In this piece, Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje speaks on his plans for the state as he kicks off his second tenure.
Over the last few weeks, since the electoral process which returned me as the governor of Kano State, I have had a chance to reflect on the last four years. I have committed to sober reflection, including a trip to the Holy City. I can truly say that I have been blessed. I have received innumerable blessings from the Almighty Allah, and it is for this I am thankful and completely submit to his will.
Recently, Microsoft opened The Africa Development Centre in Lagos. I am happy that this is happening, but of course, wish this was happening here in Kano. So the immediate question to you is “What are you going to do to bring this level of investment to your state?” Now as you marinate in this thought, here are some of our plans for the future of Kano State:
1. We are working on full scale educational revamp of the educational sector of Kano State. We want to ensure that in 15 years, Kano becomes the most educated state in sub-Saharan Africa. We are already reviewing the entire state education curriculum to meet 21st century needs and would also be adding fresh teachers to improve the knowledge base available in our schools.
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2. We are building pilots to test various methods. On several occasions, I emphasised the need to inculcate ICT and new technological knowledge in the educational system in Kano State. In about 3-4 weeks, these ICT labs will start opening across different local government areas in the state. To test the process, we will measure results over the coming months and pass learnings across the state as we add more schools to the programme.
3. We strongly believe that the advancement of our state is tied largely to quality education at all levels. But Kano State cannot build all of these institutions alone so we will be unveiling a programme to incentivise the private sector to come to Kano and build institutions of learning.
4. We cannot build these big plans on the back of a slow-paced economy, hence the need to stimulate commercial investments in the state. Our state is partnering with qualified professionals to provide the help our entrepreneurs need to unlock growth for their businesses and to ensure that investors are given required support. If you are a young entrepreneur in Nigeria looking to start a business, especially in the areas of agriculture, trade, education and technology, make plans to move to Kano. We will support you!
5.Our women are not left out of the plan as they have been blessed by the Almighty Allah with the ability to create economic growth through businesses. Along with the education and economic policies, we are rolling out specific policies to help the women of Kano participate fully in the state’s development.
6.For our country to grow, we need to at least feed our people. The problem is not arable land – we have that in abundance. Our problem is in maximising the agricultural value chains to ensure that we are producing and processing food in a more sustainable manner. Our government will support competent private sector players who are willing to invest in agriculture in Kano.
In the last six years, we have seen the effect of technology on the GDP of America and China and the upward economic growth it has yielded. In the past week, we have also seen these two global powers move the arena of conflict from arms to technology in the 5G race. This tells us, more than anything, that the future is not in the resources which built the 20th century, but in the minds of people. This is the new reality we must prepare for. We have our focus and we have the plans and the drive to make Kano state the state of the future – where we set the benchmark for what other states in Nigeria aspire to be.