Governor Nasir El Rufai has said that the only way Kaduna state can make economic progress and for the government to have more taxes in its kitty is to attract more businesses.
The governor who was explaining the rationale behind the Urban Renewal Programme of his administration, noted that businesses go where they can find the type of infrastructure they require, and that is what Kaduna State is trying to put in place.
El Rufai said that the Urban Renewal Programme aims to modernise and upgrade Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan towns “to attract more people to our state, more jobs and more opportunities.’’
Speaking while inspecting ongoing projects under the Urban Renewal Programme he initiated in 2019,El Rufai said that the state government is determined to complete the projects under the road component of the programme, ‘’and we are confident that in the next one, or one and half years, all these projects will be completed in Zaria, Kaduna and Kafanchan.’’
According to him, Kaduna state did not only multiply its Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) but also improved its credit worthiness in the last four years.
‘’ We went to China and signed a global agreement with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) in Beijing, their headquarters, to be partners with Kaduna state government.
‘’ They are not just contractors, they are our partners. We are doing many things together. So, whether we have money or not, they will work. But we have money, we are paying them,’’ added.
The governor revealed that when the Urban Renewal Programme was launched over a year ago, the government gave CCECC an advance payment of N10 billion.
The governor assessed progress of the construction of the underpass at the end of Yakubu Gowon road which will replace the former Leventis roundabout and the 5.6km road from the Millennium City to the Eastern Bye-pass.
He also visited the site of the new Kawo flyoverand the new 12.5km road which will link Malali to the Western Bye-pass and the Rigasa train station through a dualisedRabah Road.
El-Rufai revealed that the Western Bye-pass will be reconstructed completely by Alhaji Aliko Dangote under the tax credit scheme, adding that it will be “a three-lane road on both sides constructed using reinforced concrete.’’
The governor disclosed that Kaduna State is considering building another bye-pass in the western sector to complement the FG’s effort to reconstruct the old Western Bye-pass, reduce commuting time and open up more sections of the city.
‘’Kaduna state government and CCECC are discussing to do a new western bypass that will start from Kakau, just before the flyover, and go round behind Rigasa, and connect with Rigachukun and the Eastern bypass constructed by the federal government.
The governor said that the new road will be constructed under a Public Private Partnership(PPP) arrangement when the agreement has been reached.
“We will toll the road so that anyone passing will pay some money. We will also build hotels, petrol stations housing estates along the corridor of the new western bypass. The design has been done; we are negotiating financing and by the grace of God we are going to start it,’’ he added.