By Chukwudi Enekwechi
Even as most Nigerians lament over the leadership problems in Nigeria, in the case of Kwali Area Council of Federal Capital Abuja, we are witnessing a paradigm shift as the new helmsman, Honourable Joseph Shazin, is toeing a new line. This new direction by the Shazin administration which recently marked its one year in office has put Kwali on an accelerated development level. Today, on account of his efforts towards repositioning the Area Council, many residents are beginning to feel the impact of government in their daily lives.
Notwithstanding the dwindling monthly federal allocations, the Kwali Area Council under the leadership of Shazin has continued to provide essential amenities and development projects in the area council. To achieve this feat, he adopted several strategies, one of which is raising the internally-generated revenue profile of the council. The council established an internally-generated revenue task force which is diligently supervised by the area council administration. Additionally, the administration also established a timber market at Dabi Baka and a cattle market at Koroko as well as handed over the site of Kwali International Market to a private developer to commence physical development. It is also remarkable that in a bid to boost the revenue profile of Kwali Area Council, the Shazin administration first equipped the task force with necessary tools for the work such as motor vehicles, motorcycles and security.
Considering the attention being given to the agricultural sector in the country, the Shazin administration has increased the tempo of farming activities in the council by repairing broken and abandoned tractors which he inherited, thereby enhancing the tractor hiring services of the council. This approach has restored Kwali to its prime position of a leading agrarian community.
It is pertinent to reiterate the fact that the administration is working on all sectors simultaneously. For example, it has consistently intervened in the education sector by providing essential educational materials, rehabilitated schools and awarded scholarships to many indigent students of the council.
Similarly, it has engaged over three hundred youths and women in skills acquisition, and the philosophy behind this policy is to enable them to be self-reliant and thereby boost their families’ incomes. In the area of health-care delivery, Kwali Area Council has made a mark in supporting and funding maternal New Born programme, as well as assisting in the polio eradication programme of the World Health Organization.
To ensure that children are protected from various communicable diseases at their infancy, the council has introduced routine immunization days and mobilized the health department to carry out regular monitoring and evaluation of the immunization activities. This level of vigilance is aimed at preventing a sudden outbreak of communicable diseases. The noble achievements of Mr. Joseph Shazin as chairman of Kwali Area Council FCT is being brought into the limelight because for a very long time, Nigerians have been inundated with issues of maladministration at the third tier of government. Now, we have an example of a local government that works and is delivering the democracy dividends to its citizens due to the selfless leadership style of the helmsman.
Perhaps, other local governments in Nigeria have to understudy the Kwali area council administration to enable them stay afloat. It is also worthy of note that the Federal Capital Territory Administration has chosen Kwali for the construction of an NYSC permanent Orientation Camp. This synergy and collaboration between the area council and FCTA has the potential to attract serious investors to the area.
Furthermore, despite the economic downtum of the country, and in particular local government councils, Kwali Council has continued to provide developmental projects which include roads, water, schools, maintenance of dilapidated infrastructure, market development and sanitation.
Having attained these milestones within a period of one year, it is doubtless that Hon. Joseph Shazin’s will greatly transform Kwali Council over the remaining two years. These achievements dispel the wrong notion that local governments in Nigeria are not viable. It requires visionary leadership as encapsulated in the Kwali leadership template for an area council to break even. In doing so, the support of all key stakeholders is needed for the people to benefit and a typical example is the harmonious relationship between Hon. Shazin’s administration and the FCTA under Minister Muhammad Bello. More importantly, the synergy existing between the Kwali area council and the Federal Capital Territory administration has ensured that issues related to the wellbeing of the residents are usually addressed promptly. Lest we forget, Kwali is the birthplace of the legendry pottery maker, Ladi Kwali whose works have attracted international recognition and attention.
Therefore, it can be said that Honourable Shazin administration’s desire to promote education among his people will in the very near future greatly impact on their well-being and elevate their status. His ability to achieve these laudable results can be attributed to the cooperation he receives from the experienced technocrats in the council, as well as the traditional institutions. Kwali workers have also keyed into the vision of Shazin to reposition the area council for the benefit of all residents. At the rate of his developmental strides, Kwali is undeniably a frontline local council in Nigeria.
As the nearest outreach to the people, local governments have an important role to play in improving the lives of their inhabitants and contribute to the gross domestic product of the country. Kwali council is living up to the billing. The His council has started attracting investors and with the siting of FCT NYSC camp in the area, Kwali will ultimately be the next investment haven in the Nigerian capital.
Enekwechi writes via [email protected]