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Governor Nasir el-Rufai, please bring back our community resource centre

There is no doubt that the governor of Kaduna State, His Excellency, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai has performed well in the state so much that even…

There is no doubt that the governor of Kaduna State, His Excellency, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai has performed well in the state so much that even a blind person can attest to it. Infrastructure, especially education and health, stand out among other areas he has performed creditably.  

In fact, people from other states envy us because of his performance. I can say that we have not seen this kind of massive development in our dear state in the last 30 years. I used to be a fan of Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai but I later changed my position due to some happenings, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. In any case, I have to acknowledge his achievements. There are a lot of other crucial development issues that I feel His Excellency has derailed from. One of them is the conversion of Kaduna Community Resource Centre (KCRC) to an hotel.

Last week, I received a call from a fellow young man that he had a message from a former director of the centre.  When he brought the message, I found out that it was my certificate for training I had at the centre some years back. When he was about to leave  my office, I asked him a question: “How is KCRC?” But I could not believe what he told me. “It has been converted to an hotel,” he said.” “An hotel?” I asked. He said: “yes.” I had to call the former director for confirmation. I sat down for a while trying to understand and figure out what the government had done. How can a centre like that be converted to a hotel? I asked rhetorically.  

To those who don’t know, the Kaduna Community Resource Center (KCRC) was a computer training centre established over 10 years ago by the government of the United States of America to provide trainings on management and computing to the six states of the Northwest (Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi). The centre was equipped with computers and a generating set in case of power failure. The classes and offices were fully airconditioned. Internet access too was provided for connectivity. I remember the cool and conducive environment the centre had for conducive learning. Five other centres were also established by the same US government within the same period in other geo-political zones of the country. Apart from that of the Northwest (Kaduna) and Southeast (Enugu), all the other centres are still operating.

I was a beneficiary of the centre as it opened the gate for me into the world of software development. I attended three training exercises at very low costs: Database Management System, Desktop Application Development and Web & Moblie App Development). Some of our classmates became real software developers and are currently on their own (unlike me). The training I received gave me the ability to publish a book on software development in the printing industry. It also gave me the ability to design a web application that we currently use for managing our printing press. 

I wonder why Mallam Nasir el-Rufai allowed politicians to influence his decision to the extent of converting this important training centre into a hotel. I understand the centre was within the famous Women Multipurpose Centre where various events used to take place and also beside a hotel.

What I expected the state government would do was to relocate it to a better place and improve on it but not to close the place completely and convert the building to a hotel. This action has denied the good people of the Northwest the opportunity to acquire the much-needed knowledge and skill of the 21st century.

I hope this short write-up will get to Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and he will either reverse the decision or establish another centre elsewhere within the Kaduna metropolis. He should not forget that the centre is not meant only for Kaduna State.

Ahmad Ibrahim Jae ABU Zaria

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