Uba Sani’s Executive Order as sweet relief for 2.1m poor citizens
By Nasir Dambatta
Kaduna State Governor Uba Sani’s signing of his First Executive Order, which is on Financial Inclusion of the state’s citizens, underscores two significant facts for the appreciation of whoever nurses concern for genuine solutions to the state’s pushy socio-economic problems.
First, the landmark action underscores the the universal fact that governance is all about delivering the service that addresses the core of the problems, most importantly, the socio-economic problems, of the governed entity.
Second, the action underscores the fact that for however long some socioeconomic problems persist and anguish the people of a given governed entity, a leader shall, someday, emerge to get it right on the desired solutions for those pushy socioeconomic problems.
Governor Uba Sani’s first Executive Order shimmers with a promising set of solutions for addressing the major root causes of the numerous economic challenges of the rural communities of a state troubled for too long by religious and inter-ethnic clashes, which have impeded its progress commensurate with its enviable quantity of economic resources and political status in the country’s nationhood history.
With depression persistently ailing the economies of majority of countries across the globe in the manner of drug-resistent Malaria, it takes a leader with a towering capacity for purposeful governance to squeeze out, from the prevailing realities of the economy, potent measures to relieve the people he governs from the persistent economic hardships anguishing.
Governor Uba Sani, by such historic administrative instruments as the Financial Inclusion Executive Order, seems to have assumed the governance of Northern Nigeria’s political seat with a stern focus on the problems that dim its dazzling history and with, equally, a stern determination to combat them with every obtainable state-of-the-art administrative weapons.
Enter Nigeria’s first and only Executive Order by this Governor from the Northwest, who doubles as the Deputy National Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum. This Executive order is purposely to provide succour to 2.1 million vulnerable citizens in the rural areas from the crushing fangs of financial exclusion.
The signing of the Executive Order on Financial Inclusion in Kaduna State is, according to Senator Uba Sani, pursuant to the State Government’s efforts to address the exclusion of about 2.1 million poor, underserved and vulnerable citizens in the rural areas from financial services in Kaduna State and to ensure they benefit from the State and Federal Government’s Social Intervention Programmes.
It was also in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 5 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and all other powers enabling him in that behalf, to make a broad range of orders:
First is a Financial Inclusion and Literacy Committee is hereby constituted to fashion out strategies and modalities to ensure the inclusion of the poor, underserved and vulnerable in Kaduna State, and second, equip them with financial skills to enable them make sound financial and investment decisions.
By the Executive Order, the target of the State Government is to also include about one million poor, underserved, unbanked and vulnerable citizens in the financial services sector in the next one year.
Thirdly, the State Government, in collaboration with key stakeholders, including CSOs, NGOs and Financial Technology Companies (Fintechs) , will develop a State Financial Inclusion Strategy.
Fourthly, the State Government shall develop a STATE REGISTER of the Poor, Under-Served and Vulnerable. The Register will be subjected to various stages of integrity tests.
Fifth, the State Government shall work with banks and other financial service providers to open bank accounts for unbanked citizens, and embark on aggressive sensitization programme to ensure the mass participation of our citizens in this exercise.
Sixth, the administration, in collaboration with regulatory agencies in the financial sector, will organize Financial Literacy Workshops to equip citizens with financial skills that will enable them make sound financial and investment decisions.
Seventh, the State Government shall consult with key stakeholders like Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders, Local Government Chairmen, Youth, Women and Community Development Associations to ensure the mass sensitization and involvement of the citizens in this financial inclusion drive.
Having met all the basic requirements for kick-starting this historic effort, Governor Uba Sani directed the Committee on Financial Inclusion and Literacy to “liaise with all relevant Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies in ensuring the full implementation of this order.”
It now evident that Governor Uba Sani’s masses friendly policies are gradually unfolding, with supersonic speed.
Dambatta is Senior Special Assistant on Print Media to the Governor of Kaduna State