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Opinion

My Vision for Jigawa State (IX)

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Mustafa Sule Lamido

 

By: Mustapha Sule Lamido

I want to start by reflecting on our journey so far. We have come a very long way moving from one stage to another through the guidance and support of Allah (SWT); we continue to seek for His guidance and direction in whatever we do. We thank you all for the massive support for the PDP in Jigawa State. In the preceding weeks, we have received a lot of commendations and criticisms; we accept them all in good faith and we remain committed to learning from both.

Some weeks ago, we inaugurated our campaigns at the state and senatorial district levels where we met and interacted with the people. The massive crowd that turns up to welcome us at each rally is a testimony of the level of support for PDP by the Jigawa State people. We are not going to take it for granted. With just about 6 to 7 weeks left before the General Elections, I urge everyone to collect their PVCs before the deadline and ensure they dont’ trade their votes for anything.

I have taken a break from communicating my vision because we have already released our full manifesto in November which is also online. Therefore, I deemed it fit to give our people adequate time to digest it and offer their observations. Alhamdulillah, we have been receiving lots of them. We are working on the Hausa version so that everyone will have the opportunity to critique it very well. As I noted earlier, it is not a perfect document, rather it is a proposal that can be improved with your inputs.

So far, we have introduced our overall vision which will be laid on the foundation of unity, good governance and putting Jigawa First. We have also discussed education, health and agriculture. Our plans for other sectors are contained in our manifesto. However, for the sake of those who are not opportune to read it, I will give a brief summary on the other issues.

We will work tirelessly to guarantee the security of lives and properties Insha Allah. That Jigawa is believed to be one of the safest and most peaceful states in Nigeria will not be a license for complacency. Our aim is to sustain the peace and make it even more peaceful. If elected, we will come up with a security masterplan that is comprehensive, intensive and proactive. We will achieve this through traditional rulers engagement, complementing federal security operatives, empowering community security and vigilante groups and emphasizing on surveillance and intelligence gathering. Other measures include sustainable solutions to farmers-herders crisis, partnership with neighbouring states, effective border patrol and strong legislation against crimes.

On the economy, we will start by appraising all the realities when we win the elections. We will subsequently finetune our economic plan to take care of short, medium and long-term requirements. We will work to build a diversified economy that will create jobs and lift people out of poverty as well as generating revenue for the state. This will be achieved through visionary budgeting process for IGR Growth, strengthening our local markets, industrialization through raw materials utilization, mineral exploitation and tourism.

We will Insha Allah partner with the Federal government for a better utilization of the Dutse Airport. With the right efforts and partnerships, the Dutse International Airport can be utilized as a cargo terminal which will serve the entire North-Western Nigeria. We can persuade the Federal Government to decongest other places and divert some cargoes to Dutse. This will in turn transform Jigawa State into a massive economic hub with job and investment opportunities.

As a land-locked state, Jigawa State needs to start considering the Dry port option as an alternative route to economic development. If we can produce a lot of raw materials and sell at cheap price to eventual exporters, why cant we export it ourselves? Making a giant effort in this direction will take us a long way. We can start by reviving the abandoned Maigatari Export Processing Zone.

If elected, we will declare a state of emergency against unemployment, youth restiveness and women underdevelopment. We will emphasize on skill-based education, expansion and modernization of the agricultural sector, development of information and communication technology, reviving the sports and entertainment industries. We will create a database of all Jigawa State graduates for linkage to employment opportunities. We will introduce Graduates Internship Programme for university and college students after NYSC. The programme will post them to different government ministries on a 6-month internship.

Already, we have spelt out our comprehensive plan to tackle flood in my previous releases. I want to assure you that we have plans for other sectors of the environment. Our environment is one of the most neglected components of our society. We are going to change this narrative once elected. We shall have an environmental masterplan that will take care of micro, medium and macro challenges faced by our natural and built environments. We will focus on effective waste management in our municipalities while introducing the culture of environmental sanitation. We shall work on environmental planning, orientation and awareness, tackling of erosion, drought and desertification as well as vectors and mosquitoes’ control in urban centres.

We will Insha Allah introduce an effective digital land administration system which is an indicator of city development. In our vision to have a digital archive/database of land properties and resources, we will establish the Jigawa Geographic Information Systems (JIGIS) as obtainable in FCT-AGIS, Kano-KANGIS, Kaduna-KADGIS and Lagos-LAGIS. The JGIS will play a significant role in agriculture, urban and rural planning, revenue collection, tourism, transportation, mineral exploitation, population and housing census and controlling environmental hazards.

Jigawa State have no option than to embrace unity. Our challenges and aspirations are common, we must therefore work together to address and pursue them. I emphasize as always that unity of Jigawa State is our top priority because it is only with unity that progress, prosperity and development are achievable.

Let me conclude by reiterating that we will continue to play politics of issues not sentiments no matter the amount of provocations. Already, we are glad that the national eyes are now on Jigawa State politics because we are moving faster than many states which were hitherto seen as our political seniors. I use this opportunity to remind all the Jigawa State political players of the Peace Accord we signed in November. We should live up to our words and conduct ourselves with respect and understanding. As we move closer to the elections, we must caution our supporters against violence and disrespect which Jigawa is not known for; if not for anything, there will be life after elections.

Gobe ta Allah ce
©Santurakin Dutse

Opinion

Wake up North-Abubakar Sadiq Dauda

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CBN Governor Emefiele

 

By Abubakar Sadiq Dauda

It is absurd that my Northern brothers are nagging and complaining over the unavailability of the new redesigned currency when we can transact using POS machines, online banking and USSD.

So far, many southerners are unperturbed with the happenings. The complaint, curses and insults is mainly coming from the North. It is ridiculous that the masses and average persons in the North are hailing our politicians for opposing the monetary redesign scheme, not knowing that the politicians are crying because it is going to affect their chances in the upcoming elections if the policy is not reversed or extended.

 

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I can’t fathom how the unavailability of the newly redesigned currency affects any smooth transaction of any kind when there are many online payments platforms, numerous POS terminals in our shops and markets.

The North must learn to embrace technology. We must not relegate ourselves to second division when it comes to education and technology. Even against many odds, we must wise up. We must equip ourselves with basic knowledge in areas of communications and technology.

It is a clarion call, let us wake up!

Sadiq writes from Kano. Can be reached via sadiqdauda55@gmail.com

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Opinion

The Falling State Of Businesses In Nigeria-Umar Ismaila Isa

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Umar Ismaila Isa

 

By Umar Ismaila Isa

Its saddening, psychologically and traumatically worrying that in our today’s Nigeria, the major employers of labour are not just falling, but also wobbling, humbling, crumbling and collapsing like packs of cards much to the chagrin of other African countries that have long been venerating and reverencing and referencing Nigeria’s economy as the giant of the continent. How are the mighty falling.

Some of the factors responsible for these colossal falls are partisan political influence, interest as well as corruption which had brought businesses in Nigeria to their humble knees, specifically the micro, small and medium enterprises, while also not staking claims for even common macroeconomic factors like recessions, insecurity, government debt, exchange rate and high-interest rates.

As we speak, there were over 41million MSMEs in Nigeria in 2017. which have as at 2022 dropped to about 35 million.

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No doubt, failure to provide value money can make customers disgruntled and avoid patronage, so also poor inventory management, failure to differentiate product and services in a highly competitive environment, and strong bargaining power of buyers which can as well cause business failure, not mentioning weak economy, tax burden, high exchange rate, lower purchasing power, high inflation, money running out being in the wrong market, lack of research, bad partnerships and wrong allocation. All these undoubtedly in no small measure can cause business failure.

Also, Challenges like rising cost and reduced revenue, poor power supply, restrictive economic policies, foreign exchange hike, high cost of production, insecurity, high inflation rate have drastically reduced the number of MSMEs which were over 41million in 2017 and now ar about 35million in the just last year 2022.

The data from the bureau of labor statistics isn’t encouraging at all, as it shows that approximately 20percent of new businesses faile during the first two years of operation, 45percent during the first five years and 65percent during the first ten years, while only 25percent makes it to 15 years or more.

In Nigeria, MSMEs account for 48percent of the Gross Domestic Product, (GDP), 96percent of businesses, 84percent of employment in the the country, according to a pricewaterhousecoopers report, and also the three CCCs which are concept, capability and capital. So it’s worthwhile to make sure that before engaging in any business that you make sure you have the basic concept, capability before investing your capital.

As a matter of fact and emergency, beyond the rhetorics, there are practical ways government can create the right environment for businesses to thrive increase, the ease of doing business, eliminate multiple taxations of MSMEs, encourage public-private partnerships, improve power supply, tackle the issue of foreign exchange hike, because with the rate of inflation in the country many businesses can’t survive.

The government and other necessary authority have to take measures to save the country before it’s too late, and the time is now especially as we prepare to elect another president in less than 40 days from now that will take the baton of leadership from President Buhari.

Umar Isa is a business writer and analyst. He writes from Kano and can be reached via issihbaba@gmail.com

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Opinion

What Axe Does Governor Yahaya Bello Has To Grind With The Ohinoyi?

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By Ozumi Abdul

I read in bathed breath the query letter issued by the Kogi state government to the paramount ruler of Ebira Kingdom, The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Dr Ibrahim Ado dated 5th January 2023, wherein the revered and venerated traditional ruler was indicted and inculpated for his failure to come out of his Azad Palace to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari during his last year December’s visit to Okene to commission the legacy projects of Governor Yahaya Bello’s led administration in the place, particularly the newly built Okene Reference Hospital and the refurbished official Ohinoyi palace.

Therein in the query letter signed by the state’s Director of Chieftaincy Affairs, Enimola Eniola, the Ohinoyi was shotgunned and impelled to reply to it within the 48 hours from the day it was issued, being on the 5th January, 2023.

As a concerned and full fledged son of the soil, I became seriously concerned, perturbed and disturbed, hoping for the very best way these two illustrious sons of Ebiraland can diplomatically meander through the egoistic duels that has subtly been marring their relationship since the coming on board of this Kogi state’s government.

I fervently prayed for the abatement of the seeming gloom of doom that is looming large, if the relationship between the Ohinoyi and the governor gets deteriorated, and breaks down beyond repairs.

God forbid, I dreaded, and still dreading the unfortunate Kogi version of Ganduje versus Sanusi debacles and faceoffs in Kano state, the one that led to Sanusi Lamido Sanusi || being deposed as the 14th Emir of the ancient city of Kano, by the Abdullahi Ganduje led Kano state government.

I dread the fact that the relative peace Ebiraland has been enjoying since the coming on board of the Yahaya Bello’s led administration might soon be stymied and once again shrouded in the tumultuous state of yester years, when in Ebiraland life was “Nasty, Brutish, and Short”: Yes, that you can’t take that away from this Yahaya Bello’s administration in Kogi state, because his administration stemmed the tides everything insecurity in not just the Kogi Central alone, but the entirety of the state; he came and restore parity and sanity in the state that was hitherto ravaged by the activities of different cells of gun-trotting and gun-fighting non state actors.

Worryingly though, one thing that is, and will surely be of great concern to every Ebira son and daughter, is the umpteenth running subtle battles between the Ohinoyi and the governor; the battles rumours have it in some quarters that are more of “patriarchally historical” than egoistical; because one will surely be mystified to know that the Ohinoyi can be served a query letter for his failure to come out of his palace to welcome President Buhari during his visit to Okene, without a prior official letter noticing him of the president’s purported visit to his domain from the state government, coupled with the fact that bomb went off right in front of his palace on the scheduled day of the President’s visit, where about four people lost their lives, as well as the destruction of the barricading fence of his Azad palace.

In other northern states for instance, particularly the core northern states like Kano and Zaria Emirates, where reverence and veneration for their paramount rulers (Emirs) are given unequal premium, whenever a president goes visiting to their (the Emirs) domains, he is usually led by the governors of the states to their palaces, where he (president)pays homages to them; then proceed together to the venue(s) of the event(s) in which purpose(s) the president goes to the state. Then, why is ours different and have become embarrassing subject of discourses in both conventional and social media?

Why is Governor Yahaya Bello exuberantly dancing to the sound of the destructive drums of sycophantic naysayers who don’t mean well for him and his government? Why is he being lulled by the metaphoric lullaby and mendacity of power, power that is only transiently tenure-bound; believing he has an axe or axes to grind with the Ohinoyi, a nonagenarian at that who is old enough to be his grandfather?

Governor Yahaya needs to halt these dances that may hurt and haunt him even after the expiration of his tenure as a governor. He needs to thread with caution so that he won’t walk the tight rope of life after the conclusion of his tenure as a governor.

The fact that the Ohinoyi responded to the query, though days after the 48 hours the Kogi government impelled him to answer the query, with sheer wisdom, maturity and equanimity does not necessarily mean that the nonagenarian is overtly contended with being maligned and contemned by the state government in such a ridiculous and ludicrous manner.

A proverb in my native Ebira parlance has it that when a dog is on the cusp of public-glare disgrace, he will be all of sudden be inflicted with sores right at the back of its head, and out of the reach of the leaking of its tongue, because leaking the sore will endear the sores’ quick healing. May Governor Yahaya Bello never be such proverbial dog.

Ozumi Abdul is a staff Columnist in Arewa Trust.

He can be reached via Abdulozumi83@gmail.com

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