I am passionate about delivering results that have positive impacts on mankind – Shuaibu Idris
Shuaibu Idris, popularly known as Mikati, an experienced professional with diversified knowledge in Finance, Human Resources, Economics as well as Sales and Marketing to mention but a few, is a man with rural background yet cosmopolitan. A disciplined and astute personality who abhors parochialism and sentiments or bigotry. Idris is a PDP governorship aspirant in the 2019 gubernatorial election for Kaduna State. He is not new in the race for the top governance seat in Kaduna State. This is his third shot at it, and he is not tired yet. The young shrewd persona wouldn’t give up; his passion to deliver good governance, to meet the needs of his people wouldn’t let him. He spoke to SIAKA MOMOH about how he would govern Kaduna State if given the ticket.
For Shuaibu, his drive in politics is service to humanity; in work place is excellence, devotion to duty. “I am passionate about delivering results; results that have positive impacts on mankind,” he says.
Difficulties encountered in party policies and programme representations
He has not had the opportunity to be in government so does not have such experience as to challenges of selling or marketing his party policies and or programmes. But in general, according to him, “one can say that PDP policies appear to be welcomed and accepted even by the opposition”. He explains: “PDP agricultural policy was adopted by APC and its implementation is still ongoing. PDP policies on transportation as regards rail network, inland water ways and airports rehabilitation are being implemented by APC government with little or no change. Hence it does appear that our party policies and or programmes are generally accepted by all and sundry.”
Plans for Kaduna State
This is contained in a document or Blue Print tagged WIPER which stands for Wealth Creation, Infrastructure, Peace based on equity and justice, Empowerment and Resource mobilisation and management. Each of these subjects has major value drivers and an implementation strategy. In addition to the blue print, Shuaibu intends to run an all inclusive government and shall consult widely on issues. “Moreover because God Himself has placed mankind on a high pedestal amongst all Creation, I shall accord everyone the dignity and respect we deserve” he says.
What has changed between the last elections and now?
He gunned for the State top seat twice without success and thus “I have no experience of elections”. He explains: “If what we hear people say is anything to go by, Nigerians are gradually coming to terms with democracy. People are considering voting personalities and not party. God fatherism politics is gradually disappearing. Voters are beginning to ask questions, the right questions and the fact that a ruling party lost election at the centre for the first has made everyone not to take voters for a ride. However the influence of money politics appears to still be prevalent and this has to be changed”.
Current realities in Kaduna State
He says point blank: “There was a bandwagon effect in 2015 elections. The sympathy of the electorate to Buhari and mass followership he enjoyed helped quite a number of candidates to win elections. This was the case in 2015. Current realities are different. Voters appear to be disenchanted with the incumbent Government of Mallam Nasiru el rufai. The Governor embarked on several unpopular policies and programmes which have made voters to dislike the government as evidenced by the votes cast in favour of PDP candidates during the last local government elections in the state. Our party shall if we put up a decent candidate win back the state.”
Chances of other parties participating in the coming elections
A number of factors contribute to success in any election. These include personalities or candidates, programmes or manifestos, resources and incumbency factor, he says. “Based on these factors the ruling party has advantage only in areas of being incumbent and possibly resources. PDP candidates are men and women of high degree of Integrity, our manifestos are people orientated and appealing to voters and we are determined together with citizens of the state from all walks of life to effect a change come 2019.”
Shuaibu Idris says with all confidence that the people of Kaduna state would be having several takes for the price of one. He explains, “They would have a rural man, an urbane and cosmopolitan person and a professional all in one. These qualities are rare and when combined, produce exceptional results whether in government or in private organisation. The qualities and attitudes of rural the dweller, as well as those of an urbane and cosmopolitan person and that of professional would form the basis of running the state. The diversity of the state in terms of tribes, religion and rural/city dwellers shall be carefully considered and managed for the benefits of all.”
Foundations of economic policy programme
For him, the cardinal economic policy shall be wealth creation through empowerment of citizens; the state’s natural resources and it’s potentials as a colonial administration base shall be harnessed. He explains, “Because Nigeria is running a fairly unitary government it is difficult or near impossible for any state to develop a robust stand alone economic policy that can stand the test of time. Issues such as exchange rate, employment, interest rate etc are all centrally managed so the states abilities in this regards may not be seen clearly or apparent.”
Mikati’s Blue-print which will be his guide in government, recognizes the importance of revenue generation. He argues, “Without funding, no policy can succeed. My first place of work after leaving university was Kaduna State Board of Internal Revenue as such I have some experiences in how best to harness and improve the generating capacity of the government. IGR shall be accorded its prime place. Areas such as signage, markets developments, ground rent and even the PAYE taxes that are not collected efficiently shall be restructured and enhanced. Moreover, there shall be strict management of Funds received from the federation account. We shall implement the concept of value for money accounting in all the affairs of government. Areas of leakages shall be identified and blocked. Wastage shall be eradicated and over bloated structures streamlined in order to save costs.”
First 4 years in government
Mikati believes strongly that within the first three to four years of any government certain policies and programmes should be identified as possible success stories. He notes that projects involving water, housing, health care and security have short gestation period; that areas such as education may take some time but even then people would begin to feel the impact of the government. “Indeed because governors are elected on four year tenure, those elected MUST work towards ensuring that they perform because the mandate is for four years. So I will say four years are long enough to judge any government and in any case basis for seeking election shall be performance and not excuses,” he says.
Priority areas for development/incentives for investors
He says, “Kaduna state has potentials in several areas such as hospitality and tourism, agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing, power and education to mention but a few. Local and foreign investors alike shall be welcomed and accorded priority as they come to help develop our state.”
For him, “Investment incentives are usually the prerogative of the federal government. However, as an investment banker, an entrepreneur as well as someone with vast experiences internationally, investors shall be welcomed with delight. Areas such as land acquisition, state and local government’s taxes shall be considered and where necessary tax holiday will be considered.”
Plans for Diaspora Kaduna indigenes
Shuaibu Idris wants to run an all inclusive government as stated earlier. He states, with all sense of responsibility that Kaduna state indigenes and indeed Nigerians from any part of the country, who have contributions and or suggestions to make, shall be welcomed, adding that “open and focused group discussions will be conducted regularly and these group of indigenes would be brought to assist the government”.
Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment
This something that his government can consider “subject to availability of resources”. “However, in the short and medium terms, we shall leverage on the existence of Commercial and Economic Attaché that Nigerian government embassies and missions abroad already have. Other agencies such as Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission and its activities and offices shall be tapped into so as to attract investments into the state.”
Thoughts on industrialisation
This is an area in which Mikati is at home. As an entrepreneur, this is familiar turf for him. Says he with all poise: “I will say in our challenges of Industrialisation lies the opportunities. The state requires quality roads, electricity supply, rail network, and a host of other infrastructure. As such these are opportunities for potential investors on a Public Private Partnership arrangement. The abundance of agricultural produce such as cotton, cashew nuts, sesame seeds as well as solid minerals offer potential investors money spinning businesses. Our plans to have industrial clusters would ensure provision of adequate and reliable infrastructure in clusters for the use of industrialist so as to develop the state faster. There would be technical assistance with skills and competencies to young citizens so as to be gainfully employed either self or in organisations. We will aim to tap in to the demography dividends within the shortest period of time.”
Unique experiences await a first time visitor to Kaduna State
Mikati reels out: “A Five Star Service Governance. Democracy is said to be government of the people by the people and for the people. Citizens and indeed visitors seldom have a feel of government and even when they do it is usually negative. The level of filth on the streets of Kaduna, the lack of traffic control, absence of planning particularly in building and structures would certainly be addressed. Scenery and the environment are the first sight of any visitor to a new place. The warmth and friendliness of the people is the next and finally markets where visitors may wish to make purchases, these would receive immediate attention. Visitors shall see a different Kaduna city and indeed state.”
Advice to His party
His sincere response: “It is important that leaders of PDP should realize the mistakes the party made in past and ensure that those mistakes are not repeated. As students of history, we must learn from those mistakes. I am sure all of us still have those issues very fresh in our minds. A situation where a senior member of a party comes out to say the party will rule for 60 years posit some level of arrogance and grandstanding. Where is the will of the people? Where has the place of God in this kind of statement? Again when a senior member of a party claims that there is no vacancy in a position that is supposed to be contested by aspirants before selection of the best and people’s choice entails imposition and clear disregards for democratic principles.
“Worst still, several members of the party were not treated fairly. Management of success became an issue as the electorate was taken for granted. Unpopular candidates were presented for election because of their political mentors. The mediocre got appointed in to various positions of responsibility. Loyalty was put above competence. These and many issues should not and must not be repeated if we are to have a lasting success. But these issues are peculiar to PDP. Even the APC that is in its first four years of rule is guilty of them. The tragedy of African politics and not just Nigeria is that men of ideas are not being sought to lead. Voters are so poor and uneducated that they choose those without ideas to rule. We all have a responsibility to see that this situation change for better. Together we can make it happen. That’s my strong believe.”
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