By Sunday Oladapo
Kano state Commissioner for Information, Youths and Culture, Malam Muhammad Garba, on Sunday in Kano, lamented that the state Government is still battling to pay the huge debt inherited from the immediate-past administration of Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, amounting to over N350 billion.
Garba who addressed a Press Conference in his office, reacting to what he described as, “recent unguided claims and statements credited to Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and his protege,” described Kwankwaso’s debt as monumental and a huge embarrassment to Kano state.
According to him, “such debts cut across contracts for construction of projects such as uncompleted flyovers, roads, among others, including the controversial scholarship scheme of Kano students sent to study in universities abroad and those enrolled into five private universities within the country. This scholarship debt alone amounts to over N15 billion.”
The Commissioner, however, maintained that, “there is no need engaging into unnecessary war-of-words with Senator Kwankwaso and his blind followers because the good people of Kano, and indeed, Nigerians already know their antics.”
He added that, “more so, the growing unease in their already divided Kwankwasiyya camp as the 2019 elections approach confirms to the fact that they have lost political relevance
” It is also unfortunate that whenever they want to deceive the public, they keep on mentioning failed projects of the Kwankwaso administration.
“They claimed that Kwankwaso built 26 skills acquisition institutes! The question is: how many out of all the 26 institutes functioned hundred percent while he was in office? None! Some human empowerment programmes such as the Lafiya Jari health programme were not sustained during Kwankwaso’s administration because of lack of transparency and sincerity of purpose on the part of those that handled it.
“How many of the flyovers constructed by Kwankwaso were completed before the end of his tenure? How many of those flyovers were constructed in accordance with standards that befit an emerging megacity like Kano? Contractors handling the projects were not duly mobilized. The said flyovers were abandoned, all of which were inherited by Ganduje’s administration, and are being constructed in line with the policy of continuity.
“Apart from completing the abandoned flyovers, today, Kano boasts of one of the best road Inter-Change in Africa which is the Panshekara/Madobi Inter-Changed flyover, constructed along the road leading to Senator Kwankwaso’s country home.
“The Bukavu Barracks Inter-Changed flyover, also initiated by Ganduje’s administration is nearing completion. We also have the Dangi Roundabout flyover which will also be completed soon, an infrastructural edifice designed to befit the original Kano master plan and, as well, spice the beauty and economic status of the ancient commercial city.
“Kwankwaso built 26 skills acquisition institutes that never worked for one day, but the Ganduje administration is constructing over N5 billion skills acquisition centre that would provide means of livelihood to thousands of Kano artisans.
“Apart from this, the Ganduje administration has empowered over 200,000 youths in different areas of trades and technical works. Our target is to capture 300,000 youths before 2019 elections, which is very feasible, because the blue print is already there.
“Contractors who left the sites at Maitama Sule University because they were not mobilized by Kwankwaso administration, have been mobilized. Today, Maitama Sule University is undergoing a facelift. Hundreds of millions of Naira is being spent by the Ganduje administration to redesign Kano State University of Science and Technology, Wudil, and place it on the front pew of world class specialized higher institutions.
“We can also talk about the Kano Light Rail project which has already gotten the endorsement of the Federal Government. This light rail project will specifically aide movement of goods and services within the ancient commercial city, particularly, boosting business and commercial activities in the proposed new Kano Economic City.
“Indeed, the Ganduje’s administration has demonstrated deep commitment to put in place solid infrastructure that would confirm Kano as a mega city and enable our dear state reclaim its lost glory as the commercial nerve centre of not only the North, but the sub-Saharan Africa.
“Finally, it still baffles my imagination why certain questions should not be raised against someone who looted Kano dry and left over N350 billion debt for our beloved state to move backward.”