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Suggestions for Governor Uba Sani

In Kaduna State, there are insinuations that Governor Uba Sani is experiencing a slower start than expected, which many people attribute to the substantial debt…

In Kaduna State, there are insinuations that Governor Uba Sani is experiencing a slower start than expected, which many people attribute to the substantial debt burden on the state. Before leaving office, former Governor Nasir El-Rufai acknowledged the collection of loans by his administration. However, he said the tangible projects and programmes implemented by his administration demonstrated the value of acquiring those loans, with many projects generating revenue and repaying the loans. 

It’s essential to acknowledge that no government operates effectively without resorting to loans or borrowing. Globally, it’s widely believed that only a government with sound policies, transparent governance, and financial credibility can attract loans, both domestically and internationally. 

Regarding Governor Uba Sani’s initial pace, questions arise: Did he indeed experience a slow start? Many residents of Kaduna anticipate the continuation and completion of projects and programmes initiated by Governor El-Rufai, especially the urban renewal projects—specifically, road construction and rehabilitation in the city and major towns. Addressing the gradual resurgence of street begging by children and the economic activities’ lull are also crucial expectations among Kaduna people. 

If Governor Uba Sani’s administration is grappling with paucity of funds, a viable solution involves devising alternative means of revenue generation beyond the traditional sources like the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), state and local government joint accounts, or existing internally generated revenue (IGR). Every new governor should come with the mindset that he should devise a way to generate funds outside of the traditional ways. 

Governor Uba Sani could also address the current paucity of funds in Kaduna State, if there is one, by initiating a renegotiation of debt servicing agreements and terms with lenders and borrowers. Leveraging his experience as the former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Finance, Insurance, and Other Financial Institutions, he can tap into his expertise and connections to secure more favourable terms. This strategic move could provide relief to Kaduna State and generate additional funds.  

Secondly, Kaduna is one of the states in the North, with thriving weekly markets throughout the state. If the state can create avenues to improve its methods of tax and tariff collection in these weekly markets, more revenue will be generated.   

Furthermore, commercial motorcycles have returned to the streets of Kaduna. If the government has decided to be flexible on their ban, then they are also a source of revenue.  

And the government should hasten the completion of new markets and neighbourhood centres being constructed by Kaduna State Market Development and Management Company in collaboration with some private sector firms. The completion of these markets and neighbourhood centres will bring good IGR to Kaduna State. These steps align with sustainable methods to enhance the financial capacity of the state. 

For every governor of a state, Uba Sani inclusive, inadequate funds, and heavy recurrent expenditure, including demand from other sections of society, is a critical situation that requires critical measures. Though we must admit that many states in Nigeria do not have flourishing economic activities that are profitable and easy to tax without upsetting common people, especially in these hard economic times. 

Governor Sani could capitalise on Kaduna’s abandoned assets by identifying, valuing, and disposing of scrap assets through auctions, generating short-term revenue. There are firms that specialise in this area and are generating substantial revenue for some states. 

 

Zayyad I. Muhammad wrote from Abuja, [email protected] 

 

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