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Balarabe: Kaduna’s versatile deputy governor

Balarabe: Kaduna’s versatile deputy governor
May 03
11:24 2023

BY PETER IBRAHIM

As a matter of fact, Dr Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, the deputy governor of Kaduna state, didn’t break the glass ceiling by mere tokenism. The medical doctor worked her way to the top, climbing the ladder of her profession and the civil service. Along the line, providence played a part in her life through Malam Nasir El Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state, sometime in 2019, when he picked her as his running mate. The rest is now history as Dr Balarabe became the first female to be elected as deputy governor in not only in Kaduna state but the entire northwestern geopolitical zone. Again, she has set another record as the deputy governor-elect, a significant milestone in politics and gender inclusion.

In the last four years, Dr Balarabe played a great role in Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s administration’s efforts to transform Kaduna state’s economy, reform its public service and raise the bar in human capital development from 2019 to date. Her service in various capacities, including as the Chair of the Board of Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA), has enhanced the state’s investment profile, with many businesses setting up shop, creating jobs, and increasing Internally Generated Revenue as a result.

Significantly, KADIPA has joined the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies(IPA), enabling it to explore capacity-building opportunities and networking opportunities in the World Investment Conference. Last year, the Agency surpassed its 2022 set target of $500 million worth of investments in the first quarter and the Board increased the investment portfolio to $1 billion. Furthermore, KADIPA has assisted the state in generating revenues of N236.6 million through payments of premiums by greenfield investors that have been allocated land and brownfield investments via payments received from the privatization of state owned assets.

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As chair of KADIPA Board, the Deputy Governor helped to facilitate the investments of 18 companies and recommended them to KADGIS for land allocation, which culminated to the handing over of the sites to investors in Kubau LGA, the Kangimi Layout, GAAIZ, Rabah Link Road and the Afaka layout, all of which have mobilized to site. In addition, at the 7th edition of Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit(KADINVEST), KADIPA launched the Kaduna Livestock Regulatory Authority (KADLRA) Regulations, the Ginger Investment Policy and Strategic Framework GIPS (GIZ), as well as the Film Village Project, with the signing of MoU with KADCCIMA and KDSG on using the trade fair complex by the creative art sector.

In the health sector which is a key component of Human Capital Development, Kaduna state has recorded tremendous improvements. The El Rufai administration has provided each of the 255 wards to bring healthcare closer to the people, especially for pregnant women and routine immunization. The government has also renovated and refitted 23 general hospitals with modern equipment for improved diagnosis and safer surgery, through a partnership with General Electric (GE). The government also installed solar power infrastructure in 34 Primary Healthcare Centers.

The Kaduna state government procured and supplied ambulances to the general hospitals while procuring cold-chain equipment for storage of vaccines and medical supplies in most of the 255 primary healthcare centers. The state government has also procured dialysis machine for Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital and subsidized the cost of dialysis. The administration also procured and installed Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine at Barrau Dikko Teaching Hospital as well as Fluoroscopy Machine at Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa General Hospital, Kafanchan.

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Earlier, the state government recruited 1,200 health professionals, another set of 1,250 health workers were recruited in 2020. Government followed that up with recruitment of 2,500 health personnel and additional 3,000 health workers for its 255 primary healthcare facilities. Kaduna State Government engaged in the training of 17 health personnel at Edinburgh, Scotland and training of additional 45 medical doctors to address the shortage of medical doctors. Governor El-Rufai approved the conversion of Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital to serve as the teaching hospital of Kaduna State University (KASU) by increasing its facilities, building special units, and procuring state-of-the-art equipment.

In politics, Dr Balarabe’s contributions to the fortunes of the All Progressives Party
(APC) in Kaduna State cannot be overlooked. Her leadership and exemplary performance have led to the significant growth of the party’s followership in Southern Kaduna, which has been in opposition since the return to democracy in 1999. As a result of her sterling leadership, human relationships, and goodwill, the APC now controls five local government councils out of the eight in the zone, including Jema’a, Sanga, and Kauru as well as Jaba.

In conclusion, Senator Uba Sani’s incoming administration will have a competent, capable, and loyal deputy in Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe. Her experience, intellectual prowess, and leadership qualities will contribute immensely to the success of the incoming administration.

Ibrahim is a senior special assistant on media and publicity to Governor Nasir el-Rufai

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