The Continuity of the Masari’s Restoration Agenda
PREAMBLE: why the restoration?
The real need for the restoration agenda
29th of May, year 2015 was a remarkable history not only in the political milestone of Katsina state but in Nigeria as a whole, it was the moment of realization of what a number of people thought was impossible, it was a moment where the Nigerian state transitioned power from one political party to the other, after an uninterrupted Governance of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Although, some political analysts believe that PDP started well in 1999, some are of the opinion that it never did. Nevertheless, that was when Democracy started in reality and what became obvious about the past Government after their period of Governing was that corruption became abysmal, respect for rule of law had become a book record, impunity was the order of the day, over 16 Local Government Areas was under the control of the insurgents to reflect the faced challenges of insecurity, the media breaks daily with loss of 100s of lives so much so that predictions were ongoing that the Nigerian state will end by 2015.
It was consequent upon the above that the generality of Nigerians at home and in Diaspora sought and worked for feasible, realistic, practicable and achievable change… the change came as a result of unending commitments, dedication and sleepless nights of well meaning Nigerians. One thing certain is that “the survival of Nigeria as a State is far above and beyond ones political interest” at all cost Nigeria first.
The above background was a replica of almost all states in the Federation. In Katsina, the case is no different with the happenings at the centre, the state’s health, education which used to be the pride of the state was neglected so much so that when it rains in some schools, students prefer to hang out than in classes or hostels. Agriculture was neglected, insecurity was rising to the extent that in some parts of Katsina, one cannot rear animals or go to farm. Rule of Law was accorded little significance, curfew was an order of the day as it became expected at any given time and of course they were imposed on a daily basis, corruption was no longer a crime.
Based on the premise laid above, the good people of Katsina state came together and confronted those challenges vide an effective political strategy, Masari was then elected to superintend over that.
The Gubernatorial Election in April 2015 counts the peoples victory and show the masses that indeed a system is possible were the voice of the masses is really being heard and worked on actively and efficiently, the daunting Thomases were then cleared.
HOW IT ALL STARTED: what is the restoration?
The beginning of restoration.
May 29, 2015 was the beginning of the people’s oriented government and governance, the challenges were avalanche, and resources were scarce if not absent to confront them, due to squandering by the handing over government. On assumption of office, price of crude oil dwindled and crashed down to as low as 27-30 dollar per barrel as against the 100+ it used to be during the tenure of the immediate passed Administration. Revenues by the state were low perhaps due to elections activities and security threats in some parts of the state. Governance was almost impossible due to absence of resources to manage the state. At a point the President even said he was thinking of quiting!!!
So many states were technically insolvent then, even unable to pay salaries, until the Abuja-centric intervention of bailout. In spite of that challenge, salary did not and had not been an issue for Katsina state under Masari up till date.
PROMISE FULFILLMENT AND WHERE WE ARE TODAY: how is the restoration?
The restoration in action.
It is quite universal that election campaigns are full of promises. In our state, these promises are mostly categorized into two, the broad promise and the specifics, the broad are those that affects the generality of the state example of which includes the statewide reforms in Education, Health, Agriculture etc. The specifics are those promises made for towns and villages, it is knowledge that
made door to door Campaign and in some of these towns, they mentioned their challenges as “we do not have primary schools, we have no power, and we have no road…” and he promised such to them.
THE BIG QUESTION IS; HOW FAR HAS MASARI FULFILLED THOSE MADE PROMISES?
The answer is simple;
Answering a question of this nature requires raising some of these promises as questions and answering them with concise articles filled with evidence. On this platform, we find it mandatory to answer these lingering big questions in subsequent rich articles demystifying each sector and project. For now, a synopsis will be highlighted relating to some of these sectors of the restoration projects.
In the area of promises today, Katsina state is successful in overcoming the challenges of infrastructure, equipment as well as man power in the health sector, all the state’s secondary healthcare facilities had been awarded on contract for total renovation, upgrade and rehabilitation, aside recruitment of medical personnel, equipping the state owned nursing school to train required man power for these institutions, free drugs, etc.
In area of Education, it is a total overhaul; it is obvious as to the dilapidated nature of our schools, lack of teachers and Teachers Training. Today, over 2000no of classes have been renovated across the state, out of which over 400 are newly constructed (mostly the specific promises), teaching aids and the recruitment of over 5000 teachers to augment the staff requirement under the Slower scheme aside replacement of over 2000 teachers as upgrade in manpower, training of teachers and many more.
In area of Water supply, the Masari led Administration, work has been done and a number are still ongoing, this is one area that the governor knows much about, research shows that the conventional system of water supply inherited from the old Kaduna state has been in used without any upgrade, even at that, none of the water works is working at the nostalgia status, Masari‘s coming made the system worked at it initial designed capacity before moving to upgrade them, that successfully worked in areas like Malumfashi. Funtua too was not functional but today, the story has changed, not forgetting Daura, Ajiwa and Jibia. The state Government is currently working in Dutsemma to Katsina metropolis, and this too will soon be history.
The area Agriculture too is accorded priority. Agriculture was the state’s economic mainstay; the use of the state owned earth dams is improved for irrigation. In 3 and half years, output had increased. This is largely due to commitment by the Government in providing fertilizer in the market at N5000 per bag even at a higher dollar exchange rate. Inclusion of investors in agriculture, the Shanghai leased to Dangote for tomato which will harvest over 4000 hectares of land on tomatoes and create direct and indirect jobs numbering over 5000 people.
In the area of Environment, this affects the people in general especially the masses. This Administration had in the last 3 and half years constructed in the Katsina township alone drainages of over 50km concrete line drains of 6/6 and even 6/10 mostly covered, this had relived the state of flooding this year. Record has it that over 5BN was expended in this all important area across the 34 LGAs.
In the area of Infrastructure (roads), the state Government had in the last three and half years constructed over 72no roads, aside the rehabilitation and over 2000Km of rural feeder roads, in infrastructure, the state government is constructing a new earth dam in each and every LGA and renovating one.
Others are welfare and debt clearance of retired civil servants, continuous salary payment and full implementation of minimum wage. Today in Katsina, pensions are paid when salaries are paid. Job creations and empowerments among others.
THE NEXT FOUR YEARS OF THE RESTORATION AGENDA UNDER
MASARI: The continuity and consolidation of the restoration and where the restoration is taking us
It is generally believed that Development is a process which has a starting point though; arguments are on ground as to its limit or end. Be it as it may, we must start somewhere, of which all and sundry agree we have. The second leg of the Restoration Agenda will be more result oriented as it will consolidate on the path set; it is in compliance with the global agenda for Sustainable Development
Acceptable it remains that failure to plan is an absolute plan to fail,
did not begin the work of governance except with the restoration agenda as a plan; the restoration agenda is not only a plan but a strategy for action and for Development, a plan might fail but a plan on a strategy rarely does. It is what successive governments lack. Today Katsina is on a path of development, not just Development but Sustainable Development.
Katsina Media & Publicity
Ibrahim M Abdullah
2nd December 2018