Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has given reasons why he created three metropolitan authorities outside the conventional local government administration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the announcement of Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan metropolitan authorities by the governor had generated varied reactions, with some residents condemning the action.
El-Rufai gave the explanation at the swearing in of administrators for the metropolitan authorities, two High Court judges and other officials on Friday in Kaduna.
According to him, the new entities will ease the administration of the three cities to enhance services to the public.
He said that the three cities would be administered based on Abuja model, as single, integrated entities.
“Abuja is perhaps the only city in Nigeria managed as an integrated unit, despite the existence of six area councils within the Federal Capital Territory.
“The administrators of our metropolitan authorities are similar to the Minister of the FCT to whom everyone knows the president has delegated the powers to run the nation’s capital as a single entity.
“Our metropolitan administrators in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria will exercise similar powers and responsibilities in their designated areas as the Minister of the FCT does in Abuja.
“Many city needs do not recognise local government boundaries. One example is a functional drainage system.
“The job of a managing a city requires clarity as to in whom the responsibility is vested. In many cases, neither the state government nor the local government councils in that space try to exercise responsibility for cities.
“Other jurisdictions have mayors so that there is a structure devoted to managing specific cities.
“We cannot neglect our cities and expect them to do well on autopilot. This is why we are doing what we are doing.”
The governor explained that in spite of the establishment of the metropolitan authorities, the local councils will still perform many important functions.
“The local government councils still have a lot to do in managing primary education, primary health care, agriculture, community development, and other other constitutionally vested functions.
“A majority of the residents of our state now live in cities. We have to be pragmatic about how we deliver better services and make our cities better places to live and work.
“Our urban renewal programme is a vivid demonstration of the importance of treating and managing cities as single, integrated entities,” he stressed.
On the newly sworn-in officials, El-Rufai said their appointments was to ensure that the government delivers on its mandate.
“We intend to finish as strong as we started, this explains why we are still introducing reforms, backing them up with laws and implementing them,” he said
According to him, the government is creating strong platforms where the next governor can focus on governance in the attainment of progressive goals.
He also said that the new high court judges would assist in quick dispensation of justice in the state.
El-Rufai said that the administration would continue to give priority in the remaining months of its mandate to human capital development, education, healthcare, infrastructure investment and job creation.
NAN reports that Abdulkarim Mahmud and Eugine Michael were sworn-in as High Court judges, with Muhammad Hafiz-Bayero, as Administrator, Kaduna Capital Territory; Phoebe Sukai Yayi, Kafanchan Municipal Authority.
Umma Aboki was sworn-in as Permanent Secretary, Planning and Budget Commission and Murtala Dabo, Executive Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, and Abubakar Hassan, Contributory Health Management Authority.
Tamar Nandul, took oath of authority as Managing Director, Kaduna Markets Development and Management Company; Khalil Nur Khalil, Executive Secretary, Investment Promotion Agency and Maimunatu Abubakar, General Manager, State Environmental Protection Agency.
Others are, Prof. Mohammed Sani, Chairman, Local Government Service Board; Muhammed Muqaddas, Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Authority and Dr Shuaibu Aliyu, Permanent Secretary.
The rest were, Dr Ishaya Habu, Chairman, Legislative Service Commission, while Aminu Musa, Rabiu Tanko and Rebecca Barde will serve as members.