Kaduna Marathon More Than a Race for Honours

After receiving his $10,000 prize money for finishing top at the maiden edition of 21 km Kaduna marathon, John Muirurri Mburu of Kenya looked at the crowd and smiled: “The government and people of Kaduna have done well. I will surely return next year to defend my title.”

Mburu, who has competed in several races across the globe for over 10 years, finished tops in Kaduna in a time of 1:04:02 to beat the duo of Phillip Taurus (1:05:78) and Josephat Kiptanui (1:05:78) to the first prize.

While his Nigerian counterparts were busy lamenting their mixed fortunes at the end of the race, Mburu took his time to reflect on some of the races he competed in the past and said: “This Kaduna marathon is one of the best I ever attended in the world. I am saying this because Kaduna has the best weather that suits marathon races. It makes the race easier for me.

“Turning to dozens of camera-waving sports journalists, who were throwing questions from all directions, the Kenyan said: “I know that I trained hard for the race, but the siren environment, coupled with good organisation made it easier for me. I am not surprised I won the 21km race.”

He continues: “This Kaduna marathon is my second competition in Nigeria. To be sincere, I really enjoyed every moment of my stay in this city. I am willing to return to Kaduna in 2021 to defend my title.”

Prior to the flag off of the race on Saturday, November 21, some people were worried, particularly about news of insecurity coming from some parts of the state. But throughout the duration of the event, which traversed roads in both southern and northern Kaduna, there was no incidence of violence. The State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had declared that he decided to host the marathon, the first in northern Nigeria, to encourage peaceful co-existence and friendliness in his state, as well as boost its economy, empower and engage the youths, encourage healthy lifestyle and bring in tourists from different parts of the world.

To former Nigerian long jumper and three-time Olympian, Yusuf Alli, Governor El-Rufai’s strategy worked.
Alli, a gold medallist for Nigeria at Auckland 1990 Commonwealth Games, and General Manager of Kaduna Marathon, told The Guardian that the state made history as the first in sub-Sahara Africa to stage what he described as three-in-one race.

“This is the first time a state is hosting a three-in-one race, and we must give kudos to Governor El-Rufai. It is always difficult to stage the 5km, 10km and 21km half marathon at the same time. At first, I was skeptical whether the state would be able to cope with the three-in-one event, considering the logistics involved. But the governor told us that his team was ready. Today, we are celebrating the success of Kaduna marathon. The enthusiasm on faces of the youths speaks a lot for a state like Kaduna.

“The three-in-one mode is possible for the people to emerge winners in some of the events. For instance, two Kaduna runners, Mohammed Sabi Musa and Mohammed Dani Zubaim, won the top prizes in the five-kilometre race, while Gyang David and Kangyang Solomon, both from Plateau State, won the 10-kilometre category,” Alli said.

It would have been difficult for the indigenes to win such prizes in the 21-kilometre half marathon because of the stiff opposition from foreign athletes.

Commissioner for Sports, Professor Kabir Mato, could not contain his excitement as he praised both the athletes and organisers of the race. On his part, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, disclosed that the first edition of the Kaduna Marathon succeeded in advancing the goals of promoting sports, encouraging social interaction and showing the best of Kaduna.

“The Kaduna State government wishes to express its gratitude to everyone that has helped to make a success of the first edition of the Kaduna Marathon. The elite runners from several African countries brought high standards of long-distance running, while Nigerian citizens, residents and visitors alike to Kaduna, participated with enthusiasm.

“KDSG commends all the runners, the sponsors, the media and government agencies that collaborated to make the Kaduna Marathon a success at the first attempt. We congratulate the winners and acknowledge other participants for making it a joyful sporting and social event. The state government salutes Kaduna residents for the warm welcome they gave to our guests. Government acknowledges residents for bearing the inconveniences caused by the road closures for some hours on race day.

“The main 21km race, the 5km and 10km races have helped advance the goals set for the Kaduna Marathon, which is designed as an annual sporting event to create options for talent development, drawing mass participation, inviting visitors to the state and creating economic benefits,” he said.

According to Adekeye, the Kaduna Marathon represents a further initiative in reviving sports in Kaduna State. In 2019, he said, “Malam Nasir El-Rufai anchored this responsibility in a new Ministry of Sports Development. The government will continue to support sports and work to stage many more sports programmes in the near future.”

Apart from Mburu, who pocketed the top prize of $10,000 as winner of the 21km half marathon, the second and third position winners in the male category got $7,000 and $5,000. It was the same prize money for winners in the women’s category, where Caren Maiyo ran the fastest time of 1:12:43 to place first, while Cheptoeck Mwetick placed second in 1:15:26 and Lilian Chemweno settled for the third position in 1:15:32.

In the Nigerian category, Emmanuel Gyang, who was the first Nigerian to cross the finish line in the 21km was presented with a cheque for N3 million.
Over 23 foreign athletes participated in the maiden Kaduna Marathon.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Nilayo Sports Management Limited and consultant to the Kaduna Marathon, Bukola Olopade, has described that event as a huge success.

“I am really excited by the success story of the Kaduna marathon, considering that it was the maiden edition. I am sure that Kaduna marathon will become a label race soon.”

Also thrilled by the success of the event is former national record holder in marathon, Abbas Mohammed, who led some local athletes to challenge their foreign counterparts at Kaduna marathon.

Mohammed, whose national record of 2:16:06 seconds set in September 1990 at a full marathon race in Lagos, has remained unbroken for over three decades, said the Kaduna marathon came at the right time.

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KASUPDA: Ensuring Orderly Development – DG

The Director General of Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KASUPDA) ISMA’IL UMARU DIKKO, has been in the news for removing illegal structures. In this interview with Kamaldeen Aliagan, he highlighted the technical advice that KASUPDA regularly gives land developers in order not to run afoul of the law.

Generally, what is the mandate of Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KASUPDA)?

The primary mandate of KASUPDA is the physical development of Kaduna city; we are the protectors of the initial concept of the master plan of the state, we are practically the enforcers of the law. We are mandated to ensure that buildings are being erected correctly and in accordance with their stipulated designs.

Apart from the possession of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), what other documents should a land owner possess in order to authenticate the genuineness of his structure or building? 

Basically, the most fundamental factor that determines an illegal structure is the building development permit. The issuance of statutory ownership of the land is done by Kaduna Geographic Information System (KADGIS), but KASUPDA issues the building permit that certifies that the land is legitimate and can be used for the desired purpose by the developer. However, before the permit is issued, it goes through the scrutiny of our experienced professionals. They have to collectively agree on the design, whether or not it is in conformity with the purpose of the proposed structure and the master plan of the state.

In the master plan, there are areas that are earmarked for further expansion of the metropolis which are to accommodate increase in population. When we receive applications for building permits at KASUPDA, the first step we take is to enquire about the status of that land and what it is designed for in the master plan. We then write back to the applicant, stating the purpose of the land in the Kaduna master plan.

What sanction does KASUPDA apply on developers who do not acquire building permits before erecting their houses or any structure for that matter?

If the house is developed already, we then enquire if the purpose and design align with the master plan of Kaduna. There are parameters that will be used in measuring the standard of the design by the architects, depending on the type of structure erected. In a situation whereby the design conforms with the master plan and the queries issued are met, we will then look into the purpose of the building because there are places that are earmarked as residential areas and if it is converted to a school or hotel then it is a violation of the law and necessary actions will be taken. KASUPDA also advises prospective builders on suitable locations to erect the kind of buildings they desire.

If KASUPDA identifies an illegal structure, what steps and process does the agency follow before the building is pulled down?

It depends on the structure being erected, there are redeemable structures and they are structures that must be demolished. If a building is developed in an area meant for residential buildings then we will evaluate options before we take decisions.

Before we take any major step, we issue the violator a Verification Form and we usually give 48 hours for the developer to submit evidence of ownership and building permit. If he fails to produce them, we will then issue a Demand Notice to that effect. If there is no response, still KASUPDA will then issue a 21 days Demolition Notice in accordance with the law. If a developer possesses a building permit, we have no right to access the property. However, the building permit will carry the specification and design of the kind of building that should be erected on the land and there is a portion in the document stating that the developer cannot contradict the initial building concept and design of the house. If there is a contradiction to this effect, then disciplinary measures will be taken.

If there is contradiction between the building plan and the structure erected, what measure will be taken to redeem the situation? 

We will provide the developer with an option of removing the additional structure which wasn’t captured in the initial building plan and the developer will be charged and penalized for violating the agreement. The initial building permit will be withdrawn and we will issue a new building permit in accordance with the law.

If a house is demolished for violating the building development plan, can the same developer apply for another building plan? 

If a house is demolished, we don’t take back the land; we just bring down the illegal structure on the land. We have specified rules for design and purpose of the buildings for specific areas. A violation of this structural plan permits us to demolish the building.

What if the building plan was issued in error? Or it was obtained through a corrupt official of the agency, will the developer still bear the brunt? 

With the current team of professionals, I have never experienced such, our professionals are diligent in the scrutinizing process and they are objective in their judgment and conclusions. The C of O is the criterion we use to issue a building permit.

 What do you to officials who collude to perpetrate such offence?

There won’t be such a possibility because the automated system of the KASUPDA won’t allow such an occurrence. We ensure that our officials are transparent and we have an automation process and it ensures zero room for corrupt practices.

Does your mandate extends to federal government land in Kaduna state? Does KASUPDA have the right to sanction land developer who ncroaches on a federal government land? 

Our mandate is to protect the state master plan. Basically, if we identify any illegal structure during our developmental structure compliance patrol, we have the mandate to clear the illegal structure.

Recently the National Eye Center complained of encroachment of private developers on their land. It is a federal government land, can KASUPDA enforce the law there? 

We have marked the structures in the encroached area and we have issued them a 21-day demolition notice, we are in court on the issue and we await a verdict before we execute the demolition. We implore people to seek advice from KADGIS when purchasing lands and follow up by consulting our officials at KASUPDA so as to enquire about the status of the land in the design of the Kaduna master plan.

In Kaduna metropolis, the developed part of the city is at 35,000 hectares and the main government reserved areas and layouts identified in the master plan is at 3,000 hectares. Doing the math, less than 10% of Kaduna metropolis is properly designed and well planned.

SOURCE: https://dailytrust.com/kasupda-ensuring-orderly-development-dg

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Nigerian Govt. Confirms Discovery of Nickel Deposits in Kaduna

The Ministry of Solid Minerals Development on Monday confirmed the discovery of Nickel in parts of Kaduna State in North-West Nigeria.

Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Abbas, said the ministry had been following up on the report by its technical experts since the first discovery was made several months ago.

“The Ministry is aware of the occurrence of the mineral in parts of Kaduna State,” the statement said. “Since the first discovery many months ago, technical experts from the ministry have been following up on this development as provided by law.

The ministry urged Nigerians to allow government come up with detailed reports on the new find towards its development.

The statement confirmed a report by PREMIUM TIMES that a private mining syndicate had discovered nickel in Nigeria.

The private mining syndicate headed by Hugh Morgan, a mining industry veteran, described the discovery as unusual since it was found in small balls of about three millimeters in diameter and of a high purity in shallow soils, indicative of the existence of a larger hard-rock Nickel field in the area.

The discovery was said to be around Dangoma, a small farming town about 160 kilometres northeast of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. The community also borders Kaduna state to the west.

Nickel could potentially be a high foreign exchange earner for Nigeria, particularly at a time the country’s economy was facing the blight of declining global crude oil prices.

Nickel is sold primarily for first use as refined metal in manufacturing of many other alloys, while about 65 per cent of it is consumed in the West, used for the production of stainless steel products.

Nigeria could join some of the world’s largest producers of Nickel, which include Philippines, Indonesia, Russia, Canada, and Australia, according to the US Geological Survey.

At the moment, Nigeria’s current output of Nickel is below 2.5 metric tons per annum, produced mainly from scrap irons.

The discovery of the mineral in large volume could see the country’s production capacity increased significantly, as government has already shown commitment to raise its capacity to meet the country’s annual steel demand of 6.8 metric tons, Mr. Fayemi told Bloomberg recently.

SOURCE: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/business/business-news/209526-nigerian-govt-confirms-discovery-nickel-deposits-kaduna.html 

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Understanding Kaduna Electronic Voting System as State Makes History

Voters in Kaduna State are set to make history as the first electors in Nigeria to use electronic voting.

Elections to elect chairmen and councillors for the 23 local government councils in the state are scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, May 12, 2018.

At least 10 countries currently use electronic voting, and Kaduna State seems poised to be the first sub-national entity to adopt it.

Tomorrow’s election would make Kaduna State the second in Africa to use electronic voting, after Namibia.

When voters in the state arrive their polling units, they will not see any ballot paper. After accreditation, they will instead find an electronic voting machine displaying the logos of the political parties participating in the election.

By pressing the logo of his or her preferred political party, the voter registers a choice that is recorded and acknowledged by the machine. The process is conducive to fast counting of results and it shuts the door to ballot-stuffing.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has explained that the Kaduna State Government opted for electronic voting to promote transparency and electoral integrity. He said democracy benefits when election results reflect the actual choices made by voters.

Dr. Saratu Binta Dikko-Audu, the chairman of the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (SIECOM), and her commissioners proposed that electronic voting machines be procured to guarantee voting integrity, the Mr El-Rufai government obliged.

The leadership of SIECOM also undertook a study visit to Brazil to see how electronic voting works in that country. Following that study trip, SIECOM made a formal presentation to the Kaduna State Executive Council which made a commitment to fund the procurement of the electronic voting machines.

Then appropriate legislation was enacted to support the new system. The Kaduna State Independent Election Commission Law No.2 of 2018, which governs the conduct of local elections, makes provisions for electronic voting.

About 6000 units of the electronic voting machine were bought. Public enlightenment on the machines was done, using public demonstrations and an online video. SIECOM lost 140 of the EVMs to the recent fire in its offices. But the remaining machines are more than sufficient for the 5,101 polling units in the state.

Only voters with Permanent Voter’s Card are eligible to vote.

Key Features of the Electronic Voting Machine

The Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) is lightweight and easy to transport, as no unit weighs more than 10kg. With a battery life of 10-16 hours depending on conditions, it facilitates an automated process that cuts out blank and void votes and ensures quick counting of results.

Each EVM has transparent windows, a touch screen on which political party logos are displayed, and green and red buttons for voters to press to affirm their choice or to cancel. An in-built thermal printer gives each voter a slip to indicate that they have voted.

The Electronic Voting Process

1. Voter presents PVC to Election Officer
2. Voter credentials verified from register
3. Election Officer activates Electronic Voting Machine
4. Voter selects logo of candidate’s political party by pressing touch screen
5. Voter verifies or cancels selected party logo
6. Voter presses OK button to confirm choice.
7. EVM prints ballot receipt for voter, containing SIECOM logo and other details, including logo and name of party chosen, date and time of vote cast and the serial number of the EVM.

Countries that use Electronic Voting

Kaduna State is joining a select group of polities that practice electronic voting. In fact, Kaduna State is the first sub-national entity in the world to adopt the system.

Countries that use Electronic Voting include:

• the United States of America
• Belgium
• Brazil
• Bolivia
• Mexico
• Namibia
• Philippines

Personnel

• 13,000 ad-hoc staff have been trained by SIECOM as Presiding and Assistant Presiding Officers
• Another 13,000 ad-hoc staff would work as poll clerks

SOURCE: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/features-and-interviews/268084-explainer-understanding-kaduna-electronic-voting-system-as-state-makes-history.html#jp-carousel-268087

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El-Rufai Nominates 11 Commissioners for Kaduna

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has sent the names of 11 nominees for appointment as commissioners to the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

The governor will subsequently forward the three more nominees to make up the 14 commissioners that will constitute the Kaduna State Executive Council, a statement by his spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, said.

The statement said upon confirmation by the legislature, the commissioners will run the 14 ministries created in the June 2019 Executive Order.

“Malam Nasir El-Rufai nominated 11 persons for appointment as commissioners. The names of this first batch of 11 nominees have been forwarded to the Kaduna State House of Assembly. The second batch of nominees will subsequently be forwarded for the consideration of the legislature.

“All the 11 nominees served in various positions in the first term of the government. Picking insiders is a deliberate decision to enable the nominees to hit the ground running and assist the government to achieve its targets for the second term. Every appointee will be subjected to stronger monitoring based on clear terms of reference and key performance indicators,” the statement said.

“The first batch of 11 nominees and their proposed portfolios are as follows:

1. Ja’afaru Ibrahim Sani Ministry of Local Government Affairs

2. Idris Samaila Nyam Ministry of Business, Innovation & Technology

3. Shehu Usman Makarfi Ministry of Education

4. Ibrahim Garba Hussaini Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources

5. Kabir Muhammad Mato Ministry of Sports Development

6. Balaraba Aliyu-Inuwa Ministry of Public Works & Infrastructure

7. Samuel Peter Aruwan Ministry of Internal Security & Home Affairs

8. Fausat Adebola Ibikunle Ministry of Housing & Urban Development

9. Mohammed Bashir Saidu Ministry of Finance

10. Hafsat Mohammed Baba Ministry of Human Services & Social Development

11. Aisha Dikko Ministry of Justice

“Nominations for the commissioners of Agriculture, Health and Planning & Budget will be forwarded in the second batch.

“Ja’afaru Ibrahim Sani served as a commissioner in the ministries of Local Government and Education in the first-term. Prior to joining the Kaduna State Executive Council, he was Permanent Secretary Cabinet Affairs.

“Idris Samaila Nyam is the current Accountant-General of Kaduna State. He has served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance.

“Shehu Usman Makarfi is the current Permanent Secretary in the Kaduna Ministry of Health.

“Ibrahim Garba Hussaini is the pioneer Director-General of the Kaduna State Geographic Information Service (KADGIS).

“Kabir Muhammad Mato, a professor of Political Science, has served as commissioner of Agriculture and Local Government. He joined the government as Special Adviser, Inter-Governmental Relations.

“Balaraba Aliyu-Inuwa is the immediate past Commissioner of Works, the first woman in Kaduna State to be appointed to that role. She has served as Special Adviser and subsequently Commissioner for Rural & Community Development.

“Samuel Peter Aruwan is Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity) and spokesperson for the state government. He was Kaduna campaign spokesman in 2015 and 2019. He has been an active member of the Kaduna State Security Council since May 2015.

“Fausat Adebola Ibikunle is the General Manager of the Kaduna State Urban Planning & Development Authority (KASUPDA). Born in Doka district of Kaduna, she studied Architecture at the Ahmadu Belo University, Zaria, and graduated in 1983. She worked with the Ministry of Defence from 1984 until she moved to the Federal Capital Development Authority as Assistant Director in 2005 in the Public Buildings Department. In 2007, she rose to become Deputy Director in Health & Human Services Secretariat in the Federal Capital Territory Administration. She joined the Kaduna State Government in 2016.

Mohammed Bashir Saidu served as Commissioner for Local Government before being appointed as Chief of Staff to the Governor. He was appointed Commissioner of Finance towards the end of the first-term.

“Hafsat Mohammed Baba is the immediate past Commissioner of Women Affairs & Social Development.

“Aisha Dikko is Special Adviser, Legal Matters, the role in which she served in the first-term. She will be the third woman to be appointed as Commissioner of Justice by Malam Nasir El-Rufai. She was called to the bar in 1988, and had worked in banking and private law practice before joining the government.”

SOURCE: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/338519-breaking-el-rufai-nominates-11-commissioners-for-kaduna.html

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El-Rufai Presents 2021 Budget To KDHA

Governor Nasir El-Rufai will present the 2021 draft budget to Kaduna State House of Assembly tomorrow, three days after the document was presented to a town hall meeting for citizens to make input.

At the initial estimate that was presented at the town hall meeting which held on Saturday, Kaduna State Government was proposing to spend N237bn in 2021, out of which N157.56 billion is for capital projects and N79.96 is for recurrent expenditure.

The Commissioner for Planning and Budget, Mr Thomas Gyang, who made this known at the town hall meeting, said that the draft budget was presented to the people so as ‘’to obtain views, comments and input from the public before the draft budget estimates are transmitted to the Kaduna State House of Assembly.”

Mr. Gyang noted that last Saturday’s presentation is the sixth annual budget since 2015 to be discussed at a town hall meeting, noting that every year since 2015, the government has passed and signed all budgets in the preceding year, thereby aligning the fiscal and calendar years.

The commissioner disclosed that Kaduna state’s draft 2021 budget takes into account the economic impact of Covid-19 and the continuing uncertainty it has unleashed.

Mr. Gyang stated that the draft budget prioritises capital spending, with a capital to recurrent ratio of 66%:34%, explaining that it supports the abiding commitment to Education, Health and Infrastructure by devoting most of the capital allocation to these sectors.

According to him, the sum of N124bn, almost 79% of the capital budget of N157.56bn, is allocated to the Economic and Social sectors.

The commissioner clarified that N62.2bn has been devoted for the Social Sector (capital spend of N38bn Education and N22.6bn Health), while the Economic sector capital allocation of N62.13bn includes Infrastructure (N37.4bn), Agriculture (N10bn), Business, Innovation & Technology (N5.6bn) and N8.6bn for Housing and Urban Development.

Mr Gyang further disclosed that total budgetary allocation to the various sectors also reflects these priorities, with N59.59bn on Education (25% of the budget), N35.78bn on Health (15%) and N55.1bn on Infrastructure (23%).

The commissioner reiterated that the focus of the government since 2015 has been governance reforms, education, health and infrastructure.

He recalled that in June 2019, Governor Nasir El-Rufai launched the Urban Renewal Project, the most significant investments ever in urban infrastructure in the state, with the goal of upgrading the three major cities: Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria.

In her closing remarks at the event, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe explained that the budget priorities reflect the ‘’Putting People First’’ governance agenda.

“Education and Health are the principal components of human capital development, while investments in Infrastructure are critical to maintaining our competitiveness, supporting economic dynamism, creating jobs and promoting the well-being of our people,’’ she said.

Dr Balarabe had said that the comments and inputs from the town hall meeting will be considered before the proposed budget is presented to the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

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