By Bashir Abdullahi El-Bash
As we struggle to document his projects, policies and programmes, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje seems to move faster than we can imagine in initiating new ideas. With each passing second, Governor Ganduje, thinks about how to make Kano greater and greater in every aspect of human, social and economic development.
For those who know him well, Governor Ganduje symbolizes indefatigability and unwavering determination in attending to matters of governance and development.
And most importantly, he keeps promises with religious precision!
To prove this, let me highlight some of the promises he had recently made and moved to fulfil them head on:
Distribution of School Uniforms to 779,522 Pupils
As part of his widely celebrated and accepted free and compulsory education, Governor Ganduje had pledged to distribute uniforms and instructional materials to pupils in more than 1,180 schools across Kano state.
The governor had noted that this would encourage parents and guardians of the pupils to enroll their children without any fear of financial constraints.
Just like he had promised, that exercise has since begun.
Governor Ganduje launched the distribution of the uniforms and instructional materials precisely on Thursday, 24 October, 2019 at Mariri Special Primary School in Kumbotso Local Government Area of the state.
In that local government alone, a total of 29, 480 sets of new school uniforms were distributed to primary one (1) pupils in 78 primary schools.
In addition, 500 work books, 500 Hausa text books and 50 flash card packages were also distributed at the event.
The event took taking place simultaneously in all the 44 local government areas of the state.
Speaking at the event, Governor Ganduje said “Kano state government has commenced direct funding of primary and secondary schools numbering 1,180 with a total students population of 834, 366 at a total cost of about N200 million per month or N2.4 billion per annum.”
“Similarly, government has provided school uniforms to 779,522 newly enrolled pupils (boys and girls) at the total cost of N381 million,” he added.
New 400-bed Capacity Hospitals in New Emirates
Shortly after the passage of the well-conceived additional First-Class Emirates in Rano, Bichi, Karaye and Gaya domains, Governor Ganduje had promised to improve healthcare service in the areas under the new emirates in order to decongest hospitals in Kano city and bring quality and accessible healthcare close to the people.
Ganduje had made the promise on July 6, 2019 when he paid a visit to the Emir of Rano, Alhaji Tafida Abubakar (Autan Bawo).
“My administration is determined to make people understand the viability and necessity for such new Emirates. One of it is our intention to move the health care delivery system to a more progressive level,” he had said.
“Though Kano is now one of the states that have the best health care delivery system, we are determined to make our position in this sector, more profound, more pronounced and more consolidated. When the upgrade completed, Kano will be second to none in this area, among sister states,” he added.
Barely three months after that pledged, Governor Ganduje has swiftly moved to fulfil it as he has already invited contractors for procurement of equipment for cancer treatment.
The medical equipement would be installed at the proposed Ultra-Modern Hospitals to be headquartered in each of the four new Emirates.
“The state government has invited contractors to first and foremost, express their interest for such of the proposed upgrade of 4 health facilities, of 400-Bed spaces at the headquarters of each of the newly created 4 Emirates,” Ganduje said
“The state has resolved to boost health care delivery system in all the 4 newly created Emirate Councils. This, among other things, will be achieved through the UPGRADE of the health facilities in the headquarters of the new Emirate Councils, where each and every health facility will have a capacity of at least 400 bed spaces,” he declared.
The governor explained further that “While the state has collated all the necessary steps of work, interested contractors are invited to express interest in the construction and/or renovation of structures.”
“Some of the structures to be put in place include, firstly, conversion of existing buildings to wards, hundreds of 22 bed capacity blocks, dozens of Accident and Emergency (A & E ) blocks, Theatre blocks, Maternity blocks, dozens of Eye Centres,
Ear Nose Throat (ENT) blocks, Dental Clinics, among others.
“Others include Physiotherapy blocks, Radiology blocks, Laboratory blocks, Mortuary blocks, Restaurants/Eateries, Patient Relation Sheds, Incinerators, VIP Toilets, Road networks and external works, Entrance Gates, Power Supply/ Generating Sets, Bedroom Doctor’s House, Bedroom Senior Staff quarters and Workers Lodge,” Governor Ganduje revealed.
The governor also explained that “for the Cancer Centre, the state government places high premium on who to make quality procurement of equipments to be use at the world class Centre also. To promote openness in the process interested suppliers have already been invited as published in some newspapers few days back.”
“It is indicative to note that as the state government is desirous of establishing a Cancer Centre to cater for the increasing number of patients with a view to improving the quality of health care services delivery in the state, it is imperative to know why the state is following the due process in doing that.
“To make the Cancer Centre of global standard and working within the purview of global best practice, with no any match in the country, hi-tech equipments are needed for the Centre, which the state government, invites contractors for their procurement.
“Oncology equipments needed are listed as True Beam Linear Accelerator x 1, Halcyon Linear Accelerator x 1, GammaMed plus Brachytherapy hardware and Applicators x 1, ARIA Radiation Oncology x1, TPS Eclipse Integrated with ARIA x1 and Complete Dosimetry Tools x1.
“For Imaging equipments, what is needed are GE 16 Slices CT Stimulator x1, GE High Resolution Ultrasound x1, and GE C-Arm Xray machine x1. Emergency equipments needed for the Centre are given as, Defibrillator x 2, Oxygen Concentrator x 2, Suction Machine x 2, Laryngoscope x 2, Patient Monitor x 1 and Nebulizer x 2.
“Power equipments needed are 750 KVA Generator x1, 500KVA Generator x 1, 160 KVA UPS x1, Solar Panels and Filtering Water Chill x. There are also Laboratories equipments, hospital furniture and office furniture,” he added.
The move to begin the construction and equipping of the proposed 400-bed capacity hospital has further reinforced the belief of Kano people in the capacity of their Governor to deliver on his promises.
This means, Kanawa, more than ever, are thanking Almighty Allah for bringing back Governor Ganduje to precide over the affairs of the state for four more years.
Implementation of RUGA Initiative by Nigeria’s “Herder-In-Chief”
Undoubtedly, Governor Ganduje is Nigeria’s “Herder-In-Chief”. He deserves this title more than Fulani man in Nigeria and possibly in the West African Sub-region, because no leader expresses concern and practically moves to protect the interests of Fulani herders in their moments of pain, like Governor Ganduje.
When the federal government’s plan to provide ranches to Fulani herders under the much-criticized Rural Grazing Reserve Areas (RUGA) to check the persistent loss of lives occasioned by farmers-herders clashes, it was Ganduje that saved the day and doused the rising tension—which threatened the unity of the country.
Governor Ganduje had rightly argued that the implementation of the RUGA initiative cannot be done in non-Fulani states.
He therefore promised to implement the RUGA initiative fully in Kano state so as to end the plight of herders who often come under attack while moving in search of pasture in the central and southern part of the country.
In July, 2019, the governor promptly raised a 16-man committee headed by Jibirilla Ahmed to determine the type of social and infrastructure services to be needed by the settlement.
“In Kano, having looked at all the issues concerned, both at the national and state level, we decided to create RUGA settlements in our forests that are existing and with the help of Islamic development bank, grazing areas will be provided,” Ganduje had said during the inauguration of a 16-man committee for the herdsmen settlement in the state.
Less than two months later, precisely on September 14, 2019, Governor Ganduje received the report of that committee on the implementation of the RUGA settlement.
According to him, apart from tackling insecurity, the RUGA settlement project will change the socio-economic status of Fulani herdsmen and open new revenue outflow to government.
“Don’t bother yourself with RUGA or whatever name it is called, the fact remains that Fulanis must be settled and enjoy basic social amenities like any other citizen.
“They need to be educated. Education is key. We are also thinking of establishing modern Abbatoir so that haulage of cattle from North to South would be replaced with transportation of processed meat,” he explained.
Mr Ganduje revealed that his administration was in talks with the Islamic Development Bank on the issue, assuring that the talk had reached an advanced stage.
“We are now at the implementation stage of our collaboration, to tell you how serious we are,” the governor added.
In his remarks, Chairman of the committee, Jibrilla Mohammed, revealed that they visited five forests in the state before resolving to recommend Dansoshiya Forest in Kiru Local Government Area for the project.
According to him, other forests visited were Panyabo in Doguwa, Duddrum Gaya in Ajingi, Dunawa in Makoda and Bichi local governments areas.
“After deliberations and considerations of the aims and objectives of government on the project, the committee settled for Dansoshiya forest in Kiru local government for the initial take-off of the project,” he said.
According to the chairman, Dansoshiya forest has the advantage of being very large with a sizeable number of Fulani settlements and good arable land for grass cultivation.
Mohammed said the committee also recommended two model houses of 2 bedrooms, which would be built in the form of clusters of six houses.
“The committee recommended other facilities like industrial borehole, veterinary clinic, dispensary, earth dam, milk collection centre, primary school, Islamiyyah school, Mosque, and security outpost. All these are included in the masterplan,” he disclosed.
On the establishment of a milk market, the committee recommended Dangwauro as the most ideal site to establish the Model Milk Market, because of easy access to the milk-producing areas.
Mohammed said that in the proposed milk market there would be provision for cold rooms, toilets and stores among other facilities.
Currently, Governor Ganduje is gradually implementing the recommendations of the RUGA committee so that herders in the state can settle and enjoy the human development programmes that are being churned out by the Ganduje administration.