Population, land mass and natural resources, as well as volume of export, determined the wealth of nations in recent past. Largely, these endowments also defined their nationals’ standard of living in years gone. However, the metrics have changed as development, as defined by the UN, is neither by demography, nor gold, silver or hydrocarbon. Now, the gold standard is the Human Development Index, comprising skills, education, good healthcare and per capita income. Indeed, the Malam Nasir El Rufai administration, in the last seven years, has built its policies and programmes around these indices.
First, education is free and compulsory from primary to secondary school level. In addition, each ward in Kaduna state, without exception, has a primary healthcare centre, with personnel, equipment and medical consumables. Besides, there are two dental hospitals, 29 secondary health facilities and one tertiary referral hospital in the state. Broadly, the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government is building human capital, empowering people and lifting many out of poverty. Significantly, Senator Uba Sani’s interventions, as a lawmaker, follow the same human capital development trajectory. In fact, the federal legislator started running before hitting the ground, as the plight of his constituents, even before inauguration, was on his mind as senator-elect.
Officially, the 9th senate was inaugurated on June 11, 2019, and about four months after, Senator Uba Sani had tabled a bill in November. Specifically, the bill for an Act to establish Federal Medical Centre Rigasa, had passed first reading on November 19. Similarly, 28 days later, it had passed second reading and about a year after, the bill had passed third reading on December 3, 2020. Right now, it is awaiting President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent.
Rigasa, a ward in Igabi local government area, has a PHC like 254 others. It has a general hospital, including several private hospitals and clinics but its huge population has over stretched these facilities. So, a Federal Medical Centre will bridge the yawning deficit, reduce maternal and infant mortalities, increase general access to healthcare. The centre, when it becomes operational, will be a multidisciplinary facility for treatment and research, as well as neuro-surgery services, treatment of cardiac-related ailments, including ear, nose and throat diseases.
Significantly, Senator Uba Sani is also passionate about education, skills acquisition and helping small businesses to grow. The teacher, in the education value chain, is the most important component and the lawmaker proposed the Federal College of Education Giwa Bill to expand the fountain of knowledge. The senator, drawing from his good will and wide network, embarked on consultation, intensive and extensive advocacy among his colleagues. Finally, the bill was passed on July 15, 2020 and the Senate President, Dr Ahmed Lawan, congratulated Senator Uba Sani for the passage.
Indeed, the senator’s zeal for education and digital skills, the building blocks of the 21st century, is the fulcrum of his legislative activism, which has seen him reaching out to his colleagues, building consensus and bridges across the aisle. The senator, in this regard, has sponsored a bill to establish the Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Kaduna South. The bill, according to him, seeks to upscale the ICT skills of his constituents, Kaduna state in general and northern Nigeria at large. Similarly, his University of Technology Kaduna Bill seeks to convert Kaduna State Polytechnic to a university. KadPoly, the senator’s alma mater, is the largest, most equipped and staffed polytechnic south of the sahara. The bill, according to its general principles, seeks to reposition the institution, especially to produce skilled manpower. The conversion will equip the university for the industrialisation needs of not just the north but the country at large.
Likewise, Senator Uba Sani facilitated the building of Faculty of Engineering, the biggest intervention to any state varsity, at Kaduna State University. Right now, the project is ongoing at the university’s permanent site, located at Rigachukun.
Similarly, in his several interventions, the senator has been expanding opportunities, especially to the indigent. Whether through his Foundation, personal finances or in his official capacity, Uba Sani has given succor to promising students. On January 13, 2020, his foundation handed out scholarships to 175 brilliant but indigent final year secondary school students, to pay their WAEC/SSCE fees. Last Saturday, 287 students from Kaduna State University (KASU), College of Education, Kafanchan, Federal College of Education (FCE) Zaria and Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria received their own manna from him.
Education, for most people, has been the gateway to prosperity, or at least, a middle class life. In the 21st century, skills and education are the co-join twins for development and not black gold or fossil fuels. Presently, Kaduna state government is investing in the twosome and an Uba Sani administration will build on that concrete foundation, through the state and his foundation, in his effort to invest in the future.
Musa is the Director of Strategic Communication of the Kaduna State APC Campaign Council.