One of the major reasons the administration of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje had to subject the Kano Master Plan to a wholesale review is to give stimulus for proper planning and implementation of mega infrastructures. It is also aimed at easing flow of traffic, accessibility to as many areas as possible in the fast expanding and busy commercial city that has its own fair share of modern–day urban challenges like traffic congestion, inaccessibility, shanty settlements and erosion.
The plan also took into cognizance, the need for accelerated development vital not only to the basic needs and comforts of the citizens, but also the population dynamics of the most populous state in the federation, which dictate that infrastructure must be prioritized to meet the needs of the people.
It is expected that the government, universally, provides basic social amenities and infrastructure for its populace from four main financing options that include budget, public debt or other public sources. However, it is no news that there is a shortage of funding available for essential services and infrastructural development by the government in Nigeria and in almost every country in the world. This creates a gap which Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and companies through their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) have attempted to fill.
The inability of the government to meet up with the increasing responsibility to provide and maintain infrastructure in the country and the need to regulate the contribution of private individuals to infrastructural development has led to the concept of Public-Private Partnership (PPP). Governments all over the world in this new dispensation cooperate with the private sectors in the provision and management of various infrastructural facilities in their respective countries. The concept involves, among many others, the build-operate-transfer variations, which are also commonly used in Nigeria, including design-build-finance-transfer, build-operate-own, and design-build-finance-operate models.
The state government is doing a lot to be able to tap from the potentials that exist in this window, particularly in the area of legal and regulatory frameworks as well as other policies and incentives. Some of the specific issues to be addressed to pack in private sector participation in infrastructure development include: access to low interest credit, security, incentives, policy consistency, ease of doing business and sound legal and regulatory policies.
It is based on this that the Ganduje administration is adopting the PPP model in its quest to revivify the state economy and bridge the infrastructure deficit. In fact, the Ganduje administration is expending over N150 billion in the construction of critical infrastructure directed to aiding economic development in the state. Under the concept, which is grossly misunderstood by the public, the government of Kano state is engaged in a number of PPP arrangements for the provision of infrastructure and services and also enlivening under-performing assets in partnership with willing investors as part of move to make the ancient city catch up with modernity for a befitting mega city status.
The state in recent times has commenced some PPP projects which include: collaboration with private developers on the construction of the new Economic City of Kano located at Dangwauro Town along Kano -Zaria Federal Highway. The development is a joint venture between the Kano state government and Brains and Hammers Company Ltd, under a PPP arrangement, with the state government presenting the Certificate of Occupancy of the 117.2 hectares of land to the project developers as equity.
The pact provides that Brains and Hammers will source for funds needed to execute the project, and proceed with the project on a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) arrangement. The developer will also own 25 per cent equity and will build the market and own it for 25 years before handing it over to the Kano state government. The terms also provide for the engagement of a qualified facility management company which will ensure decent management of the Kanawa Economic City.
In order to enhance the chances of acquisition by all classes of people, a mortgage arrangement has been put in place. It involves finance arrangements with some banks and other institutional investors who have expressed interest in the project.
Ganduje’s resolve to continue with the project was borne out of a request to re-assert the state as one of the leading economic centers in the country. It is one of the high flying projects started by the administration of former Governor Ibrahim Shekaru. The project is being undertaken at a cost of N167. 508 billion and will have the capacity to provide merchants and shoppers with amenities and services that befit the state’s mega-city status.
The Kano Economic City has been designed to have 10,000 shops in phase one, 38 world class warehouses, 280 Trailer Parks spaces, Inland Container Land (ICL) with 200 Trucks capacity spaces and 202 Trucks Parking Spaces. The development will also be housed to 43 Grain Silos in place, 4 filling stations out of which 2 will be mega stations and the remaining will be normal stations. There will be spaces for large scale industries for processing leather, meat, and identified commodities in a modern way. Pharmaceutical areas also are provided within the marketplace for drug marketers.
Also as part of the Ganduje administration to further boost commercial activities in the state, it has constructed the multi-billion naira mall at the popular Kantin Kwari Textile Market in the state christened: ‘Yan Tebura Mall on a Public Private Partnership basis. The mall consists of over 4,600 stalls, made of iron to guard against fire outbreak. The edifices could be accessed through 11 newly-constructed roads built specifically to complement the mall.
It is also in partnering a private investor to develop the former Daula Hotel located at Murtala Muhammad Way. The hotel is one of the properties abandoned for years and has become a hiding place for criminals. Even the School of Hospitality and Tourism situated within its premises only occupies 10 percent of the structure, and would now be developed to a residential building for enhanced revenue generation.
Under the arrangement, a 10-storey new Daula Hotel to be 100 per cent owned by the state government will be constructed in addition to residential buildings and Multi-Purpose Shopping Mall by Mudatex Mudassir and Brothers Ltd all within the same premises. The state government has given the land as equity as regards to the mall and residential building, controlling 60 to 70 per cent of the property, while the investor retains the remaining.
The Ganduje administration is also partnering private investors to convert the premises of Triumph Publishing Company Ltd to a modern Bureau de Change Market in order to bring the scattered operators of bureaus de change at Wapa, Fagge under one secured environment. As part of its commitment to ensuring that the huge housing deficit in Kano state is bridged through a number of housing delivery schemes, under a number of partnerships between the state government and private developers, the state government has so far constructed a number of houses through equity arrangement with the following private investors: Silver World Ltd which developed an estate consisting of four bedroom duplexes at Sokoto road; Natala Investment, which constructed an estate consisting of three bedroom duplexes at Race Course Road; and Dada Consult that developed a four bedroom duplexes at Bichi Close all in Kano.
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The Ganduje administration is also planning to construct about 5,000 housing units for teachers in public primary and secondary schools in the state, under a PPP arrangement between the state government, Family Homes Funds and the Federal Mortgage Bank, where each of the 36 rural local governments will have 100 housing units, while the remaining eight metropolitan local governments will have 150 housing units each.
Under the arrangement, the state government will also provide the land, auxiliary facilities such as water, electricity and roads while other aspects would be handled by the partners.
Construction of modern shopping complex at the abandoned and structurally defective Multi-Floor Car Park at Shahuchi in the metropolis under a PPP arrangement with private developers.
With the implementation of the reviewed Kano Master Plan, a solid foundation has been laid for the long-term infrastructure development with the underlying philosophy being opening up Kano state for business by gradually reducing infrastructure-related constraints to business and ensuring the role of all actors, stakeholders and partners, especially the state government in solving the huge infrastructure needs of the state.
Garba is the commissioner for Information, Kano state