By Ben agande
Worried by the security challenge in the state, Governor Nasir El Rufai has promised that District and Village Heads in the state will be given security votes so that they can gather intelligence reports that will help in stemming crime and insecurity.
He said the state Ministry of Local Government Affairs will soon come up with a template for the payment of the proposed allowance.
The governor made the disclosure at a stakeholders’ meeting at the Trade Fair Complex in the state.
He said the template that will be set out by the ministry will only spell out the minimum amount that will be paid to District, Village and Ward Heads as security allowance, while local governments that are financially more buoyant can even pay higher.
El Rufai said that the proposed security allowance will enable village and ward heads to keep tabs of happenings in their locality, so much that they can monitor the activities of criminal elements and report to security agents.
According to the governor, his administration decided to reduce the 390 District Heads to 77, in addition to reducing the staff of the local governments throughout the state.
“When we assumed office, we found out that what local governments were paying District and Village Heads was nothing to write home about. In fact, Ward Heads were not paid anything. In some local governments, District and Village Heads had not been paid for several months because of lack of funds.
“The restructuring freed up resources of local governments as they can now pay salaries. Before we came, eight area councils couldn’t pay salaries without a bail-out from state government.’’
‘’A Ward Head is better placed to know which household has a new born child. This will ease vaccination and the collation of other demographics. The task is huge and it requires resources to carry out. That is why we want to introduce the security allowance,’’ he said.
According to El Rufai, the focus of his administration is to enhance the living standard of the common man and not to make the elite happy by allowing them to corner the resources of the state.
‘’Before we came, the chunk of state resources was pocketed by a few elite, leaving the people who actually need government’s help with nothing. We were determined to change this trend and this didn’t go down well with many people and several interest groups,’’ he clarified.
The governor further said that his vision is to see that every major town in Kaduna state has a good school, a good healthcare facility, electricity and potable drinking water.