By Dare Babatunde
One thing about liars is that they usually lack the intelligence to be consistent in their lies. First, they forget the ones they told yesterday and are unaware that the new ones are not consistent with the previous lies. Lying is a defect not a skill but Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and his team convinced themselves for four solid years that it is something they needed to get good at. The Managing Director of Harmony Holdings goes on air now but to lament, and so often I shake my head because when I look at Kaduna and its 25-year-old Executive Secretary heading Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA), I pity Harmony Holdings and the person that supervises it. Very unambitious, visionless, directionless, and a total waste of portfolio. When you look at the Memorandum of Understanding KADIPA signs with relevant stakeholders, promotion of investment, and smooth relationship with other top government parastatals, you must envy what Kaduna has built.
Harmony Holdings’ purpose of creation isn’t far from the role KADIPA plays in Kaduna, but unfortunately, the hospitality business collapsed right under its present leadership. So, I do wonder, do these people think the public are fools?. Are they unaware that they are the true enemy of the public who possesses a deep skill gap in administration and strives to make up for it by becoming nuisances on radio and new media platforms? Via KADIPA the notion of Industry was expanded beyond top companies but looking at how local economies can thrive amidst national struggle. The vision of past administrations in the state included Harmony Holdings taking lead in the advocacy for SME Banking and Financing, but that aspiration has been abandoned. Does Majeed even understand the aspiration of Harmony Holdings in the first place? Because if he does, more energy will be directed towards inviting the relevant stakeholders for their input and getting feedback on the present atmosphere in the state.
They keep singing that Shonga Farm was a waste of resources, is that the end? Was the blueprint not solid, are the implementation plan and intended services not realistic, and why can’t they own and improve the existing blueprint to ensure Kwara participates greatly in addressing the present food crisis across the globe? Even though what they say about Shonga Farm are lies, part of them is that Bukola Saraki owned the farm prior to 2019 elections. Some Nigerian states are now aspiring to be service-providing states if they can’t produce, everyone is thinking in a new direction except Kwara State Government under Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
Another crucial point that average Kwarans must look at is the habit of this government making a scapegoat out of everyone that speaks against them. While the argument that I am a top official of Saraki and fake further solidifies the general perception that they are people of average intelligence, we must focus on important discussions concerning the state. There is one important fact that must be embraced on KWASU, it is the fact that it was established by the State Assembly legislation, not Federal Government. A couple of months ago, the media was awash with reports that National Assembly aimed to stop FG funding to State tertiary institutions due to non-accountability whenever oversight visits are made to them, with the Institutions saying they were established by state acts. This further solidifies that the establishment of KWASU was the vision of the Bukola Saraki-led administration which took up the take-off funding and provided the counterpart funds needed for the institution to take off before Federal funding.
It is not only KWASU, 90% of all Nigeria’s tertiary institutions are breathing through Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) various intervention lines. However, Kwara State Government under Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq withdrew from investing in KWASU, as the Institution’s commitment to community service, research, and tuition fee generate IGR for them to sustain their autonomy. Rather than attempting to use KWASU funding and FG’s provision of infrastructures to spite Bukola Saraki, the foundation must be critically evaluated and applauded. If the present brains in Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq Administration can’t think towards the establishment of another University dedicated to Science and Technology; with the pace the nation and the world is moving towards embracement of cutting edge technology and repository systems; obtaining over 50 billion naira loan, while 17 billion is breathing in an unknown bank is administratively more embarrassing. Trying to take KWASU establishment credit away from Saraki is beyond petty but unintelligent. Another proof that this government is not making sustaining KWASU a priority is they have resigned any interest in its growth as evident in their numerous policies which fail to be directed towards assisting the institution in having a huge number of international students.
Again, questions on Kwara Mall’s value to the state strengthens initial suspicion of the mediocrity of this administration. Kaduna State just recently got its mall and there was celebration across the state. The business owners there, don’t they pay taxes?, what of the economic and employment opportunities? Economic multiplying effects, and community stabilization? Perhaps, the concept of indirect job creation is not understood by the Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq Administration in any manner, if not questions on Kwara Mall should have been immediately expunged, not even when the very government expended some amounts to compensate victims of vandalization of the mall. If it had no benefits, why try to stabilize it?
By Dare Babatunde