Putting the People first: El-Rufai’s three years of making Kaduna great again

Malam Nasir El-Rufai has led the government of Kaduna State to achieve many firsts:
1. Electronic voting: first in Nigeria, second in Africa after Namibia
2. Most comprehensive reforms in Public Education
3. Extensive upgrade and refit to 255 primary health centres and 23 secondary health centres with General Electric equipment for ante-natal care and safer surgeries

4. Treasury Single Account: first to implement it in Nigeria, sweeping N25bn from 470 state government accounts in commercial banks to the Central Bank
5. Highest level of capital expenditure in the state’s history, exceeding N60bn each budget year
6. Consistent positive Fitch Ratings
7. Highest level of IGR ever, N26.5bn in 2017. It has doubled the IGR without increasing taxes
8. Zero-based budgeting with 60:40 capital to recurrent ratio
9. Alignment of fiscal and calendar years
10. Smallest state cabinet: only 14 commissioners. When their nominations were sent to the state House of Assembly, it included their portfolios. The immediate past government had 24 commissioners
11. Launched 32-year infrastructure masterplan in 2018
12. Domesticated the Child Rights Act
13. First sub-national in the world to join the Open Government Partnership (OGP)
14. First sub-national to present SDG report at the United Nations
15. Empowerment programmes for every level of youth:
16. 1300 ongoing capital projects across the state
17. Completed the 150m litres per day Water Treatment plant of the Zaria Water Project
The Kaduna Story: the courage to reform
Context and Challenges – The Kaduna Experience
a. Situation in 2015:
i. low oil prices, declining allocations from the
federation account;
ii. many states unable to pay salaries; most or all of government revenues spent to maintain the government and its personnel.

iii. Low IGR inconsistent with sizes of sub-nationals
iv. multiple taxation discouraging/irritating business
v. Huge, largely redundant workforce) with skills gaps
vi. Dilapidated schools, PHC buildings, empty hospitals
b. Addressing the challenges:
i. Budget Discipline and Re-Prioritisation:
1. Public Finance Law enacted to introduce
discipline into the management and control of
public finances
2. Treasury Single Account (TSA): implemented in a six-week period saw 470 state government accounts in commercial banks closed and their balances amounting to N25bn moved to the Central Bank;
3. Zero-Based Budgeting: rejected the previous
system of incremental budgeting that kept
ballooning the budget size on paper. ZBB
restored budgeting as an exercise in realistic planning.
4. 60:40 capital and recurrent ratio upheld in all budgets

5. Human capital development is a consistent
priority in budgeting. On average Education and
Health get the following:
a. Education – 33%,
b. Health 12%
6. Aligning fiscal and calendar years: every budget is passed and signed into law before the end of the outgoing year so that implementation can start on 1 January.
ii. Reforming, Revitalising and Strengthening the public service
1. Recruitment into new agencies
a. KASTELEA: 2,255
2. Openings for young people
3. Introducing professionals into the local government service: 86 lawyers, several engineers, architects, surveyors
4. 500 new midwives
iii. Verifying payroll of workers and pensioners –discovered about 8000 ghosts!
Seeking alternative revenue resources:
a. prioritising private investments to address development,
jobs and revenue challenges.
b. more than $100m in bilateral grants – EU, UKAid, USAID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dangote Foundation, Ford
Foundation, Norway, Germany, etc.
c. Long-term concessionary loans of $350m from World Bank
approved on 20 the June 2017 after due checks on purpose of the loan, and the state’s ability to pay.
Policy Reform and Legislative Actions:
a. Tax Consolidation and Codification Law: this puts together all taxes and levies payable in Kaduna State in a single document, and created the KADIRS as the sole collector of
revenues in the state.
b. Creation of KADIRS and state-wide centralisation of collection of all revenues – and all non-cash.
c. Contributory Pension Scheme Law: came into effect on 1st January, 2017.
d. Easy verification: for those who retired on the old Defined
Benefits Scheme, Kaduna State has introduced the Easy Pension Verification Scheme which spares pensioners the pain of physical verification. From June 2018, all what the retirees in this category have to do is to provide their thumbprint in a bank once every 90 days.
e. Kaduna Masterplan Preservation Law.
f. KADGIS law: to digitise all land records
g. Mortgage Foreclosure Law passed. Collaborating with
Sterling Bank to provide N5bn mortgage facility at single-digit interest rate
h. Investment Promotion – KADIPA established in 2015.
Enabling Environment – Policy Actions:
a. One-stop shop: KADIPA has attracted $500 million investment into Kaduna State from 2016
b. Business Licensing Reforms implemented with relevant
MDAs committed to an Ease of Doing Business Charter
c. Prioritising investment focus
i. Agriculture – Maize, ginger, tomato, soyabeans,poultry, sorghum, potatoes, millet, milk and sugarcane.
ii. Mining – gold, nickel, dimension stones and tin.
iii. Mass Housing with mortgage system
iv. ICT hub
v. Renewable Energy – 3 investors, nearly 700MW!
vi. Retail
vii. Hospitality
d. KADInvest: showcased investment credentials from 2016 to
Champion of Human Capital development
a. Education
i. N6bn in 2016 to fix 400 primary and secondary schools, provide furniture and learning materials.
ii. In compliance with APC manifesto, the government of
Kaduna state has successfully made 9-year basic education free in the state, freeing parents from any kind of fees for pupils from primary 1 up to junior secondary school.
iii. Fifteen senior secondary schools selected from the three
senatorial zones have received an upgrade in a whole renovation programme.
iv. Six new Science Schools are being built two in each of the three senatorial zones.
v. More than 200,000 units of furniture have been supplied to schools across the state.
vi. Tablet computers: as part of a pilot programme, pupils in selected senior secondary schools have been given computer tablets loaded with instructional materials and
past question papers, illustrations and charts to aid learning.
vii. To ensure quality education for children, the government
is recruiting 25,000 qualified teachers for public primary
schools to replace unqualified teachers. About 11,300 new teachers have resumed at the schools to which they were posted
viii. Promoting skills training for different levels of perso

nnel of

SUBEB is replacing them with 25,000 qualified teachers recruited through
b. Health
i. To strengthen Primary Healthcare System, 255 PHCs, one in each of the 255 wards of the state are being rehabilitated and upgraded. This is done to ensure that people, especially pregnant women and children access healthcare at the ward while encouraging referral system
ii. 23 General hospitals are undergoing transformation and being equipped with Ultrasound machines, Forensic ECGs, Resuscitation Machines, Baby warmers for regulating temperature at birth and Phototherapy machines. General
Electric has installed this eq uipment and is offering training to staff who are to handle them.
iii. A new Drug delivery system has been developed and a
law supporting state health insurance has been passed. This law ensures that no one has to pay cash to access healthcare in the state.
iv. The state government has strengthened the PHC system by implementing Primary Healthcare Under One Roof
Investors’ delight:
Successfully attracted investments in Agriculture, Auto-assembly, Energy, Hospitality:
a. Olam, Vicampro, Sunseeds, Tomato Jos, Falke in
b. Blue Camel in Energy
c. Mahindra in tractor-assembly
d. Dangote-Peugeot to assemble completely-knocked Down car parts
e. OCP and Indorama for fertilizer.
f. Private-sector owned Shopping mall and five-star hotel projects ongoing Infrastructure leader
a. Major towns are linked by means of intercity roads, township roads being constructed in each of the 23 local government council headquarters while rehabilitating existing ones. There are 443km of township roads and 16 intercity roads with a distance of 414.8km at various stages of completion. In addition, 17 rural feeder roads with a distance of 172 km are being constructed.
b. Within Kaduna metropolis more than 130 new and existing roads have been done by the state government. For example, in Barnawa town alone, 75 township roads with side drains were constructed; 9 township roads in Malali, 26 Township Road in Ungwan Rimi, 17 in Ungwan Sarki and 20 in Rigasa, all in the metropolis.
c. About 800 blocks of classrooms have been fixed in a state-wide school renovation and upgrade programme.
d. El-Rufai’s government is partnering 65 private developers in a PPP model to construct affordable mass housing while 30 others are constructing 14 neighborhood centers and 16 ultra-modern markets to give Kaduna citizens a modern shopping and leisure experiences in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria towns.
e. Major streets and roads in Kaduna metropolis have solar streetlights installed to provide security lights and aesthetics.


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