It has gradually become the norm in most political climes to assess the performance of an elected leader using the timeline of the first hundred days in office. Though governance is a marathon not a sprint, the first hundred days provides an insight into how the tenure will eventually unfold in the positive or negative.
The Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Uba Sani, alongside twenty eight of his colleagues, took oath of office on the 29th of May, 2023. Now thirty days after and counting, the Governor’s actions and inactions have come under public scrutiny – as residents of the State seek to figure out the character and policy direction of the administration.
The anxiety and expectations of the residents continue to intensify, with many not yet sure of what to make out of the stewardship so far of the Governor. More so, that they see the shadow of the former Governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmed El-rufai, lurking around, especially with the recent appointments of his political associates into key positions. Keen observers are wondering, could this be a third term by proxy for the former pilot of the State or will the Governor assert his independence. Interesting times lay ahead.
More importantly, the State’s development indices are still disturbing with about 8.04 million residents said to be multidimensionally poor, unemployment at about 44% as well as alarming levels of child and maternal mortality, out-of-pocket expenditure on health, stunting, out-of-school children, illiteracy and persistent insecurity, among others. Therefore, the question begging for an answer is, so far, has the early actions of the Governor demonstrated enough hint as to his capacity to address the myriad of developmental challenges confronting the State?
Some of the actions taken so far by the Governor are strategic, however, to what extent will it contribute to addressing the above mentioned challenges. Only time will tell. So far, rundown of some of the actions show that immediately after the inauguration, where the Governor assured residents of the State that security and welfare of the people will be the top priority, the first reported major action taken was the renaming of the entire 15km stretch of Rabah road to Nasir El-rufai way.
This was followed by the maiden Security Council meeting of the administration to assess the security situation in the State. Then, the meeting with the Ambassadors of the Kingdom of Morocco and Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Nigeria, which was reported to be part of steps to make Kaduna the hub of investment and commerce in Nigeria as well as to attract Saudi Arabia investors and enter partnership to address development challenges in the State.
The Governor was also reported to have met with the representatives of organized labor and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) to identify areas of cooperation and set up an ad-hoc committee on palliatives to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal. This was then followed by a series of ministerial briefings on the mandates, achievements, challenges and future projections of the Ministries, Departments & Agencies.
There was also another meeting with Deloitte Nigeria on strategies to boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State. The Governor went on to hold another set of meetings with the Ambassadors of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), State of Qatar and Kuwait to Nigeria to establish a framework for collaboration to reenergize the economy and address social issues in the State.
One of which was said to have resulted in a tripartite agreement with the Embassy of the State of Qatar and Qatar Charity to provide Mass Housing for the less privileged as well as the construction of an Economic City. Back in the State, the Governor made some key appointments that included the Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff and Head of Service.
Within this period, the Governor also met with stakeholders, to mention but a few – traditional rulers, members of the 10th State Assembly, 23 Local Government Council Chairmen and leadership of the Judiciary. Also, the Governor set up two key committees to review and advise on the restructuring of the public institutions; and secondly, determine the status of ongoing projects in the State.
As progressive as some of the above steps are, more is needed before the end of the first hundred days in office if the expectations of many of the residents are to be met. More so, the bar of expectation is higher because the Governor campaigned on the mantra of continuity, as reflected in his social contract titled the SUSTAIN blueprint.
As a consequence, the eyes of the residents will not just be on developmental outputs but also the expected resultant outcomes of the past eight years of the All Progressive Congress (APC) led administration. Mr. Governor sir, all eyes are on you as your coast to your first hundred days in office, because the buck now stops at your exalted table.
Lets engage, ask the right questions and hold the government.
Yusuf Ishaku Goje