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Examining The Sustainability Of Gov Nasir El-Rufai’s Policies – James Kanyip

The Oasis Reporters

December 27, 2017

Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state

Governor Nasiru El Rufai came into power with a firebrand revolutionary approach to governance in Kaduna State, when a cursory look is taken at his policies which he reels out with uncommon concern to the people at whose instance he was elected as governor.

Within this short period in office, his policies have practically touched every aspect of the polity: the clergy, civil service and workers, labour unions, media, politicians, traditional institutions, students, teachers, etc.

But these are not the main concern here.

In examining them, the main worry is simple:
Are all these policies sustainable developments in the real sense?

The Brundtland Report (1987) defined sustainable development as follows:

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The problem with the Governor is that he is quick to act or take decision on the spur and sensation of the moment without indepth consultation and forensic analysis of the issues at stake. This has had a negatively telling effect on most of his policies; and thus makes them unpopular no matter how well-intended the policies may be.

The Governor has a strong passion for sponsoring bills into law on the one hand, yet at the same time, he has a strong apathy in implementing them.

On record, he has sponsored the passage of more bills into law within a very short period of time than any other past Governor. Unfortunately, the implementation of most of these laws has remained his major problem.

Here are a few instances:

Last year (2016), he sponsored the Bill for the prohibition of Street Begging and Hawking which was successful passed into Law on the 12th of April, 2016 as the Kaduna State Street Begging and Hawking (Prohibition) Law, 2016.
The implementation of the Law was supposed to commence after sixty (60) days of its passage. Today, that Law is impotent; and street begging and hawking thrive unabated in the State.

Implementing some of the Laws he inherited from the previous administration is also a problem for him. At the time he took over the governance of the State on 29th of May, 2015, the Law banning commercial motor cycle operations (okada) was still in force and being fully implemented. Today, the Law is being rendered comatose and useless. Commercial motor cycle operations are everywhere constituting traffic nuisance in the State metropolis.

The Governor is susceptible to policy somersaults. The Primary School Feeding Programme comes to mind. The programme which was spontaneously heralded with a political jamboree suddenly crashed like a nose-dive aircraft after billions of naira were allegedly spent on it.

Fulfilling some of his important electoral promises has remained a mirage.
For instance, he promised to run and operate with democratically elected Local Government Councils in the State by ensuring that he conducted elections after being sworn in as Governor.
Today, almost about three (3) years as Governor, he has refused to conduct the elections despite a subsisting judgement of the High Court of Justice of Kaduna State which ordered him to do so.

In the area of capital projects and infrastructural developments, the Governor has left much more to be desired. Kaduna State and most Local Government Areas are littered with uncompleted projects initiated by him.
Most visible of these projects, for instance, are the abandoned road and drainage projects in Kaduna metropolis.

So many other instances abound.

Again, there seem to be no entrenched concrete practical thing on ground by the Governor to ensure that all these policies are sustained so that they may outlive his tenure as Governor and for posterity.
Therefore, these policies can easily be wished and washed away by any succeeding governor or government without much ado.

The fact that laws have been passed in some instances to institutionalise some of these policies is immaterial. After all, if the Governor cannot test-run these laws by implementing them first, how will a succeeding governor or government see the need to do that?

I am of the strong view that most policies of the Governor, so far, have fallen short of the standard set for sustainable development as defined by the Brundtland Report for the simple reason that there is nothing practically entrenched on ground to sustain them.

As hard as I try, and for the foregoing reasons, I cannot see how most of the policies of the Governor meet the needs of the present and at the same time without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.

And, I ask these two (2) final questions:
If the policies of Governor Nasiru El Rufai cannot meet the needs of the present, what guarantee is there that the same policies can meet the needs of the future? Why dissipate so much energy, time and resources on policies that are dead on arrival?

Only time will tell.

Written by James Kanyip

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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