by Mukhtar Garba Maigamo,
“Development programs and policies cannot just be made for the people, but will have to involve the people concerned if they are to have a chance of success. Without that if people are not involved and do not derive a sense that the project they are in is theirs; the chances are they will also be not be interested and plans handed down from the centre will remain sterile”.( Martins Doornbos: 1973)
Before delving into the crux of the matter, it is important to acknowledge the uncanny gumption of His Excellency the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir Elrufai for initiating this method of conversing with people of the state about a matter that concerns them, to have the stake and feel the ownership of the state development plan. Contributing their inputs will surely give them a sense that their views matters a lot to the governor. That is the basis of my long quotes above.
However, as a public affairs commentator, I have been contributing in my own way by way of opinion because as a concern citizen of the state, I feel dejected to see that Kaduna State, as metropolitan as it is, and which is the nerve-center of the North and one of the strategic states in the country that supposes to be the model of other states; but sadly it is one of the most backward states in the country.
But when I glanced through the Restoration Master-plan of His Excellency I realized the futility of my contribution to this “Kaduna Development Plan” because the Five Points Agenda therein, are but a comprehensive and all-encompassing blueprint that captured the very plight of Kaduna State. The only thing is for the Governor to see their logical conclusions.
Therefore, my contribution to this will be limited to drawing attention of the general conceptual framework of the said development plan and also some critical issues which I will raise and advert to the importance of their serious ventilations and considerations in designing the said strategy.
State Macro Economic Framework
The first test of performance of this development plan will be in taking into cognizance of the State’s Gross Domestic Product, Government Savings, Unemployment rate debt liabilities etcetera. The said policy guidelines must be provided in such a way that the projection of these indices goes in line with development plan.
An Estimated Growth Rate
It will be of paramount importance to have an estimated growth rate which will be a requirement for each sector in the state to maintain a steady growth of certain percentage. Putting this into consideration will surely affords the formulators of the strategy to have a realistic scope of plan.
General Market Conditions
This can be measured comparatively with the general economic conditions in the country. Are we in inflationary period? Are we having oil glut? What are the price indices in the market etc.
There is now a phenomenon of growing influx of rural dwellers into the capital city of Kaduna which has in recent times assumed an alarming proportion that one will see an army of beggars where ever you turn from Kawo to Sabon Tasha and from Kawo to Abuja Junction and all other nooks and crannies of the state. Kaduna is just over-bloated with all manners of people, ranging from destitute, hawkers and commercial tricyclists, 90% of whom sold their farm lands to come over to the city for a perceived greener pasture. Also the social vices and other menaces bedeviling Kaduna state today are as a result of this rural-urban migration. This means drastic actions must be taken in order to stem the tide of the growing problems.
One of the best ways of stemming these tides is through a rapid rural development. Even though I have seen that it has been captured in the Restoration Master-plan of the state, but I think it must go beyond the superfluity of providing feeder roads or rural electrifications, but there is need for increasing rural productivity and income since agriculture is the main form of activity in the rural areas, programs must be included in the development plan, which will be a top-down rather than bottom-up.
This means in essence that the rural people must be given chance to identify their problems needs and priorities themselves. State government will then support them with the technical expertise and the finance to carry out the projects. Each community must be treated according to its needs. The designing, planning and implementation of the projects must be a joint venture between the state, local and the rural people themselves. Also state government will have to liaise with some Development Entrepreneurs at local level whose activities are in the areas of improving the socio-economic life of the rural people.
However also, the said development plan will have to design a way of creating a social program of rehabilitation of the physically handicapped and infirmary people who also find their ways to the capital city.
Doing that successfully will have a multiplier effect of improving the standard of living of the rural people, reducing the menace of social crimes, and increasing the incomes of the people which will increase the state’s GDP.
Mukhtar Garba Maigamo,
A Public Commentator is with Unity Bank Plc Kaduna. 08066792996