Disturbingly, I have seen the attached pictures going round, allegedly that these recently bought expensively luxurious cars belong to the Local Government Executive Chairmen and Legislative Speakers in Kaduna State. If this is true, then it is a demonstration of insensitivity.
This seems to be coming after such purchase was carried out for some traditional rulers. Many of whom oversee rural communities with poor access roads and other critical social amenities. It is not that they do not deserve it, but the timing is wrong.
At a time when local government budget (revenue and expenditure) performance is poor, characterized by low service delivery. The rumors of such profligate purchase has been out there since last year, but the belief was that a government/councils that campaigned on ‘putting people first’ will not approve such a step. Although, some of the Chairmen were said to have objected to such a misplacement of priority.
This is considering that just recently, the Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (2022) shows that the State has more poor (8.04 million, only second to Kano at 10.51million) than the poorest State, Sokoto (5.81 million). In the State, incidence of multidimensional poverty is above 70%, higher than incidence of monetary poverty, which is above 40%.
Both of which are not acceptable by any standard, with a huge percentage of the poor residing in these local government areas. More disturbingly, Kaduna is among four States that is home to one quarter of the 22.85 million poor children under five. Furthermore, in terms of deprivation, 56% of the people aged 10years and above in the State have not completed six years of school.
A few others include: 29% in terms of deprivation in school attendance for school aged children; 73% of households deprived in sanitary facilities; 64% of households by deprivation in access to clean drinking water; 39% of households by deprivation in housing materials-roofing; and 97% of households by deprivation in cooking fuel.
This is made worse by the rising unemployment and underemployment rate in the State, 44.3% and 22.6% respectively, as at 2020 – according to the NBS. This is not to talk of the fact that some of the primary school teachers in these local governments are usually not paid on time.
We wish that such news to be false at a time when providing critical infrastructure and social services should be the priority of the State government and local government councils. Anything outside this is really sad and disappointing.
Lets engage, ask the right questions and hold the government accountable.