Ganduje deserves re -election……. Engr. Dan SharuJune 2, 2018
This is an interview with Engr. Auwal Rabiu Dansharu, he is a young and promising politician that breaks new grounds. He is presently the the senior special assistant to the executive governor of Kano state and he is one of the brains behind Ganduje’s success. In this interview he bares his mind on many issues on pension matters, politics and other important issues. This is a must read. Excerpts:
African monitor: Thank you very much sir for having time for this interview despite your busy schedule. May we know your breif history sir?
Engr. Dan Sharu: I was born on 15th of June in the early ’80s. I did my primary school at Labayi international school.I proceeded to Hassan Gwarzo Secondary School where i did my secondary School. I proceeded to International University of Africa, Sudan to study Arabic language where i obtained a certificate. I went further to cambridge university United Kingdom and obtain a diploma in business management. I later on came back to Nigeria to study Electrical Electronics at Federal University of Technology Minna. I did my national youth service in Kaduna. I went for my masters degree in Electrical and communication engineering at university of Greenwich London. I worked at Lloyds TSB bank London branch. I also worked at G4S London olympics before coming back to Nigeria. I was a lecturer while appointed the SSA to the executive governor of Kano state on pension matters by His Exellency to serve kano state.
AM: What is your portfolio.
Engr.: I am the senior special assistant to the executive governor on pension matters.
AM: What are your acheivements and legacies?
Engr. We have achieved a lot so much within the little time. I must commend His Excellency Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje for the achievement because its his not mine. I will only mention few because time will not permit me to list all.
His excellency has never failed to pay monthly stipends to pensioners. You will appreciate our effort when you compare us with other states despite the fact that we have the highest number of pensioners in the country, which is more than twenty seven thousand of them.
We inherited huge debt in form of liabilities. We were able to settle more than 8 billion naira gratuity liability despite financial constraints. Even during recession where some states cannot pay their pensioners monthly pension allowance, we were always forthcoming. Ganduje has paid more-than 24 billion naira on payment of monthly pension alone from June 2015 to date. The total amount paid as monthly pension in May 2018 is to the tune of N1, 007, 881, 971 (One billion seven million eight hundred and eighty one thousand nine hundred and seventy one).
I must at this point commend the efforts of Alhaji Sani Dawaki Gabasawa the Executive Chairman Kano State Pension fund trustees.
We conducted a successful screening exercise that was very comfortable and convinient to the pensioners. Our priority in is the comfort and confidence of the senior citizens that have served their country and deserve a good shot after retiring and we shall never compromise. We divided Kano into three namely Kano North, South and Central. We provided lunch, tents for shade and medical facilities. We traced those that were not able to come for the screening to their homes and were screened successfully at their various homes; ie sick and people with psychological problem. We conducted a stressless exercise. This is unlike what has been happening during the screening exercise where pensioners are made to go through unimaginable stress and exasperation, even deaths were recorded.
There is also the CBN entrepreneur program which was organized under my office sposored by Dr Ganduje and is been hostel at Murtala Muhammad library. Huge sum of money were paid to train pensioners on different entrepreneurship skills selected across the 44 local government of the state. The first batch of hundred pensioners have completed and we are about to start with the second batch females immediately after sallah. They will also be given soft loans with zero interest after the program. We will go every height to ensure the comfort of our dear pensioners.
AM: what is pension all about and who is entitled to pension allowance?
Engr.: A person that has worked for 35 years in service or has reached 60 years of age whichever comes first is retired and is been paid pension allowance monthly after a grant that is called gratuity. As a person is employed by goverment 8% of his monthly allocation is been deducted to be remitted to the pensions account, the government contributes 17% of this amount for the employer. After retiring they can access the said amount as gratuity after all the necessary calculations, pension are paid monthly for a mandatory period of five years, after which a pensioner will continue to benefit as long as he’s alive. If a pensioner died before exhausting the mandatory 5 years, the balance is given to his family. However, if he died after exhausting the five years, there will be no balance rather than to close the deceased account.
AM: From all indications it seems Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is going to recontest for governorship election. Is there anything you have done to deserve reelection
Engr.: We really have done more than enough and therefore deserve re-election without exaggeration. To save time, I will pick few of the sectors and briefly elaborate on it.
I assure you that His Excellency has done a lot in terms of infrastructure most especially road networks, just a simple example of Hotoro GRA/ Maiduguri road which is more close to you, i can boast that there is no single street there that was not constructed including drainage system of highest standard, more so try and visit place like red bricks, inside the major Kano cities with a special program call “lungu Kal-kal” and lots more of such projects. That also extends to all other local governments of Kano state with a special project call “karkara salama alaikum” This included trunk A,B and C roads.
For youth empowerments, our governor’s efforts can not be over emphasized. He has empowered barbers, mai shayi, spaghetti local production and other small and medium enterprises. He also gave out a contribution of N20,000 Hundred women across the 44 local government and 100 men as well.
His Excellency have built primary and secondary schools across the 44 local governments, to rebrand and uplift the standard of education in Kano state. Our investment in education streches from the cradle to the highest level of education that is university. In Yusuf Maitama Sule University, we have built new lecture theaters, clinic, all in an effort to make it world class university.
You and all that know Kano knew that we have a secured atmosphere devoid of tension and strain. There is no bomb blast, religious crises or ethnic violence. It is only in Kano that we have a yoruba and Igbo as special advisers to the governor. This shows inclusiveness of our government.
We have also ensured that there is water supply to all parts of Kano, where there is difficulties, bore holes are been drilled.
There are many projects that were uncompleted during the previous government which the executive governor inherited. None of these projects were left. We have completed 250 bed Zoo road paediatric hospital and Muhammadu Buhari peadiatrics hospital equipping them with world class facilities like CT scan, MRI, X-Ray and what have you. He did not abandon any project because that will have been to the detriment of the public, and as you know governor Ganduje give priority to public above and beyond all personal gain or political accolade.
We shall soon be enjoying indegenous electricity supply from Tamburawa dams. In fact let me assure you that Dr Ganduje is the best thing that happened to Kano state. Masses are very much appreciative of our efforts and are satisfied, we shall continue to do more.
AM: There were allegations against former Governor Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso used pension funds to build kano satelite cities. He was later taken to court by the EFCC. What is the real issue on ground and has that affected pensioners’s payments of their benefits?
Engr. : The case is before a court of competent jurisdiction and so it is preemptive of me to say anything before the court rules. However, I will elaborate breifly. Billions of Naira were been taken from pension funds to build these three kano cities, Bandirawo, Amana and Kwankwasiyya. The arrangement is that after they are built and sold, our money will be remitted back and 60% of the profits will be accrued to the commission. Up till now, we have not receive a single kobo. We are doing our very best to salvage the situation.
Due to the above problem we had great difficulty in paying gratuities. Pensioners will bear us witness that we are doing all we can to settle those debts. No wonder we are commended by all and sundry, no pensioner deserves to be put in stress.
AM: Are you contesting for any office come 2019.
Engr.: I am a politician, a grassroot one and not a ceremonial one. What prompted me is the will and desire to do the best for my people, for it i was said that the best way to find yourself is loose yourself in the service of others. There had been clamour from many quarters that I should contest for the state house of assembly representing Kiru constituency. In sha Allah I shall serve my people through that office.
AM: Is there anything you will like us to know?
Engr.: I take public service as the highest calling and the best avenue of serving God for a better hereafter. At Kano state pension fund trustees, we have a 13 member board of trustees. The members are;
The able chairman of pension commission Alhaji Sani Dawaki Gabasawa, permanent secretaries of ministry of justice, establishment, and local government, permanent commissioner 1 Rt. Hon. Alhassan Kibiya, permanent commissioner 2 Hajia Hauwa Ahmed Tarauni, I was also appointed as a member representing His Excellency, NUP and JNC chairman, and finally the NLC chairman. This is the highest decision making body of the pension fund trustees.
We have the highest number of assets and investment as per pension commission is concerned nationwide. We have 52 shops at the cost of 89 million naira. We have 12 units of shops at Sheik Jaafar road at the cost 37 million naira. In Abuja we have buildings at Aguiyi Ironsi street, Port Harcourt/ Gimbiya street, 6 units at Keffi street Garki 2, 7 storey building at central district at the costs of 700, 977, 600, 500, 1 billion 750 miliions respectively. The kano cities built were to the tune of 4.1 billion Naira and lots more of assets worth billions of naira.
I will finally conclude with the saying that the supreme quality of leadership is the unquestionable integrity. Without it no real success is possible, no matter weather it is a section of a gang, a football field, in an army or in an office.