Towards the last lap of last year, Poland played host world leaders to address the menace of climate change in the world. One the personalities who represented Kaduna state at the all-important ensemble, was the Lere Local Government Council Chairman Honorable ABUBAKAR BUBA. He shared his experience while in Poland and his 2019 plans for the good people of Lere in a chat with our Correspondent, EDDY OCHIGBO
What is your assessment of the on going local government reforms in Kaduna state?
So far so good, especially against the backdrop of Open Government Partnership (OGP), which has made it possible for us to open up government for the people to have a say and contribute their quota to the activities of government. You realize that when you involve the people in the decision-making process, they naturally take ownership of the entire process. And when the people are allowed to participate they eventually become implementers thereby speeding up the governance process.
Looking at Lere Local government council’s Budget town-hall meeting, the second in the series, has the initiative been able to address the concerns of the people?
Yes indeed. The town-hall meetings have been very beneficial to the people because they have come forward enthusiastically with specifics regarding what they want the local government to do for them. This makes it easy for us to address and prioritize real needs from time to time. And when such policies are implemented, you would have performed the much needed task of taking government closer to the people.
How would this year’s budget proposals of the council impact positively on the people of Lere?
It’s a people-oriented Budget because we placed high premium on health, water supply, agriculture, education and youth empowerment/entrepreneurship. Since our people aren’t predominantly farmers, we are determined to give them all the support they need towards boosting high productivity. In the area of water supply, we are doing our best to ensure that water scarcity becomes a thing of the past throughout the local government area. This is because we’ve come to the realization that efficient water supply is key to the overall improvement of the people’s standard of living. On education; and it might interest you to know that the state government under the Governor el-Rufai’s led administration, has declared a state of emergency on education. Consequently, a substantial part of the council’s budgetary provision for the year is dedicated to education and healthcare.
Recently you were part of the state’s delegation to Poland for the COP 24 submit on climate change. Can you please share your experience while there and how can it benefit the Lere people?
It was a beautiful experience because it was an event which attracted world leaders vis-a-vis climate change. As you are no doubt aware, climate change is a very serious issue in today’s world. While in Poland we met with various global bodies charged with the responsibility of halting the menace of climate change. So our trip was very significant because we approached and sought the assistance of global partners as we advanced the issue of deforestation, ecological challenges as we as the provision of solar energy. We were able to negotiate with a good number of stakeholders who indicated interest in the area of mitigating the problem of climate change in the state.
What has been your major challenge as the chairman of Lere Local Government Council?
There is one thing I know in life. There can be no gain without pain. But I rely essentially on self-conviction. Once you are able to convince yourself about the way to go, the challenge reduces drastically. The road has not been smooth but with the kind of help from the state government, ministries and agencies we are making progressive inroads as a council and the Lere people appreciate what we’ve been doing to change their standard of living for the better. I am really very pleased that once you ask the state government for assistance, you will be given. Good a thing that we’ve been able to assemble the right team to move the local government council forward. Which is why despite the challenges facing us, we are moving on progressively carrying everyone along. So I can say categorically that we’ve been doing our best, even though the best is yet to come, because we’ve invested heavily on the essential areas of providing the basic needs of our people.