The establishment of 26 institutes in Kano State by the immediate-past governor, Dr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, was aimed at reducing unemployment among youths and women. Daily Trust gathered that they were established within the three-and-a-half years of Kwankwaso’s second tenure. The first, established by the former governor, was Institute of Information Technology, in Kura local government.
Others include North-West University, Hospitality & Tourism Institute, Poultry Institute Dambatta, Institute of Qur’anic & Western Education, Fisheries Institute Bagauda, Farm Mechanization Institute Danbatta, College of Nursing And Midwifery, Madobi and Kano Corporate Security Training Institute, Gabasawa.
There are also: Kano Reformatory Institute Kiru, Film Academy Tiga Rockcastle, Informatics Institute Kura, Kano Sport Academy Karfi, Driving Institute Kumbotso, Irrigation Training Institute Kadawa, Entrepreneurship Development Institute Dawakin Tofa and Kano Post-Basic Midwifery School Gezawa.
Also on the list are Kano Institute of Horticulture Bagauda, Livestock Institute Bagauda, Kano Development Journalism Institute, School of Health Technology Bebeji and School of Basic Remedial Studies Tudun-Wada, among others. The former governor also established two bilingual boarding colleges in Niamey, Niger Republic; one each for males and females students. They were meant to teach Kano indigenes French and English languages.
However, Daily Trust observed that not a single school of the two categories was fully completed before he handed over mantle of leadership to his successor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on May 29, 2015. Undisclosed billions of naira were sunk into the numerous projects, sources revealed, even as most of them remain deserted.
In some local governments, work was abandoned at early stages, in other places at roofing level and in a few local governments at foundation level. Many of the post-secondary school institutes the former governor established have not been put to use, even while he was in office, while the few he commissioned have ceased operations.
Daily Trust findings revealed that the few still functioning include Northwest University, School of Basic Studies Tudun-Wada, College of Nursing and Midwifery Madobi, Corporate Security Training Institute Gabasawa, Driving Institute Kumbotso and Informatics Institute Kura. Checks indicated that most of the locations are empty, with no equipment or manpower.
At the Sports Academy, only two policemen were guarding the building, while the local workers were clearing grass. A local source disclosed thus: “The place is empty and nobody is training here or coming, not even government officials.”
The story was the same at institutes of Fisheries, Livestock and Horticulture in Bagada. When this reporter visited, they were deserted.
However, the Institute of Information and Technology, Kura was lively when Daily Trust visited and there were some students. One of them, Aminu Muhammad, said many students do come for lectures. “There has never been a time when this place was deserted,” he said.
Abdulganiyu Rufa’i is a member of the Kano Civil Society Forum and he attributed the neglect of such initiatives to political differences among politicians, saying “politicians always have the habit of abandoning their predecessors’ legacies even if such projects are useful to the public. This is our major problem here in Kano and some parts of the country.”
However, Rufa’i said, politicians should always think thoroughly while executing projects, noting that had the former governor of the state carried out good evaluation before establishing the institutes, most of them could have been sustained for years. Rufa’i lamented that it was unfortunate that politicians were just initiating projects for their political interest, not for the overall development of their people. “Kano needs most of the institutes built by Kwankwaso but because of improper arrangements they cannot be sustained. Even before he left office, he had to affiliate a number of these institutes to some tertiary institutions because they cannot continue as independent entities.”
“Even at that, most of these institutes were turned useless. If you hand over the Livestock and Husbandry institutes to Audu Bako College of Agriculture, it means you are repeating what the college has as departments, hence it is a waste.”
Rufa’i added: “Like I said, we need such institutes in Kano, but things have not been done right, therefore they cannot stand. So in my opinion, the present administration should look for a possibility of reducing the 26 institutes to a reasonable number that can be controlled and sustained, not only by Ganduje’s administration, but by subsequent ones.”
Also commenting, a Kwankwaso loyalist, Alhaji Sanusi Surajo Kwankwaso, said the former governor established the institutes purposely to empower youth and women, but the present administration has deliberately neglected them. He said: “The Ganduje-led administration has deliberately stopped admission of new students in most of the institutes. Government didn’t admit a single student into any of the institutes this year for reasons best known to it.”
He said most of the institutes were meant to generate revenue for the state, too, but the present government has neglected virtually all of them. He also recalled that during the regime of Senator Kwankwaso, he has been to various states including Adamawa, Kwara, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Osun and Ogun among others in search of good players for Kano Pillars, but after the establishment of Kano Sports Academy, many players have brought themselves to Kano State not only from other states but from other countries like Ghana, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
Kwankwaso lamented that the present administration was not interested in continuing with most of the institutes, hence the neglect.
Responding, the Commissioner of Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, said 90 per cent of the edifices were not functioning at present, noting: “Even before we came in, 70-80 per cent of the institutes were not working due to improper planning and lack of manpower.”
However, he said, the present administration is looking for ways to put some of the institutes into proper shape, saying that a powerful committee was set up by the state’s Deputy Governor, Professor Hafiz Abubakar, who is also the state commissioner of education to look into some of the institutes with a view to bringing them back to life.
Garba asked: “If not for lack of proper planning, how can you affiliate Sports Academy and Institute of Journalism with Kano University of Science and Technology, an institution that has no Physical Health Education and Mass Communication departments?” He explained that the Ganduje-led administration is analyzing some of these institutes and will soon be affiliated with relevant colleges for proper utilization.
Before that happens, for now, billions of naira worth of infrastructure remain unutilized, and in some cases, abandoned.