Kano governor to improve tax revenues, agriculture

Kano state government, north western Nigeria, has urged states to lay more emphasis on internally generated revenue, IGR, and agriculture, as both have been the backbone of the state’s economy in the face of the dwindling oil revenue from the federation account.

Governor Umar Ganduje ,while reeling out his  achievements in one year, said that  the state is currently generating over two billion naira monthly which is not even close to the target.

“The IGR is what is being used to augment shortfalls from the federation account to pay monthly salaries and finance ongoing projects in the state and as such, I urge other states in the federation to emulate Kano,”  stressed the governor.

He said the state now collects about 3 billion naira as against the 9 billion naira it used to collect from the federation account.

“The revenue drive is aimed at collecting from the rich to take care of the poor. How can one man be owning up ten to fifty houses and  collecting rent, yet he is not paying anything to the government. We are ready to capture all the collectables with red eye,” promised the governor

He called on people of the state to cooperate with revenue collectors. 5,000 youths are being employed for the drive in the state.

He said the Anti corruption unit of the state has been strengthened  to the extent that over 1,300 cases have been disposed of  including the uncovering of N207 million fraud in Micro – Finance Banks , adding that more cases are still awaiting prosecution.

Agriculture

He said agriculture has continued to be the main focus of his administration with comparative advantage on rice, wheat and tomatoes farming.

We are trying to ensure that all infrastructures needed are provided for  farmers in these priority areas. Access roads are being created in rural areas using the DIFRI style. 620 clusters of  irrigation have been identified for all season farming. Similarly, 1,000 boreholes have been sank and 5,000 water pumps  distributed free of charge for irrigation  to provide water to farmers with over 700 extension workers trained and given motor cycles to ease their movement,” explained Ganduje

He said the state’s fertilizer company, KASCO, which was abandoned 26 years ago, is now in full operation, providing fertilizer to farmers directly in all the 44 local government areas of the state including providing the 240 trucks of fertilizer worth N900 million  ordered by Kebbi state.

He added that N100 million naira soft loan for the purchase of seeds, pesticides and herbicides  was given to farmers, even as some70 people were sent to Turkey to learn artificial insemination in cattle rearing and are back rendering the services.

14,520 metric tons of fertilizer have been distributed to 464 wards of the state, SMEs being prompted, 100 million naira interest free loan for wheat farmers, N600 million fertilizer subsidy for 2015 farming season, N1billion to boost rice production were also given out; all in an effort to boost production, agri-businesses  revenue like the N900 million from fertilizer sales and alleviate poverty,” re-emphasized the governor

Infrastructure

Governor Ganduje said 15 roads worth billions of naira were constructed in the past one year with some fitted with security gadgets.

He said the roads were constructed in some areas to reduce traffic congestion that affect business, reduce dilapidation and prevent environmental degradation.

“Some of the roads are the 1.6 billion naira Shiek Jafar road, Lagos, Niger, Hammadiya street,  Kings garden, Rijia Zaki, Tudunwada and Kanti Kwari.”

The Sabon Gari –Court road will be commissioned in a weeks’ time as we are almost 70 percent into the completion of the Panshekerau underpass. Also the Dakata – Bela road abandoned for over 12 years is about to be completed with the sum of 2 billion naira,” explained the Governor.

He said a 5 billion naira contract had been awarded for the evacuation of power from the Tiga Dam hydro power project to industrial areas, schools among others

He explained that 2002 low cost houses of two bedroom flats were being built for the low income earners across the state.

He said a N500 million skills acquisition centre for the youths to learn 24 identified skills such as painting carpentry, plumbing among others is being built.

Gandje stressed that hospitals were being renovated and fitted with modern laboratories, especially in Giginyu and Dakata as vaccination of children continues in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates as well as Dangote foundations, in an effort to receive the Nigeria Polio free certificate by next year.

“Tricycle Ambulances were distributed to local government to handle emergencies, traditional birth attendants were also trained and given kits. Breast cancer awareness and screening  campaign with kits especially in the rural areas were conducted,” said The governor

In the educational sector, the governor said N18 billion has been spent on ongoing and new projects which includes: scholarships for foreign and local students,  free school feeding, N10 million partnership funding to each of the 44 LGAs in the state, 5,000 classes being built and additional 1,000 being renovated, 5,000 capacity JAMB center, as well as sponsorship of thousands of primary school children for common entrance.

According to him “other projects are N5.5 Billion for North West University Library and laboratories, the N2.82bn Senate Chamber in Kano State University of Science and Technology.”

Environment

Under water resources, the governor stated that 520 new boreholes are being sunk in rural communities, Tambrawa water project is being repaired as old pipes are being replaced  across the state

On Environment , N3 million sanitation equipment including 18 trucks, 50 tricycles, bulldozers, pay loaders and a standby filling station, 35 kilometers shelter belt in four LGAs

On Security, 10,000 rustled cows have been recovered and returned to the rightful owners. To stem kidnapping, seven road blocks have been mounted in the state  and dormitories built for officers in 7 places in the state.

He, however, said the 5 kilometers of roads, a technical school and Islamic school projects embarked upon for each of the 44 LGAs in the state had been put on hold for lack of funds.

He said all mega projects embarked upon by the past Kwankwaso, Shekarau Administrations will be completed including the 2 kilometer long Sabon gari fly over.

He said in the face of the economic down turn, the government reduced the cost of governance by  cutting the salaries of all political office holders by 50 percent , blocking of leakages through anti corruption crusade, removal of 8,000 ghost workers from pay slip as well as reduction of ministries from 19 to 14.