By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
HE remains one of the most unassuming governors in Nigeria, yet very active in the provision of strong, dynamic and benevolent leadership to the government and people of Kano State.
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who was sworn in as the governor of Kano State on May 29, 2015, can rightly be described as a right and fitting leader, who had long been prepared for the onerous task of leading Kano, one of the most challenging states in Nigeria given the labyrinth of its political, religious and social matrix and a large population that requires special and delicate attention.
Highly educated in terms of academic attainment and well experienced in public service, Ganduje came into governance with a humane, unassuming and calm disposition to deliver service to his people. And, given his background as a two-time deputy governor of the state and a man, who has held numerous state and national appointments before taking up his current position, Ganduje is armed with a wealth of experience that has given him an edge over his first term contemporaries in the management of state affairs.
The resultant effect of his cognate experience in public service has made it possible for the governor to record tremendous achievements within the period of 30 months at a time most of his contemporaries are trying to learn the ropes of governance and set out their priorities.
It is not surprising, therefore, that within the short period, Governor Ganduje has made positive impact in virtually all sectors of the state as captured in his 12-Point Agenda, which he set out on the day he was inaugurated as governor.
Like a proud mother, who has groomed and delivered a beautiful bride for the groom, Governor Ganduje is a happy man today, having made impact in the areas of: Free and compulsory education, re-invigoration of the civil service, review of Kano Master Plan, housing, regional water scheme, agriculture, local government, health services and war against drug abuse, internally-generated revenue, security, establishment of Due Process Bureau and re-invigoration of the public complaints and anti-corruption fight.
Above all else, the governor has touched the lives of the majority of the people by deliberately creating jobs particularly for the youths and women, thereby taking many jobless persons off the streets of Kano and giving them a steady means of livelihood in the process.
To achieve that feat, the governor has already approved the selection of 2000 youth in the state for training in the Federal Government- recognised Peace Corps with the anticipation that they will, at a later time, be employed and absorbed as full time staff by the Ministry of Interior. The state government shoulders all expenses for their training, feeding, accommodation, uniforms and other logistics.
Similarly, the governor has also entered into a partnership for the employment of 5000 youth to serve as agents and sub-agents for the marketing of MTN and Diamond Bank products as another initiative towards reducing unemployment and facilitating self-reliance and job creation among youth.
Other job creation initiatives being undertaken by the governor to bail the youths out of the unemployment market include, the training of 630 youth on various vocational skills at the Sani Abacha Vocational Training Centre, Fagge while arrangement is on-going for their empowerment and the training of over 2,445 young people on various apprenticeship programmes in partnership with DFID’s MAFITA, a UK aid- funded programme that runs for six years in the North-West) which was flagged off in Kano in March 2016. The figure is expected to rise to 10, 000 by the year 2018.
Like a man in a hurry to transform the state, Governor Ganduje, has spared no effort in taking bold initiatives to add value to the facilities he met on ground and initiating new ones to expand the frontiers of projects and services to his people. Understandably, he knows where such services are most needed and he has not spared any amount in putting such in place.
Under the infrastructural development scheme, he has embarked on the construction of the following projects:
- Underpass at Bukavu Barracks Junction, Katsina Road/Kofar Ruwa – Kabuga Road;
- Underpass at Bukavu Barracks Junction, Aminu Kano Way – Katsina Road Junction
- Sheik Jafar Road – Panshekara by Madobi Junction underpass with clovers
- Urban roads and those that link local government headquarters that would open up agriculturally important areas and provide access to educational institutions, health and recreational facilities.
- Office complex at Government House to accommodate Research and Documentation Directorate, Policy Coordination Department and Press Directorate. The project is expected to be completed in six months;
- Road network at Deputy Governor’s Office;
- Gwarmai – Kofa – Babeji Road
- Maiduguri Road – CBN Quarters Road – Zaria Road
- Madobi Junction – Panshekara Road
- Gidan Boss – Katsina Road
- Madobi Bridge – Kiru – KafinMaiyaki
- Janguza Barrack – Tashar Bala – Pantasha – Gangare Road
- Dungurawa – D/Tofa
- Construction of Zaria Road – Kano Line terminal;
- Rehabilitation of Abdullahi Bayero Road,
- Rehabilitation of Farm Centre/Marhaba Road;
- Construction of PRP Bus stop – Airport Road by (Kabo Air),
- Construction of Gidan Sarki, Dorayi -Tung – Gwazaye Bypass Road,
- Construction of Culvert Bridge along Kano Free Trade Zone,
- Construction of Dorayi – Unguwar Bello – Amare Road,
- Construction Zawaciki Housing Estate Inland Dry Port Road,
- Construction of Janguza- Lengel – Dansudu Road.
- Construction of Gidan Zakka Aminu Kano Way – Kofar Waika – Tudun Rubudi -Gadan – Dango – GarinIya – Danguguwa – Karas-Haga Road;
- Batayya – Faragai;
- Construction of Kwanar Tattarawa-Zaura-Barguma-Zango-Mata-DanfamiTofa-Ganduje-Dan Itace-Jemomi-Kwanar Zira Road, Continuation of Murtala Muhammed Road flyover,
- Construction of road network at Kantin Kwari Market,
- Construction of Hotoron Arewa Road and drainage network;
- Dualization of Dakata – Bela Phase II (K/Inusawa – Bela);
- Rehabilitation of Babban Kwari – Badawa(A);
- Rehabilitation of Lamido Road;
- Construction/dualization of Kings Garden – Tudun Murtala Road;
- Construction/dualization of Dan Dinshe – Kwanar Madugu Road;
- Construction/Dualization of Court Road (now Rochas Okorocha) Sabon Gari;
- Construction of Rumfar Shehu road network.
- Embarked on construction of first phase of 2,000 affordable houses across the 44 local government areas of the state
- Constructed a number of houses through equity arrangement with private investors at Sokoto Road; an estate at Race Course Road; and Bichi Close, all in Kano.
- Ongoing construction of an integrated Skills Acquisition Centre in D/Kudu LG.
He has also awarded a major contract for the construction of Modern Light Rail Transit project along four major routes in Kano Metropolis to a Chinese Company.
Similar feat has also been recorded by the governor in the areas of health, agriculture, information, water resources and development and investments.
It is clear from all of this that Governor Ganduje came to serve and to serve his people well. As a result, he is well loved by the people, who see him as an agent of transformation and good governance without ever dabbling into any controversial issue either at the local or national scene like some other governors, who have dissipated most of their energies on frivolities than serving the people.
Governor Ganduje stands tall as a colossus among his peers and is quietly breaking new grounds where others are yet to dare, winning the applause and hearts of the electorate in the process.
Since coming to power about three years ago, Governor Ganduje has, through actions and utterances, proved that he came into government to advance the cause of his people, add value to their lives and lift the state beyond where he met it by adding to the quantity and quality of projects and services, thereby expanding the frontiers of development.
Like Confucius has said, “If the desire of the leader is for good, the people will be good”. Governor Ganduje means well for the government and people of Kano and the people know it, and are equally happy with him. That is why we chose him as the Vanguard Governor of the Year.