By; FUNMI OROYE ADERINTO, Kaduna
Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Monday, said that, corruption and insecurity are two major setbacks to the development of this country because there is no any nation that can thrive economically when these two major challenges have taken dominance.
Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Architect Barnabas Bala Bantex who represented the governor, expressed this at the 2018 Law Week of the Nigerian Bar Association, Barnawa Branch, held in Kaduna.
According to him, the annual gathering of lawyers is to brainstorm on the socio-economic, legal and political problems of this country and to proffer solutions to the challenges we face in this country is worthy of commendation.
The Governor said, they are interrelated because, when there is corruption, the economic activities that are supposed to ignite development will be minimal because the country’s resources end up in the hands of a very few and consequently, creating a huge number of unemployed populace that end up indulging in several crimes such as robbery, kidnappings, banditry and lots more.
“Insecurity in the other end will discourages foreign investors; it also scares away those that are already operating in the system thereby increasing the number of the unemployed in the society,” he stressed.
He stressed the need to tackle these challenges as a nation, there must be collaborative efforts and synergy between government institutions and other stakeholders like the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
He explained that the Nigerian Bar Association has always been one association with a very strong affinity because the law profession itself is a noble one.
He stressed, the Judiciary has a vital role to play in curbing these menaces of our society.
“It is not always enough for the executive to send executive bills to the legislature for passage in respect to corruption and general crime, the Judiciary is always the last arbiter that can always make the difference by sincerely interpreting and applying the law as it affect cases of corruption and insecurity”.
He expressed that Kaduna state have made some deliberate efforts in trying to curb these menaces by enacting laws and policies that have helped us to reduce corruption and insecurity in the State.
“We are the first State in Nigeria to introduce the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and it has helped in no small measure in cutting the excesses of some government officials thereby reducing corruption in the system”, he said.
“The State government before our administration came into being, had hundreds of Bank Accounts where some monies were even missing but with the TSA today, we have put a stop to that”.
He described that, “in our quest to fight corruption in the State, Kaduna State has also enacted the Public Procurement Law that established the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to ensure probity and accountability in such a way that all government contracts are done openly and without the usual bureaucratic bottlenecks”.
Kaduna State is also the first State that signed the Open Governance Policy in the Country that is why our budget and expenditure is very open and everyone can access it on our official website.
The enactment of Fiscal Responsibility Law that established the Kaduna State Fiscal Commission is all part of the deliberate efforts by the state government to reduce corruption in the state to its weakest, he stated.
He added that, they have equally introduced the administration of criminal justice law in 2017 to ensure that all those who violate our criminal laws are punished irrespective of their class in the society, to serve as deterrent to others who may wish to also violate such laws.
These laws have helped in reducing some of the conflicts and crimes we inherited in 2015 when our administration came into existence.
In tackling security challenges in the State, we have rejigged and empowered the “Operation Yaki” and have provided them with all the necessary equipment to fight crime in the state.
“We have donated not fewer than 107 vehicles to “Operation Yaki” within the last three years of our administration”.
He disclosed that, in Southern kaduna axis, they have also collaborated with the Feearal Government to see to the establishment of the Military Barracks near Kafanchan.
“The State government equally bought an entire estate to establish the Mobile Police barracks in Kafanchan and there is ongoing support to the entire security outfit by the state government that runs in millions every month”.
He further explained that their collaborative efforts with six other Northern States have also yielded results in such a way that, the bandits in the thick Kuyanbana Forest have now been confined unlike when they almost overran some communities in the past especially in the Birnin Gwari axis.
The establishment of the Peace Commission in the state is part of the efforts the state government is making to ensure that we have sustainable peace in the state.
The issue of indigene/settler in our country needs to be critically looked into especially by the lawyers because, it is one of the major factors that contribute to the tension we have today in the country. In Kaduna state, we have since moved beyond that. We believed that wherever one resides within the country, he or she should enjoy all those privileges as enshrined in our constitution that is why we have introduced residency as the basis of accessing all those privileges today in Kaduna State.
He urged them to come up with suggestions after brainstorming in this type of sessions, as doors are always open for collaboration especially with the NBA to receive new ideas that will help our State and the Nation overcome these challenges.
In a remark, Nigerian Bar Association, Barnawa Branch, Kaduna Napoleon O. Idenala, Esq, said the theme “Curbing Corruption and Insecurity in Nigeria, Socio-Economic, Legal and Politics Perspectives,” will afford participants at this Law Week an opportunity to consider, review and proffer their views and solutions to these key vices militating against the peaceful and successful coexistence as a nation.
He urged all to considered this as an opportunity to contribute to the fight against corruption and eliminate of insecurity in all ramifications in the country.
He commended the state government led by Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, leaders and members of Nigerian Bar Association for their efforts towards the successful conduct of the Law Week.