By; FUNMI OROYE ADERINTO, Kaduna
In a bid to ensure better coordinated and more effective delivery of public services and development, the Kaduna State Government has set up five state policy implementation councils.
These policy councils are designed to break-up silo mentality and further encourage government agencies to work together in conceiving policies and executing projects and programmes.
According to a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor Nasir el-Rufai on (Media & Communication), Muyiwa Adekeye, dated
18th September 2019, each policy council meets weekly and circulates its minutes to all members of the Kaduna State Executive Council.
Membership of all the policy councils is structured to group together ministries and agencies that are handling related matters so that integration is embedded in all government policies and programmes. They bring together policy makers, implementing agencies and regulators, and are chaired by very senior government officials.
The Kaduna State Executive Council has approved the formation and membership of these policy councils. The Executive Council has also donated specific constitutional powers to these councils so that they can swiftly take and execute decisions.
The policy councils approved by the Kaduna State Executive Council are:
- Human Capital Development
- Economic Development
- Infrastructure Development
- Procurement Monitoring
- Institutional Development
Explaining the rationale for these policy councils, Malam Nasir El-Rufai said they are designed to help overcome operational hurdles and encourage collaboration among key MDAs of government. The five policy councils in fulfilling their mandate, will reduce the waste of resources and improve the effectiveness of the implementation of government policies.
Each Policy council shall be delegated specific constitutional responsibilities of the state executive council. The members of the individual councils have since began meeting once every week to review proposals, memoranda and governance issues as well as make decisions on MDA proposals. The policy councils will report to the state executive council from time to time for ratification of its decisions.
The policy councils are also charged with following up and ensuring implementation of all decisions from the state executive council and other decisions as approved by the governor. They will also ensure that proper frameworks exist for community engagement to enhance sustainability of government projects and programmes in the five key areas of focus.
The Kaduna State Government views these policy councils as the logical next step to the restructuring of ministries announced in June 2019. While retaining the 14-ministry structure from the first-term, Malam Nasir El-Rufai signed an Executive Order creating three new ministries, abolishing three others and amending the mandates of three others. The order created the ministries of Business, Innovation & Technology, Housing & Urban Development and Internal Security & Home Affairs. The mandates of the ministries responsible for local government, women and social development, works and sports were also amended. The Executive Order also abolished the Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Tourism, the Ministry of Rural & Community Development and the Ministry of Water Resources.
The five state policy councils are structured along the government’s priority areas as follows:
- Human Development Council is chaired by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe. This Council is responsible for coordinating government efforts to build human capital in Kaduna state. It handles matters of education, social, health, social development, nutrition and skills among others. This council is tasked with providing quality healthcare and education and removing all possible hurdles to achieving this. The council encourages responsible a comprehensive approach to improving human capital in Kaduna state. It meets every Monday.
- Economic Development Council: This council‘s mandate is growing the economic base, attracting investments, boosting revenues and promoting job creation in Kaduna State as well as support and improve domestic and foreign investment and expand revenue mobilization across all local governments in the state. The council will work closely with internal and external stakeholders to continue the improvement of the business environment, expand and support the growth of local businesses and link the people of the state to job opportunities. It is chaired by Jimi Lawal, the Senior Adviser-Counsellor, and meets every Tuesday.
- Infrastructure Development Council: This council is working to reduce the physical infrastructure deficit in all parts of Kaduna state across the 23 local governments and will be responsible for ensuring that Kaduna state meets planned infrastructure expansion quality and timelines. It is chaired by Muhammad Sani Abdullahi, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, and meets on Wednesdays.
- Procurement Monitoring Council is chaired by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe. This council is charged with ensuring that proper and effective procurement practices are observed across all state, donor-funded and debt-financed projects in Kaduna State. The council will also be responsible for giving “no objection” for amounts beyond a threshold of N100m or any other threshold set in the procurement guidelines as approved by the Kaduna State Executive Council from time to time. It meets every Thursday.
- Institutional Development Council: This council is focused on strengthening the capacity and capability of the state public service and coordinate critical institutional reforms that advance the governance agenda of the state. The council will ensure the recruitment, training, assessment, discipline and continuous verification of the human resources in the state. It is chaired by Balarabe Abbas Lawal, the Secretary to the State Government, and meets on Fridays.