and financial experts came up with suggestions that favoured the economic transformation of the Nigeria’s second largest commercial city of Kano.
The signing of the 10 agreements is expected to boost the economy and transform Kano into a mega city, a feat Governor Ganduje hopes to achieve in the next two years.
“We want to have a mega city where our economic structures will work in providing jobs to our youth. So I called on these investors to know that we are a serious government and we will not tolerate bureaucracy. That is why we set up an investments promotion agency to report directly to my office in the event of obstacles or sabotage.”
Governor Ganduje, who assured participants that his commitment to implementing the MoU will remain unchanged, warned contractors and investors against failure to meet expectations as well as the set target.
He said, “The investments and MoU we signed are very important indicators to the diversification of our IGR, and we hope to ensure that money due to state government coffers are paid to state government account. This will, in turn, help us come up with more development projects for our people that
“This will, in turn, help us come up with more development projects for our people. That is why we have also given agriculture a meaningful priority because we believe, through agriculture, we can revive our rural economy.”
The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has called for foreign and local investors to come into the state to invest and grow the economy.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje at the Flag off ceremony of the summit said it is expected that the summit will consider the current status of the Nigerian economy in coming up with a workable communique that will serve as guiding document for the state socio-economic development and progress.
Hundreds of people, traditional rulers including the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, politicians including the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Ministers of Interior, Budget and National Planning as well businesses men and captains of industries converged on Kano Government House for the formal opening ceremony of the state second edition of economic summit and investments.
“It is also in commemoration of the 50 years anniversary of the commercial hub of the northern Nigerian state of Kano that will seek to define the future of the region’s economic opportunities and to suggest ways by which both foreign and domestic investors will help in reviving the state dwindling economy.
“As a government, we realised that without aggressive reforms to diversify the economy and boost internally generated revenue, all program and projects will remain share dreams, it is for this reasons that we are reducing our dependency on the federation account and adopted a revenue driven budgetary implementation.
“It is worthy no mention that since the inception of this administration our internally generated revenue base has improved from N15billion in 2015 to N40.3billion in 2016, the modest increase is associated with ongoing institutional reforms on the IGR as well as public financial management in the state,” said Governor Ganduje.
Resource persons, investment allies and traditional rulers in the north believed that diversifying the Kano political economy and indeed the northern region, in general, required a very good idea of trade and economic history of Kano and following the path of value creation to include doubling the right output of farmers by given them a real-time access to markets as a critical element of investments.
These people believed that an economic model that focuses on exports certainly misses the points, the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, believed that the problem with Nigeria is that “we intend to import what we can produce and export what we do not produce, so we are a crude oil producing country, we import petroleum product, we have huge and skin and we are importing shoes, we have cotton and import textiles, there is absolutely no reason for that.”
For the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, the problem of diversifying the Nigerian economy has always been the difficulties in accessing funds meant for farmers which perhaps required a drastic intervention by the federal government and other donor agencies.
“Without funding, agricultural businesses cannot thrive and agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the economy that can up take the teaming youth and women that we have.”
Meanwhile, the Ministers of the Federal Ministry of Interior, Abdulrahaman Danbazau and that of the National Budget and Planning Mr Udoma Udo-Udoma, assured participants that presidential enabling business environment is working hard to ensure that the nation’s economy is stabilizing through collaborations with various states government across the federation.
In the next two days to come, it is expected that these group of business men, investors and industrialists will come up with possible ways that will transform the Kano economy and turn its challenges into opportunities for the generality of Nigerians at home and abroad.
Kano State government has donated 500 million naira to victims of the fire outbreak that occurred in early 2016 at Sabon Gari market in the state capital.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje disclosed this in a speech during the signing of an agreement between the state government and an indigenous company, Brian and Hammers Ltd., for the construction of Kanawa Economic City.
The Governor, who revealed that the money was sourced from Internally Generated Revenue, said that because of the humanitarian disposition of his administration, the government had since set up a committee under Mr Aliko Dangote to launch an appeal fund to harness money to assist the victims.
He also said the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up to look into the immediate and remote causes of the fire had since submitted its report and a White Paper has been issued.
Governor Ganduje added that a committee to ensure implementation of the recommendations has also been established and has commenced work in earnest.
He said that the state government was paying serious attention to the development of markets as a result of which structural and road project execution had commenced at Kantin Kwari market, giving assurance of commencing other markets in 2017, especially the Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi Market.
On the proposed Kano light rail project which is expected to gulp about $1.85 billion, Governor Ganduje described it as a creditable legacy for future generations and a worthwhile investment.
“Those saying we are obtaining a loan to finance the project hence, leaving a debt burden for our children and grandchildren are indeed economically blind, politically naïve and morally mischievous,” he stated.
The Governor explained that the government acquired the loan to bridge the infrastructure deficit in Kano State.
State governments and civil servants in northern Nigeria have joined the rest of the world to mark the 2016 edition of the Workers Day.
In Kaduna State, the government called on both Federal and state governments to address some of the socio-economic challenges facing the nation.
The civil servants demanded for an upward review of the current minimum wage to at least 100,000 Naira in line with the present economic realities.
At separate rallies to mark the May Day, the workers called on the Federal Government to tackle the epileptic electricity supply, fuel scarcity, insecurity, unemployment and casualisation of workers among other challenges.
They also warned the Kaduna State government to shun any plan to retrench its workforce, threatening a showdown against government if any civil servant is sacked.
While a faction of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kaduna State, led by Mr Adamu Ango, marked the Workers Day with a rally held at the Kaduna Township stadium, the other faction held a road procession near the Ahmadu Bello Stadium.
In Kano State, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, said that his government has recently established the salary and wages directorate as part of efforts to ensure transparent salary administration for the state’s civil servants.
Addressing workers to mark the 2016 Workers Day celebration, Governor Ganduje noted that the welfare of workers has been one of the major priority of his administration since inception.
Channels Television correspondent reports that hundreds of workers turned out during the colorful match pass held at the Sani Abacha indoor stadium.
While expressing happiness with the cordial relationships between his government and labour unions in the state, the Governor promised that his government would not leave a stone upturned in ensuring the state civil servants are catered for.
He added that various policy frameworks had been put in place to ensure that workers in Kano State benefit from his government’s welfare packages for the civil servants.
Although the NLC Chairman in Kano State, Dr. Kabiru Minjibir, commended the Governor’s civil service initiatives, he disagreed with some policies the workers considered injurious to them.
He stressed the need for government to fully study the report of the just concluded workers’ biometric data exercise, to avoid further complications that might result to confrontation between government and workers.
Other issues highlighted by the workers were the issue of labour casualisation and scarce job opportunities for teaming youths in Kano State.
In the northeast, civil servants in Borno State demanded a total implementation of the 18,000 Naira minimum wage.
Pensioners who joined in the celebration also called for an upward review of their pension, which is still on a minimum of 4,400 Naira.
The anniversary was marked with an elaborate rally under heavy security in the Ramat Square in Maiduguri, the first rally in five years, owing to the insurgency problem.
In line with the 2016 theme “The Working Class and the Quest for Economic Revival”, the civil servants lamented that their income was no longer sufficient, considering the economic reality of the country.
The Borno State NLC Chairman, Comrade Titus Abana, said that the theme was symbolic as people of the state were faced with two fundamental problems of insurgency and dwindling resources.
The Kano State government on Wednesday led the destruction of hard, fake and counterfeit drugs worth 31.8 billion Naira arrested by the Kano state police command.
Destroying the drugs, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje said he had directed the State Chief Judge and Grand Kadi to ensure that suspected drug dealers and addicts were prosecuted without fear or favour and in accordance with the law.
Kano State is still on the top list of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, as a sate with the highest drug consuming record in Nigeria.
The State Governor, the State Police Commissioner and members of the State Executive Council set ablaze about 8,974 cartons of hard drugs comprising cocaine, Indian hemp, and other intoxicating substances seized by the police at various occasions across Kano State.
“Kano will not continue to be a dumping ground for drug dealers and addicts. Aggressive measures are being put in place to sweep Kano and to apprehend all drug dealers and addicts,” Governor Ganduje stressed.
Mr Ganduje also urged youths to desist from dealing in drugs and key into government various empowerment programme, as there would be no hiding place for drugs dealers and addicts in the commercial city of Kano.
He further said that his government had already empowered the State Reformatory Institute to rehabilitate drug addicts and integrate them back into the society.
According to him, training in different skills and startup capital would also be given to the rehabilitated addicts.
Briefing the Governor on the command’s activities in recent times, the State Police Commissioner, Musa Katsina, said the drugs seized comprise of 2,818 bags of Indian hemp, 11,399 compressed wraps of Spiro gyrations as well as different brand of other intoxicating substances.
The commissioner also told reporters that so far, 361 suspects were arrested and that 211 of them were charged and remanded in prison.
Although Kano State Government in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies are still coming to terms with the increasing cases of illicit drug trading and abuse.
Efforts are, however, still required to remove Kano state from the NILE list which rank Kano number one state in drug trading and consumption in Nigeria.