I am very delighted to be in Kaduna to commission projects undertaken by the state government led by Malam Nasir El-Rufai. I have been most impressed by the consistent efforts of the Kaduna State Government to develop the state, to seek progress on so many fronts and to boldly confront challenges.
2. Most of my visits to Kaduna State since 2015 have been in connection with clear strides of progress. I was here in 2017 to commission the hatchery and feed mill project of Olam, a multinational agribusiness company that has sited a major factory in Kaduna.
3. In August 2019, I had the honour to commission Phase 2 of the Zaria Water Project and a road project.
4. Therefore, I am not surprised that Malam Nasir El-Rufai and his team have undertaken such a major investment in infrastructure development. I am glad to say I have seen with my own eyes the remarkable changes across all the three Senatorial zones.
5. Since my arrival, I have commissioned many completed projects across the zones, and I look forward to commission more and more projects.
6. I wish to commend the Kaduna State Urban Renewal Programme for its sheer audacity, breadth of imagination and quality of project execution. Projects under this programme have been described as an unprecedented investment in urban infrastructure in the state. When completed, these projects will define the city of Kaduna for the next 50 years.
7. State Governments have direct responsibility for the quality of life of the residents of their state. Kaduna State is providing an example of how this can be done.
8. There are many achievements for which to commend the Kaduna State Government. Like the hard work involved in attracting USD2.8bn in foreign investment to the state since 2015.
9. This was further confirmed by Kaduna State being ranked as the Number One state for ease of doing business in the last published World Bank Doing Business Report for sub-nationals in Nigeria.
10. We have also seen the El-Rufai government increase the internally generated revenue of the state by almost four times in five years, from N13bn in 2015 to N50.7bn in 2020.
11. The Kaduna State Government has furthermore continued to strengthen the capacity of its health system. We recall the strong response of Kaduna State when Covid-19 hit our country early in 2020. I therefore welcome the completion of the 136-bed Infectious Disease Centre that I commissioned yesterday.
12. Noteworthy also is the commitment to equality of opportunity consistently manifested in Kaduna State Government’s focus on education at the basic and senior secondary levels. The policy of making education free and compulsory up to the completion of secondary school is a significant contribution to human capital development, and I commend it wholeheartedly.
13. I have been told that back in 2015, you inherited a school in the Rigasa area with reportedly over 20,000 pupils instead of the planned 1,500 pupils. We are impressed that Kaduna State Government has built more schools to accommodate these students.
14. The Federal Government notes with appreciation the support Kaduna State provides to the security agencies. Your decision to establish a ministry dedicated to Internal Security reflects the seriousness with which you view this sector.
15. I wish to assure the people and government of Kaduna State that the Federal Government is doing its utmost to contain and crush the terrorists that have been menacing our citizens and their property in parts of the country.
16. On behalf of the Federal Government, I commend the efforts of the Kaduna State Government to respond to the demands of development. The relationship between our tiers of government represents an instance of successful collaboration between the national and state governments for progress, peace and prosperity.
17. I urge Malam Nasir El-Rufai to push on and not relent in his efforts to accelerate change and progress in Kaduna State.
Thank you for listening and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.