THE INAUGURATION SPEECH BY MALLAM DIKKO UMARU RADDA, PH.D., THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KATSINA STATE, ON 29TH MAY 2023.
Bismillah hir Rahman nir Raheem
Qulil laahumma Maalikal Mulki tu’til mulka man tashaaa’u wa tanzi’ul mulka mimman tashhaaa’u wa tu’izzu man tashaaa’u wa tuzillu man tashaaa’u biyadikal khairu innaka ‘alaa kulli shai’in Qadeer (Q3 V26)
Every eight years since 1999, we have gathered on this day to mark the peaceful transition of power from one administration to another in Katsina state. I have witnessed every other inauguration, and today, with immense gratitude to Almighty Allah, I stand before you as the duly elected governor of our beloved Katsina state.
I want to thank my family for being my source of comfort on this journey, and I pray that they join me in service to the people. I would also like to thank my campaign team and members of our great party, the APC, particularly my predecessor, His Excellency Aminu Bello Masari. My sincere appreciation goes out to those who voted for me and supported my campaign in any capacity. My gratitude extends to everyone in Katsina, and I assure you that the politics are now over. I belong to every single one of you.
The allure of government is too often detached from the grind of governance. I knew from the moment I decided to run for the governor of Katsina state that upon victory, I would give my best and work my hardest to ensure that I delivered the mandate on which I was elected. As I unfold my administrative team over the coming days and weeks, I want to assure you that I did my best to find people with the same commitment and sincerity of purpose toward building a better future for the people of Katsina. I will not hesitate to change members of my administration who do not deliver their objectives because the people deserve nothing less from us as a government.
The driving force of our administration will be service to the people, equity, and justice for all. We will run a people-oriented government and resist anything compromising our ability to put our people first. I will lead by example, and I expect members of my cabinet and all public servants to do the same. I will be accountable and periodically provide updates on the achievements and challenges of my administration. Your expectations must be rooted in the reality of the state.
Actions will have consequences, and I call on all people to discharge their obligations with righteousness. People must develop progressive mindsets and discard old habits that yield indiscipline and criminality. Civility will become the minimum expectation, and I urge all households to cultivate the values of Islam.
My administration will try its best to bring a new approach to governance. It will be inclusive and diverse, focusing on solid policy implementation and delivery. I am committed to following through on the Building Your Future Strategic Policy which has been subjected to review by over 200 of our best and brightest in different areas. The policy blueprint they have developed will be a dynamic document that will be constantly revised in line with the strategic priorities and capacity of the state.
Over the next four years, our task as government is to provide peace and prosperity for the people of Katsina state. The insecurity issues will be paramount for this administration, and we will deploy all available resources to end banditry and criminality across the state. We will also engage communities in this fight to ensure that security is sustained. To those affected by banditry and insecurity, I assure you that my administration will do its best to rebuild your lives. We will also focus on your mental well-being and provide special support to women and girls who have endured unimaginable pain. To the bandits, I say abandon your cause and reintegrate into society or face the full wrath of the law. I urge our youths to shun drug abuse, time-wasting, and criminality. We will work with relevant law enforcement agencies to promote social order and overall security in the state.
A new approach means the public sector must be upskilled to work more efficiently in line with our strategic policy objectives. The process of modernizing public sector administration is not designed to bring hardship for civil servants but to ensure that they are working in capacities that match their competencies with the right tools and remuneration. Administration reforms will be extended to Local Government Areas to ensure they can deliver for communities. The promotion and placement of staff will be entirely on merit and not through favors. We will apply the stick and carrot in our approach toward performance. We will establish Key Performance Indicators across all cadres and hold public servants accountable.
Katsina is an agricultural state, and our government will ensure that our investment in this sector is well-planned and done to maximize returns for over 85% of our people engaged in agriculture. We will develop agricultural value chains along essential commodities and ensure that every local government benefits from activities in which they have comparative and competitive advantages.
Education is the bedrock of our children’s future, and we will ensure that the best students have access to world-class academic facilities across the state. I call upon all teachers to embrace our drive to improve the education system so we can produce students that can compete with the best in Nigeria and beyond. Our future development will hinge on an educated population ready to contribute back to the state. We will also focus on technical and vocational education for those who need new skills to become productive in society.
On health and social care, this administration will embark on an unprecedented drive to ensure that the most vulnerable members of our communities are well taken of and equipped with the tools to take them out of poverty. We will improve access to quality healthcare at all levels while calling people to key into our preventative healthcare programs.
We will support small businesses with new initiatives and ensure government policies take advantage of MSMEs during implementation. Boosting local economies will be critical to our collective growth approach for communities. We will establish an agency to promote employment generation and youth engagement by developing MSMEs in the state.
The people of Katsina can expect positive changes from my administration in land administration, revenue generation, environmental management, and infrastructure over the coming weeks and months. We will introduce a Treasury Single Account to consolidate the state’s finances to strengthen accountability and close all loopholes in our financial system. Leakages in payroll, overheads, and capital projects will be targeted until we eradicate them to ensure that public finances are managed efficiently for the benefit of the people. We also conduct a comprehensive staff audit to eliminate ghost workers and ensure public servants serve the government judiciously. We will encourage public servants to come forward as whistleblowers when they observe practices that violate due process and the rule of law.
My administration will be transparent and ensure reasonable efforts are made to engage the people as we introduce new policies. My goal is to build a better Katsina state. I wish to use the opportunity to call upon the private sector and multilateral agencies to work with Katsina state on our development agenda. I am the Chief Development Officer of the state, and I can assure you that you will have my full support towards any good development initiatives you bring for the people of Katsina state. I will establish the Katsina State Development Management Board and assemble our global best on the governing board to coordinate all development activities in the state.
I want to assure our President, Bola Ahmed Tinibu, that Katsina State is ready to partner with his government to deliver his objectives for the state and our people. I also call upon other governors to work with us to address shared challenges, especially security.
I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for serving his country to the best of his ability. I pray that Almighty God guides you in your endeavor. We welcome any support you will provide for our administration.
Again, I want to thank you all for your presence on this auspicious day. My action plan in each sector is ready, and my work as your governor has begun. I seek your prayers and support on this journey toward a better future for our people.