By Bala Ibrahim
Both as a city and a state, Kaduna is undergoing an uncommon and unprecedented transformation under Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. If you haven’t visited Kaduna in the last one year, please don’t attempt going there now without the aid of an aide. You are bound to be lost by the lust for the city and the state. Everywhere is going lavishly lovely and the propensity to do more is presenting itself more and more.
Despite being the capital of the north and the retiring home of virtually every big man from the region, alongside it’s growth as primate city with a diversity of people flocking into it in search of opportunities, since independence, kaduna has not witnessed any significant architectural or infrastructural development till now, when Mallam Nasir came with an uncommon vision and mission, that are setting the city and the state on the trajectory of digital transformation.
With what is going on in Kaduna State now, it can easily be said that it has the potential of becoming not only the engine of growth for the North central region, but the inevitable economic hub of both the North West and the North East regions combined, courtesy of the uncommon transformation of His Excellency, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai.
The critics may say whatever they wish to say about the methods employed by Mallam Nasir to arrive at where the state is now, including the accusation of being insensitive to the feelings of some people, but no one can deny the fact that the results of his actions are ushering things that are going to be for the collective good and benefits of the majority. And that is precisely the biggest ambition of democracy.
Kudos keep coming from everyone that visits kaduna, because of the unprecedented reengineering and restructuring of the city, a situation that is fast turning the capital into a dreamland with spectacular structures that are looking synonymous with those that rank among the world’s most modern cities.
Like in the science fiction, iconic buildings, beautiful roads, marvellous landscaping and fantastic skyscrapers are emerging daily and adorning the city skyline in a manner never imagined, at least by people like me.
What is most interesting is the fact that these developmental projects are not restricted to the city of Kaduna only, they are being replicated in all the three senatorial districts of the state, under a programme called, Kaduna Urban Renewal Project, which seeks to transform into opportunity, the challenges that exist in delivering urban infrastructure all over.
It is said to be an accelerated, coordinated, integrated urban renewal project, designed to totally change the lives of the public and encourage quick democratic dividends through sustainable devolvement.
The driving force of the dream reads, “The high rate of urbanisation in developing countries, which is considered as an outcome of rapid urban growth, has continued to impact negatively on the sustainable development of most urban areas. This has subsequently resulted in tremendous pressure on existing public infrastructure systems, multifarious decay of urban areas, urban slums and housing problems, deficient infrastructures, environmental degradation, traffic congestion, proliferation of criminality and other social vices. Hence, this brings about the need for a proactive approach, such as urban renewal, which plays a crucial role in the sustainable development of most urban centres.”
Beyond structural empowerment of the city and the state, Kaduna under El-Rufai is receiving an uncommon economic refinement that may turn out to be a subject of envy to the nation.
Through courageous tacts and visionary strategies, Governor Nasir El-Rufai is working ways of boosting economic activities, through the construction of modern markets everywhere, with a view to reducing unemployment, creating wealth and ultimately bring an end to the painful habit of street hawking by vulnerable children.
With such modern markets and shopping centres in Kaduna, traders will be able to access finance at single-digit interest rate and obtain title documents easily for their shops. Yes, even El-Rufai’s enemies must admit the fact that the man is working wonders in kaduna.
While praising him for these wonderful works, some are even wondering whether governor El-Rufai is being secretly funded by the federal government, because the minister of finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed is from kaduna, and Kaduna is also the home of president Muhammadu Buhari.
On the political side, El-Rufai had successfully done the unthinkable, by dismantling the temple of gender and religious bias, through a female status upgrade. Bringing Dr.Hadiza Balarabe as the first muslim female Deputy governor of Kaduna State is indeed a mighty masterstroke.
In addition to the portfolio of Her Excellency, El-Rufai also gave recognition to her profession. As a doctor, he allowed her to take charge, along with the Commissioner of Health, in the fight against COVID-19, and Kaduna has gained accolades for taking initiative to get ahead of the crisis, in a manner that other states were not able to do.
In fact, looking at the various changes he is introducing in the state, many political pundits seem to believe El-Rufai would shock the old generation of politicians in the state, by handing the political baton over to, or at least share it with, someone from the younger generation.
And that may be the governor’s last public empowerment for kaduna.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily