The governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir Ahmed El-rufai has reiterated his government’s commitment to fizzle out the operations of the tricycle, otherwise known as Keke Napep in the state.
He disclosed this yesterday during an interactive session organized by the Organized, as part of build up to 2019 governorship election in Kaduna State, 30 business organisations under Organised Private Sector (OPS) and Business Membership Organizations (BMOs), in which governorship candidates of All Progressives Congress (APC) and that of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Nasir El-Rufai and Sa’eed Kajuru respectively attended the event which was held at the Conference Hall of Kaduna International Trade and Investment Centre.
Although, the governor explained that the plan is to have a decent transportation system in the state, with befitting vehicles to convey commuters.
According to him, the Kaduna State government is doing that in colaboaration with Dangote, saying the cost of the proposed vehicles will only be twice the price of the keke Napep.
The governor, while speaking noted that reviving the dead industry in the state goes beyond the capacity of his administration.
” I can not revive the dead industries alone, it is not what only Kaduna state government can do. The textile industry belongs to the 19 Northern states”, the governor emphasized.
El- rufai who admitted that the textile needed to be re-engineer says: ” it requires multi-dimesional efforts to ensure the revival of the industry”.
Speaking on the performance of his administration in the last 44 months, he said the state is currently witnessing infrastructural revolution which according to him has ranked Kaduna from 24 position to number one in the ease of doing business in the country
The interactive session, which was the second in the series, was aimed at bringing those aspiring for the office of the governor in the state before citizens, to come and share their idea on how they plan to improve the economy of the State, if elected.
Responding to some of the questions bodering on taxation, the APC candidate and incumbent Governor of the State, Nasir El-Rufai said, his administration has been prudent in ways and manners it is spending monies in state’s covers to move the state forward.
He was very frank when he said, “we are not stealing your money. We are not wasting your money. We are using your money to work for you. You can see what we are using your money for.”
El-Rufai also appealled to business owners in the State to help the state develop by way of correctly and regularly paying their taxes, so that, government can have more money to do more for its citizens. You have to help us to pay your taxes because this is what we use to work in the State.
“For example, we gave nine years free education to boys and twelve years to girls. We have primary healthcare centres everywhere in the State. Where do you think the money for these is coming from; from taxes.
“Help us to work better. We are not taking money from the treasury to campaign. Please help pay your taxes”, he urged.
When he was asked about the possibility of revamping Kaduna textile he said, “Textile is very important to me and I promised to do everything I can to revive Kaduna textiles.
“Uniform for people in Nigerian Armed Forces alone where we have about one million people is a big business. It will be revived to be a garment company. I cannot do it alone without the support of the owners, the 19 Northern States.
“As a state, the only thing we can give them free is water. We know textile use a lot of water. We cannot give them free electricity but we can give water because we own the body of water.
“We we are now working to bring Chinese companies to come and establish textile here. They are demanding for 400 hectares of land. That investment worth $400m. If we are able to do that, it will be the beginning of modern textile companies.
“Some of them, their business model cannot be revived. Some of the companies set up in the 60s are not reviveable. It is better to kill them, clear the land and start something new”, El-Rufai explained.
Speaking earlier, his counterpart in SDP and former Account General of the State, Sa’eed Kajuru, promised more transparent government if elected in March 2, election.
According to him, “my government will be transparent than what we have now if I’m elected governor of Kaduna State next month.
“We will open the room, on the light and let the people come and see what is happening.
“When I was the Accountant General of the State, we were transparent. Before now, what we did then, was to pay government officials who travels to Abuja for example, was to pay them the fare standard, as opposed to the idea, where they would be expected to bring receipts.
“So, instead of paying just N20,000, the person is presenting the receipts of N100,000 and there is nothing you can do because he has receipts.
“Now, they said they are operating Open Government Partnership (OGP), they open the door but the room is dark. We are going to open all sectors of the economy and operate transparent government, driven by the citizens them selves in line with best practices across the globe”, he said