It is about a year since you assumed office as the Administrator of Kaduna Metropolitan Authority. What major projects have you embarked upon in Zaria, Sabon Gari, Giwa and Soba local governments?
On assumption of office, I was confronted with the rigours of setting up a new office, deployment of staff and office accommodation. However, after settling down, we embarked on four major projects which include Street Naming and House Numbering exercise, construction of township roads, installation of street lights and the day-to-day collection and evacuation of solid waste across the metropolitan area. We have also been engaging closely with the Kaduna Vigilance Service (KADVS) to enhance the provision of local security, especially in Giwa, and recently, across the entire Zaria Metropolitan Authority. This is imperative considering the deteriorating level of insecurity in some parts of Giwa Local Government Area at a time. The roads that are being constructed have been well applauded by the beneficiaries. This is largely because we consulted widely with the Local Government Council Chairmen in prioritizing the roads due to paucity of funds.
Where are the road projects located?
The roads being constructed are as follows. We have three and two roads in Zaria and Sabon Gari respectively. They are Kofar Jatau to Adada Pharmacy road; Umaru Dikko House to Salihu Dansanda road; PHC to Federal College of Education Junction road in Zaria Local Government Area and Layin Barazana to Dogarawa roads and Benin Street roads in Sabon Gari Local Government Area.
You embarked on Street Naming and Numbering exercise when you came on board. Why is this exercise necessary for a town like Zaria which has existed for centuries?
Very good. Zaria as you know, is an ancient city and which requires all the modern facilities and services needed in a modern city. I believe, this was one of the reasons that His Excellency, in his wisdom, established the ZMA. To uplift the Metropolis, and as part of our mandate, we engaged with the Kaduna State Bureau of Statistics, Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Authority (KASUPDA), Kaduna State Geographic Information Services (KADGIS) and other stakeholders with a view to adopting a standard street naming and house numbering method for ease of identification, referencing as well as doing business across the metropolitan area. Street names will ease provision of services through the development of a coherent digital addressing system across the ZMA.
We therefore conducted a stakeholders’ meeting involving the Zazzau Emirate Council, District Heads, members of the management of the local governments within the metropolitan area, to sensitize and gauge the acceptability of the exercise. At present, we have completed the first phase which constitutes field work to physically mapping of all the streets in the entire ZMA. This exercise had enabled us to digitize all the streets within Zaria Metropolitan Authority (ZMA), including pathways. We will soon embark on the second phase that entails the installation of the signages and house numbers.
What criteria did you use in the street naming exercise? Were some streets named after prominent people residing there? Were some of them named after some landmarks?
In naming the streets, we adopted the universal standard of street naming. Thus we maintained the traditional existing names of the streets and where they are inappropriate, we allow the District Heads or Ward Heads to recommend a better one. In doing this, we organized a stakeholders’ meetings where we sensitized members on the exercise and thereafter printed the digitized maps of all the districts. We then allowed the District Heads to consult with the various Ward Heads to validate the existing names and recommend for changes on those that might be inappropriate. However, for some derogatory street names such as Layin Barazana, Jahannama road, Layin Maguzawa, etc, the stakeholders have agreed we should change them with more suitable names. On streets that may require new names, we will charge certain fees from individuals that may wish to name a street after themselves.
Recently, Zaria Metropolitan Authority embarked on evacuating refuse from the town and its environs. Is this not encroaching on the functions of local governments?
Evacuation of refuse generated by households, institution, commercial establishments is a day-to-day affair which must be conducted to ensure a serene and environmentally healthy metropolis. I can assure you that we are doing all of these in close collaboration with the local government chairmen and Kaduna State Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA). In essence, we are not encroaching on any of either the LGA’s or KEPA’s functions. If you look at the mandate of the Authority, you will confirm that.
Briefly, what is the mandate of Zaria Metropolitan Authority, especially regarding its relationship with council chairmen?
Section 5(1) of the Law establishing the Zaria Metropolitan Authority states that “the functions vested in Ministries, Departments and Agencies and the Local Governments as described broadly hereunder, are delegated to be exercised by the Authority within the areas more particularly described in the Schedule to this Law: (a) construction of arterial, connector and estate roads; (b) maintenance of all roads, street lightings, utility ducts and drains; (c) cleaning of all roads, drains and waterways; (d) maintenance of gardens, open spaces, parks, recreational or such other public facilities; (e) naming of roads and streets and numbering of buildings; (f) provision and maintenance of public conveniences, sewage, waste collection and refuse disposal; (g) establishment, maintenance and regulation of markets, motor parks and on-street parking; (h) control and regulation of movement and keeping of animals, pets and birds of all descriptions; (i) control and regulation of out-door advertising and hoarding; (j) control and regulation of hotels, motels, event centres and laundries; (k) control and regulation of shops, kiosks, restaurants, bakeries and other places for the sale of food to the public; licensing for the sale of liquor; provision of Emergency Services; transportation and traffic management.
From the above, you will see that the law was unambiguous in the functions of the Authority vis-à-vis the functions of the local governments. The chairmen have clearly understood this and hence, we are working in harmony.
Why is the Authority using an ad-hoc arrangement by using casual staff to Keep Zaria Clean instead outsourcing the job to professional Waste Collectors?
I must confess to you that the art and science of waste collection is something new to me. Besides, it is not as simple as you see it. However, when we came in, there was subsisting arrangement between the Ministry of Environment and some contractors who had been cleaning Zaria, Kaduna and Kafanchan. These contracts expired in June and therefore, we have to start the process of procuring contractors as directed by the State Executive Council. In the interim, we have to ensure the continued cleaning and sweeping of the major streets of Zaria Metropolitan Authority (ZMA) and the evacuation of the heaps of refuse being generated every day, thus the need for this temporary arrangement, whereby the LGAs provided casual sweepers for us to clean the streets, while we deploy a company to evacuate the refuse, as we complete our procurement process for the contractors.
What has been the relationship between Zaria Metropolitan Authority and Local Government Council Chairmen in the last one year?
It has been very excellent: Supportive and cooperative.
ZARIA METROPOLITAN Facts
-In the last one year, Zaria Metropolitan Authority has given road contracts and the contractors have mobilised to site;
-There are three roads that are being constructed in Zaria local government and they include the Kofar Jatau to Adada Pharmacy road; Umaru Dikko House to Salihu Dansanda road and the PHC to Federal College of Education Junction road;
-In Sabon Gari local government, Layin Barazana to Dogarawa road and Benin Street road are being constructed;
-Zaria Metropolitan Authority (ZMA) engaged with the Kaduna State Bureau of Statistics, Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Authority (KASUPDA), Kaduna State Geographic Information Services (KADGIS) and other stakeholders in a bid to adopt a standard street naming and house numbering;
-This will aid ease of house identification, referencing as well as doing business across the metropolitan area;
-Street names will also ease the provision of services through the development of a coherent digital address system across the ZMA.