Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HomeDebt profile: Between Sani’s Theatrics And Kaduna People’s Quest For Good Governance...

Debt profile: Between Sani’s Theatrics And Kaduna People’s Quest For Good Governance —By Abdulmalik Suleiman

Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Uba Sani recently stunned residents of the state and Nigerians at large when blamed the inability of his administration to pay workers’ salaries and other financial commitments of the state on the huge debts, he said he inherited from the government of his predecessor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.

Gov. Sani is reported to have stated this while addressing a town hall meeting in Kaduna penultimate Saturday, saying pointedly that his administration inherited a debt burden of $587 million, N85 billion and 115 contractual liabilities from his predecessor.

While addressing his bemused audience, the governor said N7 billion out of the N10 billion federal allocations for the state in March was deducted to service the state’s debt, saying the state was left with the N3 billion, which he said was not enough to pay salaries of the state’s workforce which stood at N5.2 billion.

Ludicrously , Gov. Uba Sani who once accused his predecessors in the Senate, especially Sen. Shehu Sani of playing politics by opposing Kaduna state $350M World Bank loan request that was rejected by 8th Assembly, said the senators put their personal interest above the interest of the people they are representing. The governor then promised that he will revisit loan, saying the World Bank loan was critical to the people of his state and that “its not about Governor Nasir El-Rufai or any other person, it is about the people of Kaduna State”

Appraising the revelation of the governor, one will come to the conclusion that Gov. Sani’s decision to come out in the open at this time is simply borne out of mischief because of the serious political undertone that is clearly visible even to the blind.

The time lag with respect to the timing of the revelation is suspect for two basic reasons, why did he (the governor) choose this time as appropriate for him to make the revelation considering the fact that he is almost a year into his tenure of office?

The answer to this is very simple, he is doing the biding of political forces within and outside the state who are working to demystify el-Rufai who many see as political force in the build up to the 2027 general election. One example for this is the recent visit of the immediate past governor to the national secretariat of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Abuja.

Any political watcher will no doubt know that the governor is being propelled by some forces outside the state to act the way he has acted. These forces who are terrified by the visit of the former governor are perhaps using the governor as a pun to settle some scores with el-Rufai.

Another way to look at it is that the governor who is largely seen as underperforming by the people of the state is only shopping for excuses to explain away, his lackluster scorecards with the people, hence the need to play the el-Rufai card which by all intent and purposes will blow up on his face on the long run.

The huge allocations accrued to the state in the last three (3) IGR inclusive shows that Gov. Sani is being economical with the truth about the real financial position of the state in terms performance.

The simple truth of the matter is that the claims being made by the governor had been in the public domain prior to the exit of the former governor who had consistently maintained that the figures being quoted by Gov. Sani were the actual financial exposure of the state committed during his tenure.

From all available facts and records, former governor el-Rufai has not changed his position on this, so therefore the efforts of Gov. Sani to paint him (el-Rufai) black in the eyes of the people through his reckless public pronouncement can be akin to playing to the gallery.

For those who know, the financial exposure to which the state was committed to, believe it was well utilized by the immediate past government as evident in the numerous developmental and social infrastructural landmarks that now dot the nooks and crannies of the state.

It is to the credit of the immediate past administration in Kaduna State that efforts were successfully made to modernized the state along progressive lines with the building of quality infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools, hospital, modernisation of markets, numerous revenue generating ventures, eg KAGIS etc and the likes which have in turn facilitated overall development of the state.

The only admonition I have for Governor Sani is to tell him that whoever seeks and obtains leadership in any sphere or space must always know that he is going to inherit assets and liabilities and that the success of any leader is measured by how he is able to turn liabilities into positive and visible assets for the development and progress of such society, Lagos is a good example.

It must be noted however, that former governor el-Rufai too inherited some liabilities upon assumption of office but rather than complain as his successor is currently doing, he resorted to looking inwards and inventing administrative ingenuity to rework the state towards the path of growth and success.

This is what Governor Sani should do and not to serve as a pun for some puppet masters who might seek to use him as a pun in the murky political terrain. What the people of Kaduna are demanding is good governance and not excuses.



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