Abdullahi Garuba Faskari – Deputy Governor of Katsina State
Most times deputy governors are seen as spare tyres. Have you ever been treated like a spare tyre that can be changed when the need arises?
That is not the case in Katsina State. I have enormous responsibility on my desk having to do with the affairs of the state and I’m centrally involved in almost everything. Most of the outings whether in Katsina or Abuja, I have adequately represented the governor. So I don’t think the issue of spare tyre is applicable in Katsina because those in government people can testify and it is very glaring. We have responsibilities whether the governor is around or not.
How was Governor Shema able to achieve all these projects?
Our late President, when he served here as governor, laid down on a foundation. And before he left he looked on a person that’s capable of building on that foundation. And I think that one is very crucial and important because when the governor came in after succeeding the late President, he did one thing which is very unique and unprecedented to some extent. He made sure he completed all the projects, ongoing projects left by the previous administration. This is a major in our current dispensation. Those projects were gigantic in nature, when you look at the Katsina State Airport, he completed that, Turai Yar’Adua Maternal and Child Hospital, that is mighty project. Then Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University when he came in the foundation was laid, then he completed the university in less that a period of one year. He made sure he had not embarked on new project until he has completed all ongoing, existing projects left by the previous administration before he embarked on new ones. And equally the legacy left by our late President as governor when he was leaving towards 2007, it was then towards the tail end of his tenure that people appreciated what he has done in Katsina, because Katsina State there were a lot of gigantic projects executed and secondly, the government did not borrow either within or outside the country a kobo. And thirdly there are some reasonable amount of funds in the government’s treasury which is equally huge and these things endeared late President Yar’Adua to people in Katsina and people outside the state. That trend has continued. The level of being prudent and being transparent in administration of the government in spending public funds has continued. Today, in Katsina State when you go round you see a number of projects being run and the formation is so high that if you’re not someone who is conversant with this area, you will miss your way because of the transformation.
To crown it all, you find that the same trend that has been established is continued that is despite the gigantic projects. The government has not borrowed either within or outside the country. And equally there is a reasonable amount in the government treasure. When government was submitting an estimate for 2014 budget, we had an open balance of N20 billion and the projects going on are serious projects but the governor has not borrowed because he does not want to leave liability for Katsina people and generation yet unborn.
Given the opportunity again will you want to work with Governor Shema?
Well I had worked with him for a period of four years. And I now worked with him for a period of another three years. We have been together for about seven years. Even before now when I was attorney general, I had an opportunity to equally interact and work with him, so, I have no regrets and I’m ready at all time to work with him in whatever respectful capacity.
How will you described the man Governor Shema? And what is your message to people of Katsina?
Governor Shema is a leader that has the feeling of his people at heart. That translates to various activities has been rendered to people by the government. You need to have your people at heart for you to be prudent, you need to have your people at heart for you to make sure you deliver to them.
To the people as I always say is for them to look at the projects, look at the leadership and appreciate. Like the common saying in the religion by God that “I have done something good to you, you need to appreciate it and I will increase it”. Another time we are saying that we wouldn’t want a day we will remember all in terms of regret but unfortunately our people sometimes will not appreciate much of what is being done and unless they come to term with the opposite of what they have, it is that time they will begin to remember all, so for us to avoid that people will need to appreciate. At least there are funds that are prudently managed, and you can see glaringly dividends of democracy, and still no debt incurred for the people and generation unborn. So I think these are good things for the people to see and appreciate, in comparism to what is happening in other parts of the country. Where you will not discover tangible projects, where you will not discover funds in the treasury and to crown it all you discover high degree of debt incurred for the government and people, for current generations and generation yet unborn.