Mr President, N5b Is Not Enough For Kano – By Abdulmumin Giwa

May 26, 2020
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I read from some sources, though not confirmed, that the Federal Government has approved the release of N5 billion to Kano state but the funds are not to be released directly to the state government but in bits and according to verified demands.

This is a very questionable step, a step not taken on Lagos and Ogun states. It begs the question as to why the FG is not concerned about the plight of Kano and its people? This is a state renowned for commercial activities that has lost its economy to the COVID-19 pandemic. The current economic situation has raised the level of vulnerability in the state where it is suspected that there is a community transmission of the virus.

Not even a serious emergency approach is given to the state that is out of the ordinary.

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For example, not many business owners, who are also direct tax payers, can benefit from bailouts in the state due to the nature of the direct buy and sell business they operate. Special bailouts should be provided for them in order to keep them alive as do other formally registered businesses because they also pay taxes. But the FG is not considering these types of fallouts on Kano, nor does it consider the out of government employment the unique economy in the state provides as well as the nature of the job security it provides to the region.

Is like the FG completely does not consider the uniqueness of Kano and does not treat it as such.

In the current situation in the fight against COVID-19, N5 billion is too small for Kano if Ogun that is not up to a third of the population of Kano can get the same amount with less casualties.

More so, if Lagos that is also less in population and even less vulnerable than Kano can get N10 billion I see no reason why Kano cannot be given N15 billion.

Also going by the results of the elections that brought the regime to  power, Kano gave three times more votes to it than Lagos and Ogun put together.

This is diversionary and incoherent. Kano needs more because there is indeed a community transmission in place that will require harsh steps that will not only take a toll on the populace but also crash the economy. Kano has completely lost its Internally Generated Revenue, IGR to the extent that the governor, his deputy and all other political office holders have forfeited fifty percent of their salaries to the COVID-19 plight.

Despite that, the state government, apart from spending on logistics, palliatives and the general fight against COVID-19, it has also managed to pay workers salaries in the state.

It is good that Kano is getting N5 billion, but to be just and fair, Kano needs more. With very little resources it has been able to reduce and counter the devastating effects in the state to which the FG needs to complement  by providing it with enough funds.

Another issue is that of refusing to release the funds to Kano state government but ordered the Federal Ministry of Finance to be releasing the funds in bits according to verified demand. This is an insult on the government and people of Kano. Why was the same treatment not accorded to Lagos or Ogun state, why Kano? Is like the FG is politicizing the fight against COVID-19 and accusing others of the same. Why will not the government simply release the funds to the state because since the advent of the pandemic the state had operated without any genuine support from the FG.

Hence, the N5 billion and the manner of releasing the fund, is insufficient for Kano and its people. Kano needs more.

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