The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations(NIPR) has said that Governor Nasir El-Rufai has positively changed the face of Kaduna state since he assumed office in 2015, so much that the state has not been the same again.
The Institute further noted that Governor El-Rufai has ‘’redirected the state on a trajectory to growth and development that is unrivalled by your peers. Your footprints are indelible in all spheres.’’
The National Vice President of NIPR, Adewale Adeniyi who made these remarks at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House on Friday, highlighted why El-Rufai was made the patron of the Institute.
According to him, part of the provision of that law that sets up NIPR ‘’is the conferment of the position of patron of state chapters to governors and grand patron to the president of the country.’’
Adeniyi who is an Assistant Controller General of Customs, argued that even though that provision ‘’is in the books, NIPR is quite reluctant to perform this function on just any governor. In fact it is on record that the Institute has performed only three such investiture ceremonies since 2012.’’
‘’We are reluctant to begin to go on an investiture spree, because we are careful who we identify with. Individuals do not have to be professionals, but we look out for excellence in people we want to have anything to do with,’’ he added.
The National Vice President recalled that Kaduna state faced a daunting challenge of lack of infrastructures in the state government’s schools before the coming of the present administration.
‘’Learning environment was not conducive and there was a huge dearth of secondary school teachers in the field of science. You embarked on massive renovation of the state owned public schools across the state,’’ he noted.
The Institute pointed out that tertiary institutions are not also left out in the educational intervention programme, adding that state owned tertiary institutions are undergoing massive capital projects, while some have been completed.
‘’ Also pleasing to note is the increase the budgetary allocations to these institutions to boost their effectiveness and place them amongst the leading tertiary institutions in Nigeria,’’ NIPR added.
Adeniyi pointed out that state civil service reforms have helped to rescue the system which was on the verge of collapse before El Rufai assumed office as governor of Kaduna state in 2015.
He recalled that the governor revamped the system and succeeded in reducing corruption in the state civil service by carrying out a rigorous verification exercise for the state civil servants which led to the extrication of ghost workers from the states payroll, thus saving the state huge sums of money.
According to the Institute, ‘’the El-Rufai government has effectively catered for the welfare of the state civil servants by sustaining and ensuring prompt payment of salaries. This is a far cry to what is obtainable in most states who owe their workers for many months.’’
The National Vice President also commended the administration’s ‘’Urban Renewal Projects where road construction/rehabilitation projects are seen in virtually all local governments’’
‘’The El-Rufai led administration has also recorded tremendous increase in the state’s Internally Generated Revenue. The state government was able to increase the states IGR by blocking leakages and ensuring that tax payers pay directly to the bank,’’ he added.
Mr Adeniyi said that Institute is impressed with the governor’s ‘’commitment towards bringing to an end the endemic water problem in Zaria city and its surrounding local governments.’’
The NIPR chieftain recalled that ‘’the water project was started in 2008, but successive governments have shown less commitment towards completion of the project.’’
The National Vice President also said that Kaduna State Government has created a lot of jobs, including 2,500 Kaduna State Traffic and Environmental Control Authority (KASTELEA) Marshalls, employed thousands of Secondary School Science Teachers , several nurses and health workers, as well as environmental sanitation staff.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter, Malam Bashir Chedi recalled that El Rufai was recommended to be made patron but the national body had to do an independent assessment.
He expressed delight that the governor scaled through the Council’s verification and stringent reviews.