Uba Sani’s scorecard

Collectively, the checklist is wide and diverse but a common nomenclature connects them to a political register. Loosely, tarring of roads, building edifices and constructing culverts, as well as a block of classrooms, are called dividends of democracy in Nigeria. Indeed, at every milestone, politicians reel out these brick-and-mortar achievements with fanfare. Last week, they were in their element and festive air, across party lines, pervaded the entire polity as public officers unveiled their scorecards on or before May 29. At once, there was a publicity overdrive, in the mainstream and social media, as they rolled out the drums, clicked glasses and thumped their chests to boot.

Last week, the Kaduna State Governor, Senator Uba Sani, commissioned a slew of projects, flagged off new ones and inspected ongoing projects in rapid sequence, without catching his breath. Indeed, the Rural Transformation Agenda, his flagship programme, is gathering momentum as over 54 road project contracts, in just one year, have been awarded by the administration. Similarly, the government has attracted sundry investments, spanning the mining, agro-allied and housing sectors, from domestic and foreign investors, as well as development partners.

Specifically, a Lithium Processing Plant, a partnership between the Kaduna State Government and Ming Xin Mineral Separation Nigeria Ltd, will soon be commissioned. The facility, according to reports, has an initial capacity of 1,500 metric tonnes per day when it comes on stream. Likewise, a $50 million Soya Bean Oil Refining Plant, located at Kutungare village, is underway and Sunagrow International Oil Ltd has promised 500,000 litres per day. Similarly, a Liquefied Natural Gas production company, Greenville LNG, has sited a 24,000 tonnes capacity facility at Kakau, a village in Chikun local government of Kaduna State. Besides, the United Arab Emirates(UAE) has promised multi-million dollar private investments, especially in Agriculture, Infrastructure, Transportation and Clean Energy. Additionally, the Emirati government pledged to address some development challenges.

Unarguably, the Senator Uba Sani administration, in the last year, has built infrastructure, attracted investments, rebooted the health sector and upgraded education facilities. Likewise, his ‘A Kori Talauci’ promises a tall order of banishing poverty from Kaduna State. Indeed, the government has punched above its financial weight, against a paucity of funds, a debt overhang and competing demands. The governor, in this regard, has given a good account of his mandate and Senator Uba Sani, in popular parlance, has delivered the dividends of democracy in his first year in office.


However, in Ambassador Aminu Wali’s book, the phrase means differently to dyed-in-the-wool politicians. In 2001, about 23 years ago, the top diplomat was a guest of the New Nigerian Newspapers, where he fielded questions from the editorial board. Specifically, he listed citizens’ engagement, carrying them along and involving all segments of the polity in governance, as the real dividends of democracy. Projects, according to him, can be executed even by a dictator but it takes a democrat to engage with the people, feel their pulse and reflect their wishes in governance. On this score, Governor Uba Sani scores very highly.

Indeed, Governor Uba Sani has been building bridges, embracing people and accommodating all political tendencies. Former opponents have become allies in record numbers. Specifically, most of his PDP predecessors, have aligned with his populist policies and Namadi Sambo, former Vice president of Nigeria, is a strong pillar of support. However, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, Sambo’s protegee and ex-governor, has crossed over to APC. Figuratively, the governor has erected a big tent, where Muslim clerics and Christian clergymen key into government policies, offer wise counsel and tug along the same direction without friction. Similarly, town hall meetings are sounding boards for policy initiation, implementation and feedback.

In 1991, Bill Clinton and Al Gore ran for the United States presidency, on a joint ticket, with the slogan ‘’Putting People First.’’ As Governor, Senator Uba Sani is putting the people of Kaduna state on the front burner of his policies and programmes. This is the real dividend of democracy.


Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.
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