Speedy Justice Cannot Be Dispensed By Overworked Judges – El-Rufai

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, says speedy justice cannot be dispensed by overworked judges.

He believes it is important to lighten the burden of judges as the credibility and effectiveness of law and order strategy depend on the speedy dispensation of justice.

The governor made the remarks on Friday at the swearing-in of new high court judges, commissioners, as well as members of statutory commissions and chief executives of the state government agencies.

He lamented that the ability to appoint judges has been constrained because the National Judicial Council has to recommend to governors before making such appointments.

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According to Governor El-Rufai, this is an anomaly introduced by the drafters of the 1999 Constitution whom he said foisted a unitary judiciary on the country.

He is, however, optimistic that the ongoing constitutional review process will correct the error, saying the state government intends to lighten the workload of high court judges.

The governor who congratulated the new judges on their appointments promised to complete his tenure in 2023 as strongly as he started in 2015.

He explained that this was why his administration introduced new reforms such as the creation of metropolitan authorities for Kaduna, Kafanchan, and Zaria, in order to be pragmatic in the management of the cities.

Read the full text of the governor’s speech at the event below:

PROTOCOLS

1.   It is with great pleasure that I swear in two more justices of the High Court of Kaduna State, as well as other government officials.

2.   I am delighted to administer the oaths of office for the various categories of officials recently appointed to help us in the service of the people of Kaduna State. These responsibilities impose a high burden on these officials, but they are crucial to the effective discharge of the governance agenda of the Kaduna State Government in this final lap of our two tenures of office.

3.   We are in the closing stages. But the 19 months that remain to complete our mandate are as important as the first months of our tenure back in 2015. We intend to finish our tenure as strongly as we started. That is the oath we took, and that is the responsible thing to do.

4.   This explains why we are still introducing reforms, backing them up with laws and implementing them. We have initiated many reforms as we pursue progressive attainments. While we do not assume that we can change everything in eight years, we have positively amended as many institutions, laws and practices as we can.

5.   Government is a continuum. We have created a strong platform upon which our successors can build, allowing them to focus on governance and the attainment of progressive goals. We have moved away from the notion of dispensing largesse as the purpose of government. Since 2015, we have freed government from the previous practise of sponsoring pilgrimage, and we have prioritised human capital development through massive investments in education and healthcare, infrastructure and investments and jobs.

We have focused on public service reform and law and order, as well as on undoing some of the unintended consequences of previous decisions and policies, some dating back four decades, and others beginning with the restoration of democracy in 1999.

6.   I congratulate the new High Court judges on their appointment. Left to us, we should be swearing in many more persons as judges today. The credibility and effectiveness of the law and order strategy depend on the speedy dispensation of justice. Speedy justice cannot be dispensed by overworked judges. We want to lighten the burden of our judges but our ability to appoint more of them is constrained because the National Judicial Council has to recommend to us to appoint.

7.   This is an anomaly introduced by the drafters of the 1999 Constitution who effectively foisted a unitary judiciary on a federation. We hope that the ongoing constitutional review process will remedy this contradiction so that we can double the number of high court judges we have in Kaduna State because we can pay for them, we can take care of them and we can lighten their workload accordingly.

8.   To the new commissioners appointed to administer the cities of Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria as integrated, organic cities, I can only say that I wish you every success in translating this administrative innovation into a successful reality. You can count on our support in the hard work required.

9.   Already, it is obvious that some people do not understand the concept of the metropolitan authorities. Our major cities are bigger than the local government councils into which they have been balkanized. For instance, for planning purposes, the boundaries of Kaduna metropolis are 40km radius from the Post Office.

We need a structure to manage this metropolis and the many needs of the people and businesses who live in Kaduna and feel it as Kaduna metropolis, not three or four local governments. The Kaduna Capital Territory did this job until the late 1970s. The replacement structures that came after the 1976 local government reforms have not worked as well as the capital territory administrative structure did. That is why we are going back to it.

10.   Our new metropolitan authorities are not local government councils or local government development areas, or an arm of any of these. They are not a new tier of government. The metropolitan authorities are an administrative structure to manage our cities. They are designed to remove the chaos that has resulted from the divided attention paid to cities in Nigeria by the creation of many Local Government Councils within their boundaries of one city.

11.   The functions that are delegated to the metropolitan authorities are those that no local government council in Nigeria carries out effectively or satisfactorily, if at all. That is why many states try to carry out these functions directly, often through the Ministry of Local Government, but you cannot run a city effectively through the structures of such a ministry. I know this because I tried to run the Federal Capital Territory through a ministry.

In the end, I had to convince President Obasanjo to dissolve the Ministry of the FCT and create the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). The Ministry of Local Government exists as an administrative structure, notwithstanding the constitutional status of local governments, and there is no doubt that the Commissioner of Local Government has authority over the elected local government chairmen.

12.   Abuja is perhaps the only city in Nigeria managed as an integrated unit, despite the existence of six area councils within the Federal Capital Territory. The administrators of our metropolitan authorities are similar to the Minister of the FCT to whom everyone knows the president has delegated the powers to run the nation’s capital as a single entity. Our metropolitan administrators in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria will exercise similar powers and responsibilities in their designated areas as the Minister of the FCT does in Abuja.

13.   Many city needs do not recognise local government boundaries. One example is a functional drainage system. The job of managing a city requires clarity as to in whom the responsibility is vested.

In many cases, neither the state government nor the local government councils in that space try to exercise responsibility for cities. Other jurisdictions have mayors so that there is a structure devoted to managing specific cities. We cannot neglect our cities and expect them to do well on autopilot. This is why we are doing what we are doing.

14.   The establishment of the metropolitan authorities leaves many important functions in the hands of the local government councils. The local government councils still have a lot to do in managing primary education, primary health care, agriculture, community development, and other constitutionally vested functions.

15.   A majority of the residents of our state now live in cities. We have to be pragmatic about how we deliver better services and make our cities better places to live and work. Our urban renewal programme is a vivid demonstration of the importance of treating and managing cities as single, integrated entities.

16.   I want to use the opportunity to congratulate all our officials that have been sworn in today. Many of them have been with us from 2015. Many are on their third or fourth jobs. This is how we do it in this administration. We move people around so that they will have a rounded view of government. What we are doing is that we are preparing leaders for the future. We hope that among those we have sworn in today will be a future governor of Kaduna State.

They will only be able to do that job well if they have a rounded view of government, not being in one ministry, department, or agency for eight years. Every job in public service is important, from the person that cleans the toilet to the commissioner and the governor. They are all equal. There is no demotion in public service because we are serving the people of Kaduna State.

Thank you for listening.

How Sacking Kaduna Teachers Nearly Cost Me Re-Election – El-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai speaks during a summit in Ado Ekiti on October 14, 2021.
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai speaks during a summit in Ado Ekiti on October 14, 2021.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has explained how he was willing to sacrifice his second term ambition in order to give children from his state quality education.

The governor sought re-election for a second term in office in the 2019 general elections and has two more years to complete his tenure.

Speaking during the Ekiti State’s Fountain Summit 2021 with the theme ‘Investment Attractiveness and Economic Development in Ekiti State’ which held in Ado-Ekiti, El-Rufai said he was threatened with an election loss.

El-Rufai said he insisted and eventually carried out the test on teachers in Kaduna notwithstanding the threat.

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“My brother here was said to have lost his second term bid the first time because he threatened to test teachers,” he said.

“I tested them and fired them before our election. When I was asked that I would lose the second term, I said if losing second term in office will give Kaduna State children a future with better primary education, I am ready to let it go.”

El-Rufai also listed two factors that enabled him retain his position as Kaduna governor, noting that he timed the mandatory test for teachers within his first two years in office and that the exercise was carried out honestly without partisan politics.

While noting that he attended government schools in his life until he went for his second degree, El-Rufai noted that his administration sent a clear message that the poor man’s child in Kaduna was eligible to emerge as governor.

He recalled that while sacking teachers, two of his colleagues backed his decision but expressed fear in implementing the policy in their respective states.

According to him, the two governors who wanted to conduct teachers’ tests after their re-elections however lost their second term bids.

El-Rufai Presents Proposed N233bn 2022 Budget To Kaduna Assembly

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, presents the 2022 Appropriation Bill to the State House of Assembly on October 12, 2021.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has presented an estimated 2022 budget of N233 billion to the State House of Assembly.

He submitted the appropriation bill tagged ‘Budget of Sustainable Growth’ on Tuesday to lawmakers at the legislative chamber of the Assembly in the state capital.

The governor explained that the sum of N146 billion representing 63 per cent was for capital expenditure and N87.6 billion representing 37 per cent was for recurrent spending respectively.

He stated that this was slightly smaller than the 2021 budget of N237.52 billion, which had N157.56 billion and N79.96 billion as capital and recurrent expenditures respectively.

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According to Governor El-Rufai, the allocations in the 2022 budget estimates reflect the political values and governance principles that have consistently guided the six previous budgets his administration has presented since 2015.

Like the previous budgets, he informed the lawmakers that the priorities of the bill were education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

The governor gave an assurance that his government would complete all ongoing projects before the end of his tenure.

Justifying the allocations, he said the government would ensure that the urban renewal programme would be completed, along with initiatives in the health and education sectors.

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, addresses lawmakers and others at the State House of Assembly on October 12, 2021.

 

“Most of the capital spending will be in the economic and social sectors, in keeping faith with our stated governance agenda,” he said. “We propose to devote 76.8 per cent of the capital budget to schools, hospitals, and infrastructure, including housing. Capital spending on education is N68.4 billion (29 per cent) and for health – N35.1 billion (15 per cent).

“These figures show that the 2022 draft budget estimates express our political values and governance principles in the same consistent manner as our six previous budgets. Devoting N115 billion to these critical sectors demonstrates continuity in our emphasis on education and health as the key drivers of human capital development and on investments in Infrastructure as essentials to promoting economic competitiveness, support job creation, and advance the well-being of our people.”

Read the governor’s full speech at the presentation below:

PROTOCOLS
The Deputy Governor,
The Right Honourable Speaker,
Principal Officers of the Kaduna State House of Assembly
Honourable Members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly
The Chairman, APC Kaduna State Chapter
Members of the Kaduna State Executive Council
Permanent Secretaries, Clerk of the House and
Gentlemen of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. I am delighted to present the 2022 Draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure of the Kaduna State Government. This is the seventh time that this honourable House has accorded us this privilege. It is a poignant moment, marking the penultimate time it will be my duty to present the state budget. As we firmly embark on the closing stages of our stewardship to the people of Kaduna State, I wish to acknowledge and appreciate once again the productive partnership the Kaduna State House of Assembly and the Executive Branch have built in the service of our people since 2015.
2. Mr. Speaker, Right Honourable members, it is with your kind support that we have the necessary legislation to anchor our governance innovations. Enacting the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KADSIECOM) law has enabled our state to introduce a revolution in Nigeria by adopting electronic voting for the local government elections of September 2021 and May 2018. This is among the over 100 new laws enacted since 2015 to institutionalise reforms in public finances, procurement, taxation, child welfare and protection, investment promotion, scholarships, youth capacity building and residency, among others. The new laws also created a geographic information service and an internal revenue service.
3. This governance agenda is not based on a whim or some fancy theorising. It is rooted in deeply held values and rigorous assessment of what is required to build a good society, to empower our people and overcome the legacy of decades of neglect governance norms and failures in delivering public goods. Expressed in the Putting People First slogan, our governance agenda is anchored on the Restoration Programme, the Kaduna State specific iteration of the APC manifesto.
4. In 2015, we committed ourselves to develop human capital by investing in education, healthcare and social welfare; institute a good governance system that is founded on a competent and responsive public service; foster security; maintain, rebuild and expand Infrastructure (including water supply, electricity and road networks) to accelerate economic growth that will create jobs, jobs and more jobs; promote agriculture and food security and reform land administration as a basis for wealth creation and capital formation, while preserving and enhancing environmental management.
5. From June 2015, we have deployed the annual budget as a fundamental policy tool for signalling change and in implementing change. We have enjoyed a strong partnership with this honourable House in this quest.
6. In the over six years that we have exercised responsibility for this state, we have kept faith with our manifesto and fashioned our governance agenda around it. Through various initiatives, we have expressed our commitment to promote equality of opportunity, accelerate human capital development, attain fiscal viability, and reduce inequality.
7. In June 2019, shortly after we commenced our second term, we launched the Urban Renewal Programme to modernise our three major cities. This is an unprecedented investment in urban infrastructure that is changing Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria. We have built, upgraded and expanded infrastructure in these cities as part of a coordinated effort to improve the economic competitiveness of our state and increase its appeal as a place to live, work and rest.
8. Without hiking tax rates, Kaduna State has become a top five state for internally generated revenue in Nigeria, collecting N50.7bn in taxes and levies in 2020. This is almost four times the N13bn that the state collected as IGR in 2015. We have increased school enrolment, made education free and compulsory for all children till they complete senior secondary school and launched a multicampus system for all our state-owned tertiary institutions. We have reformed the scholarship system to reward merit and support the needy. We are implementing a more sustainable funding arrangement for tertiary education based on a partnership between the government, parents and students.
How we are Putting People First
9. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, we have accomplished much in the service of our people across many sectors. I will highlight a few.
10. We have expanded access to Education, making the first 12 years of schooling free and compulsory. Apart from saving parents over N3bn yearly in fees by making basic education free till completion of SS3, we initiated a primary school feeding programme that was later taken over by the Federal Government. We continue to implement an extensive programme to renovate primary and secondary schools and supply them with furniture, water and sanitation facilities;
11. We recently recruited 7600 new teachers for secondary schools, in addition to the 2500 teachers of English, Mathematics and the sciences earlier recruited. We continue to monitor the performance of the 25,000 recruited in 2017 and 2018 to replace the 22,000 who failed the competency test.
12. We revamped the scholarship system, increased allowances to those entitled based on either merit or need. We also introduced a low-interest loan scheme to cater for those not qualified for scholarship, but wishing to finance their tertiary education.
13. In the Health sector, we continue to improve the primary health care system, with equipment and materials and the recruitment of healthcare personnel. Enrolment of citizens for universal health coverage through the State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme continues. Testing capacity for Covid-19 has been sustained using a mix of PCR and GeneXpert machines.
14. Our investment in Social Welfare continues with funding of initiatives to support various demographics. We are funding several skills acquisition and entrepreneurship programmes for youths and women, including the Kaduna State Women Economic Empowerment Programme (KADSWEP) with N200 million low-interest microcredits targeting women entrepreneurs and vulnerable groups.
15. 5000 young graduates have been trained in entrepreneurship through the Kaduna Startup and Entrepreneurship Programme, KADSTEP. With our partners in the Bank of Industry and the Kaduna Business School, we have unveiled KADSTEP 2.0 which will focus on training in ICT skills. This reinforces initiatives like Click-On Kaduna which has enabled thousands of young people to learning to code and acquire other digital skills at our Kaduna ICT hub.
16. As mentioned earlier, the Urban Renewal Programme is a historic investment in the infrastructure of our three major cities. It is the most visible part of our Infrastructure efforts, including developing the long-term infrastructure masterplan and a blueprint for the industrialisation of Kaduna State. The Urban Renewal Programme is improving infrastructure, transport connections and the liveability of our three main cities of Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria. The programme started with Kaduna, with new roads, expanded arterial roads, shopping malls and neighbourhood centres included. Some of our major roads have already benefitted from our solar street lighting programme, designed to light up Kaduna metropolis and help improve security.
17. Following the completion of the long-delayed phases 1 and 2 of the Zaria Water Expansion Project that now supplies potable water to Zaria and Sabon Gari Local Governments, the extension of the transmission and distribution pipelines Soba, Giwa and other neighbouring local government areas continues.
18. We are changing the face of markets through direct investments and in partnership with private companies. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recently commissioned the new Kasuwan Magani market. The expansion and development of markets in continues Sabon Gari in Sabon Gari LG, Dan Magaji in Zaria LG, and Kasuwar Barci in Kaduna South Local Government. Most of the real traders in the Abubakar Gumi Central Market in Kaduna have bought their shops as part of our programme to expand wealth creation through property ownership.
19. For safety on the highways, we have completed and opened the trailer park in Marraraban Jos. This has reduced gridlock on the Kaduna-Zaria Road. We are working to ensure the completion of Trailer Parks at Tafa in Kagarko Local Government and near Olam in Chikun local government area.
20. Reforms in Governance have empowered our MDAs to strengthen their capacity for results delivery. Our tax agency has quadrupled the collection of internally generated revenue in five years. Through the effort of the Kaduna State Geographic Information Service (KADGIS), we have signed more than 50,000 certificates of occupancy in four years.
21. This government has recorded the highest levels of budget performance in the history of the state, injecting the largest ever capital investment in the history of the state. In 2019, Kaduna State achieved 97.5% budget performance for capital expenditure, spending N148.57bn of the N152.33bn budgeted. This is more than twice the erstwhile record of capital spending of over N62bn in 2016.
22. We have paid almost the entire N14bn arrears of gratuity and death benefit we inherited from 2010. We are faithfully implementing the contributory pension scheme and paying retirees on defined benefits even as we raised minimum monthly pension to N30,000.
23. While implementing governance reforms, we have also focused on maintaining our credentials as one of the foremost investment destinations in Nigeria, attracting $2.8bn in investments and pledges. We recently hosted the sixth edition of the Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit, KADInvest. This concluded with the commissioning of the tomato processing plant of Tomato Jos, one of the investors in the agriculture sector in our state. We are looking forward to the commissioning early in 2022 of the Gujeni iron and steel plant of the African Natural Resources and Mines in Kagarko LGA. We also expect the Dangote-Peugeot vehicle assembly project and the OCP fertiliser plant located along the Kaduna-Abuja Road to come on stream.
24. Work is progressing well on the roads, bridges and other infrastructure required for the Damau Milk Farm project, a collaboration between our state, the Central Bank of Nigeria and Arla, the European dairy giant. This is a ranching project, designed to help transform and modernise livestock production in Kaduna State, by sedentarising farmers and involving them in a commercially viable animal husbandry business.
The proposed 2022 Budget of Sustainable Growth
25. The uncertainties unleashed by the Covid-19 pandemic make it even more important to embrace fiscal realism. As a subnational, our economic parameters are aligned with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s which assumes an oil price benchmark of 57 US Dollars per barrel; daily oil production estimate of 1.88 million barrels , exchange rate of 410.15 per US Dollar; projected GDP growth rate of 4.2 percent and 13 percent inflation rate.
26. Taking into account these economic parameters, the draft 2022 estimates are based on the following considerations:
i. Limiting the size of the budget strictly in conformity with realizable revenues in the light of a post COVID-19 economy.
ii. Providing funds for projects from start to finish, while taking into cognizance ongoing projects and inherited capital liabilities.
iii. Maintaining the minimum budgeting baseline model of 60:40 ratio of capital to recurrent.
iv. Education and Health sectors holding a minimum of 26% and 15% of the total proposed budget respectively.
27. The government will strictly adhere to these targets, giving close attention to priority projects, strengthening expenditure control measures, and seeking ways to significantly expand internally generated revenue collection.
Summary of the 2022 Draft Revenue and Expenditure Estimates
28. The draft 2022 budget acknowledges the continuing uncertainty caused by Covid-19 and the varying degrees of economic recovery across the world, two factors with significant consequences for export earnings and business confidence. Therefore, we are proposing a budget size of N233bn in 2022, with the capital component at N146bn and recurrent expenses of N87.6bn. The 2022 budget, when approved, is projected to have capital to recurrent ratio of 63%:37%. The 2022 estimates are slightly smaller than the proposed 2021 budget estimates of N237.52bn, of which N157.56bn was capital and N79.96bn recurrent expenditure, a 66% to 34% capital to recurrent ratio.
29. Most of the capital spending will be in the Economic and Social Sectors, in keeping faith with our stated governance agenda. We propose to devote 76.8% of the capital budget to schools, hospitals, and infrastructure, including housing. Capital spending on Education is N68.4bn (29%) and for Health N35.1bn (15%).
30. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, permit me to present the detailed summary of the recurrent and capital allocations, and to outline the proposed allocation to each sector:
31. GENERAL SUMMARY
The summary of the 2022 – 2024 Draft Revenue and Expenditure Estimates as follows:
1. Recurrent Revenue Projections 2022 of N146,408,640,343.67
1. Opening Balance ₦24,450,000,000.00
2. Internally Generated Revenue ₦67,267,465,873.67
3. Statutory Allocation from Federation Account ₦54,191,174,470.00
4. Contributions for COVID-19 Response ₦ 500,000,000.00
₦146,408,640,343.67
1. Recurrent Expenditure Estimates 2022
Personnel Cost 44,653,466,906.47
Overhead Cost 31,705,684,158.87
Public Debt Charges 6,200,000,000.00
10% to Local Government Joint Council 5,016,269,047.66
TOTAL RECURRENT EXPENDITURE 87,575,420,113.00
NET RECURRENT REVENUE 58,833,220,230.67
3. Transfer to Capital Budget
Recurrent Revenue 146,408,640,343.67
Less Recurrent Expenditure 87,575,420,113.00
Recurrent Budget Surplus 58,833,220,230.67
4. Capital Accounts Funds 2022 Total Capital Budget: N146,097,619,642.88
Opening Balance 8,020,225,751.78
Recurrent Budget Surplus 58,833,220,230.67
Value Added Tax (VAT) 24,955,552,583.00
Internal Loans and Credit 100,000,000.00
Internal Grants 21,776,980,746.97
External Loans 19,603,348,709.33
External Grants 12,308,291,621.13
Sales of Government Assets 500,000,000.00
TOTAL CAPITAL BUDGET 146,097,619,642.88
5. Capital Expenditure Estimates 2022
The sum of ₦146,097,619,642.88 has been allocated as Draft Capital Estimates across sectors as follows: –
Sub-Sector: Economic Proposed Estimates
Agriculture 1,796,277,164.41
Business, Innovation and Technology 3,725,230,354.53
Housing and Urban Development 9,347,379,072.06
Public Works and Infrastructure 36,973,505,543.12
Total for Sub-Sector: Economic 51,842,392,134.12
Sub-Sector: Social
Education 44,686,238,773.12
Health 22,764,378,045.10
Social Development 690,522,000.00
Total for Sub-Sector: Social 68,141,138,818.22
Sub-Sector: Regional
Environment and Natural Resources 2,986,195,031.17
Water 4,994,433,881.76
Total for Sub-Sector: Regional 7,980,628,912.93
Sub-Sector: General Administration
Executive 11,554,247,474.89
Governance 2,964,500,840.01
Law and Justice 287,948,802.71
Legislature 3,326,762,660.00
Total for Sub-Sector: Gen. Admin 18,133,459,777.61
Grand Total 146,097,619,642.88
32. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, these figures show that the 2022 draft budget estimates express our political values and governance principles in the same consistent manner as our six previous budgets. Devoting N115bn to these critical sectors demonstrates continuity in our emphasis on Education and Health as the key drivers of human capital development, and on investments in Infrastructure as essentials to promoting economic competitiveness, support job creation and advance the well-being of our people.
Legislative Agenda for 2022
33. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, you have kindly enacted many of the bills in our 2020/2021 legislative agenda into law. This includes the Traditional Institutions Law and the laws creating Metropolitan and Municipal Authorities to manage Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria as single, integrated and organic cities.
34. Some of the bills on the agenda are still being drafted. Therefore, in the remaining months of 2021 and in 2022, we shall be approaching the House with more bills to further strengthen governance in the state. The pending bills that we hope to transmit to the Kaduna State House of Assembly include:
a. The Kaduna State Executive Council recently approved the State Social Protection Policy. This places us in a better position to propose a Social Protection Bill to domesticate the various social intervention programmes of the Federal Government and propose a statewide social safety net that will address the basic needs of our poorest and most vulnerable citizens.
b. Employment Promotion Bill that will establish a State Council of Economic Advisers to guide the government on measures to promote job creation, economic development and investment promotion.
c. State Education Bill to re-enact our outdated education law, including updating the Universal Basic Education Law to repeal the 2005 law, and reflect lessons learnt in the implementation of the domestication of the UBE Act. This will enable the eventual elimination of the dysfunctional ‘Out-of-School children’ phenomenon in Kaduna State.
d. Family Court and Small Claims Court (Establishment) Bills, along with legislation to amend the District Court Law, and
e. Another very important bill for the enactment of a State Commercial Code to guide the conduct of commercial activities, encourage innovation and investment in our state.
35. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, it is my pleasure to now lay before this Honourable House the draft estimates of revenues and expenditure for the 2022 fiscal year, and the Appropriation Bill accompanying these, for your kind consideration.
Thank you for listening.
God Bless Kaduna State.
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, OFR
Governor of Kaduna State
12th October 2021

El-Rufai Reshuffles Cabinet, Appoints Chief Of Staff As Commissioner

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Monday assigned new portfolios to some commissioners and senior officials of the state government.

He explained that the reshuffle was designed to help harness fresh energy for the government’s final lap, bring new insights, and enable the commissioners to have a more rounded experience of the government, said a statement by the governor’s spokesman, Muyiwa Adekeye.

Eight of the 14 commissioners swapped portfolios, although there were no changes in the Ministries of Finance, Justice, Health, Housing and Urban Development, Internal Security and Home Affairs, as well as Human Services and Social Development.

The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Muhammad Abdullahi, was redeployed to the Ministry of Planning and Budget Commission as commissioner – a position he held during the governor’s first term.

Other commissioners redeployed include Jaafaru Sani (Environment), Thomas Gyang (Public Works and Infrastructure), Halima Lawal (Education), Ibrahim Hussaini (Agriculture), Shehu Muhammad (Local Government), Kabir Mato (Business, Innovation, and Technology), and Idris Nyam (Sports Development).

Governor El-Rufai also appointed Balaraba Aliyu-Inuwa, Muhammad Bayero, and Phoebe Yayi as administrators of the Zaria Metropolitan Authority, Kaduna Capital Territory, and Kafanchan Municipal Authority respectively.

This follows the passage of the law creating metropolitan authorities to manage the areas as organic cities.

Similarly, the governor approved the deployment of Umma Aboki as Permanent Secretary, Planning and Budget Commission; Murtala Dabo as Executive Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission; and Abubakar Hassan as Director-General, Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA).

Others are Tamar Nandul as Managing Director, Kaduna Markets Development and Management Company; Khalil Khalil as Executive Secretary, Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA); and Maimunatu Abubakar as General Manager, Kaduna Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA).

“Amina Ladan will oversee the Kaduna State Roads Agency (KADRA) following the redeployment of Engineer Muhammad Lawal Magaji to the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure,” the statement said.

“The government has also announced the appointments of Professor Mohammed Sani Bello as Chairman of the Local Government Service Board; Muhammed Muazu Muqaddas as Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Authority (SEMA); and Dr Shuaibu Shehu Aliyu as Permanent Secretary.

“The governor has nominated Dr Ishaya Sarki Habu (Chairman), Aminu Yusuf Musa, Engineer Rabiu Tanko, and Rebecca Nnawo Barde as the new members of the Legislative Service Commission. Malam Nasir El-Rufai has conveyed the state government’s gratitude for the service of Aliyu Saidu, former DG-KADCHMA and Lawal Jibrin, former GM of KEPA who are leaving the government.”

Eight Killed, Six Injured In Another Reprisal In Zangon Kataf

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

At least eight people have been killed in a reprisal in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Six other persons were also injured, and several houses razed by the attackers during the incident which occurred on Sunday.

The attack, according to the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in Kaduna, Samuel Aruwan, was carried out by unidentified persons in Kacecere village of Zangon Kataf.

Arunwa explained that the attack was in reprisal to earlier attacks in Jankasa village, also in Zangon Kataf where one Yakubu Danjuma was killed, and another assault in Madamai in Kaura LGA where 34 persons were killed.

The attacks in these two locations, security agencies say, led to the reprisal by unidentified assailants on Kacecere community which has left eight dead, six persons injured and several houses razed.

Two suspects arrested

Earlier, Channels Television reported that no fewer than 34 people were killed following a fresh attack by gunmen on Madami village in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Seven other persons are said to have sustained injuries in the attack while some houses were set ablaze during the operation which occurred on Sunday night.

Aruwan, who also confirmed the incident, said troops mobilised to the location and engaged the bandits in a gun battle before the assailants withdrew after intense pressure.

The commissioner disclosed that two suspects are being questioned in connection with the attack, adding that security agencies are already conducting operations in the general area.

He also said that the troops were able to put out the fire at three of the burning houses, while six locals were rescued from the inferno.

Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has condemned the attack, describing it as an unspeakable display of wickedness, meriting the severest form of punishment.

El-Rufai, who promised that the Kaduna State Government would bear the full cost of the injured victims’ treatment, also ordered an urgent assessment of the area by the State Emergency Management Agency, towards the provision of succor to the affected households.

The governor, however, appealed for calm and charged security agencies to intensify their efforts in the campaign against the gratuitous killing of innocent citizens.

Former Emir Of Kano, Sanusi Leads Prayers In Kaduna

Muhammadu Sanusi leading prayers at Murtala Mohammed prayer ground in Kaduna on Tuesday, June 20, 2021.

 

Former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi on Tuesday led the Eid prayer at the Murtala Mohammed prayer ground in Kaduna metropolis.

The state Governor Nasir El-Rufai and Senator representing Kaduna central, Uba Sani, and other dignitaries were also at the prayers.

In his message, the former Emir of Kano called on Nigerians to continue to live in peace irrespective of their religious or ethnic differences so as to foster peace and unity in the country.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai in his address spoke on the importance of peaceful coexistence. He announced that more troops have been deployed to Kaduna State to help flush out bandits and other criminals in a bid to restore peace and security in the state.

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai observes prayers at the Murtala Mohammed prayer ground on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

 

He, however, solicited prayers from the citizens to help tackle the myriads of challenges confronting the state.

The governor also in a press statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye urged Muslims to emulate the example of faith and sacrifice that Sallah symbolises.

The governor commended the resilience of citizens in these tough times and prayed for the blessings of Allah for the immense sacrifices that are being made.

He urged the Muslim community to keep hope alive and to celebrate Eid el-Kabir in compliance with public health guidelines prescribed to protect everyone from the very infectious Delta variant Covid-19 that is already circulating in some states in the country.

Kaduna Govt Orders Immediate Closure Of 13 Schools Over Insecurity

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

The Kaduna State Government has ordered the immediate closure of 13 schools located in areas that have been identified as vulnerable to attacks by bandits.

This followed Monday’s bandits’ attack on Bethel Baptist school in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, where an unspecified number of students were kidnapped.

The directive which was issued by the Director-General of Quality Assurance Authority in the state Ministry of Education, Umma Ahmed to proprietors of private schools, said the closure is with immediate effect.

“You are hereby advised to adhere to the contents of this letter as appropriate sanctions shall be meted out to schools that are found wanting for non-compliance, please,” she said.

Ahmed listed the names of the affected schools to include Faith Academy, along Kachia Road adjacent to Jakaranda, Deeper Life Academy, Maraban Rido, ECWA Secondary school, Ungwar Maje and Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi.

Others are, St. Peters Minor Seminary, Katari, Prelude Secondary School, Kujama, Ibiso Secondary School, Tashar Iche, Tulip International (Boys) School and Tulip international (Girls) School.

Also on the list are, Goodnews Secondary School, St. Augustine, Kujama, Comprehensive Development Institution (CDI), Tudun Mare and Adventist College, Kujama.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kidnap Students From Another Kaduna School, Kill Two

A combination of file photos of the map of Kaduna State and a gun recovered from crime suspects.

 

Kaduna has been experiencing series of attacks by bandits, with educational institutions considered as soft targets.

Monday’s attack was the fourth mass school kidnap in Kaduna state since December.

Bethel Baptist High School is a co-education college established by Baptist church in 1991 at Maramara village in Chikun district outside the state capital Kaduna.

Around 1,000 students and pupils have been abducted in different Nigerian states since December last year. Most have been released after negotiations with local officials, although some are still being held.

Bandits Plotting To Attack Kaduna School, Kidnap My Son – El-Rufai

File photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has withdrawn his children from a public school in Kaduna after getting wind of a plot to kidnap his son.

The governor had in September 2019, enrolled his six-year-old son,  Abubakar-Sadiq into Kaduna Capital School,  a public school located in the Kaduna state capital,  in order to show leadership to revamp public education in the state and make it more competitive.

But in an interview with the BBC on Friday, El-Rufai noted that available security reports revealed that three bandits groups were planning to abduct his son from the school, a situation which he also notes will expose other children to grave danger.

The Governor also disclosed that he had enrolled Sadiq’s younger sister, Nasrine in the same school after turning six years, before the security development, thereby forcing the family to withdraw the two children from the public school temporarily.

“My son is registered in the school because his sister also became six years of age and we registered her in the school but we’ve had to temporarily withdraw them for the security of the school because we got intercept from at least two groups that are planning to attack the school to kidnap my son,” he said.

“I don’t think they will succeed because there will be enough security there to prevent it but other children may be placed in danger. We have no idea what weapons they will come with.”

READ ALSO: Bandits Attacking Kaduna Because We Refused To Give Them Money – El-Rufai

He however said that his two children are currently homeschooling, and are only going to Capital School to write exams, with the hope of returning to Kaduna Capital School when security improves.

The Governor further explained that his family took the decision to withdraw his son and daughter based on the advice of security agents, and in order not to put the school at risk of being attacked by bandits.

 

Ransom For Bandits?

As Kaduna State and other parts of the north-western region continue to experience the scourge of banditry, El-Rufai has been one of those few governors that have repeatedly kicked against the payment of ransom to kidnappers.

He also reiterated his administration’s stance, explaining that three groups intercepted had vowed to abduct his children to see if he would make a U-turn on the payment of ransom.

The Kaduna Governor has insisted that the state government has no money to pay bandits amid the renewed attacks by armed groups in the state.

He stated that the recent bandits’ attacks on communities in the state were a result of the government’s decision that it would not negotiate with them.

“We have a feeling that the renewed attacks in Kaduna are not unconnected to the position that we have taken as a government that we will not negotiate with criminals,” said the governor who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

He added, “We will not give them any money and they will not make any profit from Kaduna; anyone that comes to Kaduna will not get a penny from the state government, except he will get a bullet instead.”

According to Governor El-Rufai, the security challenges being witnessed in the northwest region of the country have been existing for some years and gradually evolving and getting worse with time.

He was confident that while the state government does not have any reason to change his position, the military would wipe out the bandits from the region.

The governor stressed that the government would continue to protect the people of the state and their properties, no matter the antics of the armed men.

El-Rufai Sacks 99 Political Appointees

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State says the government has begun to implement its rightsizing policy by disengaging 99 political appointees.

He, however, stated that the state government had yet to disengage any civil servant as only agencies connected to the local government system have disengaged staff.

The governor who briefed reporters on Thursday listed those affected to include the 23 local government councils, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), and the Primary Health Care Board.

He explained that the disengaged political appointees constituted 30 per cent of the total number of political office holders in the state.

‘’So far, 99 political appointees have lost their jobs, but we have not commenced rightsizing civil servants,” said Governor El-Rufai.

He added, “We want to be fair with regards to civil servants. We had earlier promised that before we reduce the size of the civil service, we will start with political appointees, and we have done that.”

The governor stated that the rightsizing of civil servants would still go on as planned because of dwindling revenues that were accruing to the state government from the federation account.

He added that rightsizing commenced with political appointees because their details were clearly known, making it more straightforward to disengage them.

Governor El-Rufai clarified that civil servants whose veracity of data had raised questions have been given a chance to clear the doubts before any action would be taken.

He disclosed that the government has employed 11,000 more workers in the health sector, Kaduna State University, as well as primary and secondary school teachers across the state.

The governor also faulted the claims that the salaries of political appointees accounted for the bloated personnel cost of the state government.

‘’In March 2021, the salaries of these political appointees amounted to N259 million, while civil servants were paid N3.13 billion aside from costs related to state contributions to pension, accrued rights, and other personnel costs.

“So, it is false to insinuate that political appointees are the ones that guzzle most of the state’s resources,” he stated.

Governor El-Rufai added, “Kaduna State cannot continue to use 84 per to 96 per cent of our revenues to pay salaries of less than one per cent of the population.

“The rest of our people – all 99 per cent of them, need better schools, hospitals, water supply, roads, markets, and support for agriculture to make a living outside the government.”

He also promised that the state government would not reverse the N30,000 minimum wage that it has started paying.

El-Rufai Seeks Support In Kaduna By-Election

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, is optimistic that the All Progressive Congress (APC) will be victorious in the by-election for the vacant seat in the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed Saturday to conduct the bye-election for the Sabon Gari Constituency seat.

Addressing the people of Sabon Gari ahead of the poll, Governor El-Rufai led some top APC members in the state to the final campaign rally to canvass support for the party’s candidate, Musa Musa, on Thursday.

He stated that the APC has done well for the state in delivering its campaign promises to deserve the mandate of the people in the election.

The governor called on all registered voters to come out and vote on Saturday for the continued progress and stability of the constituency.

The seat which was initially occupied by the former Speaker of the House, Aminu Shagali, was declared vacant in April.

This followed an allegation the former speaker absconded from all legislative activities for more than a year without any reason.

In declaring the seat vacant, the members of the Assembly based their action on Section 109(1) (f) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Governor El-Rufai Sacks 19 Political Appointees 

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

 

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has fired 19 political appointees in the state as part of his administration’s move to “rightsize” the public service in the state.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communications Muyiwa Adekeye announced the development in a statement on Wednesday.

Two special advisers, one deputy chief of staff and several special assistants are among those affected by the decision, which followed the recent controversial layoffs in the state that led to the now-suspended industrial action by organised labour in the state last week.

The Deputy Chief of Legislative Staff, Bala Yunusa Mohammed; and two of his special assistants – Halima Musa Nagogo and Umar Abubakar – were among those fired.

Also sacked were Ben Kure (Special Adviser on Politics) and his special assistants – Mustapha Lynda Nyusha and Jamilu Gwarzala Dan Mutum, as well as Umar Haruna, a Special Assistant on Politics.

READ ALSO: Buhari Calls On International Community To Support Peaceful Transition In Chad

Others are the Special Adviser (Social Development), Zainab Shehu; Special Assistant to the Special Adviser, Stephen Hezron; Senior Special Assistant (Stakeholders Relations), Mohammed Bello Shuaibu; and the Senior Special Assistant on Youth, Aliyu Haruna.

The Special Assistant Creative Arts, Halima Idris; the Director-General of Public Procurement Authority, Engr Aliyu Alhaji Salihu; Special Assistant Community Relations; Ashiru Zuntu, and a Senior Special Assistant, Saida Sa’ad, were affected as well.

Also on the list are the Special Assistant Programmes, Elias Yahaya; Special Assistant to the Secretary to Kaduna State Government, Tasiu Suleiman Yakaii; the Special Assistant on Economic Matters, Samuel Hadwayah; and the Senior Special Assistant Environment, Ahmed Mohammed Gero.

The governor thanked the departing officials for their services to the state and wished them well in their future endeavours.

 

 

 

Despite NLC Calling Off Strike, Power Yet To Be Restored – Kaduna Govt

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

The Kaduna State Government has said that despite the suspension of strike by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), power is yet to be restored in the state, thereby inflicting pain on residents of the state.

NLC had embarked on a five-day industrial to protest the recent disengagement of civil servants by the state government.

In solidarity with the protest by the NLC, aviation workers shut down operations of Kaduna International Airport (KIA) effective Sunday midnight.

Other affiliate unions including the National Union of Petroleum Employees of Nigeria (NUPENG), National Union of Electricity Employees of Nigeria (NUEE), National Union Of Textile, Tailoring and Garment Workers of Nigeria are also participating in the protest.

READ ALSO: NLC Suspends Strike In Kaduna

The striking workers suspended the strike on Wednesday to honour a meeting called by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige to resolve the rift it has with the Kaduna State Government.

But Muyiwa Adekeye, the spokesman of the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, seem not to be pleased with the decision, accusing the workers of resorting to blackmail.

“Electric power is yet to be restored after it was shut down at dawn on Sunday, 16th May 2021, in brazen violation of the laws protecting essential services and infrastructure,” he said via a statement.

“That action removed any basis for state government officials to meet the NLC last Sunday. Denying our people electricity about 18 hours to the advertised commencement of their organised sabotage was akin to putting a gun on the government’s head. Government has a lawful duty not to indulge in blackmail.

“The Kaduna State Government is yet to see evidence that the NLC is backing off from its campaign of economic and social sabotage against the people of the State.

“Restoring electricity is vital to relieving some of the pain that needless acts of lawlessness have inflicted on our people. The unimpeded provision of essential services is vital to civilised order.

“Those who have disrupted it should promptly reverse themselves, not expect that it will be a matter for negotiation, much less being viewed as a precondition. KDSG will not participate in such a negotiation or countenance one whilst our people are still being denied their right to electricity.”