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El-Rufai’s strange ways

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Kingseyi
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El-Rufai’s strange ways

Post by Kingseyi on Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:00 am

At a time of unprecedented anxiety about the
fate of the country and the assaults on the press
and the country’s democratic values came good
news from Kaduna State. Alas! it came from a
man many love to hate, that is Mallam Nasir El-
Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State.
Mallam Nasir El-Rufai
Just as the leadership of his All Progressives
Congress, APC in Abuja was formulating one
crude strategy after another to get the National
Assembly to reconcile the 2018 budget of the
Federal Government, Mallam in Kaduna, last
Wednesday presented the state’s 2019 budget
to the State House of Assembly.
He became the first governor to so do this year.
The presentation of the budget in August it was
said; was to avoid the tumult that could ensnare
the budget process going into next year which
is an election year.
It is, however, not as if this is the first time that
the Kaduna governor would present his budget
early enough. The 2018 budget was tabled
before the House of Assembly on October 13,
2017 and approved by the House of Assembly
on November 29, 2017 after injecting N100
million. It was assented into law by the governor
on December 12, 2017.
The governor’s original proposal for 2018 had
been N201 billion, but an additional N15 billion
was added by the governor after town hall
meetings where public inputs into the budget
were sought.
This narrative of popular participation and
respect for the legislative branch of government
is salutary and is contrary to the tales by some
APC aficionados that the National Assembly
cannot alter any proposal sent in by the
president. Even before the presentation of the
2019 proposals, the governor engaged the
legislators in a workshop where the framework
for the budget was considered.
El-Rufai’s understanding and demonstration of
fiscal tidiness is a strange thing for many of his
party members especially those in Abuja.
It has, however, helped him in pushing through
development projects and attracted
developmental institutions and international
investors to his state.
One of the most reputed investors is Olam
Feeds and Poultry which besides providing
hundreds of jobs to citizens is also turning into
a key facilitator in the agric value chain.
A team from Facebook in partnership with Fate
Foundation is currently in the state training 40
entrepreneurs in the state in the art of digital
marketing.
Mallam’s proclivity to lead the state towards
digital entrepreneurship would not be surprising
given his pioneering role in that respect as
minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. His
conception of digital technology in the
management of land matters in Abuja through
the Abuja Geographical Information Systems,
AGIS has been adapted by several state
governments across the country. Indeed, the
gist is that the FCT has not had a minister since
his exit in 2007!
However, what may prove to be one of the most
positive impacts in governance introduced by
El-Rufai through the use of technology is the
adoption of electronic methods in contract
bidding. Contract bids are reportedly submitted
and processed electronically without the
interface of human elements bringing to a
minimum, the influence of human
considerations.
Such salutary proposals were enunciated in the
APC’s presidential policy document before the
2015 presidential election. That document swore
to stop the award of contracts by the Federal
Executive Council should the APC win the
presidential election through the inauguration of
the board of the Board for Public Procurement,
BPP.
Today, more than three years after the
inauguration of the APC federal administration,
that board is yet to be inaugurated and the FEC
continues to be a forum for contract bazaars
just as the APC lamented before it won the
presidential election.
The news of the governor’s presentation of the
2019 fiscal proposals prompted your
correspondent to do more research on Mallam
and led to his facebook page where citizens
regularly interacted with him. There were praises
and of course, many insults particularly from
teachers and former teachers that were
disengaged by the governor following the face
off with the teachers’ union. Many teachers were
booted out by the government following a test
that showed that some of their students could
do their jobs better.
However, not everything about El-Rufai is
positive. The demolition of the house of Senator
Othman Hunkuyi, El-Rufai’s 2015 governorship
campaign manager over political differences is
one instance of intolerance many complain of. If
not for that, the Mallam in Kaduna should be an
example for many of the other governors and the
men in Abuja to emulate.


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    Current date/time is Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:02 pm