Turning Kaduna into giant construction site

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By
REUBEN BUHARI

Critics of the administration of the Governor of Kaduna state, Sir Patrick Yakowa and his leadership style, often makes reference to the deplorable state of some roads in the state, inherited by his administration. Also, they always accuse the governor of focusing too much attention on security, saying it is the duty and responsibility of the federal government to safeguard lives and property of her citizens everywhere in the country.
Creams of such writers and columnists have continued to insist that the governor must leave security to the federal government to tackle and focus instead, only on issues of infrastructure and development of the state.
But we also insist, too, that as the chief security officer in the state, the onus is on him, first, to protect the electorate against attack and by so doing, set the stage for socio-economic activities.
They bombard him erroneously from left, right and centre for being ‘slow’ while in actual fact, the governor is just too smart, meticulous and active, traits that only few of his ilk possess. The governor is not just a leader in a hurry to do what is inappropriate, something very common with some leaders. What a lot of persons fail to acknowledge is the fact that besides being a politician, Governor Yakowa has been a seasoned civil servant and administrator who knows the true procedure of governance and will not abuse it. That is why, knowing the sources and channels of flow of revenue to and from the state, he awards contracts only when the resources to pay contractors are available.
The governor, two months ago, awarded several contracts covering many sectors, running into billions of naira. These contracts came at a time the state needed them and not necessarily for political reasons or to appease anybody, not least his critics. Awarding the contracts at Sir Kashim Ibrahim (the government) House, on September 28, 2012, the governor reiterated his commitment to infrastructural development while appealing for calm and peace to reign in the state.
Some of the contracts awarded included construction of 31 roads across the 23 local government areas of the state at a cost of 28 billion naira. No doubt, contractors were advised to mobilize to site immediately and to equally ensure that the roads meet the standard for which they were awarded, as well as ensure projects are completed on schedule. Contract was also awarded for the purchase of 40 new security vehicles with full accessories for use by the state security outfit; Operation Yaki, to aid in combating crimes in the state.
In order to meet the yearnings of citizens who are clamouring for a modern intra-city transport system, contract was awarded for the purchase of 40 Nissan salon cars for use as taxi cabs in the city to ameliorate hardship usually experience by commuters. This is in addition to 50 new buses earlier purchased. The vehicles, which have already been supplied barely a month after it was awarded, is a product of the recommendation of a committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mukktar Ramalam Yero, charged to indentify appropriate projects to be financed from the state’s share of the fuel subsidy revenue, otherwise called Subsidy Re-investment Programme (SURE-P). In the same vein, contract for the purchase of 700 Kings Tricycles to be used for transportation to be financed from the SURE-P revenue was also awarded.
The state government also gave contract for the purchase of four 15-seater Toyota buses to support and promote the activities of four faith-based institutions in the state. This is in realization of the positive contributions of such institutions to peace building in Kaduna state.
In the area of medical facilities, contract was awarded for the upgrading of the famous Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital located in the heart of the city. The upgrading is meant to provide for students of the faculty of medicine, Kaduna State University (KASU), a befitting medical environment to acquire the best medical training obtainable in the discipline as they prepare to commence their To the chagrin of critics of the administration, all these projects were awarded in the same day to various contractors, some of whom have already delivered their jobs. The truth is that there are so many other projects before and after these ones that were awarded or commissioned by Governor Yakowa with little fanfare. clinical training. The upgrading is in addition to the ongoing work at the sophisticated 300-bed specialist hospital at the Millennium City.
As a compassionate administration willing to address the difficulty experienced by the masses in securing Kerosene for domestic use, and to ensure that the Kerosene Direct Scheme gets to the rural areas at all times, the state government also awarded contract for the procurement of vehicles and storage facilities to boost the programme. These included four 22,000 litres Dong Feng DF1250 metre trucks and two 60,000 litre high impact corrosion free surface tanks at a total cost of 153.6 million naira. This is to enable government conveniently store the product in large quantities and also sell at the approved price of N50.00 per litre to the citizenry. This initiative of the state government is the first of its kind in the state and is coming against the backdrop of hardship experience by the electorate, especially the rural dwellers that use the product for domestic cooking.
This administration, quite aware of the place of education as key to development awarded contract for the supply of science, technical and vocational equipments to secondary schools across the state for learning to be enhanced. These schools are special in the sense that they equip students with practical knowledge for self-reliance in future. Government is eager to upgrade these schools and provide them with up-to-date facilities to prepare the ground for sound practical education for our youths.
To the chagrin of critics of the administration, all these projects were awarded in the same day to various contractors, some of whom have already delivered their jobs. The truth is that there are so many other projects before and after these ones that were awarded or commissioned by Governor Yakowa with little fanfare. Take for instance, the governor commissioned heavy duty road maintenance equipments last month, purchased for Kaduna State Public Works Agency (KAPWA), responsible for road maintenance in urban areas, with a plea to the agency to forward its work plan for urban roads maintenance for approval.
Now the issue is this, while all these transpired in the last two months, little or nothing has been heard from these writers and columnists. One would have thought that some of them would even applaud the administration’s gesture in the light of the positive strides recorded in the award of these contracts. Criticism is welcome, no doubt, but it’s equally good to point at constructive activities of the administration as this is the only way writers could balance perspective on issues. However, for now, we can modestly say that Kaduna is quietly being turn into a giant construction site.
Buhari is the Senior Special Assistant Media to Gov. Yakowa and can be reached at reubenhari@yahoo.com.

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