The maiden summit by Kano Leadership, Enlightenment and Advocacy for Development Initiative (Kano LEADS) was held at FABS Events Centre, No 18B Magajin Rumfa Road, Nassarawa GRA, Kano between Sunday March 25th and Monday 26th March, 2018.
Under the Theme “Our Future, Our Responsibility” (#DaRUWANA), the Summit was convened to appraise challenges and proffer solutions to some of the major facets of the Kano society, such as Governance, Law and Security. The summit also examined other critical sectors and sub-sectors of commerce, Industry, Agriculture, Infrastructure and Rural Development, Education, Health, Youth and Women, poverty reduction and social mobilization.
Several papers were delivered by eminent scholars, while comments and contributions were made by other practitioners and public affairs commentators as well as numerous stakeholders at the occasion. The occasion has as chairmen, Alhaji Bashir Muhammad Dalhatu, Wazirin Dutse and Gwani Faruk Umar, Ph.D respectively.
In her welcome address, National President, Kano LEADS Hajiya Aisha Dankani, MFR, mni, outlined the essence of the summit as an attempt to raise public awareness on critical issues affecting the well-being of the citizens and sustainable development of Kano. Recognizing the imperatives for fast-tracking the process for Kano’s sustainable development, she underscored the necessity for all citizens of Kano State to rise up to the challenge, by taking responsibility individually and collectively to engender the desired change.
Delivering the keynote address, His Highness Muhammad Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano, commended the foresight of the organizers of the event and admonished the people to always exhibit courage at identifying challenges and taking bold steps to find durable solutions through the medium of open debates. He lamented the level of pervasive poverty in Kano and the North as being inimical to social well-being and sustainable development.
His Highness averred that the situation is surmountable, citing the experiences of China. Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II stressed the need for elite consensus in our development initiatives and emphasized that the search for solutions to the problems of Kano society must include increased participation in education at all levels, protection of the rights of women and children as well as upholding the sanctity of the institution of marriage.
In a goodwill address presented by the Honorable Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Alhaji Ahmad Rabi’u, His Excellency, the Governor of Kano State Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, OFR, expressed appreciation to Kano LEADS for the initiative of organizing the two-day summit and pledged the interest, readiness and commitment of the state government to support such endeavors.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote’s goodwill and solidarity message presented by his representative underscored the significance of Kano state as an important business destination, contributing to national economic growth and development.
He advised that we should collectively and seriously deliberate on our problems with a view to finding lasting solutions and diligently applying them. He also admonished traders and entrepreneurs in Kano state to discard the prevailing mindset and embrace the art of modern business practices in order to remain relevant and prosper. Alhaji Dangote expressed profound appreciation at the effort of Kano LEADS and appealed to the organization to collaborate with a broad spectrum of stakeholders from Kano society to facilitate positive transformation of the state and the sub-region. He expressed his willingness to support and participate in the activities of Kano LEADS.
Arising from the foregoing, the summit:
Noted that, Kano has lost its pacesetter status as a leading industrial, innovation and invention hub.
Noted, that Kano with a population of over 20 million, contributed over 12% of the total votes cast at the 2015 general elections, deserved a lot more than what was due to a state that is 1/10th of the national population in terms of resource allocation, appointments and projects from the federal pool.
Noted the vast opportunities and potentialities in agriculture, commerce, education, and manufacturing in the state of Kano, and lamented the absence of a shared vision, political will, consensus, and continuity in development priorities.
Observed some policies and regulations by the Federal Government that have inhibited sustainable development of Kano and the North in general.
Noted the inadequate and erratic supply of electricity along with exceptionally high tariffs on such services inhibiting industrialization and productivity, leading to massive closure of SMEs and migration of industries.
Noted the huge deficits in essential infrastructure and services in areas of energy, healthcare, potable water, roads and security that constitute major impediments to societal well-being and the pace of development in Kano State.
Regretted the huge negative impact of smuggling of finished products on manufacturing and productivity in Kano and adjoining states, particularly in the areas of textiles and farm produce. This has contributed to the closure of several textile and other industries leading to massive loss of jobs, penury, rise in criminality and the consequential disincentive to agriculture and the traditional value chain in Kano and the North.
Noted with concern the falling standard of education, particularly in the public school system and how that is adversely affecting the quality of human capital required for growth and development in the state and the North in general, keeping in view that it is the information and knowledge age where it is big ideas that drive development.
Noted the scourge of growing unemployment and under employment affecting mainly the youth in Kano, leading to loss in value orientation, inequity, growing incidences of substance and drug abuse and the prevalence of associated crimes and criminal activities.
Noted the several challenges mainly affecting women on matters of marriage and divorce, domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse and other forms of social and economic exclusion in blatant disregard to religious and cultural norms of the society, while recognizing the sanctity of the family as the bed-rock of social wellbeing.
Noted that sustainable development of Kano can hardly be achieved through the public sector funding corridor alone.
Worried by the prevailing public MINDSET of not adjusting to the rapidly changing operating environment by the majority of citizens of Kano and the North as a major impediment to our growth and development aspirations.
Noted the need to facilitate the coordination of the activities and initiatives by Kano LEADS with other civil society groups in the State directed at facilitating and promotion of economic growth, sustainable development and other common objectives.
Noted the pivotal role of Government in facilitating the realization of all of the foregoing issues and observations through accommodation and productive engagement with relevant stakeholders, including civil society groups involved in this endeavor and the need for follow up on implementation.
Noted that as a consequence of all or some of the foregoing issues, mass impoverishment of citizens of the state is accentuated, while the course of sustainable development is subverted.
Noted the preliminary discussions by the participants at the various cluster levels on the thematic areas of the summit and such other matters incidental to it, deepening our understanding of both the latent and manifest challenges in order to proffer appropriate remedial measures.
Acting upon the foregoing, the participants at the two-day summit:
Recommended that Government, civil society groups and other relevant stakeholders interested in the sustainable development of Kano, collaborate on the development of a comprehensive data-base on the basis of which all planning and development should be hinged. In addition, the Mai Unguwa system is of particular relevance in the accumulation of societal data and dissemination of information and should thus be effectively utilized.
Urged all citizens of Kano state to be wary of the people they vote for at all levels, those with a record of integrity and competence need to be mobilized and supported to vie for political offices through a conscientious and transparent process
Recommended that Kano elites should garner the required courage to voice their feelings with a view to mobilise against any political leader whose antecedents are known to go against the interest of the general public. Politicians who patronize Yan Daba and other unethical ways and means should be exposed and prosecuted accordingly.
Advised Kano State Government to initiate measures, through productive engagement with all the relevant stakeholders, to facilitate the convocation of consensus among the political elites, the Traditional Institution, the Ulama, business and technocratic elites, the youth and other relevant stakeholders in the state. The Roundtable emphasized the need to aid the Ulama in coming up with collective Ijtihad where consensus is achieved on laws and awareness created about them.
Implored the State Government to prevail on the Federal Government, using every available protocol, to review fiscal policies and other regulations and provide incentives and due privileges befitting to the interests and wellbeing of the citizens of Kano State. This is in view of the huge population size of the state and its attendant consequences.
Called on the State government to take a hard look at our taxation, its multiplicity and impact on growth of small and medium enterprises that are the dominant means of livelihood for Kano citizens
Deplored the grossly erratic and inadequate supply of electricity to Kano State from the National Grid, the comparative higher tariffs on the services and the concomitant effects of all of these on industrial production, commerce and general wellbeing. The participants further requested the State Government to prod the Federal Government to prevail upon the relevant energy regulatory agencies to significantly improve on the quality and quantity of energy delivery to the State and re-align the tariffs accordingly.
Counseled the State Government and private sector operators to similarly explore other alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar, biomass and thermal varieties through partnership or direct private sector investment with local and foreign entrepreneurs, to further complement the existing energy supply to the State.
Identified the need to develop a holistic economic development model based on our resource endowments independent of any accruals from the Federation Account. This can be attained through the promotion of special purpose vehicle companies on every aspect of economic activity towards galvanizing our collective resources for sustainable ownership and continuity. Emphasis was made for textile production and commodities trading market development and other areas of comparative advantage.
Call upon the state government to establish as a matter of expediency at least two world class markets in Kano which are commensurate with the State’s outstanding commercial status preferably at the site of the Dawanau market and the Eastern Bye-pass to ease congestion and over reliance on Singer/Sabon Gari markets
Underscored the need for Kano State Government to make informed investments, through special interventions, in the public education sector to arrest the drift in education, to transform the existing population assets into veritable human capital for sustainable development. The participants further urged the Government to direct its energy and attention to promote science, technology and commerce as well as support and encourage creativity, innovation and inventions through the strengthening of entrepreneurship, technical and vocational education and training at formal and informal levels.
Recommended for Kano state government to conduct research and make concerted efforts to reform the Almajiri system of education in partnership with all stakeholders including neighboring states and countries who contribute to the pool of Almajirai in the State. The ultimate goal is should be to remove every Almajiri off the streets of Kano within the next three years. Our health policy should aim to achieve set targets in indices such as infant mortality, maternal mortality and life expectancy.
Urged Kano state government to order stoppage of rampant building of shops in allocated public spaces such as schools, Eid grounds, parks, and cemeteries. This is not only an eye sore, but a display of insensitivity despite the public outcry against such practices and the huge distraction to teaching and learning in many schools so vandalised.
Underlined the significance of reviewing the existing social policy in the state with a view to promoting, protecting and safeguarding the rights of women, children, youth, the elderly and people with special needs from impunity and other forms of discrimination and gross abuse that are fast becoming an all pervasive social malady, keeping in view current and future concerns, for effective implementation.
Called for optimizing of opportunities in the agricultural value-chain by developing and implementing an agricultural development policy, small and medium scale businesses, manufacturing, investment promotion, effective utilization of Inland Dry Port(s) and Export Processing Zone facilities. Cross-border trade and other areas of comparative and competitive advantage offer the State unlimited prospects for youth employment, growth and development. The Roundtable therefore appealed to the State Government to accord priority in promoting such endeavors through appropriate policies and support.
Proposed the establishment of a Small Business Development Agency; Manufacturing Challenge Fund(s); Light Industries Innovation Fund(s), market and trading across borders, Integrated Cluster Development and further strengthening of investment programs. The youth should be educated and trained in this respect to be self-reliant and equipped to face modern challenges and function effectively.
Implored The Government and the organized private sector to utilize the presence of development partners, cultural offices and consulates in Kano to form commercial, cultural and educational linkages and attract investments.
Encouraged Government to explore the means of promoting sports through schools support programmes and talent hunting of prospective sportsmen and women for professional training, support and encouragement to embrace sports as a profession and aspire to attain the highest level of prominence in the field.
Appealed to the Government, civil society groups and other public-spirited individuals in the State to render community service in whatever manner possible and extend support to members of the vulnerable groups and the youths in the society through scholarships, provision of small business capital and capacity building, etc, as complementary means of alleviating poverty in the society. The concept of the dignity of labour should be promoted to aid skills acquisition and menial jobs acceptance as a poverty alleviation tool.
Admonished the Government to collaborate with the relevant regulatory and enforcement agencies, Kano Emirate Council as well as other stakeholders in the State to find lasting solutions to the menace of substance and drug abuse in the State.
Appreciated the on-going efforts by Kano State Government on infrastructure renewal and expansion and urged the State Government to make additional investments to address observed deficits in critical areas of health, water supply and rural roads to facilitate the inclusion of all the segments of the State and achieve equity in development. This should take cognizance of the provision of a well-integrated infrastructure master plan which should be regularly updated. A holistic approach to development that recognizes the relationship between various sectors of the economy, society and environment is required for growth and development.
Emphasized the inevitability of leveraging on investors and investment funds from the private sector by Kano State Government to fund its development endeavors through direct investment, the medium of partnership, provision of incentives and/or facilitation for the private sector under mutually agreed and beneficial terms and conditions in the interest of the people. The participants further observed that sustainable development is best achieved where the public sector acts as facilitator and catalyst of the process, with the private sector serving as the driver.
Enjoined Kano citizens to evolve and imbibe, into the fabric of the Kano society, socio-cultural and economic re-orientation measures to positively enlighten and mobilize the public to build consensus on a shared identity and such other mundane and profound issues affecting the interests and corporate image of Kano State. It further enjoined the promotion of sub-regional cooperation orientation for socio-economic and cultural development; and a linkage between the political elite and the development agenda.
Emphasized the need for Kanawa to employ measures, including the suggested moral re-orientation, to stimulate a process of change in the prevailing negative public mindset on both local and national issues affecting individual and collective well-being, prosperity and development. The participants re-echoed the appeal made by Alhaji Aliko Dangote on both the necessity and obligation for every entrepreneur and trader in Kano to embrace and imbibe modern business practices for his or her survival and prosperity. Kano LEADS thus implores the State Ministry of Commerce to liaise with the Kano Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture, Kano Emirate Council, development partners and other relevant civil society organizations to facilitate the transition.
Requested the State Government to deploy additional investments through collaboration with Security agencies, the Kano Emirate Council and local community leaders and associations, to reinforce public security in order to raise the level of investor and citizen confidence.
Observed that all the good people of Kano need to take an active interest in governance, politics and the leadership recruitment mechanism; they need to also monitor and hold leaders accountable for their pact with the people. Leadership is for those with the willingness and ability to lead. The envisaged Elite Consensus will drive and sustain growth and development, peace and prosperity in the state. No one has an excuse not to join the bandwagon of the Change so projected.
Resolved to transform the Sectored Clusters established during the summit into standing Syndicate Groups for the purpose of regular appraisal of issues in respect of each Cluster to assist in continuous monitoring and evaluation of such issues and outcomes by Kano LEADS.
The Kano LEADS Roundtable 2018, Thanked His Excellency, the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, OFR, who was represented by the Honorable Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Alhaji Ahmad Rabi’u, His Highness the Emir of Kano Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II and other eminent and illustrious sons and daughters of Kano for sparing the time to participate in the deliberations.
The Emir was commended for his forth-right Keynote Address speaking to the acknowledged interest of his community. He is called upon to also prevail on his colleagues in other states of the North to embrace such a culture of forthrightness to rally run a common purpose in Our Best Interest.
The Participants and Kano LEADS further wish to extend sincerest appreciation to the esteemed Resource Persons who presented insightful papers on the numerous challenges facing the Kano society, guiding the course of the ensuing deliberations to arrive at a consensus on the best possible ways to surmount them. Special gratitude is also expected to the numerous personalities who graced the event and actively contributed to the debates at the Plenary and Cluster Sessions.
Kano LEADS is similarly delighted by the very encouraging and engaging presence of participants from diverse backgrounds as well as delegates from several Civil Society Organizations in Kano and beyond. This is a valid testimony to the growing culture of awareness and the clamor for positive change in our society, as canvassed by Kano LEADS’s #DaRUWANA Summit & Roundtable Initiative.
Finally, Kano LEADS acknowledges the numerous contributions and support from the media. Of special mention are: the management of Freedom Radio; Express Radio; Abubakar Rimi Television (ARTV) and Rahma Radio among scores of others for covering and transmitting what transpired at the Summit, often live. It also registers particular gratitude to security agencies in the State for adequately securing the venue through to the successful end of the occasion.
The Management and staff of the FABS Events Center, Magajin Rumfa Road, Kano have also exhibited the warmest and most commendable degree of hospitality, tolerance and professionalism in hosting the eminent guests at the occasion with optimal satisfaction. Finally, all Thanks are due to Almighty Allah for the successful conduct of the Roundtable with a prayer for His sustained guidance and protection for Kano and Kanawa.
Long live Kano State. God bless Nigeria.
Aisha I. Dankani, MFR, mni President Kano LEADS #DaRUWANA
Monday, March 26, 2018/Rajab 8th, 1439