“Our vision is to make Kaduna the Leading Economic Hub in the North. We want to create a business cluster that will drive competition in the Northern Region” – Gov Uba Sani
By Nasir Dambatta
One of Governor Uba Sani’s strongest leadership qualities is the courage of taking risks that make strategic sense. And this reflects his a visionary side, as someone who has a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. The former Sanator fits the bill of a recent study on visionary leadership by America-based ‘Fast Company Executive Board’. The study pointed out that a visionary leader with a growth mindset is he who can adapt to changes, overcome adversity, and incorporate new information as he or she pursues leadership/ governance plans.
Due to Governor Uba Sani’s brand of leadership, which is driven by a transformative spirit, it is on record that Kaduna is second only to Lagos in terms of the capacity to apply internal revenue for day-to-day operations. This, to an extent, means that some 34 States of the federation are less viable economically, than present day Kaduna. It is a no mean feat, that this is a fact and exemplifies that transformative spirit that the SUSTAIN Agenda sets out to achieve.
Second, is the beautiful project with wonderful economic gains for Kaduna —the 20,000 tones of Liquified Natural Gas Investment, one of the biggest investments in the recent history of the State. Experts gave the prognosis that it has the potential to enhance the supply of the product not just in the Northwest but the nation at large. The prospects are so bright, experts vouched.
A third one is the Economic City for facilitating international trade. Last year, a report on Kaduna’s economic potentials that provide fertile soil for Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) and all forms of international trade were laid bare. The report confirmed that Kaduna State Manufacturing sector alone, is made up of twelve (12) economic activities: Oil Refining; Food, Beverages and Tobacco; Textile, Apparel, and Footwear; Wood and Wood Products; Pulp Paper and Paper Products; Chemical and Pharmaceutical Products; Non-metallic Products; Plastic and Rubber Products; Electrical among others. With Governor Uba Sani’s vigorous drive of facilitating international trade, these twelve areas definitely present a fertile ground for rapid economic growth and development of Kaduna today.
Fourthly, the resumption of operations of Kaduna Airport has not just the potential of generating the much-needed revenue to further develop Kaduna but also open window of opportunities for international investors. The resuscitation of the airport operations is an economic blessing for the State as it also has the potentials to boost investor confidence.
A fifth empowerment move, capable of making citizens of the State more economically active, with potentials of improving the State’s income is the powerful war against rural poverty, along with its dearth of infrastructure in that part of the world. Of a truth, what is today known as ‘Uba Sani’s Rural Renewal’ style, is a kick-starter for integration policy as a tool of economic growth and development of Kaduna. Therefore, the first-ever Nigeria Executive Order to save 2.1 million Kaduna poor initiated by the governor has remained a silver-lining amingst the fastest means of reacuing the poor within any modern leader’s domain. Till date, no governor has signed an executive order for the poor apart from that of Kaduna. Add this to the N3.1 billion released to the State Pensions Bureau for pensioners among others, and you have a multi-pronged approach to economic revival and confronting poverty, as a matter of state policy.
The sixth strategic move by Governor Uba Sani is the support policy for Medium and Small Scale Enterprises.This will be helpful to small and medium scale businesses to tap from the beautiful supportive economic strategies for the lower rung of the ladder in the State.
The social register of the Kaduna State Government too, will definitely provide fertile ground for a seamless distribution of wealth across the board, especially among rural folks who have been grappling with little or no access to banks; some even without bank accounts in their names. The governor, in his series of media interviews has revealed that part of the reason why Federal Government’s release of financial palliative to the rural folks had failed in the past was due largely to the inability of rural dwellers to open bank accounts. This has made the prospects of alleviating financial difficulties for rural folks more of a mirage. Kaduna is now taking the lead in economic integration of the rural dwellers, something I dare say even the Federal Government should learn from.
On the whole, these key areas of institutionalised intervention by Governor Uba Sani will definitely change the economic standing of Kaduna citizens in the near future and set a comparatively good example of the nexus between policy and action.
Dambatta is Senior Special Assistant( Print Media) to the Governor of Kaduna State