By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.
Elrufaism means thorough, calculated, effective and objective – not divine, but the kind flawed by the limitations of human judgement. From his days as FCT Minister, though some continue to punch holes in his style of governance, to his years as Kaduna Governor; Elrufai has proved to be one of the finest Governors that would have served two terms, between 2015 to 2023. It is so easy to deduce that he was the best FCT Minister Nigeria has ever had, because till date, residents lament and decry the absence of his touch or type of administration, as Abuja is fast going haywire; with the breakdown of law and order, and poor state of infrastructure, including as basic as street lights, let alone CCTV coverage of the municipal atleast, for security reasons.
Fast forward to Kaduna, Elrufaism raised the Internally generated revenue of the state from a meagre 11 billion in 2015, to 55 billion in 2022. He has been able to aggregate capital and recurrent expenditure, with 66% of Kaduna State government spending going to capital expenditure, and 34% as recurrent expenditure. Recurrent expenditure has always been the bane of governance in Nigeria, with billions flushed down the drain every year, as ‘recurrent spending’. Elrufaism has seen to the mechanisation of agriculture, and the Industrialisation of processing of agricultural produce, in addition of course to the digitisation of government work flow, as well as data and information management.
From commissioner Samaila Aruwan’s constant and sometimes real-time update of the security situation in Kaduna, it is more than evident, there are concerted efforts dedicated to managing and resolving the security challenges of Kaduna. Aruwan, the state commissioner for internal security of Kaduna, who superintends over the state security outfit, ‘Operation Yaki’, overseas a well co-ordinated partnership between the state security initiatives and other national security agencies. This has led to the arrest of some of the perpetrators of the Kaduna-Abuja train passengers abduction, among many other similar successes.
Despite the security challenges in Kaduna, Elrufai has made tremendous efforts in attracting foreign investments into Kaduna, improving on the quest for the Industrialisation of Kaduna State. Industries newly set up are the Tomato Jos Paste Processing Plant in Igabi LGA. Arla Foods has also commissioned a dairy farm at Damau, in Kaduna, to boost the local dairy farming. A 3000 capacity tractor assembly plant has also been launched in Kaduna, as a joint venture between Ramindra Tractors of India, Kaduna State government and Springfield Agro Ltd. There is also the Dangote New Peugeot Assembly Plant, which is another joint venture between Kaduna state, Dangote Industries Ltd and Peugeot of France. These are strides that have made Kaduna the industrial hub destination in the North, and as usual, leading other states in the development race. One needn’t even venture into a detailed capture of the massive successes recorded in the building of roads, bridges, streetlights and traffic lights. The very beautiful and unique face-lift of the Kaduna municipality and other sub-urban areas are too numerous to mention, and almost too beautiful to capture in writing. It is simply spectacular and in every visit to Kaduna, one loses his way around town every now and then.
As Elrufai bids farewell to Kaduna, it is pertinent that Kaduna does not bid farewell to his blueprints and accomplishments, that have propagated Kaduna as the centre of both foreign and local investments. The state needs continuity more than ever. This challenge rests on the capacity and experience of Sen. Uba Sani as the man at the centre of this debate, being the flagbearer of the APC, for the guber elections coming up on the 18th of March, 2023. Sen. Uba Sani is hugely a part of the success of the Kaduna infrastructural development drive, having paved the way for the state government to access the funds needed for the actualisation of what we see Kaduna blossoming into today. Sen. Uba Sani is The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.
Sen. Uba Sani who made the Kaduna urban renewal plan possible, is the only senator in the 9th assembly that has 2 of his bills that have been signed into law. He has sponsored a total of 31, and has been successful enough to have 7 of them passed by both the Senate and the Federal House of Representatives; as they await Mr. President’s assent. His laurels and achievements by far, exceed those of his two other main rivals; in the PDP and the NNPP. His bills are usually targeted at improving the livelihood of the downtrodden, and their financial inclusion in the analysis of the welfare of the entire citizenry. The BOFIA (Bank and other financial institutions Act) amended law, causes for the financial inclusion of all Nigerians at the age of 18. He also sponsored the bill that saw to the Amendment of the AMCON Act, which allows for the more effective running of the company and empower it by removing obstacles that impede it in the recovery of debts from a few individuals owing The Federal Government over 4.7 Trillion Naira.
What is at stake in Kaduna is not the power tussle between Muslims or Christians of the state, or the retention of power in the North of Kaduna or in the South, and perhaps its control. The huge investments in industry, digitisation, security apparatus, education and infrastructure as roads, and bridges that boosts economic activities and make transportation of produce to markets more affordable are the issues at hand. A courageous public servant that can match or surpass Elrufai is what Kaduna needs. Enough has been said of Urban renewal which Elrufai has driven so well. Sen. Uba Sani has expressed his Readiness to carry the renewal campaign to the villages and trenches of the state. This will be a midas move against the insecurity harbored and groomed in the rural communities. His intentions would surely disarm weaponised poverty, and make way for the utilisation of the assets put in place by the Elrufai led APC administration. Kaduna’s best bet is Senator Uba Sani. He will definitely be a good successor, making inroads to ways and alleys in a manner not done by Elrufai.
Tahir is Talban Bauchi.
By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.