From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
Kano state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, has described as fallacious and misleading, media reports that the state government is allegedly closing down and selling off government properties, insisting that Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s administration adopted Public Private Partnership (PPP) model to maintain and improve upon public infrastructure, and as well, boost the economy.
According to him, Kano state government adopted the PPP model in its quest to rejuvenate the state economy and infrastructure deficit.
Malam Garba strongly refuted a story by a section of the media over sale of public properties by the administration of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
In a statement he signed and made available to journalists on Wednesday, Malam Garba maintained that under the PPP concept, which he regretted was grossly misunderstood by the public, “the government of Kano state is revitalizing under-performing assets in partnership with willing investors as part of move to make the ancient city catch up with modernity for a befitting mega city status.”
He further stated that the PPP arrangement, “one of the best global practice, is long-term contract between a private party and a government agency for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility.”
Malam Garba pointed out that, “the build-operate-transfer variations, which are also commonly used in Nigeria, including design-build-finance-transfer, build-operate-own, and design-build-finance-operate models, are part of effort by the government to re-appraising the Kano Master Plan which has not been rendered to any re-appraisal for a very long time to give impetus for proper planning and implementation of infrastructure development.”
He stated that most of the properties in question are either abandoned or under-performing.
The Commissioner indicated that, “one of such properties-Daula Hotel, which had been abandoned for years, has become a hiding place for criminals, even as the School of Hospitality and Tourism situated within its premises only occupies 10 per cent of the structure, would now be developed to a residential building for enhanced revenue generation.
“On the once vivacious Triumph newspapers brusquely closed down by the Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso administration in 2012, one quarter of which was converted to a public convenience.”
Malam Garba said Triumph Newspapers was revived by the present administration, “and now relocated to a more convenient place befitting a newspaper house to pave the way for the development of a more economically viable and modern Bureau de Change Market that can generate more revenue to the state and provide employment opportunities to the teeming populace.”
He further explained that, “the Shahuchi parking area was originally earmarked for the project by the previous administration but the structure was faulty, which informed the decision by the Ganduje administration to fine tune it to standard level, while construction of corner shops in public spaces is aimed at curving criminal activities by miscreants who hide under the cover of darkness to perpetrate crimes.”
The Statement urged the media to, “always verify their stories before publishing/airing in order to avoid whipping sentiments through peddling unfounded rumours.”
Malam Garba also called on the good people of Kano State, “to ignore all sorts of rumours being peddled by disgruntled elements bent on casting aspersion on the Ganduje administration on its mission to develop the state and particularly make it attain the mega city status.”