El-Rufai Signs 2020 Budget Into Law, Swears In Three New Commissioners

 

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has signed the 2020 budget of N259.25 into law, with a promise to consolidate on ongoing projects across the state.

The State deputy governor, Hadiza Balarabe had on October the 15, submitted the draft budget estimate of N257.9 billion to the House of Assembly for approval.

However, after weeks of deliberation, the lawmakers increased the budget proposal to N259.25 billion.

While signing the Appropriation Bill into law at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna, the governor noted that N184.1 billion out of the entire budget is for capital expenditure while the sum of N75,145,220,027.38 is allocated to recurrent expenditure.

According to the governor, the largest chunk of N75.bn of the budget will be spent on the social sector, comprising education, health and social development, in line with his administration’s governance agenda of building human capital and promoting equal opportunity.

Meanwhile, the governor also swore in three new commissioners including two women for the ministries of health, agriculture and fiscal commission, as well as eight permanent secretaries.

He charged them to work harder and contribute their quota in the development of Kaduna State.

The governor also reminded them that they were appointed based on their competency and integrity and must, therefore, live up to expectations.

Alleged Graft: Court Cleared El-Rufai Of Alleged Misappropriation Of N32bn, Says Counsel

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

 

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, says the Federal High Court, Abuja had cleared him of allegations of misappropriation of the sum of N32 billion from the sale of some Federal Government houses when he was the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He said this in reaction to reports which according to him, had misrepresented Justice Binta Nyako’s reaffirmation of an earlier judgement, by portraying him as preventing the EFCC from perform its duties.

Speaking through his counsel, Abduhakeem Mustapha (SAN) in a statement, El-Rufai noted that he had approached the court in 2009 to clear his name when he was being ‘smeared’ by the anti-graft agency.

“At no point did Nasir El-Rufai seek to stop the EFCC from performing its statutory functions. Rather, he only went to court in 2009 to defend his reputation” the statement read in part.

According to Mustapha, “the EFCC sustained a media campaign that N32bn was missing, compelling El-Rufai to approach the court for a declaratory judgment which had since been given in his favour.”

He further explained that it was the declaratory judgement that Justice Nyako reaffirmed in her ruling, reiterating that the declaratory orders in favour of the former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), subsist.

According to him, the clarification became necessary because of “the false and abjectly misleading reportage of the judgment of the Hon. Justice Binta Murtala Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja delivered on 29th November 2019”.

The statement recalled that as Minister of FCT, El-Rufai allocated plots in Abuja to more than 27,000 Nigerians and presided over a transparent process that sold government houses and earned the Federal Government a whopping N32bn.

“No decent man would permit slurs on such a stellar record. Therefore, Malam Nasir El-Rufai approached the court and the court agreed with him that there is no missing N32bn proceeds of sale of government houses,” Mustapha argued further.

“The court also held that the proceeds of the sales of the government houses were properly accounted for and audited”.

Kogi Election: El-Rufai Debunks Stepping Down As Chairman Of APC’s Campaign Council

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

 

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has described as ‘fabricated’ the reports that he has stepped down as the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Campaign Council of Kogi state, saying that he will continue to campaign to persuade re-election of Yahaya Bello as governor of the state for a second term.

Kogi State will head to the polls on Saturday, November 16, 2019, to vote for a governor who will govern them for the next four years.

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In a statement issued on Sunday by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, El Rufai reminded the purveyors of the rumour, that it is well-known that he gives his best to all his assignments, and the Kogi election will not be different.

‘’The people of Kogi State will make their free choice at the ballot. Therefore, every political actor has a duty to ensure that the voters act on the basis of accurate information, not lies and fake news.

“I will be on the ground in Kogi this week as the APC works for another democratic mandate.”

The statement added that “APC will continue to campaign to persuade the people of Kogi State to renew the mandate they gave our party four years ago. That is the focus of the Malam Nasir El-Rufai and the members of the APC Campaign Council.”

Appeal Court Affirms El-Rufai’s Election As Kaduna Governor

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

 

 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna State has upheld the election of Mr Nasir El-Rufai as the duly elected governor of the state.

In a unanimous judgement delivered by a three-man panel of judges led by Justice Olumuyiwa Aburu on Thursday, the appellate court upheld the judgement of the Election Petitions Tribunal which affirmed Governor El-Rufai of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the election.

The Tribunal had dismissed the petition of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Isah Ashiru, in the March 9 poll for lacking in merit.

The PDP and its candidate had filed a petition before the Tribunal and asked it to declare Ashiru as the winner of the election, having scored the highest number of votes cast.

But the Tribunal ruled that the petitioner was unable to provide substantial evidence to prove his allegations.

It also noted that the petitioner did not present any factual evidence to prove the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wrong in returning El-Rufai as duly elected.

The Tribunal had, however, dismissed the petitioner’s suit challenging the governorship election for lacking in merit.

Unhappy with the judgment, the PDP and its candidate filed a petition at the appellate court, asking it to dismiss the lower court’s judgment and declare them the rightful winner of the election.

The appeal court, after looking into the prayers sought by the appellants, dismissed the petition for lacking in merit and also affirmed El-Rufai as the duly elected governor of the state.

The upper court aligned itself with the Tribunal’s judgment which held that the PDP candidate was unable to prove his allegations of massive rigging and other electoral irregularities against the governor.

In their reactions, the Counsel to PDP, Eli Mutum, said they would study the judgement to decide the next action to take while Governor El-Rufai’s counsel, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, described the judgement as a victory for democracy.

Kaduna Abductions: Govt To Establish Military Formation In Igabi

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

 

 

The Kaduna State government has vowed to facilitate the establishment of a military formation in Igabi Local Government Area of the state.

This followed the rising cases of kidnappings, rural banditry and other related crimes at Rigasa and Nariya communities in Igabi.

In a bid to tackle such prevailing security challenges, Governor Nasir El-Rufai announced plans by the state government to engage in activities that would lead to the establishment of a military formation in the area.

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The governor made the promise when he visited the communities to commiserate with them over the recent abduction of several residents by suspected kidnappers who operate from a nearby forest.

He gave assurance that his administration would continue to empower security agencies in order to make the entire state safer for the citizens.

Governor El-Rufai, who visited the communities in company with some government officials, urged the residents to live in peace with one another.

He insisted that the government would step up efforts to improve security in the area, while the Chairman of Igabi LGA called on the residents to expose all criminal activities in their domains.

Nariya, a border community between Kaduna and Niger States, has been notorious over the years for various crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery, rural banditry, and cattle rustling among others.

While Rigasa has witnessed the same incidents, over 30 people were said to have been kidnapped from their homes by bandits who camp in a nearby forest.

One of the residents, Aliyu Yushau, also said the bandits occasionally kidnap travellers along the Kaduna-Abuja Highway and hold them hostage inside their camp.

According to him, many residents have also fled from their homes to neighbouring villages while the majority of the roads in the community are inaccessible, making rescue efforts difficult during emergencies.

Kaduna Varsity Suspends Lecturer Accused Of Demanding Sex For Grade

The victim who accused Bala Umar of harassing her protests at the Kaduna State University (KASU) campus.

 

 

The management of Kaduna State University (KASU) has suspended one of its lecturers, Mr Bala Umar, for allegedly soliciting sex for grade from a female student.

The university’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abdullahi  Ashafa, disclosed this to Channels Television on Thursday.

Professor Ashafa explained that the suspension of the lecturer was due to a one-man protest at the institution by a female graduate of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), who accused Uman of demanding sex from her in 2013.

The lady, whose name was not given, alleged that the lecturer, who was sacked by the management of ABU for sexual misconduct and later employed by KASU, was not fit to be a lecturer in any institution.

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The deputy vice-chancellor who chaired the committee set up to investigate the allegation earlier in October 2019 noted that Umar, having been sacked from ABU, ought not to have been re-employed by KASU due to the controversy surrounding his dismissal.

He stressed that the university has zero-tolerance for such misconduct by its members of staff.

Professor Ashafa said they would proceed with investigations into the allegations levelled against the embattled lecturer in order to ensure that justice was done.

He also disclosed that two committees were set up – one to investigate Umar’s case and the other was for general investigation on events on campus relating to both academic and non-academic employees of the institution with a view to flushing out bad eggs from the university.

In his reaction, Governor Nasir El-Rufai condemned the purported action of the embattled lecturer to demand sex for marks.

In a tweet from his verified Twitter handle, the governor noted that the suspension of Umar by KASU was the first step.

He added that the suspended lecturer and 15 others sacked by ABU for alleged sexual harassment would be fully investigated and prosecuted.

Read the tweet below:

El-Rufai Presents N257.9bn 2020 Budget To Kaduna Assembly

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

 

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has presented a budget proposal of N257.9 billion for the 2020 fiscal year.

The state deputy governor, Hadiza Balarabe, submitted the appropriation bill on behalf of the governor to members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly on Tuesday in the state capital.

The document tagged ‘Budget of Progressive Renewal’, has N190.04 billion capital expenditure and N68.87 billion recurrent spending.

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According to the deputy governor, the appropriation bill is in the ratio of 73.7 per cent to 26.3 per cent representing capital and recurrent spending respectively.

She explained that this was in line with the present administration’s agenda of spending more on serving the people than in running the government.

Balarabe informed the lawmakers that the priority of the budget was to complete all 2019 projects and pay all contractors who have worked for the state government.

She added that most of the spending would be in the economic and social sectors, with N140 billion allocated to education, health, and infrastructure.

In the budget estimate, education got the highest allocation of N64.64 billion (25.07%), while health has N39.61 billion (15.36%) and infrastructure got N66.34 billion (25.72%).

The deputy governor disclosed that the government has declared 12 years of free and compulsory primary and secondary education for all children in Kaduna, as part of efforts to eradicate illiteracy and poverty in the state.

She announced that the government would complete the renovation of more primary schools and extend the building of more classrooms, including multi-storey blocks to address congestion and land availability constraints in urban centres.

Balarabe informed the lawmakers that the state government has recorded a significant achievement in the construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance of state roads, as well as making significant investments in health and education infrastructure, equipment, and staffing.

In his remark, the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Aminu Shagali, commended Governor El-Rufai for the timely presentation of the budget.

He gave assurance that the House would continue to give its support towards ensuring progress, peace, and development of the state.

Since the inception of the present administration in 2015, the El-Rufai administration has sustained a tradition of presenting the yearly budget in a good time, usually in October.

The presentation of the 2020 budget proposal is quite different because it is the first time a state deputy governor is saddled with the onerous responsibility of presenting a budget to the Assembly in the country.

El-Rufai Enrols Six-Year-Old Son In Public Primary School

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Monday enrolled his six-year-old son into a public primary school.

The governor’s son, Abubakar Al-Sadiq El-Rufai was enrolled by his father into primary one in Capital School Malali, Kaduna.

After the registration process was completed at the school principal’s office,  El-Rufai told journalists that the decision is in fulfillment of his campaign promise to improve the quality of public education in Kaduna State.

“The move is part of reforms to revamp public schools in the state to make them more competitive.

“We are determined to fix public education and raise their standards so that private education will become only a luxury.

“I went to a public school like this, in fact, the school I went to was not even as good as this but here I am because of the quality of the teaching I got.

“It is our intention in Kaduna State government to ensure that all our public schools offer quality education and we are encouraging all our senior public servants to have their children in public schools,” El-Rufai said.

Accompanied by his wife, Ummi, El-Rufai noted that it is only when political leaders send their children to public schools that they will be forced to pay attention to the quality of public education in the country.

He, however, stresses that the law does not allow him to force anyone to embrace the policy.

The governor’s wife, Ummi expressed mixed feelings about taking her child to a public school.

She also agreed that her husband’s action is the only way leaders can live by example and ensure that public institutions are given proper attention.

The governor’s son, on his part,  expressed happiness to assist his father to fulfill his campaign promise.

El-Rufa’i had in a state broadcast in December 2017, promised to enroll his child in a public school when he turns six years.

Buhari Commissions Zaria Water Project

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the second phase of the Zaria Water Supply and Expansion Project.

The President arrived in Kaduna State for the Commissioning earlier on Thursday.

He was received by Governor Nasir El Rufai and other top Government Officials at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria.

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The first phase of the water project was commissioned on May 27, 2017, by the former national Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

The 150 million litres per day Zaria Water Treatment Plant which was solely financed by the Kaduna State Government is expected to end decades of water scarcity in Zaria and environs.

Before the commissioning proper, the President paid a visit to the Emir of Zazzau at his palace.

There Governor El-Rufai explained to the Emir the essence of the President’s visit.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai in his address at the commissioning exercise, highlighted the importance of the projected and thanked all who were involved in making it become a reality.

 

 

Osinbajo Attends NAF Passing Out Parade In Kaduna

Photo: Twitter – @GovKaduna

 

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday visited Kaduna State in north-west Nigeria.

He was welcomed to the state by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, as well as the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, among others.

Professor Osinbajo, thereafter, proceeded to the venue of the Passing-Out-Parade ceremony of cadets of the Nigerian Air Force Direct Short Service Commission (DSSC) Course 28.

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The event, which held at the Military Training Centre, Kaduna, enjoyed the presence of top military officers and dignitaries.

DSSC is being conducted by the Military Training Centre for university and polytechnic graduates.

The course curriculum covers both military and general service subjects, which broadly introduce the cadets to military regimentation as well as NAF operations and administration.

Accordingly, the cadets during the course which lasts six months receive training in essential aspects such as drill, weapon and field training.

See photos below:

Photo: Twitter – @GovKaduna
Photo: Twitter – @GovKaduna
Photo: Twitter – @GovKaduna
Photo: Twitter – @NigAirForce
Photo: Twitter – @NigAirForce
Photo: Twitter – @NigAirForce

El-Rufai Announces Six-Months Maternity Leave For Kaduna Female Workers

 

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has announced that female civil servants in the state will get six months for maternity leave.

Speaking after he was sworn for a second term on Wednesday, the governor explained that the initiative was to ensure that children were adequately cared for, well-fed and receive all the nutrients they would need within the first six months of their lives.

He also announced free medical care for children below five years in public hospitals in the state.

“In education and health, we have shown a commitment with investments to expand the access of ordinary people to these public goods,” El-Rufai said.

He added, “Our commitment to universal health coverage will continue. Therefore, we shall accelerate the implementation of contributory health insurance scheme as a priority of this administration.

“Just yesterday, our state executive council approved six months of maternity leave for female public servants. This is to encourage the healthy development of infants.

“Mothers in our state are also reminded that children up to age five get free medical care in our hospitals. They are entitled to free regular medical checkups in all public hospitals. Please, take advantage of this.”

The governor also announced that his government has made free and compulsory education available for girls in the state.

“We took bold steps to improve the teaching standards. We have made basic education truly free in Kaduna state and we have made education free and compulsory for our girls up to the end of senior secondary school,” he said.

He added, “We’ll continue to fix existing schools and build new classrooms where necessary and support our teachers to deliver decent public education.”

El-Rufai Visits DPO, Security Operatives Injured In Kasuwan Magani Violence

 

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has visited the security operatives and residents injured during the violent clashes in Kasuwan Magani community in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state.

The state government shared some photos of the visit on Twitter on Sunday.

One of those visited was the Divisional Police Officer in Kajuru, Umar Faruk, said to be receiving treatment for gunshot wounds he sustained during the violent clashes.

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He also visited some other security operatives and locals in the community where the violence occurred.

See photo below: